Hobart Airport helicopter crash survivor discharged from hospital

A Rotorlift aircraft. Rotorlift is the helicopter company the late Roger Corbin managed.
A Rotorlift aircraft. Rotorlift is the helicopter company the late Roger Corbin managed.

The survivor of Tuesday’s fatal helicopter crash at Hobart Airport has been discharged from hospital after sustaining critical injuries in the incident, Tasmania Police says.

The unnamed 33-year-old was practicing emergency procedures with decorated search and rescue pilot Roger Corbin when they lost control of their Squirrel AS350 helicopter.

Mr Corbin was killed when the aircraft impacted on the tarmac.

Together with Tasmania Police, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident to try to ascertain what caused it.

Inspector Natasha Freeman said police understood that the 33-year-old’s condition had improved.

“He has recently been discharged from hospital,” she said.

ATSB aviation safety investigator David Grambauer arrived in Tasmania on Wednesday with an ATSB engineer to commence the investigation into the crash, which, he said, was still very much in its “early stages”.

“Our investigation yesterday … included examining some of the accident site out at the airport premises and we’ll be going back out there again today to conduct a more comprehensive examination,” Mr Grambauer said.

“We’re also looking at the helicopter itself, which is located at a secure facility.

“That will take up most of tomorrow for a detailed examination of that wreckage, to try to determine if there were any mechanical … issues.”

Mr Grambauer said the ATSB would be seeking any recorded information relating to the crash, including CCTV footage, audio transmissions and GPS data.

A preliminary factual report will be published on the ATSB website in the next 30 days, to be followed by the “final investigation” report within the coming year.

News of the crash rippled through the state with tributes pouring in for Mr Corbin over the past two days.

Tasmania Fire Service joined Tasmania Police in remembering the pilot, describing him as “an outstanding person”.

“Roger's experience will be missed not only in the aviation sector but also by the broader emergency services community,” a TFS statement read.

Relatives also shared their grief online.

“A sad loss for this world. Travel well uncle Roger, you have earned your place with the angels,” Brian Corbin wrote.

“Fly high uncle Roger I know we will meet again soon,” Aleisha Corbin added.