Sky News Prints Rubbish - Shocker

#1
http://blogs.news.sky.com/frontlineblog/Post:328042ba-6b74-4a38-ab12-f631deecf88e

Sky News said:
The shortage of British military helicopters got even worse this week – only this time, the finger of blame is being pointed at Army chiefs themselves.

A delegation of senior MoD staff was due to be whisked to Salisbury Plain, to see 11 Light Brigade preparing for their imminent seven-month tour of Helmand province, but the VIPs were left red-faced and stranded, when the Merlin helicopter sent to chauffeur them from London to the West Country burst into flames on the tarmac at Battersea Heliport.

The Ministry of Defence has admitted the aircraft suffered an “engine flame-out” in the incident on Tuesday morning. The VIP visit had to be cancelled, and according to an MoD spokesperson, “engineers from (RAF) Benson had to high-tail it to London to remove it as quickly as possible because it was blocking the landing pad”.

The stranded Merlin was removed to RAF Benson on the back of a lorry for repairs. The Merlin HC3 is the newest support helicopter in the RAF and the air force has just 22 of them. But the MoD insists Tuesday’s loss will not impact on forces in Afghanistan. The Merlins are not due to be sent to Afghanistan until the end of the year, and the combat pilots are currently undergoing training in America.

But the use of such precious military hardware as glorified taxis will raise eyebrows.
Complete bolleaux I am afraid. The helicopter was picking up Top Brass, but it did not burst into flames and was not recovered on a lorry. One engine was shut down and it flew back to base under its own steam. Also don't underestimate the training value for a sprog pilot of landing at civilian heliports, even if it is to pick up some VIP or other.
 

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