Safety authorities have wrapped up their investigation into a fatal helicopter crash in the Kimberley, concluding the pilot killed should not have flown into the cavernous gorge in which he died.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has published its final report into the crash that killed forty-year-old mustering pilot Angus Mundell in October 2012.
The report describes how Mr Mundell and another pilot offered to take two other station workers on a scenic tour of a gorge near the Gliddon River, about 140-kilometres south-west of Halls Creek.
The group flew into the narrow gorge just before 4:00pm (AWST) and landed on a sandbar.
Three others went swimming in the water at the base of the gorge, which was bordered on both sides by rock faces up to 50 metres high.
However, Mr Mundell decided to explore the gorge further from the air and hovered above the sandbar.
The report describes the moment things went wrong.
"In view of the two swimmers and the passenger located on the sandbar, the tail of the helicopter contacted an overhanging rock formation, and a section of the tail boom separated from the fuselage," it states.
"The swimmers watched as the helicopter rolled to the left, and dropped out of view.
"One of the witnesses recalled hearing two bangs, the second louder than the first, moments after the helicopter had fallen out of view.
"The swimmers returned to the inner gorge to find the helicopter submerged on its right side with substantial damage."
The trio dived into the water to try to rescue their friend but he was trapped underwater.
The second pilot decided to fly back to Larrawa Station with one of the passengers.
The report says he failed to notify emergency authorities before undertaking the 30 minute journey.
"At this point no-one else knew of the accident or the intentions of the pilot, and the pilot did not use his satellite phone in an attempt to advise anyone," the report stated.
The other passenger was left at the scene and spent the night at the isolated gorge with the submerged wreck.
The cautiously-worded report concludes the pilot should not have been flying within the narrow gorge without a better knowledge of its layout.
It says that created a situation where the pilot was required to climb the helicopter out of the gorge with marginal clearance and potential disorientation in fading light.
It also questions the judgement of the second pilot in not initiating a search and rescue operation until after flying back to the Larrawa Station homestead.
It points out he should not have undertaken that second flight.
"During the flight to transfer one of the passengers to a homestead, the helicopter was operated in darkness without the appropriate equipment or pilot qualifications," the report states.
Angus Mundell had worked at cattle stations across the Top End.
Following his death, his father Ian Mundell says his son loved his job and loved the outback.
"Any father is going to say his son was fantastic and of course he was," he said.
"He was absolutely meticulous with what he does and wouldn't leave anybody in the lurch with anything, he was very responsible."
He says following the death he drew great comfort from his son's network of friends and work colleagues.
"From people all over Australia and all over the world, colleagues and relations. You never want to be in this situation and when you are you just have to deal with it, but it does help.
"Particularly with Angus everyone has said how responsible he was and how respected he was in the cattle industry."