23 Nov 2012

Remains recovered from chopper crash site

9:43 am on 23 November 2012

Police have recovered the remains of two people from the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed almost nine years ago.

They are believed to be those of Waikato pilot Campbell Montgomerie and his English backpacker passenger, Hannah Timings, who disappeared on a sightseeing flight from Queenstown in January 2004.

Police were at the site on Thursday recovering the remains, which have been taken to Te Anau in Fiordland to be formally identified.

They say there is no further work to be done on the wreckage.

The wreckage of the crashed chopper.

The wreckage of the crashed chopper. Photo: NZ POLICE

The Hughes 500 helicopter was discovered at the head of the Humboldt Creek on Wednesday by people on a helicopter on a sightseeing flight over the remote area.

The Civil Aviation Authority says film and photos taken by the police will help it with its investigation into the crash.

But it says it believes the helicopter exploded on impact so it will be difficult to find out exactly what happened.

Campbell Montgomerie's parents were in Queenstown on Thursday.

Gavin Grimmer an investigator, who was hired by Ms Timings family, says Mr Montgomerie's last radio message was from very near where the wreckage was found, in the Humboldt Range.

The wreckage was discovered above the snowline, and police say it was probably covered by snow all this time.