WELL-KNOWN Central Queensland cattleman Alan Acton has passed away as a result of a helicopter mustering accident today on his property,140km west of Rockhampton.
Mr Acton, 65, and his family ran the Wilpeena Cattle Co. He is survived by his wife and three children.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has started an investigation into the ‘collision with terrain’ of the four-seat Robinson R44 helicopter.
“ATSB investigators have now commenced early evidence collection and assessment activities, including gathering information from first responders and other stakeholders, to inform the scope of investigation activities,” chief commissioner Angus Mitchell said.
“Investigators will also seek to obtain and review any recorded data, weather information, witness reports, and aircraft maintenance records, and will review pilot qualifications and experience.”
Gregory MP Lachlan Miller described Mr Acton as a great advocate for cattle producers.
“The Acton brothers were giants of the cattle industry,” he said. “They’ve had a huge impact not only in the cattle industry but also in supporting the community.”
Mr Acton’s brother Graeme died after a campdrafting accident in 2014.
It was the second tragic private aviation accident in Central Queensland in 48 hours, following the passing of Rhiley Kuhrt and his wife Maree, following a fixed wing aircraft accident on route from Natal Downs near Charters Towers to Mackay, for a pregnancy check up. The wreckage was discovered in dense bushland in the Clarke Range during an aerial search on Monday morning, and both occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.
Weather conditions were said to be poor at the time of the accident.
The couple had recently relocated from Nerringundah station near Quilpie, where Mr Kuhrt worked as head stockman and as a pilot, to a cattle property near Charters Towers.
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