We are coming back, says helicopter firm

The operator of controversial helicopter company Samoa Helicopters Limited has announced they will be back — a month after their aircraft was auctioned off to local businessman Samoa Roy Lee.

New Zealand resident and pilot Rodger McCutcheon was the founder and principal of the company, but he left Apia after the business — which won the Samoa Government’s support in 2016 to establish the country’s first medical evacuation and search and rescue operation — went bust and folded. 

It is not known if it was Mr. McCutcheon who posted on the company’s Facebook page last Friday to announce their return to Samoa, and to “tell all” on his abrupt exit from Samoa two years ago.

 “Hello Samoa, and a very happy safe and prosperous 2019 to you all. There are some exciting new developments, and thank you for all your kind messages of encouragement. I look forward to being back in Samoa to assist getting the popular service up and flying again. 

“I also have never spoken about why the service had to stop, and why I had to leave Samoa, perhaps I'll tell all when I'm back. However, the most important focus should be to get the life saving, and scenic flight operation back working for the people of Samoa,” the company stated in its Facebook post last Friday.

Samoa Helicopters Limited did not respond to questions from the Samoa Observer yesterday, including queries on whether the person who made the post was Mr. McCutcheon. The company also did not say whether Mr. McCutcheon — who flew the helicopter in 2016 which the Ministry of Revenue auctioned in December last year — will now work for successful bidder and local businessman Samoa Roy Lee.

Members of the public responded positively to the announcement by Samoa Helicopters Limited last Friday with some expressing interest in doing helicopter tours of the island as well as inflight weddings.

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