Four men, woman feared dead in chopper crash

 

Four men and a woman are feared dead after the wreckage of the helicopter they were in was seen sinking off the coast of NSW.

The privately owned Brisbane-based Bell UH1 helicopter, known as a "Huey", went missing in destructive winds and storms about 6:30pm last night.

According to police, the helicopter, which had five people on board, went missing in the vicinity of Anna Bay.

 

 

 

Search helicopter at scene today.
Search helicopter at scene today.

 

 

The tail rotor was found about 8.45am on Saturday by water police before a rescue chopper sighted the main airframe about five miles south of Fingal Bay, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

The observer in the rescue chopper watched the airframe sink "a short time later" before boats could reach the area

 

Police officer looks out to sea. Pictures: Peter Lorimer.
Police officer looks out to sea. Pictures: Peter Lorimer.

 

 

 

"The location of the airframe is consistent with the drift model of where the aircraft was believed to have entered the water," the AMSA statement said. "There have been no sightings of the occupants of the helicopter."

EARLIER:

FIVE people are missing and a major search operation is underway after a helicopter faded off the radar off the coast of Port Stephens overnight.

The helicopter went missing in destructive winds and storms about 6:30pm last night.

According to police, the helicopter, which had five people on board, went missing in the vicinity of Anna Bay.

It is believed the private helicopter had taken off from Brisbane, stopped in Coffs Harbour to refuel and was flying to Bankstown Airport when it disappeared.

A search involving the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, police and marine rescue was conducted last night and was due to resume at 7am today.