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Helicopter acquaint for Raleigh sailors

4 December 2017
Trainee sailors from HMS Raleigh and local school-children have been invited to take a look inside one of the Royal Navy’s Merlin Mk2 helicopters.

The helicopter, from 829 Naval Air Squadron based at Culdrose, landed at Tregantle Fort. 

There the trainee sailors and children were shown around the helicopter and briefed on its role and capabilities by the aircrew and grounds staff.

Lieutenant George Gillingham, the helicopter’s Observer, said:  “We’ve come here ultimately to show the guys from Raleigh around the aircraft and to give them an insight into what we do and hopefully excite them a little bit through their training.  

It’s really impressive. A lot smaller inside than I thought it would be, but it’s amazing to see all the work that goes into it.

Alice Woodman

“It’s great to be able to show the children around too.  For ourselves, it’s only 30 minutes transit, but we’ve managed to do some low-level navigation training and a confined area landing.”

Outside of the aircraft engineers were on hand to give the trainees a talk on the aircraft and point out the different systems. 

They also shared their experiences post their training at Raleigh.  For most of the trainees it was the first time they had stepped on board on a helicopter.  

They were able to look inside the cockpit to see the controls and were also briefed on the Observer’s role in operating the navigation and war-fighting systems.  The helicopter also has a troop carrying and winching capability.

Budding Air Engineering Technician Alice Woodman, aged 21, said:  “It’s really impressive. A lot smaller inside than I thought it would be, but it’s amazing to see all the work that goes into it. 

“This has really motivated me more to succeed and become an Air Engineering Technician.”

The children from Antony School came from Service Families.  Freya, aged 10, said:  “It’s really cool and very big.  There’s lots of buttons and the pilot let me put the helmet on.”

The Merlin Mk2 entered service in 2014.  Its role is to supply the UK’s Maritime Force Protection and airborne anti-submarine warfare capability.

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