Passenger's desperate cockpit act seconds before horror helicopter crash

WARNING - CONFRONTING CONTENT: Disturbing vision from inside one of the two helicopters that collided mid-air on the Gold Coast shows the moment terrified passengers were peppered with shards of glass as the aircraft crashed.

Video obtained by Seven News shows pilot Michael James bringing the helicopter in to land. He and the other passengers seem unaware of the other helicopter approaching below until the last second when a passenger appears to point and then repeatedly taps Mr James on the shoulder before bracing for impact.

The helicopter's windscreen then shatters, sending shards of glass throughout the cabin.

A passenger appears to point at something seconds before the crash. Source: 7News
A passenger appears to point at something seconds before the crash. Source: 7News

Mr James managed to land the helicopter despite significant damage to the front of the aircraft, however the other helicopter crashed on its side into a sandbank near Sea World, killing four and critically injuring two boys.

Aviation legal expert Peter Carter told Seven's Sunrise the new video would be "very useful" for investigators who are trying to piece together exactly what happened inside both cockpits.

When asked whether a blindspot may have been a factor in the crash, Mr Carter said they can "frequently occur" and pilots are aware of such issues.

"That said, there should have been, and this is something investigators will pay particular attention to, what were the procedures of that particular operation company to avoid those types of incidents?"

Mr James and all five passengers, four tourists from New Zealand and a woman from Western Australia survived the crash, with all but one suffering shrapnel injuries.

Gold Coast Heli-tours director Scott Menzies told Daily Mail Australia the act of landing a helicopter after a mid-air crash was "nearly impossible".

Michael James in sunglasses and a blood-stained pilot's uniform.
Michael James was seen bloodied in the wake of the crash on Monday. Source: News Corp

The victims have been identified as pilot Ashley Jenkinson, 40, Sydney mum Vanessa Tadros, 36, and Ron and Diane Hughes, 65 and 57, from Liverpool in the UK.

Ms Tadros's son Nicholas, 10, remains in intensive care alongside nine-year-old Leon de Silva. His mother Winnie was seriously injured in the crash.

While Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll stressed on Tuesday there was a "long way to go" in investigations, it "may be the case" charges could be laid following a "comprehensive" probe from police and the ATSB.

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