DQ-HPT Crash: Fiji Police Find More Wreckage

Bodies of pilot Gilbert Parker and two-year-old baby still missing
06 Aug 2019 13:03
DQ-HPT Crash: Fiji Police Find More Wreckage
Pilot Gilbert Parker (whose body is yet to be found), with the Robinson ‘R’44 helicopter, registration DQ- HPT.

The Fiji Police search team have found more parts of the helicopter wreckage and life jackets near Biaugunu Village in Cakaudrove, late yesterday afternoon.

This is the latest findings, three days after the helicopter, inbound from Naitauba Island, is believed to have crashed in Natewa Bay, Vanua Levu.

According to a resident of Vanuavou, Aminiasi Katonivualiku, he found the items from the wreckage.

“I found the baby’s lifejacket washed to the shore,” the former Police officer said.

“The woman was found still wearing the lifejacket, but I only found the baby’s lifejacket.”

Mr Katonivualiku is helping the Police in their search.

Taraivosa Moceisuva’s body was found near Navetau Village on Saturday morning and since then two fuel tanks, helicopter seats and buoyancy devices have been found.

The bodies of helicopter pilot Gilbert Parker and the two-year-old are yet to be found.

Crash investigator Andrew McGreggor (right), discussing possible flight pathways with rescue personnel on August 5, 2019. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Crash investigator Andrew McGregor (right), discussing possible flight pathways with rescue personnel on August 5, 2019. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Independent aviation investigator Andrew McGregor said the focus now was preserving the evidence found so far.

“We are very early in the investigation process. My responsibility is that the wreckage and evidence that has been found is disturbed as little as possible,” he said.

“There has been an approximate flight path and we have been working through that. The parts that have been found are only the minor parts, it isn’t really enough to help at this stage.

“At the moment our focus is quite broad. We have to keep our interest broad in order to understand and comprehend what’s before us.”

Mr McGreggor said there was a possibility that the major portion of the helicopter may still be submerged.

He said the Fijian authorities were doing a good job so far.

Meanwhile, the Rescue Command Centre Fiji was unable to locate the helicopter’s beacon after a flyover search conducted yesterday morning. The wait now is for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Navy vessels to arrive so that a search could be conducted using equipment on board.

The Police conducted their search in the Natewa Bay and along the coast of Vanua Levu, and will continue to do so today.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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