Oct 17, 2012

By Jane Brown

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An Air Canada pilot says it was “exciting” to help Australian authorities locate a yacht that had sent out a distress signal off the coast of Australia.

Captain Andrew Robertson was piloting an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney, when he was asked if he take his Boeing 7-77 off course to locate the troubled boat.

Robertson says after being given a rough location of the boat, he and his crew determined they had enough fuel to make the detour.  He told the Canadian Press, “I went from 5000 down to 3700 feet, and at this point, maybe the guy heard the plane come by.  The crew saw what they initially thought were 3 people on the deck, but it turns out, there was only one.”

Robertson says all they could do was tell air traffic control that they’d located the boat, joking that a 7-77 is too big to “even drop pretzels.”

As for the passengers on board, he says they were awesome, and he heard no complaints about the delay getting to Sydney.

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