A tribute to Gary Ticehurst

Published on December 10th, 2014

by Andrea Francolini, photographer
As the start of the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Race approaches on December 26, I find it fitting to take a moment away from all the hype to remember Gary Ticehurst, a true professional and gentleman in the industry. Gary, along with journalist Paul Lockyer and cameraman John Bean, died when their helicopter crashed on a dark night in 2011.

Gary was a very well-known pilot in Australia and worked for the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). But for the Hobart Race, he was a guardian angel. His courage during the tragic 1998 edition will never be forgotten. When severe weather hit the fleet, which led to the sinking of five boats and the deaths of six sailors, he was the only pilot who flew above the boats to give GPS positioning to the Coast Guard.

Gary was probably one of the best helicopter pilots around and certainly the best I have ever flown with. As the boats leave Sydney this year, his loss will weigh heavy on me. I will always have him in the back of my mind on Boxing Day and every time I fly.

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