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It appears this exit into the lake must have been blocked weather-wise as he was next seen in the Upper Caples Valley heading towards McKellar Hut

He was then observed hovering over the McKellar and DOC Hut (at McKellar) probably debating whether to land there or not, and was then seen heading into the western ranges very obviously to cross via the Cascade River headwaters (this was the direction he was seen heading) and over to Dore Pass.

 

At Dore Pass the weather was clear on the Pass (as seen from Glade House at the northern tip of Lake Te Anau) and he was seen flying back and forwards  presumably trying to see if the Clinton Valleys were clear enough to get through to the Quinton airstrip and from there, down the Arthur River valley to Milford.

 

The helicopter was then seen heading up Glen Burn where he would have crossed over the Glade Pass and headed east taking him out past an observer at Cascade Creek who gave a very accurate description of the helicopter "Army colour green with a white stripe".

This person watched it fly across to the eastern range and fly north under the cloud base, which according to the report, would have been at about 2500 to 3000 ft ("well down the bush-line").

 

From there no-one knows where he went but it is logical that as Campbell (known as “Cam”) had mentioned "Adelaide", then this is where he most logically would have gone.

 

There was a report of a person fishing at Windy Point at the next lake up the valley, Lake Fergus, and he reported that he didn't hear or see any helicopters, but this was most likely due to the strong northerly wind and he being on the other side of the valley. He also may simply have not taken any notice of helicopter noise, being engrossed in his fishing, and so not remembered.

According to a newspaper report - if you can believe newspaper reports - there was a sighting at Lake Fergus.

 

Page 6 of 16

I measured the distances between each observation and calculated the times based on an average  ground speed of 90 knots and it worked out that he was probably at Lake Adelaide at 8.38 a.m.

 

Once Cam got to Lake Adelaide he flew into the cloud (he said so in the transmissions) and the logical thing would be is to climb back the way he'd come into the valley following the track shown on the GPS that it would have recorded coming in.  There would be no hard objects in front of them using that method!

When learning to fly,  he had been told to climb if he ever got caught in cloud, so that would have been the natural thing for him to do.

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