21 Feb 2015

Helicopter wreckage removed

5:05 pm on 21 February 2015

The wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in a remote valley near Queenstown on Thursday, killing two people, has been removed from the site.

Wreckage of the Robinson 44 helicopter that crashed on Thursday in a valley near Queenstown.

Wreckage of the Robinson 44 helicopter that crashed on Thursday in a valley near Queenstown. Photo: NZ Police

Trainee pilot James Patterson-Gardner, who was 18, and his 42-year-old instructor, Stephen Combe, died in the crash.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission said it would now be transported to its technical facility in Wellington for further examination.

The commission will begin interviewing representatives of the operator company, Over the Top, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has grounded all Robinson R44 helicopters fitted with a Dash 7 Main Rotor Blade until further notice following the crash. It will affect about 80 aircraft.

The Civil Aviation said it was a precautionary measure following early examinations of the wreckage.

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