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Apple Switcher Star Survives Helicopter Crash (With Pics)

TMO Exclusive - Apple Switcher Star Survives Helicopter Crash (With Pics)

by , 9:00 AM EST, January 14th, 2003

Apple Switcher Jeremiah Cohick ended Macworld Expo San Francisco 2003 with a bang, literally. Mr. Cohick survived a helicopter crash on Friday afternoon during an aerial tour of San Francisco.

The star of one of Apple's Switch ads -- and the nemesis of fellow-Switcher Ellen Feiss according to an interview she gave a college newspaper last year -- Jeremiah Cohick (18) is one of four young people featured in Apple's Switch campaign. He was in San Francisco attending Macworld Expo, and wanted to see some of the city after the show ended. You can read more about Jeremiah Cohick in an interview published by TMO last year.

The helicopter was being operated by the San Francisco Helicopter Vista Tour company, and was piloted by John McClelland. According to Jeremiah Cohick, the pilot saved the lives of him and his three fellow passengers by being able to safely complete an autorotation down to the waters of the San Francisco Bay after the aircraft lost power.

"The pilot did an incredible job of landing the helicopter," Mr. Cohick told TMO. "We dropped 600 feet in less than a minute. The pilot was giving us instructions on getting out of the craft, should one of the pontoons deflate. I was expecting to be wet, cold, and treading water before the Coast Guard arrived."

Even though 7-10 foot waves threatened the floating helicopter, the 20 minute wait for the Coast Guard proved to be uneventful, allowing the Switcher to remain warm and dry. Two other Mac users were sharing the 5-man craft, in addition to pilot McClelland, including Mr. Cohick's friend Matthew Locke, as well as Joe Ubaldo, another attendee of Macworld Expo. The remaining seat was empty. All of the passengers, and the pilot, survived the crash unharmed.

Though the local media was on hand when the four shaken victims were brought ashore, the Coast Guard helped keep all four survivors from enduring extensive interviews.

"We collectively decided that we did not want to deal with the media and just let the Coast Guard commander handle them," said Mr. Cohick. "A taxi was called and told to pick us up behind the Coast Guard office, where the media was not swarming. Two Coast Guard officers rushed out to the taxi with us when it arrived to keep the media away."

Mr. Cohick consented to an interview with TMO, including the following exclusive images taken by him and Mr. Locke.

Click the thumbnail to see a larger image
dscn0852.jpg dscn0854.jpg
Jeremiah Cohick
(image by M. Locke)
Coast Guard comes to the rescue
(images by J. Cohick)
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Pilot John McClelland disembarks
(image by M. Locke)
The downed helicopter
(image by J. Cohick)

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