Crash investigators are piecing together the final moments of helicopter that crashed just after take-off in Wanaka last week.
Nick Wallis, a 38-year-old pilot and father-of-two, died along with two Department of Conservation rangers Paul Hondelink, 63, and Scott Theobald, 59, after crashing in a paddock just 1.5km from Wanaka Airport.
The machine burst into flames and there were no survivors.
The tragedy came less than three months after Nick Wallis' brother Matt Wallis, 39, died in a chopper crash nearby.
A massive investigation, led by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC), is under way to find out what happened.
The wreckage and debris has been removed from the crash site, a TAIC spokesman confirmed today.
The evidence will be shipped to Wellington where it will be forensically examined.
Two members of the TAIC investigation team are still in Wanaka gathering evidence.
CCTV footage has been recovered from Wanaka Airport and that, along with other video footage, is being reviewed by investigators, the spokesman said.
"In following days, as well as and interviewing witnesses, investigators may seek to secure electronic, maintenance records and documents related to the operating company and key personnel," he said.
Police say there has been no evidence of foul play at this stage.
TAIC lead investigator Barry Stephenson said on Friday was too early to say what had happened.
The investigation has been described by investigators as "a big jigsaw puzzle," which typically would take 18-24 months to complete, although an interim report or urgent safety recommendations may be issued at any time if warranted.
In perfect conditions at 10.51am on Thursday, flying northbound in a leased Hughes 500 (ZK-HOJ) for the Landsborough Valley, in headwaters of the Haast Valley, for the first day of tahr cull operations, the trip crashed just a few minutes into the flight.
It landed heavily in a paddock near the Clutha River – a scenic area popular with walkers and tourists.
Debris, including what appeared to be the helicopter's tail section, was found over a large area.
TAIC say that while they believe they have recovered the most important pieces, a spokesman said it was possible that debris may have been missed in the widespread search.
He asked that anyone finding items that may be relevant to the investigation contact police.
Nick Wallis, survived by a wife and twin 7-year-old daughters, was the director and general manager of Alpine Helicopters, and the youngest son of Sir Tim Wallis, who founded the popular Warbirds Over Wanaka airshow and who himself has survived a reported 15 air crashes.