Saturday, 15OCT11 at approximately 1645, tents, paper and vendors products starting flying away. Pedro (MCAS Cherry Point’s Search and Rescue helicopter) departed the chili festival. They usually take off towards the Police Station, but this time they followed the highway down the line of tents and inflatable amusements. The moon walk full of kids started scooting toward Hwy 70, tents and poles went flying causing several injuries among those in attendance.
I have attended the chili festival for several years, and never has Pedro caused so much chaos and so many injuries. I am not sure of the count, but I personally saw 6 people down.
I am just trying to understand what the pilot was thinking. The lay-out has not changed, so I am not sure why his take-off route changed.
Things could have been much worse – the kids inflatable could have made it into the highway and/or some one could have been killed. At any rate Cherry Point just received some very bad press as well as the possibility of law suites against the Air Station and the city of Havelock.
I think that’s enough for now. Keep an eye out and you just may see the Havelock Chili Festival in the news.
Thank you and God bless.