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Five people have been killed in a helicopter crash at Victoria’s Mount Disappointment.
Police confirmed on Thursday night that the pilot and four passengers onboard had died after they searched the dense bushland for hours to find the wreckage site.
The missing helicopter was located by police near Blair’s Hut just before midday, almost two hours after emergency services were initially called.
Five Country Fire Authority vehicles and paramedics, including the air ambulance, were dispatched to the area
Smoke (pictured) from controlled forestry burns in the area and low cloud cover had hampered initial search efforts
The helicopter was one of two that left the Melbourne CBD on Thursday morning, flying in convoy over Mt Disappointment when one suddenly disappeared at 9.30am.
A police helicopter and air ambulance were sent out to find the missing helicopter, with dense bushland initially hampering search efforts.
Police Air Wing eventually found the wreckage at about 11.45am.
Police revealed in a statement that the occupants who died in the crash were a 32-year-old man from Cheltenham, a 50-year-old woman from Inverloch, a 73-year-old man from Albert Park, and two men from New South Wales aged 59 and 70.
Five Country Fire Authority vehicles, police and paramedics, including the air ambulance, are on scene.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is also investigating and sending a team from its Canberra and Melbourne offices with expertise in helicopter operations and maintenance, and aerospace engineering, to the site.
The experts will inspect the wreckage and site surrounds before retrieving any relevant components to take them to Canberra for further examination.
The ATSB will also analyse any recorded data and conduct interviews with those who have knowledge of the flight.
A preliminary report from the watchdog is expected in about six to eight weeks.