STORY: Authorities confirmed that among the four dead in a tragic, mid-air helicopter collision near an Australian theme park, two were travelers from the UK.
And they said Tuesday the crash could have been much worse.
According to Queensland state police, the two craft collided about 300 feet in the air on Monday as one was taking off and the other landing near Sea World on Australia’s Gold Coast.
The one taking off crashed, killing four of seven aboard – including 40-year-old pilot Ashley Jenkinson and the two UK nationals.
Video taken by a bystander showed that the second one managed to land safely.
Australian Transport Bureau chief commissioner Angus Mitchell.
"The second helicopter coming in to land, now that has remarkably managed to land upright, and considering the damage that was done to the front left hand section of that helicopter, where the pilot was sitting, that's been a remarkable achievement. So, whilst it has been very tragic that four people have lost their lives and many families are mourning this morning, we could have had a far worse situation here, and the fact that that one helicopter has managed to land has been quite remarkable."
Andrew Taylor, a friend of pilot Ashley Jenkinson who died, reflected on his life Tuesday.
"Big guy with a big heart, would have done anything for anyone. He was just a true gentleman. I spent quite a fair bit of time with him in the helicopters. So, his professionalism, he was just on point with everything. So, that's why, I'm just a bit, very hard to understand what happened yesterday when I've seen him do so many miraculous things in the chopper and how structured he was and the way he worked."
The three survivors included a 10-year-old boy who is in critical condition.
Australia's transport bureau has launched an investigation into the crash alongside local police and expects a preliminary report within eight weeks.