Navy chopper out in Glencoe

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by bodie, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. Prestwick Royal Navy chopper's race against time
    4 hours ago

    The helicopter's winchman, Petty Officer Taff Ashman, lifted the three walkers to safety
    A Royal Navy helicopter has lifted three walkers to safety shortly before it would have been grounded due to bad weather.

    The walkers raised the alarm after getting lost on Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe shortly after 17:00 on Sunday.

    They were airlifted from two ledges, with the helicopter having to hover with its blades just 6ft from the rock.

    The rescue was completed just half an hour before freezing rain meant it would have been too dangerous to fly.

    The three walkers became disorientated in sub-zero, snowy conditions on the 3,353 feet peak.

    All were experienced, well equipped and familiar with the peak, but took an incorrect turn on the route and become lost.

    Their distress call went in to Fort William police at 17:03 and the four-strong crew from HMS Gannet in Prestwick was airborne from their Ayrshire base at 17:29. The mountain rescue team for Glencoe was also alerted.

    The crew knew it was facing a race against time to rescue the climbers, with forecasters having told them it would be too dangerous to fly after 19:00 because freezing rain was expected.

    The helicopter's navigator, Lt Angela Lewis, said: "We are used to flying in pretty much all conditions possible, but there are one or two types of weather which we just simply cannot operate in - and freezing rain is one of these.

    "Our forecasters were aware of a prolonged threat of freezing rain last night and, as a routine course of action, we had determined a time past which it would no longer be safe to get airborne.

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  2. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    @bodie you're a ******.

    I'm no fan of the crabs, but I live in the Beacons, we get our share of shit weather and shitter walkers. I've seen the Big Yellow Taxi pull the ill prepared, the well prepared,and the professionals off of the moiuntainsides.

    They do a job that I can't and wouldn't want to. It's also a job that you can't do.

    Rip the shit out of them for being the junior service, being the service with the most civilianised working practices known to man, or for just wearing the gayest grey-blue coloured uniforms known to humankind, but don't do it for the SAR function that they do so well.
    • Like Like x 16
  3. Unfortunately I have been at the other end: seen crab air pulling out but the Navy coming up trumps; not once but on quite a few occasions. Huge respect for Navy rotary pilots.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    I suggest those who think there is a difference in attitude between the teams at Prestwick (HMS Gannet) & RAF Lossiemouth should watch 'Highland Emergency' on Channel 5.
  5. I unfortunately also seen the utter arrogance of a particular RAF MRT when dealing with very experienced civilians. Even the police inspector from Northern Constabulary dealing with one incident commented on the appalling behaviour of both the commander and team members.

    I am not saying all are like that but if my troops had behaved like that I would have had things to say after the event.
  6. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Obviously the most important part of this is are there any decent pictures of Lt Angela Lewis?

    And as to Crab Air, the Herc that overtook me in Assynt last Friday seemed to be doing a fairly good job of terrain hugging in low cloud in pretty undulating terrain. I use the word overtook as the bastard did seem just about low enough to use the road!
  7. You should maybe talk to some of the troops who needed lifting off mount Onion shortly after the end of the Falklands war. RAF refused point blank to fly due to weather, yet the Navy Seaking who had been monitoring the frequency turned up and picked up with no fuss.

    I could mention quite a few other incidents, however unless the RAF have recently shifted their mindset due to operations I would sooner trust the Navy on taskings.
  8. I'll not slag off either side, as a hillwalker I'm just happy that these guys exist at all.
    Seen this fella near Ben Nevis:

  9. Aye, RAF pilots, especially those from Lossie are just cnuts.

    Never seen them out over my house in terrible conditions looking for walkers up on Lochnagar or Mount Keen, never seen them landing on narrow country roads at the scene of bad car crashes, never hear of them plucking fishermen off of trawlers in storms of the NE coast, never hear of them landing on oil platforms in storms to evacuate them because the Civvie pilots had to give in and so on.

    Also, you never hear of RAF pilots out in Afghanistan flying MERT missions during storms, foul weather or under fire.

    I worked with an ex RAF winchman from Lossie, the photos he showed us of weather conditions and rescues would take your breath away!

    Yeah, RAF pilots..waste of space! Tut!
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Whilst on an exped training course in north Wales in the 90's we had a safety brief from the DS. "In the event of a major emergency on the hill call 999 and the RAF will send a helo to pick you up. Unless the weather's bad, in which case the Navy will turn up."
  11. Bodie, Oppo,

    I had the pleasure of haveing 22A Flt RAF SAR on my flightdeck last year while I was working on RFA Fort George- they took part in mulitple Deck Landings on the ship alongside a helo for 771 NAS SAR and I must say they were better versed in landing on a ship than the lads from the Ace of Spades!
    Inter-service mockery aside- if I was stuck up somewhere remote I don't think I'd care if it was a Crab, Pongo, Matelot or Civvy that got me back safe aslong as I was alive!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. You had me checking my marbles for a second there. Last time I was at Fort George they had lots of grass growing, and a rather thick wall around the perimeter... :)
  13. I bet they'll have been ticking 'cos the Kingshouse where they had to stay overnight is not 5 Star. Still, well done them for what was obviously a good bit of flying. For my tuppence-worth my experience is that th RN tend to have a more "get on with it" attitude than the RAF....and God help us if when the bean-counters get their way and its all civilianised.