Tweed Daily News

Pilot praised in crash landing

A PILOT is being hailed a hero after he crash-landed a helicopter yesterday in a vacant parking lot of a Gold Coast theme park after the aircraft apparently lost power.

Pilot Matsumi Sato and four tourists - two men and two women - were taken to hospital with minor injuries after yesterday's crash.

Police said the pilot, aged in his 40s, did a “remarkable job” in crash landing the Bell Jet Ranger 206 in Dreamworld's car park shortly before 4pm yesterday.

The chartered helicopter toppled on its side as it hit the ground.

Police Acting Superintendent Neil Haslam said it appeared the aircraft lost power as it was landing.

“Obviously investigations need to be undertaken but the pilot has done a remarkable job,” Supt Haslam said.

Aerial view of the Dreamworld chopper crash“It looks like he has lost power and has successfully gone to an empty area of the car park.”

Shelley Winkel from Dreamworld said the pilot was ex- perienced and had worked with a private charter contractor at the Queensland theme park for about a decade.

“We are incredibly grateful for the pilot's quick action and incredibly grateful he was in a position to divert the chopper into the empty car park,” Ms Winkel said.

“It was minimal damage for what could have been a disaster.”

She said it was lucky the accident happened mid-week otherwise the car park would have been full.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will investigate the incident.

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