Joined: May 08, 2005 Posts: 1078 Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 4:21 am Post subject: Kiwi Cock Up
Helicopter flips when passenger jolts controls
Two men walked away uninjured this morning when a helicopter crashed in Hawke's Bay.
After a flight over Ben Lomond Station near State Highway 50, pilot Bernie Symonds is believed to have landed at Maraekakaho, 28km west of Hastings, and stepped out of his Sikorsky Helicopter, leaving the engine running.
In the process of getting out, his passenger is said to have lifted the dual controls installed for training purposes, prompting the machine to lift off the ground, throwing the passenger clear before toppling over.
Mr Symonds, from Hastings, works under Taranaki-based company Helicopter Services and keeps his helicopter at his home in Pakowhai Road.
Company head Brett Emeny said while both men were uninjured, it was clear some mistake had happened.
"It's more of a disappointment than anything."
Today Mr Symonds' family were breathing a sigh of relief, saying only that he had been "bloody lucky" to walk away.
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