Top Kiwi Laser sailor just avoids being on downed airliner

Michael Bullot,NZL - 2010 Laser World Championships
Top New Zealand Laser sailor Michael Bullot was very fortunate to avoid being aboard the ill-fated MH17 airliner, shot down over the Ukraine today.

Bullot has stepped up his 2016 Olympic campaign, and had achieved some useful placings on the international circuit including a sixth at Kieler Woche, Germany.

He arrived back in New Zealand today after getting aboard his scheduled flight, which had been overbooked when he came to board. As a standby measure he was told he may be booked on MH-17, due to leave a day later.

Fortunately a seat was found for him on his original flight.

Bullot commented on his Facebook page that it was 'a good day to be alive'.

'Arriving at checkin for flight MH0017 on the 16th July being told flight was overbooked and I'm placed on standby.

'I'm obviously pretty pissed about this and it's explained to me that airlines can legally overbook up to 20% of seats and today's flight is well overbooked. But, 'not to worry, we'll pay for a hotel and expenses while you wait for tomorrow's flight if a seat doesn't come available'.

Standing at gate with some 20-30 other people hoping for a seat and boarding pass. I get mine a few mins before gate closes.

'Too many what-ifs to think about right now... Wondering how many of those behind me in line were pushed back a day...'

Bullot says the news is still sinking in.

'It's pretty close how it's turned out and I feel pretty lucky that it's turned out the way it has.'

To see the news video of the interview at Auckland Airport click here

And from ONE News http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/kiwi-recalls-close-shave-mh17-video-6031910!click_here