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When I grow up I wanna be a chopper pilot

About 20 Whataupoko Playcentre children and parents enjoyed a day out at the Eastland Rescue Helicopter hangar last week.

Staff rolled out the chopper and started it up much to the delight of the young enthusiasts.

The playcentre kids tried on flight helmets, were winched up in a rescue basket and even took a turn at the controls.

Whataupoko Playcentre is a parent-led, early child education (ECE) service with support from an ECE qualified teacher.

The playcentre is based next to Central School and welcomes new families.

Watched over by paramedic Richie Curtis (back right), Whataupoko Playcentre visitors (from back) Francis Card, Archie Clapham and Santiago Sthory are strapped into their seats alongside a stretcher in the Trust Tairawhiti Rescue Helicopter. Pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
DIGGING IT: Franco la Grange, with Luan la Grange, gives the thumbs up to his promotion to rescue chopper pilot during a Whataupoko Playcentre visit to the Tairawhiti Rescue Helicopter hangar at Gisborne Airport.
Helicopter base manager Doug Buchanan keeps the rescue basket steady for Finn Marshall.