*this post will be incredibly picture heavy*
On Saturday 14th January we were treated to an incredibly unusual sight. The Commander of the British Forces South Atlantic Islands (BFSAI) was donating an ex-search and rescue Sea King helicopter to the Falkland Islands National Trust and Museum here in Stanley. However, as this Sea King had been decommissioned moving it from Mount Pleasant Airfield (MPA) to Stanley was going to be a challenge.
And so it was at 10.30am on Saturday 14th January The Survivor Chinook Bravo November took off from MPA to carry the Sea King underslung to Stanley for a presentation to the museum. The Chinook and Sea King were accompanied by a third helicopter carrying a ground crew in order to land the underslung Sea King successfully at Stanley Airport. It truly was a sight to behold, 3 helicopters in the air but only 2 flying and one carrying another.
So here is how it all unfolded …
It was a relatively quiet day here wind wise but still, whilst watching them slowly traverse the harbour the underslung Sea King was blown and twisted and spun about and incredible amount.
Whilst watching them trying to land the Sea King, even from our photos you get a good impression of how much it moved about and how much work the ground crew had to do to get it landed safely.
It took a while and the relief was palpable when they actually got it safely down and the rope went slack!
Then a lot of manoeuvring and taxi-ing went on in order to get things positioned to a presentation. This way a bit, that way a bit and so on. First the Sea King…
Then Bravo November was positioned and rotors lashed down.
The boys found a fence to climb for a good view.
Finally we were ready for the official part, the presentation to the Falkland Islands National Trust and Museum. The Commander BFSAI spoke about the previous work of the Sea King in rescues and in working to bring sick and injured in from camp and how valued it had been here in the islands. He presented the helicopter log book and a great framed shot of the helicopter over the Lady Liz. The head of the board of trustees received these and spoke of their grand plans in order to provide a permanent museum space for this large exhibit. If you are interested in finding out more about it (or even donating a little something) do read further about it here:
After all that we were then allowed a rampage on both helicopters, the part the boys (well, all of us) had been waiting for!
Next we checked out the Sea King …
Sam checked over the search and rescue equipment
And finally another attempt at a happy group photo with the star of the show ……. Epic fail!
All round a fabulous spectacle, another one off from here in the Falkland Islands!