Helicopter passenger in hospital after he was struck by hazard sign

Health and safety? More like illness and danger! Helicopter passenger is treated in hospital for gashed leg after he was struck by sign showing rules to minimise hazards

  • The unnamed passenger was waiting for a helicopter sightseeing ride 
  • They were hit and gashed by a 2ft safety sign sent flying in Newport, South Wales
  • After the incident, they were taken to hospital with a cut leg needing stitches
  • Investigators said the pre-flight safety briefing sign was not properly secured

A passenger waiting for a helicopter sightseeing ride was hit and gashed by a 2ft safety sign sent flying by its rotors.

As the aircraft landed, its downblast dislodged the sign from a post near a waiting group of four at West Usk lighthouse in Newport, South Wales.

The unnamed passenger was taken to hospital with a cut leg needing stitches after the incident last September.

Air accident investigators said the pre-flight safety briefing sign was not properly secured and was a hazard itself.

A passenger waiting for a helicopter sightseeing ride was hit and gashed by a 2ft safety sign sent flying by its rotors near a waiting group of four at West Usk lighthouse in Newport

It was used for safety briefings before passengers were escorted to board the helicopter.

The large sign warned people to beware of the rotors and always to keep their safety belt fastened as part of the safety briefing before the jaunt.

But it was ‘unsecure’ as the ground crew were in a hurry after cows had escaped from a neighbouring field onto the landing site and had to be removed.

The health and safety warning had been left set up overnight with windy conditions at the coastal site roped off for four passengers on the six-mile sightseeing trip with the 27-year-old pilot.

The report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch said: ‘The following day, the pilot carried out eight uneventful flights but wind speeds were increasing.

‘The sign was only secured by two cable ties when four were needed in each corner

‘As the pilot landed for the ninth flight of the day, the cable ties broke and the sign flew away, hitting the passenger.’

The sightseeing trip was advertised as being safe for passengers aged 6 to 99 to enjoy the ‘soaring views of the Welsh countryside.’

It boasted that it included ‘safety briefings and public liability insurance.’

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