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Search continues for missing helicopter in Melbourne

written by Hannah Dowling | March 31, 2022

Ambulance Victoria’s HEMS operations. (Babcock)

Updated, 9pm:

A Eurocopter EC130 helicopter has crashed near Mount Disappointment, north of Melbourne, with five people onboard.

The helicopter, operated by Melbourne-based company Microflite, was undertaking a charter flight with one pilot and four passengers onboard when it crashed into the mountain.
Victoria Police have since confirmed that the pilot and all four passengers were unfortunately killed in the crash.
“It’s believed the chartered helicopter had taken off from Moorabbin Airport before picking up passengers in Batman Park, Melbourne about 7am,” Victoria Police said.
The flight was headed to Ulupna, in northern Victoria.
It comes after emergency services were finally able to locate the helicopter, after reports were made to authorities that the aircraft had seemingly vanished early on Thursday.
After spending much of the day searching, authorities later confirmed that they have found the location of the previously missing helicopter, which looks to have crashed on the mountain.

The single engine light helicopter crashed in thick bushland, making rescue efforts increasingly difficult.

Shortly after midday, a SES spokesman said, “there is a site that has been identified” and crews are continuing their attempt to reach the crash site and provide aid.

“We have rescue capability, casualty handling equipment, lighting and temporary casualty shelters,” the spokesman said.

Fears emerged earlier that the helicopter, could have crashed into terrain, amid low-lying cloud and nearby bushfire smoke which continues to impact search efforts.

Victoria Police confirmed on Thursday morning that authorities were seeking to locate a helicopter that appeared to have vanished on its way over Mount Disappointment, after travelling north, as part of a convoy from Melbourne’s CBD with one other helicopter.

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The aircraft was thought to have gone missing around 9:30am, with the matter reported to authorities shortly after.

“At this stage, the second helicopter is yet to be located,” Victoria Police said earlier on Thursday.

“Emergency services are in the area searching.”

A Cobham search and rescue Challenger aircraft, operated on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, has joined the search, alongside Air Ambulance Victoria helicopters.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it had been notified of the event and is currently working to gather more information.

More to come.

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