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Search And Rescue Helicopters
On the opposite side of the main runway from the control tower lies the helicopter base used by both SARTU and No.22 Search And Rescue Squadron, 'C' flight.
Until quite recently the venerable Wessex was used
by both, normally five of the type belonging to SARTU, and
two to No.22.
The primary role of the Search And Rescue helicopters is
to provide assistance to RAF aircrew in trouble, however,
the majority of the time their call-outs will be to save civilian
lives. In an average year they will be called out 170 or so
The Sea King is powered by two Rolls-Royce H1400-1 Gnome turboshaft engines rated at 1,660shp, and can accommodate a crew of four with up to 19 passengers. It's fitted with all-weather search and navigation equipment and a positioning computer. The winch operator can fly the aircraft when hovering, enabling him/her to position the rescue harness with great accuracy.
The next two terrific shots were kindly donated by Chas McHugh, the first in the Yorkshire Dales and the second at Leconfield.
If you're interested in Turbine engines, visit Roger Marmion's page here for more information.
Sea King HAR3 statistics