Cronulla financial consultant among victims of Victoria helicopter tragedy | County Leader of St George and Sutherland

Ian Perry, who died in a helicopter crash north of Melbourne.

Financial consultant Ian Perry, from Cronulla, was among five victims of a helicopter crash north of Melbourne on Thursday.

Mr. Perry worked for digital trading firm AXIchain, which spearheaded initiatives to digitize livestock and beef supply chains.

The company’s founder and CEO, Linda Woodford, also died when the helicopter went down at Mt Disappointment.

AXIchain issued a statement on Saturday, expressing “utter disbelief and sadness” at the death of the two team members.

“Linda and Ian were involved in a fatal helicopter crash yesterday while visiting clients in rural Victoria,” the statement read.

“Linda was a driven visionary and an eternal optimist and will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

“Ian was a respected member of the farming industry and a committed family man and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the families of Linda and Ian at this difficult time.

“Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences also go out to the families of the other three valued friends and colleagues who were on board the flight.

“We ask that the privacy of the families be respected at this sensitive time. Respectively, we will make further comments in due course.”

First AG Capital confirmed on Saturday that its co-founder and chief executive Nicholas Vasudeva, a father of three from Bellevue Hill, was among the victims.

“He was a true gentleman with a great sense of humor who was much loved by all of his colleagues, associates and family and will be greatly missed,” the company said.

Victorian meat-industry boss Paul Troja, 73, was the other passenger on board and is remembered as a passionate and accomplished leader.

The family of 32-year-old pilot Dean Neal say their son and brother are conscientious and professional pilots.

Australian Transport Safety Board crews are at the crash site and are expected to examine the scene for days.

Drone analysis of the helicopter’s flight path, as well as evaluation of flight control and weather recordings, will be part of the investigation.

The office’s chief commissioner, Angus Mitchell, said helicopter operator Microflite had a very strong safety record.

The company suspended all services until at least Tuesday.

The ATSB said it was the fifth fatal aviation accident across the country this year, with nine people killed in total.

The crash is also Victoria’s deadliest air disaster since February 2017, when five people were killed when a charter plane crashed into Melbourne’s Essendon DFO shopping centre.

This crash was the state’s worst civil aviation accident in 30 years.

With the Australian Associated Press

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