A moving video tribute has paid respects to pilot Nick Wallis on the eve of his funeral in Wanaka tomorrow.
The video, posted on Alpine Helicopters Facebook page, shows a compilation of the 38-year-old pilot and father-of-two flying a helicopter through the snowy mountain tops.
The footage has received an outpouring of emotion, with more than 59,000 people having viewed it and hundreds of people leaving messages of condolences for the Wallis family.
Nick Wallis 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 on October 18.
A massive investigation, led by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC), is under way to find out what happened.
It is expected to take between 18 months to two years before the final report on "the likely cause and circumstances" of the crash is completed.
The tragedy came less than three months after Nick Wallis' brother Matt Wallis, 39, died in a chopper crash nearby.
Matthew was farewelled by 1500 people at a service held in a marquee at Wanaka Airport on July 30, nine days after his death. He was 39 years old.
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.
Wallis' brothers, Jonathan and Toby Wallis, earlier described their younger brother as passionate about what he did and an "effervescent" character.
"Nick was larger than life in a literal context. He was 6ft 6in, he was 120kg. He was effervescent. Nothing was ever a problem," Jonathan said.
But given the double tragedy in the Wallis family, the surviving brothers have vowed to keep flying.
"It's in our blood," Toby Wallis said. "It's in our family. We're not going to stop flying. If someone has an accident on the road you don't stop driving. It'll be tough to keep going. He was a great little brother."
The Department of Conservation also earlier told the Herald that the two rangers who died in the crash, Hondelink and Theobald, both of Twizel, were internally renowned experts and pioneers and a huge amount of skill had been lost.
A celebration of Nick Wallis' life will be held at the Alpine Group hangar at Wanaka
Airport at 2pm tomorrow.
Paul Hondelink's funeral will follow the next day, with family and friends also gathering at the Alpine Group hangar at 2pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Theobald family will be holding two funeral services for Scott Theobald; one at 2pm on Wednesday at Glentanner Holiday Park in Aoraki/Mt Cook and one the following Saturday in Whangarei.
"New Zealanders feel keenly the loss and I expect there will be many who wish to personally farewell these three great men," says Graeme Ayres, who is the DOC family liaison.