Funeral for pilot who died fighting Port Hill fires
A funeral service for the pilot who died fighting the devastating fires on Christchurch's Port Hills will be held on Monday.
Steve Askin, 37, was killed on Tuesday when the helicopter he was piloting crashed near the Sugarloaf. He is survived by his wife and two children.
The service will be held in the Christchurch suburb of Wigram on Monday, a friend of the family has told NZME.
A Givealittle page set up to help his grieving family has received overwhelming support. By Thursday evening over $105,000 had been raised.
* Steve Askin: from elite soldier to citizen
* Life and death in the hills
* Pilot dead in helicopter crash during Port Hills fires
* Helicopter pilot who died fighting Christchurch fires ex-SAS member David Steven Askin
After his death his father Paul Askin spoke to Stuff of how his son thrived on a challenge.
"If it wasn't worth doing 100 per cent, it wasn't worth doing.
"He just enjoyed life to the full, he said life is far too short and you've got to live it and he did."
His son had "great courage, loyalty and a good sense of humour".
"He was an amazing guy, much respected and greatly loved. He loved his sense of belonging, his family was incredibly important to him.
"He's left two young children which is horrible. I had him for 38 years and a few days, they've only had him a short while."
Askin was a highly qualified and respected pilot, who loved flying and fighting fires. He enlisted in the army in 1998 and left in 2013, although he remained an active member of the SAS reserves.
He was awarded the NZ Gallantry Star for his efforts fighting in Afghanistan in 2014.
The accident is being investigated by police, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Transport Accident Investigation Commission.