Sound becomes reality for kids

THE whirring of helicopter blades has become a daily sound at Harrietville Primary School this term.

The school is directly below the flight path of water-bombing and rappel-crew helicopters as they make their way to and from their base at Ovens to fight the Harrietville bushfire.

With the blaze burning about 30,000 hectares of bushland since lightning ignited the fire last month, it’s little wonder the students have taken a deep interest in the aircraft.

The school’s 22 students yesterday got a chance to meet rappel crews and helicopter pilots at Harrietville Cricket Ground.

“We’ve had a good view of them over the last few weeks but it’s not the same as having a look inside,” school principal Carolyn Serpell said.

“It was an opportunity to hear first hand what the crews do and to learn about the equipment they carry.”

It was also a chance for students to thank the crews for helping protect them over the past few weeks.

Ovens information officer Graeme Mcartney said the crews had been as professional with the students as they had been fighting the bushfire.

“They were great,” Mr Mcartney said. “They were happy to show the kids the chopper up close and personal.”

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