A post mortem examination is expected to be carried out next week on the body of a man piloting a helicopter which crashed on the New South Wales/Queensland border this morning.
Initial investigations by police from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command suggest the helicopter had lifted off from Gold Coast Airport, at Coolangatta, and had been in the air for 30 minutes.
It is believed the helicopter was returning to the airport at the time of the crash, which occurred in scrubland off the southern end of the runway at 10.25am.
Airport workers immediately went to the scene and located the critically injured pilot. They rendered first aid until the arrival of paramedics, however, he was unable to be revived.
The pilot of the Robinson 22 single-seater is believed to be a 72-year-old man from the Sunshine Coast.
The trainee helicopter pilot is yet to be formally identified, with a post mortem examination to be conducted next week at the Newcastle morgue.
NSW forensic experts have spent the day examining the crash site and have been joined by investigators from the Air Transport Safety Bureau and Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
The examination of the crime scene is expected to continue into the night and tomorrow, with officers to be joined by a specialist investigator from the Police Airwing (PolAir).
The investigation into the cause of the crash is continuing, with information to be included in a report for the NSW Coroner.