It all started with innocent fun. Rob was here last weekend -- his daughter is planning a wedding for NEXT year, and they were booking Lumina Resort. An excellent choice - they do a great job with weddings!
As he did back in July, Rob was having fun flying his remote controlled helicopter. He provided us with some great videos of the resort taken from this nifty little flyer, and we were hoping he'd get some more, with the fall colours starting to show.
But part way through the exercise, there was a mal-function in the controls... the heli expressed an opinion of its own, and took off. A loud crunch was heard, and that was about the last we saw of it. Rob found the gps lying on the driveway... part of a rotor... but try as we might we couldn't spot the helicopter up in the trees by the entranceway.
That is until later in the day, when the sun angled in just right and POP, you could see the machine gleaming in the top of the pine. Interestingly, you could only see it for about an hour, when the light was right. Other than that, the pine tree held its secret visitor close.
What to do!? It was far too high to reach with a ladder, or even a lift truck. To the rescue yesterday rode Phil Pavey, of Pavey Tree. Undaunted by the tangle of branches or by the height, Phil geared up. And UP would be the operative word...
Phil squirreled his way up until he was able to retrieve the heli. From that vantage point, he threw down a line to Brian and David, who stretched that across the road like a zip-line. Heli was fastened to the line, and zip! It was in Brian's hands. Just like that.
We can't say it isn't a little the worse for wear. Impacting a tree is not good news for any helicopter. But it does look like it will fly again, after some TLC.
Huge thanks to Phil, who brought his expertise to the rescue. Trees are nothing to be messed with, by the by. You need to know what are doing if you are climbing, trimming, cutting, pruning... They are big and heavy creatures, so if you need some work done around your cottage, Phil is the man to call.
As a sidebar, it seems like this was Helicopter week at Bondi. Ed, who was visiting us again after a 44 year absence, was telling Nancy about some of the work he did in the high Arctic, helping tag polar bears. Ed flew the Jet Ranger helicopter from which the bears were darted with tranquillizer. He then had to wrangle the doped bears to keep them away from leads in the ice. Sometimes that didn't work, and they would have to land, get ropes around the bear, and drag it back up onto the ice. Sometimes he'd have to use the helicopter to help drag the bear out of the water. And sometimes, if it was a female, they'd have to round up the cubs who would run away, and wrangle them (by tackling them, like a football player) Sometimes, Ed said, the groggy bears would growl at him as he was face to face, hauling on their fur. We don't know if Ed's in this video, but we found one of the process of tagging the bears.
It never ceases to amaze us, what our guests do...