Heli firm’s court date


Three years after a Queenstown helicopter pilot and six passengers died in a crash on Fox Glacier, a case brought against the helicopter company has almost made it to court.

Both Civil Aviation and the Greymouth Courthouse confirmed this week that a hearing is scheduled for November 28 to set a pre-trial and trial date.

Queenstown pilot Mitch Gameren, 28 (pictured), died together with six tourists when the Alpine Adventures Squirrel helicopter he was flying on a scenic trip plunged into a deep crevasse high up on Fox Glacier on November 21, 2015.

In June 2016, Fox Glacier’s Alpine Adventures was charged with health and safety offences. Civil Aviation filed charges but did not comment further as it was before the courts.

The company owner James Scott, of Karangarua, and the quality assurance manager Barry Waterland, of Central Otago, were charged under health and safety legislation.

A separate aircraft investigation report by Transport Accident Investigation Commission is now not expected to be released until later this year.