Helicopter training on a cold Exmoor day

AW139 Helicopter

The Team train with the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter

Despite a snow storm on our way to Helicopter training we were lucky to have a good enough window for our training with the Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter from St Athan last month.  These are the new Search and Rescue provision which have replaced Chivenor and this was the first time we had seen the AW139 which would help us serve the Somerset and north side of our patch.

Prior to the practical session all team members had undergone an e-learning module about this airframe as well as the other one we might work with , the S92, based at Newquay.

After introductions to the crew; two pilots and two winch men, we were given a familiarisation brief about the helicopter and its safety features and what to do in an emergency.  Then we were winched to a height of around 20m to get used to the down draft, the strops and belting up when seated in the aircraft.  With 22 team members to get through in a hour the Coastguard crew were extremely efficient and it was a really useful session to be able to interact with the helicopter in a controlled training situation.  Hopefully we will be doing a similar training session with the Newquay base soon so we are likewise confident to work around the larger S92.  

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