Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wing Air Cadets
Totton Cadets have a different view on the Queen's Birthday Parade
2498 Totton Squadron were blown away when they were invited to provide two cadets and one member of staff to fly in the Chinook Helicopter as part of the flypast for the Queen’s Birthday on Saturday 16th June.
The cadets arrived at RAF Odiham to meet the crew and other RAF personnel who had been selected to fly. They were then flown to RAF Benson to meet with the crews from the other three helicopters taking part in the Queens flypast, the Merlin, Puma and Sea King. They all attended the main briefing for the flypast learning all the call signs, timings and details.
The helicopters all lifted off together and headed for London on what turned out to be a fairly bumpy flight due to strong winds. They joined up over London with the other aircraft participating in the flypast. In formation they followed the lead Merlin, flanked on either side by the Puma and Sea King, and headed for Buckingham Palace along the line of the Mall and over the heads of the Queen and Royal party on the front balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Pilot Officer Marie Hendra said "It was an amazing experience for the cadets and myself to be so involved in the briefings and with the crews who were flying the aircraft. The flight itself was a bit rough, but so rewarding. Flying across London in formation with three other helicopters and flying over the crowds and the Queen at Buckingham Palace was spectacular and will be remembered forever".
Story submitted by Flt Lt Gary Harding on behalf of
2498 (Totton) Squadron
Published to website 20 Jun 2012
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