Andrew Hamish Davidson Wiki, Biography
A pilot Andrew Hamish Davidson and his wife were killed in a terrible helicopter crash when their children were rescued alive from the rubble. The plane spun out of control and crashed on a rocky beach near the Kekerengu River in northeast New Zealand. The pilot was taking his family out for lunch when the incident occurred around 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday.
A family member confirmed that pilot Andrew Hamish Davidson and his wife Lin were killed, Stuff reports. His two young children and a third child survived the accident but were seriously injured. The three children were airlifted to Wellington Hospital, where they receive treatment for their injuries.
All three children were flown to Wellington Hospital for treatment. One parent said, “It’s a big shock … children are left without parents.”
A Big Shock
The group is believed to have flown to The Store, a popular restaurant in Kekerengu, for lunch.
Witnesses say the helicopter started to have problems trying to land.
First responders ripped out the front window to free the survivors, fearing it would catch fire.
Davidson, who according to his LinkedIn profile was the CEO of Enatel Motive Power, incorporated helicopter rental company Glenloch Helicopters Limited on September 28.
The Eurocopter EC120 B was transferred to his name on October 10, 2020.
The couple also ran a bed and breakfast from their lifestyle section at Ohoka in North Canterbury.
The Transportation Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has opened an investigation into the accident.
The commission said the circumstances reported to date were that the Airbus Helicopter EC120 was traveling from Christchurch with five people on board when it lost control near the beach.
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Kekerengu resident Ian Mehrtens said that when he first saw the helicopter from his shelter, it looked like it was coming ashore.
“It all happened so fast … it looked normal and then it started to spiral,” he said.
“It just got out of control so fast.”
Mehrtens rushed to the venue across the street on a quad bike and said about four or five members of the public were already there.
OUT OF CONTROL
The front window was opened to release the survivors of the accident.
Mehrtens said he pulled a girl out of the rubble.
The other children rescued were a boy and another girl, possibly in their teens.
“There was nothing you could do except get them [the passengers] out of there,” she said.
“Especially since there is a possibility that [the helicopter] will catch fire.
“We were lucky there was a tall guy helping. He was able to come up and grab the passengers. ”
Another witness said the accident happened “out of nowhere” and was “appalling, just terrible,” reports the New Zealand Herald.
The helicopter was at sea, which was at low tide at the time.
A tractor dragged the helicopter out of the water, Mehrtens said.
He said emergency services came “pretty quickly” but the first response came from local farmers.
An investigation team from TAIC is scheduled to be on-site Wednesday.
Chief Accident Investigator Harald Hendel said: “Your initial job will include inspecting the wreckage, mapping the site and speaking with witnesses.
“The collection of additional evidence in the coming weeks and months will likely include examining the helicopter components, searching for recorded data from the helicopter’s electronics and obtaining maintenance records.”
There may be people who saw what happened, given the location of the accident next to a busy cafe on State Highway 1, he said.
He added: “TAIC is appealing to any witness, especially anyone who has captured the accident on their vehicle’s dashcam or other recording devices, to contact TAIC as soon as possible.”
Three helicopters were called to the crash site, one from Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington, along with fire, police and ambulance services.
Darryl Papesch of New Zealand National Fire and Emergency Headquarters (Fenz) was in the area at the time.