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Helicopter Crash On 100th Birthday

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Helicopter crash on 100th birthday


Tuesday, June 21, 2005; Posted: 11:21 a.m. EDT (15:21 GMT)




STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -- A Swedish man celebrating his 100th birthday with a helicopter ride survived with minor injuries when the helicopter crashed shortly after taking off Tuesday in central Sweden, police said.


Carl Zetterlund, who turned 100 on Tuesday, was to fly to the Stockholm archipelago with his son, grandson and 7-year-old great grandson from a nursing home in Heby, a small town about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Stockholm, police spokesman Ulf Palm said.


But something went wrong shortly after the helicopter took off, and its rotor blades clipped a tree and a lamp post before the aircraft went down in a cloud of dust and smoke.


The four family members, along with the pilot and a nursing home worker on board, escaped with cuts and bruises, Palm said.


Palm said Zetterlund's relatives had chartered the helicopter as a birthday gift.


A local TV crew filming the family gathering got dramatic footage of the crash. Their video showed the rotor blades of the Lithuanian-registered MI-2 helicopter hitting a tree and then clipping the top off a lamp post.


"Then there was a bang, then one of the rotor blades broke off. I huddled up and waited for the crash. And it came almost immediately," one of the passengers, Ove Johansson, told Swedish Radio after the accident.


Johansson said that with the help of two other people he managed to get Carl Zetterlund out of the helicopter. It was not immediately clear whether Johansson was one of the family members.


After the 100-year-old was pulled from the wreck, he was flown on another helicopter to Uppsala University Hospital, where he was in stable condition, hospital officials said.


"He got a helicopter ride after all," Palm said.

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Wow, talk about pushing it too far. He seemed really commited on getting that thing flying.


Interesting to hear what happened.


Isn't there a saying out there that goes' "learn to do by doing"? Maybe we should change that to say, "learn to do by reading the manual, read the situation, listening to the more experienced and then do."



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If you look real close at the cnn video, you can see that he was chopping tree limbs on the right side long before he hit the light pole that ended up causing him to crash.

I wonder what the camera person must have been thinking after the crash when reviewing his video and realizing that the helicopter flew almost directly over the top of him before crashing....

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