It’s not every day a helicopter lands on your school field and for students at Triple C School it was a day’s lesson to remember.
Three hundred and forty students and teachers buzzed with excitement as they gazed skyward in anticipation of a helicopter visit from the Royal Navy’s Iron Duke Ship Wednesday morning.
The chopper and its crew were visiting the school as part of a demonstration to show students how the search and rescue service operates and the functions of the helicopter.
Even construction workers in the buildings next door stood with mouths agape and hammers halted in mid air to witness the pilot skilfully manoeuvre the Links Helicopter onto the grass of the school’s playing field.
The crew, consisting of one pilot Colin Kiernan, navigator Duncan Thomas and flight commander Andy Dowling were joined on the field by Year 12 students. Each class heard an interesting talk about the helicopter from the crew.
Students were shown the crew’s first aid kit, emergency locator beacon, flares and a small air supply tank for underwater emergencies. A camera mounted to the front of the helicopter used to identify and see objects up to 20 miles away was also inspected by students.
The visit was an especially nice gesture since it was not a cheap one. The group heard about the helicopter’s fuel capacity which was 800 kilos, at a cost of US$1,200 for two hours of flight.
The helicopter is the fastest in a model of its kind flying at over 200 miles per hour.
A couple of students who asked about guns on board were told by crew the helicopter did carry machine guns and missiles but not on visitation flights.
Navigator Duncan Thomas said it was good to come to the school to let the children hear what they were doing around the Caribbean. This entailed helping with humanitarian efforts, search and rescue and working with the Jamaican Defense Force and US to patrol the Caribbean borders for drug runners and other threats.
The talks were followed by students getting their photos taken beside the helicopter.