Dad in China takes helicopter parenting to new level

The helicopter that landed in the Beijing school generated buzz, not just among the teaching staff and pupils, but also online as netizens engaged in a heated debate over whether the father who sent it there for his child's science assignment was doi
The helicopter that landed in the Beijing school generated buzz, not just among the teaching staff and pupils, but also online as netizens engaged in a heated debate over whether the father who sent it there for his child's science assignment was doing the right thing. PHOTO: QQ

BEIJING • A father in Beijing who sent a helicopter to his daughter's school for a science assignment has triggered heated discussions online.

A netizen posted photos last week showing pupils playing near a helicopter parked in a primary school playground.

According to the netizen, the helicopter was sent to Fengdan Experimental Primary School in Beijing's Haidian district by the girl's father last Friday as part of the school's science festival, for which she was assigned to learn about the working principles of helicopters, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Saturday.

The netizen said the child won a prize for the assignment.

The father, surnamed Chen, who owns a helicopter tour company, said two employees flew the aircraft to the school at its invitation.

Photos and videos spread on the Internet. Some netizens criticised the father's action, saying he was flaunting his wealth. Others praised him for giving other pupils a chance to see a copter up close.

CHcathrine said on social media: "Most parents do not have the ability to give children such a lesson about helicopters as that father did. Why should we criticise someone who has the ability and would like to share with other children?

"It's like pupils need to have a lesson about films and a parent works at the cinema and has the ability to offer free films to the students."

Some netizens doubted the father had a permit for the flight as the public security authorities in the capital had issued a notice on Friday saying private "low, slow, small" aircraft are forbidden from flying from Saturday to May 16, to ensure safety during the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations scheduled to kick off today.

"Low, slow, small" aircraft are defined as those that fly at an altitude below 1,000m, have a speed of no more than 200km per hour and a radar cross-section of no more than 2 sqm.

The father told Beijing Youth Daily on Sunday he obtained a permit before the ban was announced, and the helicopter left on Friday, without breaching rules.

He said he accepted the school's invitation as it would help pupils learn about aircraft.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2019, with the headline 'Dad takes helicopter parenting to new level'. Print Edition | Subscribe