Helicopter squadron prepares for carrier operations day or night

820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), the Aircraft Carrier’s dedicated maritime helicopter squadron, is making its final preparations to embark onto HMS Queen Elizabeth for the autumn and winter of 2018. Soon the whole squadron – aircrew, engineers and support personnel – will join the ship and sail with her across the Atlantic for the next stage of her sea trials. This important stage is the fixed-wing aircraft part of the trials, the highlight of which will be F-35Bs touching down on her deck for the first time. Flying in arguably…

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New Pilots Hone Skills on RFA Argus

A month at sea blooded 14 new aircrew in the art of naval aviation as they hunted down submarines and ships around the UK. An 88-strong detachment of air and ground crew from 824 Naval Air Squadron took three Merlin Mk2 helicopters aboard RFA Argus for four weeks of flying, first off the Cornish coast, then in the wilder waters off the Hebrides. The goal was to qualify five pilots, four observers (navigator/weapons specialists) and five Aircrewman (weapons specialists/winchmen) in the art of landing and taking off at sea, refuelling…

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