RNAS Helicopter Making Farewell Visit To Scilly

rnas culdrose helicopter 3

The crew from RNAS Culdrose will be making a farewell visit to the islands this week.

The Sea King search and rescue helicopter, which has made countless missions to transfer sick and injured patients from Scilly to the mainland, will be landing on St Mary’s at around midday tomorrow (Tuesday).

They’ll then be visiting St Agnes in the afternoon and St Martin’s and Tresco on Wednesday, where school children will have a chance to see the aircraft.

On Thursday, the helicopter will land on the Five Islands School playing field at Carn Gwaval, which is a chance for children and members of the public to view the aircraft and talk to the crew.

And it’s likely to be followed by a farewell flypast around the islands later that afternoon.

During their time here, the crew are also hoping to take part in a RNLI and Coastguard training exercise.

The government announced that they intended to privatise search and rescue operations in 2012 and awarded the national contract to helicopter operator Bristow.

Operations in our region will move from RNAS Culdrose to a new purpose built station at Newquay Airport at the start of next year.

The older Sea King aircraft will be replaced with newer Sikorsky S-92 helicopters.

Tim Guthrie from the islands’ Rotary Club, who is helping organise the visit, says he hopes islanders will turn out in force and give the crew “a pat on the back” for their service over the years.

Tim says he would welcome any sponsorship from local businesses to cover the costs of meals while the crewmembers are on the islands.

Timings could change depending on weather conditions and if the helicopter gets called away on a shout.

14 Responses to RNAS Helicopter Making Farewell Visit To Scilly

  1. Claire October 25, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Just want to publicly say how proud I am of my husband and all of the Culdrose 771 squadron and how sad I am to see it all go. Will sorely miss being part of the 771 family.

  2. Gromit October 18, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Helicopters are alien to most people so time spent getting hands on and chatting is very well spent, especially with the children. The aircrew also have chance to get to know the terrain, potential landing sites and people they may be working with. The Navy were good at this. Does anybody know if Bristow does it to the same extent? Do their preparations include it?

  3. Pete October 17, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    In reply to Keith and Morris. The Tories and Liberals done the deed in 2013. David Cameron and Vince Cable. Thought it a brilliant deal. The company who now provides the service their profits go to America. Also the service is nearly 50% down on aircraft as previous service.

    • May West October 17, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      The process was started in 2011 by the last Labour Government but signed off in 2013 by the Coalition.
      I reckon we can blame the reds.

      • Pete October 18, 2015 at 10:13 am

        May. If you thought an idea wrong, would you still pursue it?

        • Morris October 18, 2015 at 11:22 pm

          There are seldom simple answes in situations like this.
          I suggest that one of the influencing factors was the age and hours on the airframes. The Labour government would have to have funded replacements from the defence budget which they sought to avoid.
          The coffers post Brown were not in good shape you may recall?
          Defence procurement has a significant lead time and would have involved capital outlay. Bristows avoids the hit on the defence budget and has greatly reduced capital implications. The decision was undoubtedly expedient but I seriously doubt that the Vice Chairman of CND will stump up for new helicopters if this nation is ever unwise enough to put him in No.10.

    • Morris October 18, 2015 at 10:20 am

      The changes to SAR were first progressed in 2005 in a government project to save money so Blair PM Brown Chancellor. Admittedly this was a labour government rather than a truly socialist movement infused with corbynite!

  4. keith October 16, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Sorry Pete, The decision was made by a Labour government.

  5. Pete October 15, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    This government is no better than when Thatcher was in control. The Tories then would sell anything off to keep investing shareholders happy.

    • Morris October 17, 2015 at 12:22 am

      I think you will find it was a Brown not a blue Government that did the deed on air sea rescue. Can you imagine in your wildest dreams a government led by Mr Corbyn changing it back? Even Nobby has kept quiet about labour’s new leader.

  6. Pat Hicks October 15, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Many thanks to culdrose for all the support you have given the islands over the years. You will be greatly missed..

  7. Pete October 15, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Your a welcome sight in a emergency. Many many thanks lads. You will be missed.

  8. Rita October 14, 2015 at 10:08 am

    The trouble is Allan the council you left was a slick well oiled machine when compared with the lurching disjointed haphazard navel gazing nightmare it has reorganised itself into courtesy of the relic keeper!

  9. Allan Hicks October 12, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Would have thought the Council should hold a small get together to mark the end of the incredible support from Culdrose boys over the years. Well done Tim.