Human remains and more wreckage found in MRH-90 search

Human remains have been seen at depth in the ongoing search for the Australian Army MRH-90 Taipan helicopter that crashed into the sea in Queensland’s Whitsundays last week.

CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy sailors from HMAS Huon conduct search operations in the Whitsundays in the search for debris from the missing MRH-90. Photo by Able Seaman Casey Buurveld.

MRH90 tail-number A40-040 crashed into the sea south of Hamilton Island on Friday night during Exercise Talisman Sabre.

Four crew – Captain Danniel Lyon, Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent, Warrant Officer Class Two Joseph Laycock and Corporal Alexander Naggs – were onboard the helicopter that suffered ‘catastrophic damage’.

At a media update this afternoon, Australian Defence Force Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant General Greg Bilton said ongoing search and recovery operations had recovered a range of aircraft debris and major sections of the fuselage.

“Sadly I can confirm unidentified human remains have also been observed in this location by a remote-operated underwater vehicle,” Lieutenant General Bilton said.

“Due to the nature of the debris field, positive identification of the remains is unlikely to occur until we recover more of the wreckage.

“The debris field is consistent with a catastrophic, high impact.”

Lieutenant General Bilton said all communications with the helicopter and its crew were “normal” before the aircraft was lost.

“It’s a difficult task but we will do our absolute best to find [the aircraft’s black box] – the black box is critical to helping us to understand what’s actually taken place.”

He also said “it was a normal flight in a group of four aircraft flying at the time” – contradicting earlier reports that there was only two aircraft in formation.

 

 

 


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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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