Tuesday, March 01, 2005

How things get put into perspective....

In December 2003 three people I knew were killed whilst flight testing a helicopter from Thruxton Airfield, near Andover.

Ian Shoobrodge was the pilot, Neville Moger & James Gordon-Stables were engineers that had been working on the drivetrain of G-XCEL, a Eurocopter AS.355F1 Twin Squirrel.

I didn't know any of the men very well, although I did go to school with James & had spent a fair amount of time with Neville when visiting Aeromaritime. Ian had been a more recent acquaintance but was more than happy to spend time chatting to me about something we both loved - helicopters. Albeit our interest was from different angles - he was an experienced pilot with thousands of hours & I was merely an enthusiast. All too often I have been ignored by pilots, engineers & the like who look down on such enthusiasts, Ian, Neville & James didn't & they all took time to chat to me & share knowledge & experiences, something I will never forget & really wish I had the chance to say "thankyou" for.

An inquest is being held this week into the events & circumstances of the accident. Makes you understand how lucky you are when you really do think about it.

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