Scribbles Posted February 3, 2006 Report Share Posted February 3, 2006 Manitoba teacher slams decision to land helicopter in schoolyard Last Updated Thu, 02 Feb 2006 17:22:15 EST CBC News A teacher in a remote eastern Manitoba community was shocked to find a helicopter landing in the schoolyard while students were outside Wednesday morning. The chopper was ferrying a judge, lawyers and a court clerk to the school in Little Grand Rapids, about 250 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. The school was hosting the local circuit court. Teacher Pat Kelly, who was on yard duty when the helicopter landed, told CBC News he's never seen anything like the situation in the yard when the helicopter touched down. "Where the helicopter landed and chose to land, was very, very close to the school, which was the frightening thing, you know, and which really had us all upset," he said. "I was scared. My first reaction and the reaction of my counterpart who was out here ... was to get the students away from the helicopter because it was...on and the rotators were turning and it was really scary." The students were rounded up safely and brought indoors while the helicopter blades whipped up snow in the schoolyard, Kelly said. Officials with Taiga Air Services, which was chartered to shuttle the passengers, said in a release Thursday that the pilot initially tried to land in the parking lot of the nursing station. The parking lot had been used before but cars in the lot prevented a safe landing. Passengers on the helicopter told the pilot they had previously landed in the vacant lot next to the school, the release said. Officials said the pilot noticed children were in the area, but clear of the landing site. The helicopter landed after the pilot saw an adult was returning the children to the school. Taiga Air officials said in the release that both the airline and the pilot have "spotless" safety records, and noted that the community has no designated landing area for helicopters. Both the nursing station and the schoolyard are commonly used for helicopter landings, Taiga Air said, although neither is licensed or controlled by Transport Canada or the community. Transport Canada has launched an investigation into the incident. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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