The helicopter was there as part of Operation Katipo, an exercise involving armed forces from a number of countries such as Australia, Tonga, the United Kingdom and Fiji. The helicopter could hold 16 people in total, including four crew members, and the armed forces were practising a rescue of injured people, airlifting them to safety.
Later on we were all outside again as the helicopter took off. The trees and bushes shook violently and grass clippings came bowling towards us across the car park. As the helicopter rose into the air, the downdraught whipped our faces. We all stood there waving to the soldier who had talked to us earlier; he was now casually standing in the open doorway of the helicopter, waving as it flew off into the distance.
|You can see how big the helicopter is compared to us.|