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Australia'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale-force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight

04:00  08 september  2019
04:00  08 september  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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The sister of a government worker killed in a horror helicopter crash on Friday has tearfully shared her heartbreak.

Jocelyn Villanueva was killed in the crash alongside her partner Gregory Miller, Jamie Ogden, Grant Kuhnemann and pilot David Kerr.

The group had taken off in a Bell UH-1H helicopter from Brisbane on Friday, but  disappeared off the radar near Anna Bay in Port Stephens before they could reach their Sydney destination.

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A dramatic search and rescue mission for the group turned into a recovery effort on Saturday after emergency services workers were able to see the wreckage - causing them to realise there was no chance anyone had survived the crash.

While the pilot, Mr Ogden and Mr Kuhnemann are understood to be good mates who had been planning the trip for 'weeks', it is not known why Ms Villanueva and Mr Miller were on board.

'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale-force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight
'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale-force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight
'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale-force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight
'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale-force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight
'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale-force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight
'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale-force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight

Athena Rob said her sister Ms Villanueva and her partner Mr Miller were a loving couple.

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'They were a beautiful couple. I’m proud of who they were and what they did. Greg was a warrant officer with the Australian Defence Force at Holsworthy and Jocelyn was a government worker with (Australian Securities and Investments Commission),' she told Daily Telegraph.

Mr Ogden's brother Darren described his sibling as someone who loved life who had made the career change from senior police officer to financial planner.

He said his brother had been talking about the trip for weeks, and was making moves to live entirely off the grid.

Mr Ogden leaves behind his children Ben and Steph.

Mr Kerr was the pilot of the helicopter, an army-green Vietnam War-era aircraft nicknamed 'Huey' that he had restored himself.

The aircraft was used as an army chopper in movies, with Mr Kerr believed to be taking his guests on a routine 'ferry flight' in dangerous wind conditions, with gusts reaching up to 125 kilometres per hour.

'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight

'I'm so broken': Tearful sister of woman among five dead after helicopter crash in gale force winds voices her heartbreak - and reveals it's a mystery why the woman was on the flight Jocelyn Villanueva and her partner Gregory Miller, Jamie Ogden, Grant Kuhnemann and pilot David Kerr had taken off in a Bell UH-1H helicopter from Brisbane on Friday.

Flight tracking data has indicated the helicopter was travelling at 70 knots and 3500ft before falling at 154 knots.

Mr Kerr was a very experienced pilot, who had previously operated Brisbane Helicopters from Archerfield Airport.

The tail rotor of the helicopter was found by a NSW Police boat at 9am on Saturday morning, with the slightly submerged main airframe being sighted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter forty-five minutes later.

The wreckage is located eight kilometres south of Fingal Bay and has been so far inaccessible to police divers due to dangerous wind and swell conditions.

Mr Kerr had recently advertised the 53-year-old helicopter for sale, but Warbird Aviation pilot Kim Rolph-Smith said the aircraft was in good condition.

'It was flown regularly; I would be very surprised if there was anything wrong with it,' Mr Rolph-Smith said.

'He was a very confident pilot.'

The search was suspended on Saturday afternoon as emergency services wait for conditions to calm down before they resume it.

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