in General Aviation

British pilot shot down over Tanzania

Posted 1 February 2016 · Add Comment

An elephant poaching gang has shot a British pilot dead in Tanzania after manoeuvring helicopter to save his colleague's life.

Roger Gower died while tracking poachers in the Maswa game reserve after his helicopter was hit by rounds from an AK-47 rifle.
“Three elephant carcasses that were found indicated that whoever shot the chopper down was on a serious illegal hunting spree,” said Pascal Shelutete, a spokesman from Tanzania National Parks.
After searching an area where the three elephant carcasses were found, Gower was attacked by the poachers.
“One of the poachers sneaked out of the bushes and shot Roger, forcing the helicopter to hit the ground really hard. The bullet that hit Roger cut through the floor of the helicopter, through his leg, part of his body and shoulder and hit his face, before going through the roof of the helicopter. It was from a heavy calibre gun – probably the same gun that they used to kill the elephant,” Dan Friedkin, the chairman of the Friedkin Conservation Fund. 
Gower was employed by Tropic Air, a charter operator in Kenya.
Five people have been arrested.
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