SOAR HIGH OUR FRIEND
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.