I spent a great 3 years in North Wales as the Deputy Team Leader of the RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team. It was the first time I had been on a station with the helicopter. These were the years 1979 – 1982 the team and the helicopter crews were very close and we had a great bond. These mountains in Wales involved tricky flying and we did so many rescues with the local teams and the helicopter. I learnt so much from these days it was a Wessex in these days but what flying we had. Great days in Wales were a huge influence on my mountain Rescue Career and the helicopters and their crews were a great part of it.
They have been a comforting and familiar sight to thousands of people in distress at sea and in the hills of Snowdonia for the past 60 years.
But the yellow helicopters of C Flight, 22 Search and Rescue Squadron at RAF Valley on Anglesey will be phased out between April 1 and July by the red and white Sikorsky S – 92soperated by private company Bristow Helicopters on behalf of HM Coastguard. A a brand new base has been built at Caernafon Airport and for the last few months the two helicopter units have operated alongside each other as the new service beds in.
We will miss you – thanks for all you did for us all and I wish Bristows Helicopters a safe and successful time in the seas and mountains of this wonderful place.