Not One Single Injury
A NEW ZEALAND HELICOPTER PILOT will be going to church for sure this Sunday. Earlier this morning (Wednesday) around 10:30 am local time, Greg Gribble was using his helicopter in a work zone to help set up a 70-ft.-high fiber-optic Christmas tree for the New Zealand Telecom when the rotors appeared to strike a cable.
Fairfax Media photo
The impact caused the aircraft's rotor blades to start breaking apart while sending the fuselage spinning out of control just 15 feet off the ground. The helicopter broke into pieces while flinging the strapped-in pilot around the cabin before it came to rest nose up on the ground. Fortunately there was no fuel leak to trigger a hot and potentially fatal fire and several of the construction workers were able to climb onto the wreckage and free the pilot who remained conscious the entire time.
NZTV was videorecording the operation for their news broadcast when the incident took place. They captured the entire wreck plus the daring rescue by the site workers who leapt onboard to get Gribble to safety amidst the obvious fire hazard:
Amazingly, despite the flying debris being pitched around, nobody on the ground was struck or injured.
Greg Gribble is the owner of the family business Helisika Helicopters and is in his mid-50's according to his daughter. He was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital just a few hours later.
Stuff.co.nz has a good, complete report plus an 11-image photo gallery HERE.
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