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AC pilot “excited” to help Aussie rescue

Oct. 17, 2012, Sydney, Aus. - An Air Canada pilot says it was "exciting'' to help Australian authorities locate a yacht that had sent out a distress signal off the coast of Australia.


October 17, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Captain Andrew Robertson was piloting an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney, when he was asked if he could take his Boeing 7-77 off course to locate the troubled boat.

Robertson says after being given a rough location of the boat, he and his crew determined they had enough fuel to make the detour.

He says the flight crew borrowed some binoculars from passengers and he took the big passenger jet down to five-thousand feet.

A member of the crew then spotted something and Robertson dropped the plane to 37 hundred feet for another pass and that's when the solo yachtsman was spotted.

Robertson says all they could do was tell air traffic control that they'd located the boat, joking that a 7-77 is too big to "even drop pretzels.''

He says the passengers were awesome, and he'd heard no complaints about the delay in getting to Sydney.