SOAR HIGH OUR FRIEND

Mercury (Hobart) - - FRONT PAGE - PATRICK BILLINGS

THE Tas­ma­nian hero who died in a he­li­copter crash at Ho­bart Air­port last week has been re­mem­bered as a larger-than-life ad­ven­turer and proud fa­ther who also saved “many, many lives”.

Hun­dreds turned out at the Ho­bart Re­gatta Grounds yes­ter­day to farewell Roger Corbin — a dec­o­rated res­cue he­li­copter pilot.

Among those to pay trib­ute was for­mer head of the po­lice search and res­cue unit, Lee Ren­shaw, who said: “[Roger] will be missed like no other, and is an ir­re­place­able hus­band, fa­ther, prac­ti­tioner in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try and friend. Soar high and long my friend.”

Mr Corbin’s wife Al­lana said: “Rog, my dar­ling, it’s been a re­ally wild ride but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

His cof­fin was flown from the fu­neral in a res­cue chop­per.

AS an “avi­a­tion pi­o­neer” took off for one final flight un­der a blis­ter­ing sun, hun­dreds of mourn­ers paid trib­ute to a man who lived to “soar high”.

Roger Corbin, trag­i­cally taken in a he­li­copter crash, was laid to rest yes­ter­day.

In­spir­ing, pas­sion­ate, kind, gen­er­ous and funny were qual­i­ties that per­me­ated the mem­o­ries shared in the wake of his death at Ho­bart Air­port on Novem­ber 7.

Mr Corbin, 57, of Otago Bay, was a linch­pin of the state’s aerial emer­gency re­sponse sys­tem for two decades and his fu­neral ser­vice was filled with first re­spon­ders of every type.

They formed a guard of hon­our at the Ho­bart Re­gatta Grounds to un­der­score Mr Corbin’s ser­vice to the state, which saved “many, many lives”.

Along­side his pub­lic con­tri­bu­tions, his warm and fam­ily-devoted pri­vate side also shone dur­ing the ser­vice.

“Rog, my dar­ling, it’s been a re­ally wild ride but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” Mr Corbin’s wife Al­lana said flanked by their daugh­ters Is­abella, In­di­ana and Sofia.

“Ours was a love story for sure, and it was filled with ad­ven­ture.”

She told more than 500 fu­neral go­ers that when she had in­tro­duced Mr Corbin to her par­ents, he ar­rived in a he­li­copter.

“Roger was larger than life but one thing’s for sure he loved his fam­ily more than any­thing,” she said.

The cou­ple ar­rived in Tas­ma­nia in 2000 to set up Ro­torLift, the state’s emer­gency he­li­copter ser­vice.

“In those early years Roger’s vi­sion was clear,’’ she said.

“Roger was out there to blaze a trail. Roger would of­ten say to me ‘ no one gets left be­hind’, it was pretty sim­ple to him — no­body gets left be­hind on a moun­tain.”

They mar­ried here and had three daugh­ters, who her hus­band “was in awe of”.

Is­abella Corbin said “dad had a tal­ent of mak­ing or­di­nary mo­ments be­come spe­cial”.

“When I think of my dad there’s one thing I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber and that is we were loved,” she said.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Darren Hine reeled off the com­men­da­tions given to Mr Corbin for his of­ten dar­ing res­cues through­out the state.

“His pas­sion in other words was to pro­vide the ul­ti­mate res­cue he­li­copter ser­vice for our com­mu­nity and vis­i­tors to Tas­ma­nia,” he said.

“Roger’s con­tri­bu­tion [to emer­gency ser­vices] and the Tas­ma­nian com­mu­nity in­dis­putably saved the lives of many, many peo­ple.”

Part of his con­tri­bu­tion was train­ing and it was while in­struct­ing fel­low pilot John Os­borne that his sin­gle en­gine he­li­copter nose­dived 200m into the air­port’s flight ground.

He will be missed like no other and is an ir­re­place­able hus­band, fa­ther, prac­ti­tioner in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try and friend

— LEE REN­SHAW

Mr Os­borne, who sur­vived the crash, at­tended yes­ter­day’s ser­vice.

As the head of po­lice’s search and res­cue unit un­til his re­cent re­tire­ment, Lee Ren­shaw formed a close bond with Mr Corbin.

“Roger was an out­stand­ing avi­a­tor. Pi­o­neer­ing, stub­born, in­no­va­tive, en­ter­pris­ing, out­spo­ken charm­ing, tena­cious, vi­sion­ary, gen­er­ous and benev­o­lent,” he said.

“He will be missed like no other and is an ir­re­place­able hus­band, fa­ther, prac­ti­tioner in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try and friend,” he said.

“Soar high and long my friend.”

Mr Corbin’s cof­fin was taken from the grounds by a for­ma­tion of he­li­copters.

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