9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby Lloyd H on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 3:27 pm

As some now I was lucky enough to spend a few days with Esquadra 751, the search and rescue squadron of the Portuguese Air Force based at Montijo air base, also known as Base Aérea Nº 6.
During my time I managed 3 flights totalling around 7 (ish) hours with one SAR training sortie taking three hours!

Unfortunatley on the Monday all flying was cancelled due to the detachment in the Azores using up more flying hours than predicated, as a knock on effect one of my flights on Tuesday was then canned so the rescue swimmers could remain current etc. Typically on the Wednesday when I managed two flights and shooting from the cliffs the light was pretty poor with overcast conditions.

All in all it was a fantastic experience and something I feel will take a long time to beat, the Squadron could not have been better. Their interest, helpfulness and all around behaviour to make me feel at home was something else. I'm hoping to return next year in the summer with slightly hotter conditions and a few more ideas for some shots.

Also a big thanks to Lozz who lent me his 10.5mm Fisheye, shall definitely be purchasing one very soon!

C+C more than welcome on the shots, all were shot on my D300s and with either a 10.5mm fisheye, Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8, 70-200 2.8 or a 300 F4.

1. Walk around of the on duty cab on the Monday.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

2. They have four sections in the hangar, the Squadron outsource some of the more complicated maintenance to AgustaWestland who are based in the same hangar. This is the start of the line which is usually for minor maintenance.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

3. 502 Squadron 'Elefantes' CN295 which can also be used as SAR asset to assist in a search and rescue with 751.
Image
Portuguese Air Force Airbus C295 by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

4. First flight on the Tuesday, shot as we performed a few circuits at Montijo.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin Cockpit by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

5. I was then dropped off, so to speak, at an unused runway at the air base so they could perform ground contact training.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

6.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

7.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

8.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

9.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

10. Then it was the 2nd sortie of the day and the flight I sadly couldn't go on due to it now being heavier due to extra rescue swimmers..
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

11. The only advantage of not going on the 2nd sortie is that I could position myself for their return in the evening to get some night shots. Here a member of ground crew hoses down the cab to remove salt water from the exterior.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

12. The rotors were then run up to remove the excess water.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

13. All finished as a member of ground crew who you can just about see his ghost 'earths' the cab.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

14. My last day with the Squadron proved to be the best flying wise and the worst weather wise, typical. The crew performed a few circuits and then preceded to the unused runway again for more ground contact training.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

15. Head on and away from that awful rotorwash/downdraft
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

16. Low fast pass from 'Tex' awesome flying, one of the shots is full frame at 70mm unfortunatley its not very sharp!
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

17.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

18. We then returned to the heliport to change one of the pilots and pick up the rescue swimmers to proceed off the coast to the shipping lane to practice winching with a ship.
Image
Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmers by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

19.
Image
Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmers by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

20. A rescue swimmer being winched down to the container ship.
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Esquadra 751 Winchman & Rescue Swimmer by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

21. Then off near the coast where a dummy was dumped into the sea, rescue swimmers were then winched down with a stretcher to 'rescue' the stranded dummy.
Image
Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmer by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

22. MJ's body double
Image
Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmer by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

23. Being held out of the door by my harness whilst shooting the rescue swimmers was interesting.
Image
Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmer by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

24.
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Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmer by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

25.
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Esquadra 751 Winch Operator & Rescue Swimmer by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

26. Then it was my turn to be winched down to the bottom of the cliffs, possibly the most uncomfortable thing in the world but when your life is being saved you can't be too picky.
Image
Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmer & EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

27.
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Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmer & EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

28.
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Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmers by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

29.
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Esquadra 751 Rescue Swimmer by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

30. We then descended down to low level for our return back to Montijo.. An awesome experience!
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

31. Then we got really low..
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

32. The 2nd flight of the day I focussed on getting shots from the top of the cliff as the crews training with winching rescue swimmers.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

33.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

34.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

35.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

36.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

37.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

38.
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Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

39.
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr

40. This hurt like hell, managed to lower the camera and thankfully my head before we got sand blasted. Think the crew had a good laugh at us!
Image
Esquadra 751 EH-101 Merlin by lloydh.co.uk, on Flickr


Many thanks for looking if you've stuck with it all the way through, I know its a large post of only one aircraft but it was a unique opportunity for me so wanted to try and show as much as possible.
:smile:
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Lloyd H

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby timuss on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 3:34 pm

Some really lovely stuff there nice selection of shots :clap: :clap:
Canon 7Dmk2
Canon 7D
Sigma 18-200
Sigma 10-20
Canon 100-400 L IS II
Icom ICR-2 Scanner
PSN: timuss
timuss

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby MigF4 on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 3:43 pm

Great set Lloyd...thanks for sharing!

Mick
Cheers,
Mick

The sky is no limit.....visit: www.mbaviation-images.com
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MigF4

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby Ledhead27 on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 3:46 pm

Great set of images, thoroughly enjoyed having a look through all of these!
"FuelMan, SpamCan, NoPlan, CivviMan, DroneMan Dan"

UKAR Party Plane Captain

4 out of 5 baguettes
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Ledhead27
UKAR Staff

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby tankbuster81 on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 4:07 pm

Really enjoyed your photographic report Lloyd. Lovely looking aircraft,and those low level shots….. :rock:
Don't bother running, you'll only die tired!!
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tankbuster81
UKAR Supporter

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby D90Man on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 7:22 pm

Very nice indeed - congratulations on an excellent set of shots.. :clap:

Leon
"Sharpness is in the eye of the holder"
More at http://www.planephotos.org.uk
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D90Man

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby Irishaernut on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 7:40 pm

That looks like so much fun you would almost jump off a ship just for the experience.

Great shots too.
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Irishaernut

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby JohnF on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 10:59 pm

Great to see such a variety of shots, particularly those from inside with the winchman/pilots & from the cliff. The Merlin looks really nice in that camo scheme. An exceptional set :clap:
JohnF

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby Lloyd H on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 2:29 pm

Thanks guys! Have to agree, the Merlin looks superb in that scheme.
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Lloyd H


Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby Arno 01 on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:36 pm

Fantastic set Lloyd, of a rare catch. Thanks for sharing :clap:
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Arno 01

Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby bigcrow on Mon 30 Dec 2013, 11:05 am

Excellent set Lloyd.. Looked a great experience
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bigcrow


Re: 9-11THDEC 'So Others May Live' Esquadra 751

Postby Tim Laurence on Tue 31 Dec 2013, 11:42 am

Brilliant report Lloyd! Some really good angles by the winch and in the cockpit. The shots from the cliffs are very nice too. Looks like a decent trip.

Tim
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Tim Laurence



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