Tributes are coming in for three veteran ABC newsmen who are believed to have been killed in a helicopter crash in remote South Australia.
Journalist Paul Lockyer, pilot Gary Ticehurst, and cameraman John Bean are feared dead after their chopper apparently crashed near Lake Eyre yesterday evening.
The experienced news crew had been working on news and feature projects in the Lake Eyre region and it is believed their Sydney-based helicopter went down in a remote area about 150 kilometres north-west of Marree about 7:30pm.
This morning police said they had found two bodies at the scene of the crash but said did they did not expect to find any survivors. They said the names of those who had died may not be officially released until later in the day.
Police investigators reached the site overnight but the journey took many hours due to the remote location and bad weather.
It is not known what caused the crash, but there have been reports of bad weather in the area at the time.
This morning ABC managing director Mark Scott said the ABC feared the worst and paid tribute to the men, who he called "three news gatherers at the peak of their craft".
"This has been the longest of nights and we fear it will be the saddest of days," he said.
"I think this is going to be devastating for the ABC. We have been going for nearly 80 years. I don't think we have ever had a day like the day we might be facing, with news of the loss of three distinguished colleagues out reporting a story.
"Paul, Gary and John have each given decades of service to the ABC. They are passionate about their work and finding great stories from all over Australia to bring to the public.
"Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of Paul, Gary and John at this terrible time.
As a Melbourne cameraman, I knew and worked with John when he was based in Melbourne and worked many times with his wife, a Journalist for the ABC.
I worked with Paul on assignments overseas and could never have worked with anyone better.
The most recent I flew with Gary was in our 2009 bushfires when he came to Victoria to assist.
All three were professionals who will be greatly missed.
You can read more of this ABC article by following this link.