The CEO and co-founder of a Melbourne agtech startup AXIchain, Linda Woodford, is one of five people killed in a helicopter crash in Victoria on Thursday.
Her colleague, financial adviser Ian Perry, was also one of the dead when the helicopter crashed into a remote forest near Blair’s Hut on Mount Disappointment, 60 km north of Melbourne, around 8 am, after taking off from Moorabbin Airport.
A second helicopter, with six people on board, which was also part of the private charter, landed safely in Mangalore in the Strathbogie region. It reportedly lost radio contact with the other aircraft at 8 a.m. amid low-hanging clouds.
Authorities and investigators found the crash site on steep and difficult terrain in dense bushland on Thursday evening and confirmed there were no survivors.
In addition to Woodford, 50, of Inverloch, and Perry, 59, of Sydney, pilot Dean Neal, 32, of Cheltenham, consultant Paul Troja, 73, of Albert Park, and Nicholas Vasudeva, 53, co-founder of Sydney on based on First Ag Capital.
AXIchain is a blockchain-based virtual marketplace founded in 2018 by Woodford and the company’s CIO, Hien Tran. Their goal is to streamline and simplify locally and globally supply chains. Their solution digitizes 57 processes in 5 simple key touchpoints with improved traceability and transparency of the supply chain.
The company released a statement Friday confirming the deaths of Woodford and Perry “with utter disbelief and sadness”. The couple was visiting customers during the trip.
“Linda was a passionate visionary and perennial optimist and will be greatly missed by all who knew her,” the statement said.
“Ian was a respected member of the farming industry and a devoted family man and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Linda and Ian’s families at this difficult time. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are also with the families of the three other valued friends and colleagues who were on board the flight.”
Woodford had recently celebrated her