Police are investigating the crash on behalf of the coroner and conducting interviews to understand the circumstances that led to the crash.
Below is a statement provided to Police by Way to Go Heliservices for release to the media -
It is with great sadness that Way to Go Heliservices Limited principal Rob Kittow makes the following statement on behalf of staff regarding the death of Steve Askin yesterday.
“Steve was a much loved and vital member of our team, he has always exemplified the attitude of the quiet professional. Steve has always served his community, either with his career in the military or as yesterday when he was fighting the Port Hills fire.
Steve had responded with his machine when the alarm was first raised on Monday night to protect the threatened properties and had returned yesterday morning to help fight the fire.
Steve has had an association with Way to Go Heliservices since 2008 first as a ground support and flying duties and has been a valued member of the North Canterbury community.
Steve has long been involved in helicopter fire fighting for instance the Flock Hill fire two years ago and many since, including the latest Broken River fire when most Cantabrians were enjoying the Waitangi weekend.
Steve was heavily involved in helping the Kaikoura community following last year’s earthquake, flying electricity workers into the back country as they worked to restore power to the cut off community.
Steve loved New Zealand and the outdoors. He was an inspiration to other staff with his professionalism and dedication to duty.
We have been heartened by the messages of support and condolences from around the country that we have received.
Our immediate priority is to support Steve’s family, friends and colleagues, we are co-operating fully with the authorities.
The company will be making no further comment at this time. Please respect our wishes for privacy at this time.”
Issued by Police Media Centre