French pilot catches break after helicopter catches fire in Finistere

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A French helicopter pilot had a very close call this week when his aircraft took a nosedive over a historic lighthouse in the Brittany region and caught fire, as seen in a dramatic video.

The incident took place at around 2:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday in the region of Finistere on the northwest coast of France as the helicopter was ferrying equipment to the Vieille lighthouse, which is undergoing renovations, reported the French news site 20Minutes.fr.

Webcam video that has been circulating online shows the aircraft soaring on a clear day over the picturesque 19th century structure perched atop a rocky outcrop in the middle of the strait of Raz de Sein, when suddenly the helicopter tips forward at a 90-degree angle and plunges downward nose-first.

As the helicopter continues its rapid descent towards the ground, white smoke bursts from the back of the aircraft. But at the last moment, the pilot manages to pull the machine up.

The pilot, who has not been named but was described as experienced, was shaken by the near-death experience.

The helicopter was ferrying equipment to the 19th century Vieille lighthouse off Brittany Wednesday when something went wrong.
The helicopter was ferrying equipment to the 19th century Vieille lighthouse off Brittany Wednesday when something went wrong.
audierne.info
The helicopter burst into flames and nearly crashed onto the rocky outcrop, but at the last moment the pilot managed to pull it up.
The helicopter burst into flames and nearly crashed onto the rocky outcrop, but at the last moment the pilot managed to save himself.
audierne.info

A lighthouse employee on the ground was struck by a crate that tumbled out of the out-of-control chopper and was taken to a hospital in nearby Brest to be treated for his injuries, reported France Bleu.

It’s unknown at this time what caused the helicopter to suddenly drop out of the sky, but Mont Blanc Hélicoptères Bretagne, which operates the aircraft, has launched an internal investigation into the incident.

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