Shocking moment two helicopters crash mid-air caught on camera
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A passenger captured the terrifying moment the helicopter they were travelling in crashed.
Warning: Some viewers may find the video below distressing.
Two Sea World tourist flight helicopters – a separate company from the famous theme park - collided mid-air on Australia's Gold Coast in January.
The distressing footage from inside one of the helicopters shows the moments leading up to the deadly collision that claimed the lives of four people - pilot Ash Jenkinson, British couple Ron and Diane Hughes and Vanessa Tadros from Sydney. Three passengers were critically injured.
One of the passengers points to something out of the window – possibly the departing helicopter - and attempts to tell the pilot before the crash.
As the two helicopters collide, glass is sent through the cabin.
Australian news site 7News reports that passengers Riaan and Elmarie Steenberg and Marle and Edward Swart, from Auckland, New Zealand, were all on board along with pilot Michael James and another unnamed passenger.
Pilot and lawyer Peter Carter told Australian TV show Sunrise that the video will play a key role in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s investigation into the crash.
He said: “It shows, in my estimation, the aircraft is below 1000 feet, it’s just passed one of the landing zones ... it reveals that the pilot was unaware of the other aircraft. It suggests, perhaps, that one of the passengers may have been alerted to something and may have been trying to get the pilot’s attention.”
It was initially reported that one helicopter was arriving while the other was departing.
Carter also explained that investigators will be able to listen to transcripts from Airservices Australia to decipher if the pilots made the appropriate broadcasts of their intention to land and depart.
He added: “The departing helicopter ought to have broadcast he was departing and likewise the other aircraft.”
The pilot in the footage – which was coming in to land - was able to land the aircraft safely and four of the passengers spoke out days after the crash occurred on 2 January.
The Steenbergs and Swarts shared a joint statement in which they expressed sadness and condolences for the people who lost their lives and asked for privacy.
"We are grateful and blessed to have been spared but very sad for the people who lost loved ones and the little ones and mum fighting for their lives in hospital. Our hearts are so heavy for them,” the statement reads.
"Our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the injured and the deceased and their families.
"We will share more when we are ready; however as we are coming to grips with what has happened and the resultant impact on our lives we ask that our need for privacy be respected at this time,” they told 7News.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s investigation continues.