ABC Friends News

Crash – Awful Anniversary for the ABC

The ABC family has marked the tenth anniversary of its greatest ever loss — the helicopter crash that killed three of its most-loved members.

The ABC chopper went down in August 2011, while Paul Lockyer, John Bean, and Gary Ticehurst were filming a documentary around Lake Eyre.

All three had worked for the ABC, across Australia, and around the world, for more than 20 years each.

Paul Lockyer is remembered as a “journalist’s journalist,” who was invariably loved by the people he interviewed for his stories.

He’s perhaps best remembered for being the first journalist into the town of Grantham in Southeast Queensland after much of that town was swept away in a flash flood in January of the same year — flying in with Gary Ticehurst at the controls. 

He was welcomed by the locals and brought the first news of the scale of the disaster to Australia.

READ A TRIBUTE TO PAUL LOCKYER AND GARY TICEHURST

Gary Ticehurst is remembered as an extraordinarily skilled chopper pilot, particularly for the camera operators who, in those days, had to hang out of the side of the aircraft to film. 

He played as much of a role in the filming as the camera operators themselves, moving the chopper smoothly and in a manner to enhance their work.

He was involved in filming most major Australian disasters and became known to figures like firefighters and police, as well as the skippers of the yachts he followed every year in the Sydney to Hobart race.

John Bean, or “Beanie” is remembered as one of the best of the ABC’s extremely talented cohort of camera operators.

John, who was the husband of Landline presenter Pip Courtney, had worked across Australia and the Asia Pacific region, as well as camera man in the Washington bureau.

READ PIP COURTNEY’S TRIBUTE TO HER LATE HUSBAND