Death crash chopper removed from mountain

Liam Edwards and Jaimee Edwards with their five week old son Alexander. Photo / Supplied
Liam Edwards and Jaimee Edwards with their five week old son Alexander. Photo / Supplied

The helicopter that crashed in Central Otago on the weekend killing Liam Edwards and seriously injuring pilot Murray Sarginson has been removed from the mountain.

The crash occured while the chopper was flying in foggy conditions at midday east of Lindis Pass on Saturday.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced the chopper had been airlifted off the mountain and then taken by road to Wanaka Airport where further investigations into the incident would continue.

CAA spokesman Mike Richards said at the new location investigators could examine the helicopter more closely and in much safer conditions.

"Three CAA safety investigators arrived at the Lindis Pass crash site Tuesday at 8.45am and spent most of the day there. They were flown to a nearby ridge and climbed 200 metres down the steep terrain to where the wreckage was located," he said.

"The Robinson R22 helicopter has collided with the terrain on its left side (sadly where the passenger was seated).

The wreckage was secured by ropes by the search and rescue first responders so it was stable for the purposes of the physical examination."

Mr Richards said personal items recovered from the aircraft had been handed over to police to pass on to the families.

He said tomorrow the authority would spend much of the day examining the wreckage in close detail and looking for any clues that may have contributed to the tragic accident.

"Safety investigators also hope to talk the pilot who is recovering from the accident."

- NZ Herald

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