The Sunshine Coast is mourning the tragic loss of Mooloolaba pilot Kieran Brown, who died in remote South Australia yesterday.
The Sunshine Coast is mourning the tragic loss of Mooloolaba pilot Kieran Brown, who died in remote South Australia yesterday. Contributed

Coast mourns loss of larger than life pilot killed in crash

UPDATE 11:15AM: Veteran Coast aviation operator Graeme Gillies has paid tribute to a "lifelong" friend and "great bloke" killed in a helicopter crash. 

Mr Gillies, owner of Blue Tongue Helicopters, knew Kieran Brown, 45, for more than 20 years and was shocked and saddened to hear of his death.  

Mr Brown is understood to have been laying cables at a South Australian mine site - where he worked on a FIFO job - when disaster struck. 

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has since launched investigations into the crash. 

Mr Gillies was initially lost for words hearing of the news and said it was a "terrible" loss to a larger-than-life man. 

"I knew him well, he's been doing that job as long as I can remember. He was just such a happy go lucky guy," Mr Gillies said.

"He would do what ever he wanted. Adventures, kayaking, a total sportsman. He built and flew little aeroplanes.

"A really great man. Always at 100 miles an hour too.

"It's terrible what happened."   

Mr Gillies said he was a highly-skilled operator.

Graeme's wife Helen also knew Mr Brown well - having spent time with him "on and off" over the years.

She said the industry was "fraught" with danger but that he knew what he was doing.

INITIAL: TRIBUTES are flowing for a popular Mooloolaba pilot who was killed in a tragic helicopter crash in remote South Australia.

Kieran Brown, 45, died in the crash, believed to be laying cables at the Carrapateena Mine near Woomera when disaster struck.

Mr Brown was the sole occupant in the aircraft - a Europcopter AS350 - but several of his colleagues witnessed the crash.

Experts have said the type of work Mr Brown was undertaking was "highly-skilled" and "highly-risky", 7 News reported.

 

The Sunshine Coast is mourning the tragic loss of Mooloolaba pilot Kieran Brown, who died in remote South Australia yesterday.
The Sunshine Coast is mourning the tragic loss of Mooloolaba pilot Kieran Brown, who died in remote South Australia yesterday. Contributed

His loved ones, and the Sunshine Coast community are mourning his death on social media.

Tristan Allison paid his respects: "My thoughts are with your family on such a tragic day. Gonna miss your humour rest easy up there mate," he wrote.

Mel Wise said "Only meet you a few weeks go and prayers for the family and all the love to you - someone just taking way too early."

 

MUST CREDIT - A pilot has died after a Woomera helicopter crash. Picture: NINE NEWS
MUST CREDIT - A pilot has died after a Woomera helicopter crash. Picture: NINE NEWS Nine News

Clinton Brisk said "So sad, you were a great and talented guy full of fun. Be greatly missed. See you on the other side ol mate."

Shelley Neale said "You took me on my first ever and only helicopter flight, you are such a awesome person with the biggest heart and enjoyed life to the fullest. I will miss catching up with you."

Ash Schutt said "I can't believe this is real. So sad and devastating. Kieran you are so loved."



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