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Helo pilot saves 5 people


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Johannesburg - A honeymoon couple sitting in a helicopter above South Africa's Plettenberg Bay Wednesday got a dramatic front row seat on a close encounter between five surfers and a great white shark. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said the 3.5-metre shark was spotted by a helicopter pilot, Glen Brown, who was flying the couple and another passenger over the beach in his Robertson 44 helicopter.


Brown saw the shark approaching the surfers about 50 metres off shore, then flew his helicopter down towards the surfers to warn them with hand signals to swim away- but the surfers thought Brown was just giving them a friendly wave.


When the shark closed to a distance of five metres, Brown flew his aircraft between the shark and the surfers as a diversion. The surfers only realized the danger when the other passengers also waved "like mad," said Craig Lambinon, NSRI spokesman.


"The shark then began swimming away ... (The pilot) said he continued to monitor the shark as it moved away until it was out of sight and lost beneath the sea surface," said Lambinon.


Copyright © 2007 Respective Author ( thanks to Earthtimes.org for the article)


If this had been in the US in 2010 the pilot would have then landed at the local airport paying a $50 landing fee and re-fueled with $12.00 av gas ( due to the extra FAA funding taxes). He would be met at the gate by the local federal aviation official who wanted to know why he would violate FAR's flying low over a crowd of people, best go get an aviation attorney. When he got home he was served with a lawsuit from his neighbors complaining about the noise his R44 creates when he lands in his 160 acre backyard. ( the fact that I can hear a mouse fart while standing 100 feet from an R44 in a hover means nothing).


As pilots we need to wake up. If you are not following our congress as they vote (yesterday) to charge us GA pilots so they can decrease fees to airlines...we all better start voicing our opinions. Thanks go to Barbara Boxer for leading us down this path. I guess since it wasnt her son surfing in South Africa, it doesnt matter.


For more info on the FAA funding bills check out AOPA website below:




Thanks for reading and letting me blow off some steam at the same time. Sorry to VR for the political overtones.


Fly safe while you still can...kudo's to Glen Brown



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We're going down the same road that Britain went down long ago....

mountains of oppressive regulation, and burdensome taxes..


When we unite, and break free of that oppressive nation, to find a new land of opportunity, will our "Mayflower" have rotors?

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Hey Gom-

He said USA in 2010-


It'll probably only be $6.00 per gallon by then-



Gomer- this isn't AOPA's political message, this is MY political message ! 221 people read this post and 4 replied...I hope a few more than that understood what I was saying. Here we do great things in General Aviation, and our recognition seems to be more and more encroachment and higher taxes paid.


Do you realize that this proposed plan, which has now passed out of committee, allows the feds to DROP the tax on airlines, and make it up by increasing the taxes we pay? I guess maybe I am the lone wolf that thinks this is BS.


Sorry Gomer- didnt mean to raise your blood pressure, just wanted to give the situation some exposure.



Edited by Goldy
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