Old 19th Aug 2011, 00:55
  #14 (permalink)  
John Eacott
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Age: 71
Posts: 4,102
ABC obituary

For those who didn't know Gary, the ABC have his obituary, here.



Gary Ticehurst has been the ABCís lead helicopter pilot since the mid-1980s and is one of the most experienced media pilots in Australia.

In almost 40 years as a chopper pilot, Ticehurst logged more than 16,000 hours of flying time.

Ticehurst, who was 60, is survived by his wife Therese.

The Sydney to Hobart yacht race was a constant in Ticehurstís career with the ABC. Every year he brought stunning pictures to the ABCís TV audience and enabled radio reporters to close in on the action.

But during the tragic 1998 race, Ticehurst did more than just cover the race - he played a significant role in the rescue of 14 crew members from stricken yacht Business Post Naiad, which lost a skipper and crew member.

The yacht Stand Aside was the first to fall victim to the wild weather, with Ticehurst's chopper among the search and rescue crew.

"You could see the huge waves ... it was just an amazing sight," Ticehurst told CNN in a 2002 interview.

"I'm used to flying through weather fronts, but this was sitting like a whirlwind, and here was Stand Aside in the middle of this with half its roof missing," he said.

Six men died during the Sydney to Hobart, but a total of 55 were rescued.

Stephanie Hagger from Marine Search and Rescue remembers Garyís contribution vividly.

"Incredible man, big heart ... Garyís piloting during that [rescue] was incredible," she said.

The yachting community has also paid tribute to Ticehurst, describing him as a wonderful character and "fearless pilot".

"He made a great contribution to the Sydney to Hobart race and yachting in general, because of his ability to to get close and capture those moments of drama at sea," Sydney to Hobart spokesman Peter Campbell said.

"And of course, he played a vital role in the search and rescue in 1998 in the gale, he was out there spotting boats and relaying their position. Then again in the rescue of the upturned yacht Skandia, he was very much involved in that.

"He was instrumental in finding the positions of various yachts, he was out above the water in terrible conditions ... he did make a very important contribution by relaying messages and that sort of thing.

"He was an outgoing personality."

He was the embodiment of the hundreds of people who work so hard behind the scenes to bring ABC News to audiences across Australia.

His skill brought stories to life and while his efforts were invisible to the public, they were hugely valued by his colleagues.

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