Shark sighting stuns pilot over Christchurch

The Air Swimmer remote-controlled shark, similar to one seen by a pilot coming into land at...
The Air Swimmer remote-controlled shark, similar to one seen by a pilot coming into land at Christchurch airport on Boxing Day.
A rogue shark has been spotted by a New Zealand pilot flying into Christchurch International Airport - cruising at an altitude of several thousand feet above the ground.

A passenger jet was descending about nine kilometres from the airport on Boxing Day when the pilot radioed ground control about his unlikely sighting, Fairfax Media reported.

It was identified as a remote-controlled, helium-filled shark - which has proved a popular Christmas gift this season.

Designed for indoor use, the $99 1.44-metre-long Air Swimmer can be operated by remote control over a range of 15m.

Airways spokeswoman Monica Davis said the pilot had reported the shark on December 26 but its altitude and how close it came to the aircraft were unclear.

Air traffic was alerted to the shark but no-one else reported seeing it, she said.

New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association president Glen Kenny said the biggest risk the shark posed was startling the pilot.

It would probably not stop a jet engine if it was sucked in but could do a bit of damage, he said.

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