Minister escapes injury as door falls off helicopter
Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen was fortunate to avoid serious injury this afternoon when the door of a helicopter in which he was travelling came off 500 feet over Killarney National Park.
The Air Corps helicopter was bringing the minister and one of his officials back to Dublin from an Irish Hotels Federation conference in Co Kerry when it was forced to make an emergency landing at a helicopter pad at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club.It had been in the air for less than three minutes when the main door on the left hand side came loose and fell to the ground.
Martin Cullen, the minister for "Arts, Sport and Tourism" was clearly in fact on some secret mission to rescue the nations finances when some enemy of Ireland attempted to down his helicopter. After all, the alternative explanation that he's gallivanting around the countryside at a couple of thousand of euros an hour while the economy shrinks by the minute is clearly implausible....
On a practical note it's not the end of the world when a door of a plane or helicopter opens in flight (it's happened to me!) and the single biggest risk is that it will distract the pilot. Regretably it's clear that neither the Aer Corps nor Mr Cullen got the message that God wanted him to save taxpayers money:
So now we're up to at least twice as many Euros as before.
Another helicopter was diverted from Cork to bring the minister back to Dublin this evening.
The aircraft, an AW 139, will remain grounded until technicians from Air Corps HQ at Baldonnel examine it on the ground.
Please don't tell me they'll fly them down in a third helicoptor....