A pilot reported seeing what he described as a 'flying shark' in the sky as he was preparing to land a passenger jet, not knowing that the shark was an inflatable toy. The shark was spotted by the pilot at an altitude of 7,000 ft over Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand.
Glen Kenny, president of the New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association, explained the inflatable shark actually had very little bite. 'The engine probably wouldn't stop, but it would do a bit of damage,' he said. 'Helium is an inert gas, so there's no issue in that regard. The biggest hazard would be startling the pilot.'
The bizarre sighting was just one of a string of unusual flying shark sightings across New Zealand, thanks to the popular Christmas gift known as Air Swimmers - remote-controlled helium fish. Police were bombarded with reports of the inflatable sharks spotted 'swimming' across the sky in areas such as Auckland and Riverton in Southland.
The Air Swimmer toy, which measures 1.44-metres in length, is remote-controlled with a radio receiver attached underneath the toy, helping with steering the body, making it the ultimate prank machine for any youngster. The toy fish can be operated from 15m away, reaching great distances.