These were the last words Greg Mitchell, of Clarence Point, heard from friend and fellow gyroplane pilot Allan Wardill before Mr Wardill and his machine plunged 100m into the Tamar River yesterday morning.
The pair were returning from a reconnaissance flight for a proposed Three Peaks Race flyover when Mr Wardill
, 59, lost control of his
Mr Wardill, of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, is Australian Sport Rotorcraft Association operations manager and said he had considered a reconnaissance flight appropriate to establish the route and check for possible forced landing areas.
They had taken off separately from a landing strip at Clarence Point and were returning about 10am when Mr Wardill experienced problems.
"We were just over-flying Mitch's house when I felt and heard a clunk," Mr Wardill
"I'd say I was extremely lucky," said Mr Wardill
, a Qantas pilot whose 30 years' experience includes 26,000 hours in 747s.
"I'm not sure if I went in (to the river) vertically or even upside down," he
said that he
was between 3m
and 4m below the surface by the time he
harness and headed for air.
"I popped out on the surface and looked to see how far it was to land," he
Police said Mr Wardill
was picked up by a recreational fisherman in the area.
gyroplane was not recovered yesterday.
Pilot Allan Wardill near the scene of his crash. Picture GEOFF ROBSON.
Pilot Allan Wardill near the scene of his crash.
Picture GEOFF ROBSON.