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Raw Video - Pilot Escapes Helicopter Crash in Auckland

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Published on Nov 22, 2011

http://www.ProFlightSimulator.up.to - The son of a helicopter pilot involved in a spectacular crash at Auckland's Viaduct this morning says he had been looking forward to his part in putting up Telecom's Christmas tree. Greg Gribble's helicopter crashed - seemingly when its blades got caught in wires attached to scaffolding being erected before the tree arrived.

The crash was caught live on camera, during a web stream being broadcast by TVNZ. The helicopter came down at the site of the Maori Waka had been set up during the Rugby World Cup. Mr Gribble, head of commercial helicopter company Helisika, was flung out the front door of the helicopter during the crash, before falling back through its side door.

Footage shows him narrowly missing the still-spinning rotor blades. He was led away from the scene, supported by two workers who were on the ground. Mr Gribble's son Jaz Gribble, who also flies for Helisika, said he was filled with shock and relief, when he heard of his father's miracle escape.

"Someone must have been looking out for him. That's all we could have prayed for - that he's safe and happy. Someone must have been on his side." Mr Gribble had been flying when the crash happened and had only been told of the crash by his wife when he landed after 11am.

He was now rushing to hospital to see his father and not looking forward to viewing footage of the crash. "He's my Dad, so it's a little close to the bone for a start. This has shaken me." Mr Gribble said his father was an experienced pilot who had been looking forward to the "special job" of erecting the Telecom Christmas tree.

Early reports he received from ground crew were that a cable had caught in the helicopter rotors and caused it to come crashing down. "Something must have gone horribly wrong that shouldn't have happened."

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