A helicopter pilot who died in an accident on a property outside Alice Springs late last month is being remembered as a man who packed plenty into his 47 years of life.
Campbell Taylor was piloting a helicopter on Ambalindum Station, 150km outside Alice Springs, owned by Hewitt Cattle Australia, when it crashed on the morning of Saturday November 24.
Head stockman, Dan O’Neill was a passenger in the helicopter and is still recovering from his injuries in the Alice Springs Hospital. The cause of the accident is still being investigated.
Tributes have been flowing for Mr Taylor, who leaves behind his three children, Bree, 23, Rob, 20 and Tom, 18, along with his parents, Drew and Sue Taylor and sister and brother-in-law, Kate and David Gordon, all of the Injune district.
Mrs Gordon said her brother died doing a job he loved and would be remembered as a loyal friend and a devoted father.
“He was a man who never seemed to have any fear, who never gave up,” she said.
“I was always proud to be his sister. He was very talented at the things he put his mind to. Most of all, he was a very loving father. Everything was about his kids.”
Known to his friends and family as Cam, Mr Taylor was an accomplished sportsman who represented Queensland in polocrosse at two National titles.
He also played rugby union for the first fifteen for two years while boarding at the Toowoomba Grammar School and later for the Roma Echidnas.
Drew Taylor said his son could master anything that involved a ball.
“I didn’t matter if it was golf, squash, cricket or footy - he was always pretty handy at it,” he said.
“He started playing polocrosse for Bauhinia as a kid. After school he also played for Collinsville, Tanbar, Clermont and Roma.”
Mr Taylor began his working life with Stanbroke Pastoral Company, rising to the position of head stockman before leaving to manage Cork Station at Winton for the Banning family.
He owned a contract mustering and fencing business before returning to the Roma district and settling with his young family on Carinya outside Muckadilla.
Most recently, Mr Taylor was working for Hewitt Cattle Australia in the Northern Territory as a helicopter pilot.
Among the touching tributes coming in for Mr Taylor was a letter submitted to Queensland Country Life from the partner of Dan O’Neill - the man injured in last month’s crash.
Kristina Henggeler wrote that Mr Taylor would forever be in the thoughts of Mr O’Neill and his family.
“Cam, your presence is felt and we know you are helping Dan through this difficult time. You have and always will mean so much to Dan. Rest in peace.”
Ms Henggeler also thanked the pastoral community for their support along with the Hewitt Cattle Australia managing directors, Mick and Ben Hewitt and the HCA staff.
“For your quick response, for your ongoing and endless amount of support in this difficult time, we cannot thank you enough. Thank you for implementing the use of the spot device, ensuring every member of your staff carries one at all times and is familiar with its use, for without it, Dan would not be here today.
“To the RFDS, chopper pilots, paramedics and rescue team, who under incredible time pressure and in difficult terrain, were able to stabilize Dan and ferry him to hospital.
“To the surgeons, doctors, nurses and staff at Alice Springs Hospital who continue to assist Dan towards his recovery, for demonstration of kindness and compassion – thank you.”
Mr Taylor will be laid to rest in Toowoomba on Friday December 14 at 2.30pm. His funeral will be live streamed to allow HCA staff and friends all over the country to in join the celebration of his life.