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Near Disaster

Here's an example of what you can write to the Minister


The Hon. Anthony Albanese
Minister for Transport
GPO Box 594,
Canberra ACT 2601

Dear Minister,

Yet again we have an inexperienced pilot [“ Edleston the Eagle”]crashing at Moorabbin Airport, an increasingly frequent event and of grave concern to residents living in the area. 

Training flights are not permitted at Essendon Airport but apparently it’s ok for learners to crash in Moorabbin! [evidenced by this second recent accident, a  learner flying from Essendon to undergo training  (and crashing! ) at Moorabbin.

Pilots of the numerous recent crashes have been very lucky to escape death and the Government has been very lucky that there has not been a major disaster at Moorabbin, for which it will surely be held responsible. Planes have crashed near and in school grounds and only by good fortune have children not been involved.

If the current training regimes continue it is not a matter of IF but a matter of WHEN the community will be faced with a major disaster. We have repeatedly warned the Government and the Moorabbin Airport Corporation of the possibility of such a disaster and have been repeatedly ignored.  To make matters worse you have independent documents which tell about the intollerable societal risks of this situation.

As the responsible Minister, we strongly urge you to seriously consider the safety of your citizens and act by having flight training relocated to less densely populated areas before we have a crash into a classroom full of children or a busy factory or a crowded shopping precinct.

Yours Faithfully .


                     

When flamboyant entrepreneur Dr Geoffrey Edelsten's helicopter crashed on his first solo flight, he looked up and thought one thing.

"This certainly can't be heaven," a relieved Dr Edelsten, 66, told AAP after the crash at Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport about 10.15am (AEDT) on Tuesday.

Dr Edelsten was nursing his wounds, a cut hand and sore knee, insisting that he was fine but very lucky, after the crash.

An experienced fixed-wing pilot, Dr Edelsten has spent 80 hours training for his helicopter licence but his first solo flight lasted less than a minute.

As soon as he took off, the chopper dropped back down, tilted to the right and landed on its side as the rotor blades hit the ground and disintegrated.

A fire brigade spokesman said he was lucky to be alive and it was fortunate no one was in the area to be hit by the splintering rotor.

Fire crews doused the crippled helicopter in foam as it lay on the grass.

"I'm glad that no one was injured and sometimes mechanical things happen and I'll be grateful to learn exactly what went wrong," Dr Edelsten told reporters at the airport.

"It was all so quick, just taking off and it rolled over and hit the ground.

"I was upside down and all I could see was broken glass above me and the instructor pulled me out and I was fine."

His purple helicopter was used as one of the many elaborate props in his extravagant multi-million dollar wedding to 26-year-old bride Brynne Gordon last month.

Although she said she was nervous about his helicopter lessons he'll be back in the air as soon as he can.

"Absolutely," he said.

"I enjoy it so much I think in a couple of weeks I'll be saying: 'Let's go again'."

And Ms Edelsten knows it.

"He'll be out there whether I like it or not," she told the Nine Network.

But he says his next flight will probably be back with his instructor.

Ref AAP Channel 9