Tuesday, 17 July 2007
This morning, coastguard helicopter Mike Uniform touched down outside the Coastguard Station in Stornoway. It is a new aircraft, costing a trifling £16 million, which will come into full operation on 1 September. The helicopter will relocate to Stornoway Airport, 3 miles away, shortly. A number of people went over to have a look round the new machine. The crew is being trained to use the S-92 Sikorsky helicopter in its normal deployments for Search and Rescue. The old machines, designed 46 years ago, will be phased out this autumn.
Tomorrow, the aircraft will be on show at Sumburgh Airport in Shetland. Helicopters are based at Stornoway, Sumburgh, Portland (Dorset) and Lee-on-Solent (Hampshire). There was initially some misgivings about the Sikorsky, as it has no track record in SAR.