THE small town of Rolleston has been rocked by the death of grazier Russell Parker in a helicopter crash on a private property near Mt Ogg yesterday.
Members of the close-knit community have confirmed their shock at the tragedy.
The 39-year-old father of four young daughters, whose family has a long association with the area, was mustering cattle about 32 km west of Rolleston.
His family lost contact with him about 10am yesterday.
They began a search on horse back.
Matthew Brandon from the RACQ Rescue Helicopter yesterday said they and another aircraft carrying a police officer found the wreckage about 65km west of Rolleston.
An intensive care paramedic was winched down to a nearby creek bed and the pilot was declared dead at the scene.
A police media spokeswoman said the pilot was the sole occupant of the helicopter.
Police returned to the scene at first light this morning.
A worker at the Rolleston Hotel said the pilot was a “very well-respected” community member, who had been involved in almost 8anything to help the small town.
“He was very community-minded. Everyone knew him, he grew up in the area and was very well-respected,” she said.
“It’s shocked the whole community.”
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.