Santa drops in to Caister by helicopter

IT seems good old-fashioned reindeer power is no longer sufficient for Father Christmas to travel around the world from his Lapland base.And the only transport that will do is that favoured by VIPs, celebrities and royals - the helicopter.

IT seems good old-fashioned reindeer power is no longer sufficient for Father Christmas to travel around the world from his Lapland base.

And the only transport that will do is that favoured by VIPs, celebrities and royals - the helicopter.

Last week, children at Caister Infants School were expecting to see Rudolph and his friends pulling Santa in his sleigh, but had a surprise when he arrived on the school's playing field in a chopper hired from CHC Helicopter Corporation near Yarmouth racecourse.

Headteacher Brendan McCarney explained the man in red had a habit of finding alternative modes of transport for his annual visit to the school to hand out present,s and had previously travelled in by motorbike and Jeep.


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But this time he was forced to take to the skies as the school currently has no parking facilities for his sleigh and reindeer owing to on-going building work associated with a new children's centre on the school's site.

Mr McCarney joined Santa for his three-minute journey from the airfield before descending to the playing field where the eager pupils were excitedly waiting.

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He revealed the school had had to undergo a rigorous health and safety inspection by CHC staff to ensure the premises was suitable for helicopters, which included making sure there were sufficient emergency exits to gain approval by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the aviation industry's regulatory body.

During his hour-long stay, Santa and his six helpers visited all the classes to hand out presents, which were mostly books.

Sadly for Santa, his helicopter crew couldn't stay for the duration of his visit so he had to make his exit by car.

“The children absolutely loved it. They were very surprised to see the helicopter and totally believed it was Father Christmas arriving,” Mr McCarney said.

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