Investigators search for answers after fatal chopper crash
AN Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) team has begun its investigation of a helicopter crash in Central Australia on Saturday, which left one man dead and another with critical injuries.
The crash occurred approximately 125km north east of Alice Springs near the Old Ambalindum Station. The Robinson R22 helicopter, which is commonly used for cattle mustering, crashed into a riverbed.
An ATSB spokesman said it was too early to speculate on what could have caused the accident.
"At team of three ATSB transport safety investigators travelling from Canberra are anticipated to arrive in the Northern Territory on Sunday afternoon to begin the evidence collection phase of the investigation," he said.
The spokesman said the investigators were expected to spend several days inspecting the scene.
"The evidence collection phase will define the size and scope of the investigation and determine the expected time frame for the completion of a final report," he said.
"Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of an investigation, the ATSB will immediately communicate it to relevant parties so that appropriate safety action can be taken."
St John Ambulance spokesman Craig Garraway said paramedics had a tough job in transporting the critically injured patient to the hospital in Alice Springs.
"Where they could land the responding helicopter was about a 10-minute walk to where the crash site was. They had to walk into the site and then had to stretcher the patient, once he was stabilised, back to the helicopter where there was a doctor waiting," he said.
"The weather was apparently not very good there."
NT Police are preparing a report for the coroner and their investigations are also ongoing.