Navy Helicopter Gives Surprise Performance For Tresco Visitors

royal-navy-merlin-helicopterVisitors to Tresco’s Abbey Gardens had a surprise aerial display recently thanks to the Royal Naval Air Station at Culdrose.

The gardens were the venue for a training exercise involving a Merlin helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron, ‘The Flying Tigers.’

The crew were taking part in ‘Exercise Flower Power’ as part of the unit’s training before embarking onto HMS Ocean and a deployment to the Mediterranean.

Visitors had front row seats as the 12-ton Merlin winched one of its crew to the lawn in front of Tresco Abbey.

“Training like this is invaluable,” said Lieutenant Nick Grimmer, one of the pilots taking part in the exercise.

“Last year I found myself off the coast of Africa giving humanitarian assistance to the people of Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis. The skills we practice here have direct relevance to jobs we get tasked to do, often at very short notice.”

“The Isles of Scilly may not be the Caribbean or the Far East but skills we practice in locations like this will be applicable wherever we are in the world,” said Lieutenant Max White.

“It’s not often we do these in front of the public and it added some extra pressure when over 100 people are watching us! It’s always great to see how much interest everyone has in the Royal Navy especially on the Isles of Scilly.”

The ‘Flying Tigers’ are expert submarine hunters but can be called upon to do a host of jobs, including Search and Rescue and delivering humanitarian assistance.