Sleigh problem forces Lismore stop for Santa
By SHAN GOODWIN
SANTA CLAUS made an emergency landing in Lismore yesterday after mechanical problems put his sleigh out of action for part of the day.
Lismore Airport manager Colin Fort said Santa spent several hours repairing his sleigh at the city's aircraft maintenance hangar, during which time the reindeers grazed in South Lismore paddocks.
One farmer reported up to half his crop of carrots was consumed.
Santa was reportedly on a 'scouting' mission to check out home entrances so as to fine-tune his deliveries tomorrow night.
He expressed concern about the steepness of Cynthia Wilson Drive, the lack of chimneys in Goonellabah, and the number of roundabouts the reindeers would have to negotiate.
Mr Fort said Santa was in a jolly mood, considering his mechanical problems and the fact he was very rushed.
However, his red suit became extremely sweaty and dirty during the repairs and Mrs Claus, on being informed by mobile phone, was not pleased. She said it would be difficult to get the suit washed and dried by Saturday night due to a patch of particularly bad weather at the North Pole.
"After his sleigh was fixed he took off for a while to grab an iced coffee at Caddies," Mr Fort said.
"Mrs Claus also had him grab a few last-minute groceries. He came back with a huge collection of goodies including macadamias, mangoes and some hemp-based cosmetics.
"Santa told me the boys and girls of the Northern Rivers had been very good this year and would be pleased on Sunday morning."
On leaving Lismore, Santa went west to Casino and Tenterfield before heading home via Darwin.
The Northern Star yesterday put in a call to the North Pole, where a spokesman for the Clauses said Santa's sleigh was operating well and it was unlikely the problem would recur.