Haunting text pal sent to British pilot before helicopter crash that left 4 dead

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Pilot Ash Jenkinson was killed in Monday
Pilot Ash Jenkinson was killed in Monday's tragedy (Image: Facebook)

A close friend of a British 'Top Gun' pilot who died in the Australian Gold Coast helicopter tragedy has revealed the final heartbreaking message he sent him.

Ash Jenkinson, 40, was at the controls of the Sea World helicopter when it collided with another chopper on Monday.

The new dad was described as a "top guy, top gun and the best dad" to his 17-month-old son Kaiden, Birmingham Live reports.

Brits Ron and Diane Hughes, aged 65 and 57 respectively, and their relative Vanessa Tadros, 36, also died in the tragedy.

A 10-year-old boy is in a critical condition, while a 33-year-old woman and a nine-year-old girl suffered serious injuries.

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Mr Jenkinson's pal Ritchie Gregg described the pilot as "a top guy, top gun and the best dad".

Haunting text pal sent to British pilot before helicopter crash that left 4 deadMr Jenkinson, pictured with his family, has been described as a "top gun" by friends (Facebook)
Haunting text pal sent to British pilot before helicopter crash that left 4 deadMr Jenkinson's wife Kosha is 'silent' and 'in shock', a close friend said (Facebook)

The little boy "would probably be asking where dad is", Mr Gregg told the Daily Mail.

After hearing news of the tragedy on social media, he texted Mr Jenkinson saying "hope that wasn't you?" - but never got a reply.

Mr Gregg said the pilot's wife Kosha is "silent" and "in shock", stating: "When he and Kosha had their son he was the most excited dad. "

He said family was the "biggest thing" for his friend, stating: "Ash had the biggest heart and was the happiest guy. When he'd finished work flying he'd be straight home to see his boy."

Another close friend, Andy Taylor said: "I saw it come up on a post on social media. I tried to ring Ash straight away. At first, the phone was dead and then went to the voicemail."

"He did a lot of charity work, we did the floods down in Ballina and saved a lot of people," Mr Taylor told Sunrise on Tuesday.

Haunting text pal sent to British pilot before helicopter crash that left 4 deadEmotional tributes have been paid to the British pilot (Facebook)

"He is the best of the best. I don't know what else to say."

Friend Kristy Frost wrote: "Trying to put into words how much of an impact Ash Jenkinson has had on my life and everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him is almost impossible.

"Ash was the most kind hearted and selfless man to walk the earth. The love he had for his beautiful family and friends was certainly one of a kind and this extended to anyone who would cross his path.

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"I had the privilege of living with Ash for many years on the coast and became one of the bestest friends I ever had. His heart was bigger than anyone else’s and I will cherish those fun filled years forever."

The post continued: "Where ever you may be now, I hope you know how very loved you are and how much of an impact you had on anyone in your presence and how proud I was to have a friend like you.

"You are truly one of a kind and if there were more of you on this earth, it would be a much better place. Your fun loving, adventurous soul will be so dearly missed forever.

"I promise to always talk about you, to keep Kosh and Kayden held tightly and to make sure Kayden knows his Daddy was a real life hero [...].

"Kosh, you were his soul mate. What you two have created together is a life most people would dream of. You made him the happiest man and most importantly an amazing Daddy to your beautiful little man. My heart aches for you both. I’m just so sorry.

"Fly high darling boy."

Another pal, Dustyn Oloman, said he was "blessed to have you in our lives".

James Rodger

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