Helicopter Hi-Jinks

Mid eighties, Orange NSW Australia.

Every few months the Electricity Commision uses a chopper to inspect power lines. At night the chopper is parked at the Commisions premise in McLauchlan st. On the night in question my cousin, Scott Lanser and his friend Paul Cane decided to go for a bit of a joy-ride. Now these two were well know for their like of alcohol, pot and sometimes harder drugs. Whether they were under the influence on this night has not been released, however, knowing these two they would have been wasted on something. To get to the chopper the pair had to scale a 9ft, barbed wire topped fence. The next obstacle was starting the chopper. Paul was an air cadet and had half an idea how to do this. After the incident the media interviewed the real pilot and he expressed amazement that they actually got the thing started, let alone take off. But they did. I know a lot of people will doubt this due to the complex nature of choppers, but, as in so many Darwin Awards, a little bit of knowledge is deadlier than none. Exactly what happened after take-off is unclear, but we do know that Scott left the chopper, before or after lift-off we don't know. Paul, our intrepid pilot has lost control of the chopper at about 10m and crashed back to earth. What he didn't know was that the rotors have hit Scott and left nothing of him from mid-torso up. During his exit from the craft he actually crawled over his dead mates body, unknown to him. Tv crews turned up and set up just outside the fence. When they turned on their lighting thay discoved bits of Scott scattered everywhere. A friend of mine that worked at the morgue wouldn't talk about the mess that was my cousin, however, a couple of weeks later I was talking to an employee of the Electricity Commision. He reckoned that every stray cat in Orange had converged on the site for the human smorgasboard that was the result. Exactly what the two were planning to do with the chopper we don't know. Lets face it, you can't exactly park it in the backyard and strip it for parts. Someone would get suss. Two theories have been put forward as to why they crashed. Niether confirmed. The first is that the chopper had a tether attaching it to the ground. Thus, when the chopper had reached the right height, the tether has jerked it and the inexperienced pilot has been unable to correct it. Second is that Scott has left the chopper at a low height, but as he has jumped off, the inexperienced pilot has over-corrected the weight tranfer, same result. A chopper pilot may be able to shed light on this. I'm sure this story meets the criteria for a Darwin. Scott had no offspring, and I think Paul is eligable for an Honourable Mention. He served a few years in jail for manslaughter over this. However you look at it you have to think, "What a couple of ********* they were."


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