A helicopter pilot was killed February 14 while working on a fire in New Zealand. David Steven Askin was flying the aircraft at a wildfire when it went down in Christchurch’s Port Hills.
Mr. Askin was a pilot and instructor for Way To Go Heliservices, a company based in Rangiora, New Zealand.
Previously he had been a member of New Zealand’s Special Air Service, a special forces unit of the Army. He served in Afghanistan and was wounded in a firefight with the Taliban after his unit came to the aid of Afghan police when they were attacked at the InterContinental Hotel in Kabul in a five-hour battle.
Police, the Civil Aviation Authority, and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission are investigating the crash.
There are reports that 15 helicopters were fighting the recent wildfires near Christchurch that have burned 600 hectares (1,483 acres).
Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Askin’s family, friends, and coworkers.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Chris.
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