Richie McCaw helps out with Port Hills fires

By Andrew King

He carried the All Blacks to two world titles, now Richie McCaw is flying people around two huge Port Hills fires.

Christchurch Helicopters, where McCaw is a shareholder and worked for the past two years, confirmed he is up there on Tuesday.

"From what I understand he is taking people around the fire in one of our smaller helicopters. He hasn't been dropping any water," a spokeswoman said.

She said the passengers were a mixture of firefighters and fire officials looking at the extent of the fire.

The former All Black captain has also been helping out with the ground crews, refuelling and checking on monsoon buckets.

"When he is in the air, he is flying a small French helicopter called a G2 Cabri. They are nippy little things too," she said.

Christchurch Helicopters has five in the air at the moment.

One is providing and aerial view of the blaze for firefighters and coordinating the other 11 helicopters currently attacking the flames.

Three others are dropping water, which they are getting from surrounding swimming pools, ponds and irrigation hydrants.

It has been reported a helicopter crashed today in Christchurch's Port Hills.

However, a woman who answered the phone at Christchurch Helicopters, where former All Black captain Richie McCaw is a shareholder and worked for the past two years, confirmed it was not one of their choppers.

- Christchurch Star

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