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Police confirm helicopter crash identities

Friday 23 Nov 2012 5:43 a.m.

Family members of a Waikato pilot missing for nine years have arrived in Fiordland after the discovery of the wreckage of his helicopter.

Police have confirmed the wreckage found in the Humboldt Creek area on Wednesday is that of a Hughes 500 helicopter which went missing in January 2004 with Waikato pilot Campbell Montgomerie and Englishwoman Hannah Timmings aboard.

The pair have yet to be identified but this will be done using DNA.

Mr Montgomerie's parents, Ian and Elizabeth, arrived in Te Anau on Thursday to take home the remains of their son, the Otago Daily Times reported.

They did not want to speak to media, but Mr Montgomerie's sister, Chris Montgomerie, said it was a shock even though they said their farewells nine years ago.

"In my mind we've had that closure. But I guess that's why it's strange how raw it still feels," she told Fairfax.

Mr Montgomerie, 27 at the time, and Ms Timmings, 28, were on a scheduled flight of 13 nautical miles from the Howden Hut on the Routeburn Track to Milford Sound when they went missing on January 3, 2004.

No trace of them was found despite an extensive search involving more than 200 flying hours and 2500 man hours.

The pair were declared to have died at an inquest in Te Anau in August 2004.

The wreckage was seen by passengers on a scenic helicopter flight over Hollyford Valley on Wednesday.

NZN

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