Tributes have poured in for the pilot of a helicopter that crashed near Sea World Australia. He was reportedly born in Birmingham. The crash took place on January 2 and four people have died in the crash.
The pilot, Ash Jenkinson, reportedly grew up in the West Midlands before moving to Australia. The 40-year-old man had become a dad recently and gotten married in October. He welcomed son, Kayden, in September 2021, with his wife, Kosha, according to the Daily Mail.
His friend Andy Taylor told Sunrise: “He was a big guy with a big heart. He did a lot of charity work. We did floods down in Ballina with a team of us who went down and saved a lot of people. Ash was a big part of it. He led us into ground zero and helped a lot. He loved (flying). It was his life.
“But above all, he was a family man. He loved his family. His family was certainly first and helicopter second. But they were two passions of his life,” he said.
Another friend, Ritchie Gregg, told Daily Mail that Jenkinson was a “top guy, top gun and best dad”. Ritchie said: “I heard [about the crash] at ten past two. So I sent the message and was waiting for an answer. When he and Kosha had their son (in September 2021) he was the most excited dad. (Kosha) is very silent, she’s in shock Kayden… would probably be asking where dad is.”
He added that “family was his biggest thing”. Gregg said: “Ash had the biggest heart and was the happiest guy. When he’d finished work flying he’d be straight home to see his boy.”
A friend Shannon McCourt wrote: “My deepest condolences to your wife, baby boy, immediate family and friends. I hope when your boy is old enough one day he might read all of the messages from people who have been lucky to have known you and learn what a top bloke his Dad was. You were a man’s man. The women wanted to be with you and the men wanted to be like you. Highly experienced and confident in your abilities yet so humble. A true gentleman.”
His ex, Linda Doktar, wrote: “My heart goes out to your parents Bev & Al, to your partner Kosha & your baby, to your siblings, to all of your friends & the lives of the hearts you touched. Thank you for blessing my life with your presence as my partner 2016/2017. You are the reason I re-located from Brisbane to Gold Coast and began a brand new life here.
“Thank you for showing me the way.And I am so proud of you for following your passion of flying helicopters. I will never forget the day you rang me to ask if I can be ready in 20 minutes as you would pick me up in your chopper and fly me to Sunshine Coast & back. To a well respected & well known Gold Coast Pilot, Son, Father, Partner & Friend. You will be deeply missed.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Ash.