Royal visit continues – despite a little alarm
THE Prince of Wales was given a real royal welcome to an RAF base as he was shown around a helicopter by his rescue pilot son.
Prince Charles was greeted by the Duke of Cambridge – who was on stand-by to scramble to any potential emergency – while paying an official visit to RAF Valley on Anglesey yesterday.
The meeting was delayed after a search-and-rescue crew based at RAF Valley was called out to fly a badly injured hill-walker to hospital.
The Duke was on 15-minute standby to respond to an emergency, but although a call came through during the royal visit, his flight commander was instead scrambled to reports of an injured man, who had fallen on Cader Idris in Snowdonia.
During the engagement, Charles was given a brief tour of a Sea King search and rescue helicopter by Prince William, who has been based at the station since 2010.
Flight Lieutenant Wales, as the Duke is known in the military, took to the captain’s seat in the cockpit of the Sea King, while his father occupied the co-pilot’s seat as his son showed him the controls of the aircraft.
Prince William, 30, has been part of “C” Flight 22 Squadron at RAF Valley since January 2010, and last month qualified as an operational captain within the search-and-rescue force after two years flying as a co-pilot.
After Charles had left RAF Valley, of which he is the Honorary Air Commodore, William’s commanding officer played down the emergency call-out as an ordinary activity for the base, which also trains fast-jet pilots.
Wing Commander Mark “Sparky” Dunlop, officer commanding of 22 Search and Rescue Squadron, said: “It was fine. It was what we do day in, day out. The alarm goes for shouts all the time and it’s just part of normal business for us.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
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