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Northland chopper victims named

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/11/2016
Allan Jessop © Facebook Allan Jessop

Two men killed in a helicopter crash outside of Whangarei have been named as Northland locals.

They are Allan Jessop, 42, from Tangiteroria, and Derek Hammond, 49, from Kauri.

Police have now recovered the bodies and will conduct post-mortems.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has confirmed it will also investigate the Robinson R44 helicopter crash in the Glenbervie Forest, north of Whangarei, it said on Tuesday.

Last week, the commission, which can make safety recommendations to the transport sector, added the Robinson to its watchlist of most pressing concerns. 

It said that since 1996, aviation officials had have investigated 14 "mast bumping" crashes involving Robinson helicopters, costing the lives of 18 people.

Mast bumping is where the inner part of the main rotor blade hits the drive shaft in low-gravity flight.

The investigation will be separate from the Civil Aviation Authority's, commission spokesman Peter Northcote says.

It would try to identify the circumstances and causes of the crash with a view to helping prevent a recurrence.

The deceased were long-term contractors and were carrying out spraying and reconnaissance in the forest, says managing director of forestry company Rayonier Paul Nicholls.

It was believed the first people on the scene knew the two men, he told Newshub.


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