Experienced Pilot and Dog Go Missing After Helicopter Crash off Hawks Nest, NSW, Australia

Marine Rescue crews are assisting with search efforts in Port Stephens.



Experienced Pilot and Dog Go Missing After Helicopter Crash off Hawks Nest, NSW, Australia – BrewerWood News

Edwin Kraft and his beloved dog Roxy were bound for a property at either Wallis Island near Forster or Belmore River, near Kempsey. But when he failed to arrive, a land and sea search was launched. The 54-year-old pilot left Cessnock Airport just before 9am on Thursday, heading for Wallis Island near Forster on the New South Wales mid north coast.



“He was flying over Port Stephens the time the radar contact was lost around 9:20am yesterday,” NSW Police chief inspector Dan Skelly said. “The aircraft was just 12 months old and the man was described and a very experienced pilot.” Police were alerted the helicopter had gone missing around 10pm last night and initiated a search.

“Police were deployed in the area to do a search but unfortunately nothing was found last night,” Mr. Skelly said.


Marine rescue volunteers in boats on water.


After a two day search, the Robinson R66 single-engine turbine helicopter was located on Saturday afternoon in waters near Hawks Nest on the northern shores of Port Stephens by New South Wales Water police. They have retrieved parts of the helicopter, including an on-board camera from the cockpit.

According to the Robinson Helicopter’s website, “the Robinson Cockpit Camera records 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) video, intercom audio and radio communications, and GPS position to a removable 128GB USB flash drive. The camera securely mounts in the ceiling to minimize vibration and to optimize field of view. The 128GB flash drive supplied with each camera stores approximately 10 hours of video, and when full the earliest video file is automatically overwritten with the latest recording. The Cockpit Camera is standard on new R66 and R44 helicopters and optional on new R22 helicopters.”


DroneViewer screenshot3-flightpath-over-pv


It is now in the hands of investigation officers from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, who are hoping it will help them uncover what went wrong in the final moments before the crash.

There is still no sign of Mr. Kraft or his dog, but the search will resume. An investigation to examine recovered components, flight tracking data, CCTV footage, pilot and aircraft maintenance records, as well as weather information is underway. A preliminary report will be released in the next eight weeks, with a final report to be published at the conclusion of the investigation.



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Cockpit Camera 4K Ultra HD