Michael James, Sea World Helicopter pilot from horror crash loses battle with most cancers

The remaining “hero” pilot of a horror Sea World chopper crash, which killed a number of individuals, has died of most cancers.

Michael James, 53, was praised for saving the lives of his 5 passengers when the helicopter he was piloting was concerned in a mid-air collision with one other pleasure trip chopper on Queensland’s Gold Coast on January 2, 2021.

Virtually 18 months on from the horrific crash, Mr James misplaced a battle with most cancers and died aged 53.

Mr James was dubbed a hero after he safely landed the helicopter on a sandbank, regardless of it being severely broken.

He was praised for his “exceptional” touchdown and was rapidly rushed to hospital the place he underwent surgical procedure to take away shrapnel from his wounds.

Earlier than he was rushed to hospital, Mr James was seen pulling individuals from the wreckage and serving to others earlier than he accepted remedy for his accidents.

Mr James was praised as exceptional, with certainly one of his surviving passengers writing on-line within the days following the crash: “Our pilot, Michael James, you’re our hero”.

“You landed the helicopter safely and saved the bystanders and us protected. We’re eternally grateful to you.”

He left behind a spouse and was farewelled in a personal funeral on June 4.

Sea World Helicopters chief pilot Ash Jenkinson was killed within the crash, alongside Vanessa Tadros and British vacationers Ron and Diane Hughes.

Ms Tadros’s son Nicholas, then 10, suffered essential accidents and needed to have his leg amputated from the knee down.

Victorian lady Winnie de Silva and her son Leon, then 9, had been additionally severely injured. Leon suffered mind trauma and was positioned in an induced coma for a while.

Mr James was the pilot of the opposite helicopter which managed to land on a sand financial institution, saving the lives of New Zealand vacationers Elmarie Steenberg, Riaan Steenberg, Edward Stewart and Marle Stewart, who had been additionally injured within the crash.

The {couples} issued a be a part of assertion to Mr James following the crash.

“To our pilot, who, via all of the chaos, landed the helicopter safely, retaining us and different bystanders protected. You might be our hero. Thanks so very a lot,” the joint assertion learn.

Mr James by no means returned to flying after the crash and it’s understood he was recognized with most cancers in some unspecified time in the future in 2023.

The Australian Transport Security Bureau continues to research the tragedy.

An interim report launched by the ATSB in January revealed chief pilot Ash Jenkinson had traces of cocaine in his system.

However ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell confirmed the hint of cocaine in Mr Jenkinson’s system wouldn’t have brought on the deadly collision.

“You will need to be aware whereas it is a substantive and complete interim report, the ATSB is but make formal findings as to the contributing elements that led to this accident, as we’re persevering with our evaluation of that proof.”

The interim report revealed the ATSB’s wreckage examination recognized no pre-existing defects in both helicopter that may have an effect on regular operation.

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