The Westwood crash scene.
The Westwood crash scene. CHRIS ISON CI

Pilot flying after cheating fate

LESS than three days after crashing his helicopter, a Biloela-based pilot was back in the air yesterday unfazed by his close dice with fate.

On Monday the 34-year-old walked away after his Robinson R22 chopper crashed from a low altitude while mustering cattle at a Westwood property, about 45 kilometres west of Rockhampton.

A tail rotor blade strike caused the chopper to crash from a low altitude and luckily, the pilot walked away uninjured.

The aircraft, owned by Howard Helicopters of Biloela, leaked about 80 litres of aviation fuel from the wreck and Fire and Rescue crews were called in as a precaution.

Howard Helicopters owner Michael Howard this week praised the efforts of the company’s experienced pilot.

Mr Howard said the man had more than 3000 hours of flying time and had worked for the company for almost five years.

He said the helicopter had experienced a tail rotor strike at the time and the pilot had done a good job of controlling the situation.

“He reacted instinctively to his training and he did a very good job to walk away from then aircraft.”

“He’s fine – he’s back out west flying,” Mr Howard told Biloela’s Central Telegraph on Wednesday.

The company is insured and will cover the loss of the helicopter.

Efforts to contact the pilot were unsuccessful yesterday.

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