Friday 19 August 2011

Three killed in Lake Eyre chopper crash while team was conducting aerial photography

fatal crash 
ABC reporter Paul Lockyer, pilot Gary Ticehurst and cameraman John Bean.

Lake Eyre 
The beautiful Lake Eyre region last night became the sight of a helicopter tragedy
that claimed three lives. Source: AdelaideNow

THE ABC has named three staff members who are believed dead after a helicopter crashed last night near Lake Eyre.

The ABC is reporting journalist Paul Lockyer, cameraman John Bean and pilot Gary Ticehurst are believed to have died in the helicopter crash at Lake Eyre shortly after 7.30pm last night.

A police spokesman said police arrived at the scene about 2am. A police crew, crime scene examiner and paramedic flew by helicopter to the site overnight.

Police said the remoteness of the location and wet conditions had caused the delay - the nearest airstrip being 140km away and the water on the ground made it impossible to drive to the crash scene.Reports indicate two bodies have so far been recovered, and a search continues for the third.

The site is 146km north north west of Marree and 142km north east of William Creek, on the eastern side of Lake Eyre.

William Creek pilot Trevor Wright said the he believed the helicopter was being used for aerial photography and video and flying near the edge of Lake Eyre when it crashed sometime last night before 7.30pm.

An ABC spokesman meanwhile has confirmed there was an ABC crew working in a helicopter in that area. Mr Wright, who could not confirm who the occupants were, said the crew was planning to land and meet a group of people on the edge of the lake for dinner in the early evening.

"When the helicopter didn't turn up they became anxious and sent out a search party on foot, then they found the wreck," Mr Wright said

He said news of the victims had spread around the William Creek community.

"Everyone in the local community knows about it and is distraught it's an aviation community," he said.

1 comment:

  1. This is a real tragedy. Condolences to the victims families.
    Take heart in the fact that all three were doing what they loved,


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