The champion pilot, who was described as “quirky and loveable,” has received several tributes after his helicopter crashed on Sunday.
The two-seater Robinson R22 helicopter that Adrian Thomas and another guy were traveling in crashed on Sunday near Cowcowing Lakes, 200 kilometers northeast of Perth. The second man is thought to be his son-in-law.
The two males were described as being in their 50s and 70s in the first accounts of the tragic collision.
On Saturday, the two took part in a race between Koorda and Jandakot organized by the Royal Aero Club of WA.
When they did not arrive at Jandakot Airport on Sunday at 2.30 pm as planned, concerns were aroused.
On Sunday afternoon, their corpses were discovered next to the tiny helicopter’s charred remains near Cowcoing Lakes.
Inspector Kareen Santoro of the WA police called the accident scene “a horrible scene” where the men’s deaths were brought on by “horrific injuries.”
The president of the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, Ray Challen, described Mr. Thomas as a dependable and “modest guy.”
‘[He was] A quirky, loveable guy. He was admired by everybody, not only because of his flying talent, but also because of his soothing social skills that always found neutral ground and his ability to discourse on most issues,’ according to the biography.
Mr. Thomas worked on the club’s committee, was a “many times” champion, and contributed to keeping events coherent.
Mr. Thomas was recalled as being kind and patient while assisting both inexperienced and seasoned members with flying and private problems.
“Adrian will always be sorely missed and [is] forever in our hearts,” another club member said.
On Sunday, the club issued a formal statement.
We can confirm that the two people killed in the helicopter accident yesterday at Cowcowing Lakes were club members who were flying in their own private aircraft to assist the nearby Koorda Fly-in event, the statement read.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is conducting an investigation and will provide a report on the crash’s circumstances in November.
According to Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell, “ATSB investigators will investigate and map the accident scene over the coming days and collect any pertinent components for further investigation and analysis at the ATSB’s technical facilities in Canberra.”
They will also acquire and examine any recorded data, weather data, eyewitness accounts, and maintenance logs for the aircraft.
“Should any serious safety problems be uncovered at any point throughout the course of the inquiry, the ATSB will promptly alert relevant parties so that appropriate safety action may be taken,” the report said.
A report for the coroner will also be written by WA Police.