Friday, 25 January 2013

Three injured in helicopter crash

A hired helicopter crashed on the Grey Goose farm this morning after getting caught in the power cables between the electricity pylons.

Pilot, Francois Liebenberg, and two passengers, believed to be Mr Liebenberg’s brother and a close family friend, were rushed to Newcastle Mediclinic. When paramedics arrived on the scene all three men were conscious and aware, despite sustaining numerous injuries.

The chopper was on its way from the Grey Goose to the Newcastle airport to fuel up before heading to Villiers for a rally.

Wonda Wilson, who witnessed the incident, said she heard the chopper make contact with the pylons and saw the pilot lose control and crash to the ground when she looked out her window.

“As I ran to the chopper, I could smell the fuel and I was just praying that everyone was okay. When I called out to them, only the passengers answered and the pilot was unconscious. I managed to get the passengers out and called my workers who helped me get the pilot out through the front window, which had broken,” said Mrs Wilson.

“I know a lot about helicopters from my husband, who is a great pilot with lots of experience. He wasn’t here when this happened, and even though I knew how dangerous it was for me to run to the chopper, you don’t think of these things when you know someone needs your help.”

She concluded, “My husband, Alan, has since returned home and is assisting the police with their investigation. It was very lucky that the chopper did not have much fuel in it or it might have exploded.”

Chairman of the Newcastle Flying Club, Quentin Feirrera, said the most important thing to his organisation was the fact that all three people on board the chopper are now safe and sound.

“In flying, as in everything else, you have to keep your eyes open and be careful. In the flying environment, however, there is no room for error. These three men are very fortunate that they had the opportunity to walk away from their error. Earlier, we experienced a real tragedy when we lost three of our local farmers in a crash. Accidents do happen, but our thoughts and prayers of a quick recovery are with the men and their families,” he said.

The power lines affected will only be repaired after the incident is investigated.

- LookLocal

No comments:

Post a Comment