Pilot in sightseeing helicopter crash that killed British couple ‘had cocaine in system’

Helicopter crash Queensland
By Lisa James
04/01/2024
Home » Pilot in sightseeing helicopter crash that killed British couple ‘had cocaine in system’

A report into a fatal helicopter crash in which four people, including a British couple, died in Australia has revealed the pilot had cocaine in his system.

Ron Hughes, 65, and his wife Diane, 57, from Cheshire, were on a sightseeing flight in Queensland when their helicopter crashed with another mid-air, on 2 January 2023.

The couple died at the scene, as did fellow passenger Vanessa Tadros, 36, from New South Wales, and pilot Ashley Jenkinson, 40.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released an interim report that says tests on Mr Jenkinson showed a positive result for cocaine metabolites, Sky News reports.

The report concludes the ‘very low concentrations’ means it was ‘unlikely’ that this would have impaired his flying ability.

Chief commissioner Angus Mitchell said the metabolite levels suggest exposure was not likely to have occurred in the 24 hours prior to the accident, Sky added.

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