Fatal Qld Chopper Crash Victims Named
An American couple from Hawaii who died when their helicopter crashed into waters near Queensland's Whitsunday Islands have been named as Peter and Sue Hensel.
Mr Hensel, 79, and his wife, 65, were on their "dream honeymoon" when their Eurocopter 120 went down near a Great Barrier Reef pontoon on Wednesday, The Courier Mail reports.
A younger couple from Colorado, one of whom the Nine Network reports is Mrs Hensel's daughter, escaped with minor injuries.
Investigators on Friday will try to recover the wreckage of the helicopter.
Four investigators - two from Brisbane and two from Canberra - are on their way to the scene at Hardy Reef, Australian Transport Safety Bureau chief commissioner Greg Hood said on Thursday.
We have new details this morning on the tragic helicopter accident that claimed the lives of two tourists off the Whitsunday Islands in QLD. The couple Peter and Sue Hensel were on their honeymoon and were 79 and 65 years of age. #9Today pic.twitter.com/csSuk3kLSb— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) March 22, 2018
They will recover and examine the wreckage, interview witnesses, and examine flight data and training and maintenance logs.
The 35-year-old pilot also escaped serious injury and pulled Mrs Hensel from the helicopter, while others performed CPR on both victims under instruction by phone from emergency services officers.
"It's absolutely essential in this type of accident that we get as many perspectives we possibly can from any witnesses," Mr Hood said as he asked for anyone who had seen anything to come forward.
A preliminary report will be published in late April.
Operator Whitsunday Air Services has suspended all operations and will work with authorities to determine the cause of the crash.
The crash happened a day after the ATSB released its findings into a November incident involving the company, in which no one was injured.