Helicopter pilot landed on car park roof to get keys cut

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Helicopter pilot landed on car park roof to get keys cut

Post by cleared to land » Fri May 09, 2008 10:42 pm

A pilot landed his helicopter on the top of a multi-storey car park because he wanted to get keys cut at a nearby shopping centre, it emerged today.

The attendant at the Athlone car park, who claimed he waved the small aircraft away from the empty roof when it tried to land last July, said he was forced to take refuge behind a door to protect himself.

But he said he was injured when the downwash caused by the main rotor blew the door closed on his hand.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit found the pilot, who believed he had permission to land, displayed “poor airmanship” and broke Irish air law.

“The shopping centre was open for business at the time and for obvious safety reasons the area should have been completely avoided.

“In landing at such a site the pilot displayed poor airmanship,” the investigation found.

The attendant said he tried to wave the helicopter away because it had landed some months previously and his supervisor told him this was not allowed.

But the pilot, who claimed the attendant was not on the roof, said that on the previous occasion he was travelling with the owner of the shopping centre who had given him permission to land on the roof, which was always empty.

He said he phoned the duty manager of the Texas Centre the day before this latest incident to confirm he had permission to land again.

The centre manager said he had not given permission adding the car park was not owned by the shopping centre.

But the duty manager of the Texas Department Store, a shop in the centre, said he did allow the landing not realising he did not have the authority.

The investigation report noted the landing was contrary to the rules of the air and that the area was congested and should have been avoided.


http://www.aaiu.ie/AAIUviewitem.asp?id= ... G&loc=1652

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