ECSTATIC Peter Blumer has been reunited with his missing mobile helicopter – thanks to the tireless detective work of a kind resident who discovered it in a field and set about finding the owner.
As reported in yesterday’s Mail, Peter’s new year got off to the worst possible start when his new £300 mobile chopper took off into the distance from outside his home in Greatham after it was picked up by a strong gust of wind, sparking a chase which unfortunately led to nothing.
But little did Peter know that while he was left contemplating where his model could have possibly ended up, eagle-eyed John Robson had found the hi-tech chopper and was able to work out where it had come from thanks to its built-in video camera.
After John found the helicopter on a field near to his home in Grosmont Road, in Seaton Carew, he Googled it on the internet to learn that a camera fixed to the bottom of the chopper would have filmed its every move.
With the help of his wife, Pauline, the dad-of-two then watched back four pieces of footage, and eventually recognised that the location on the film was in Greatham.
And he was helped closer to reuniting the expensive model with its owner when one of the pieces of footage showed Peter’s car and registration plate in the background.
By this time John, 52, and 48-year-old Pauline, an administration officer for Hartlepool Borough Council, were determined to get the helicopter back “home” and drove to Greatham, spotted the car in question and just moments later handed the model – in full working order – back to a delighted Peter.
“I could not believe it,” said Peter, 28, who only got the helicopter two weeks ago as a Christmas present from his girlfriend, Kara Hatton, 21.
“For him to go through all that effort to get it back to me is just incredible.
“There can’t be many people that would do that, it restores your faith in human nature.
“I have wanted one of the helicopters for so long, and I thought it was a goner.”
Modest John, who works as an engineer for KP Foods, was quick to play down his excellent work.
He said: “Both me and the wife were absolutely chuffed to bits we had managed to get it back to him.
“His face just lit up when he walked down the stairs and saw us with the helicopter at the door.”
John revealed that when he first saw the helicopter on the field he left it there, but picked it up when he saw it was still there the next morning.
“It was on New Year’s Day when we first saw it there when we were out walking the dog but I just thought a kid might have left it there by accident,” he said.
“When I got in from work the next morning it was still there so I picked it up and Googled it and saw how valuable it was.
“That’s when I knew I was going to have to do a bit of detective work to try and trace the owner.”
Peter, who is TFM radio’s web editor, bought John and Pauline a bouquet of flowers and some other gifts as a token of his thanks.
He added: “I was hoping I’d get it back but deep down I knew it was a long shot. It’s just brilliant what they have done.”