Helicopter pilot Rick Lucas emerged unharmed after his helicopter crashed into the water near Porirua, New Zeland, about 11.30am LT on Tuesday, May 2.
After the twin-engine BK117 chopper crashed into the water, Lucas was trapped under water with a stuck seatbelt but managed to keep calm and get out of the machine. His only injury is a cut to his mouth. The blow on his helmet was also quite hard but he considers himself extremely lucky to get away only with that.
Lucas was at work, using the helicopter to lift power poles when he felt quite intense vibration. The vibration worsened and the helicopter started to rotate so he followed the emergency procedure to stop the rotation. He has been flying for 35 years and said this was the second tail rotor failure in his lifetime – but this incident was his worst. It is still not known what has caused the crash.
Two kayakers who witnessed the crashed paddled to him to check on him. According to Lucas they were expecting the worst and were relieved to see him alive sitting on the chopper. Both men stayed and chatted with him until the emergency services arrived.
Despite the incident Lucas said he had “absolute faith” in helicopters and planned to fly again.