BACK TO SCHOOL: Fin Murray waves as he lands to start Year 6 yesterday.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Fin Murray waves as he lands to start Year 6 yesterday.

Taking the high road to school

SOME youngsters rode their bikes to school yesterday and others made the journey on foot.

But young Fin Murray topped them all by arriving in a helicopter.

Fin was wearing headphones and a mic that dwarfed his features, but his beaming smile stood out from the front seat of Chopperline’s blue Robinson R44 as it touched down on Mountain Creek State School’s sports oval at 8.30am.

The 10-year-old battled through a restless Sunday night with visions of his rock star entry to Year 6 filling his head.

But the sheer excitement of the ride yesterday soon overshadowed any tiredness.

With his feet planted firmly on the ground, the usually reserved youngster went around giving high-fives to his family, peers and his principal, Glenn McGowan.

“MY favourite part was when we were spinning around, it was very fun,” Fin said.

“I ride my bike usually or come in the car when it’s raining, so this is the best thing.”

Fin was given the ultimate ride to school after winning Hot 91.1’s Chopper Squad competition, which his mum Jane entered online.

The competition attracted more than 1000 entries and it took Fin a while for the realisation to sink in when he found out about his win last week.

“Mum came in to tell me but I was half asleep,” he said.

Sitting shotgun next to the pilot, ironman legend Grant Kenny, Fin and Jane took off from the Emporio development site near Sunshine Plaza and took a tour of the coastline from Peregian down to Kawana.

The family’s Mountain Creek home was a mere speck on the grid as they flew over, at one stage reaching a whopping 200kmh.

Classmates flocked to the oval to greet Fin and he spent time filling his peers in on the adventure.

Mr McGowan said Fin had definitely set the bar on the most interesting way to get to school.

“Going back to school is always a big challenge for everyone and this added to the excitement,” Mr McGowan said.

“I could see just the enjoyment his parents and sister got out of it as well.

“Fin’s a student who needs a little support along the way at times, but he has a great attitude.

“This would have meant an enormous amount to him.”

Mr Kenny has flown the likes of Jennifer Hawkins and Natalie Barr to various destinations across the Sunshine Coast but yesterday was the first time he had flown a student to school.

He will continue the trend for the rest of the week with Hot 91.1’s Todd Widdicombe taking a back seat for the rides.

The radio presenter said the excitement of his flight over the Coast was comparable to “a boy discovering late-night SBS for the first time”.

The dynamic duo will take to the skies three more times this week to transport the remaining lucky winners.

Cassidy Elphinstone will arrive via helicopter at Chancellor State College this morning, while Imogen Lunny will make a splash on the start of her ninth year at Immanuel Lutheran College on Thursday and Ethan Conlon will take Kawana Waters State College by storm on Friday.


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