sentrytxt separator

SAR-meet at Leeuwarden

At Leeuwarden airbase, the 50th anniversary of the 303 SAR (Search-And-Rescue) squadron was celebrated with a SAR-meet. In 1959, 6 Sud-Aviation Alouette II helicopters marked the beginning of the Dutch Air Force SAR activities at the Ypenburg airbase. A few years later, the Alouette II helicopters were replaced by Sud-Aviation Alouette III helicopters. During the mid-1990’s, the Augusta-Bell AB412 helicopters were introduced, with their bright yellow color scheme. The bright yellow color gave these AB412 helicopters the nickname “Tweety”. Since the mid-1970’s, the location of the SAR squadron was at Leeuwarden airbase, due to the vicinity of the Cornfield and Jackpot air-to-ground ranges on the northern Dutch islands Vlieland and Terschelling. The SAR helicopters were also used to transport sick/injured people from the northern islands to hospitals on the mainland.

For the SAR-meet, several SAR helicopters and crews were invited. At the start of the SAR-meet these were the participants:
-S-61N G-BDOC Bristow Helicopters, civil, Dutch Coastguard
-Sea King Mk41 89+70, German Navy
-Sea King Mk48 RS02, Belgium Air Force
-AB412SP R-02 303sq, Dutch Helicopter Command
-B412 146491 Canadian Armed Forces
-B412HP H2-32/32 15.HRB, Slovenian Air Force
-SH-14D 262 MARHELI/DHC, Dutch Helicopter Command

As the European based helicopters flew themselves to Leeuwarden airbase, the Canadian B412 was airlifted by a Canadian C-17 and after the meeting it was flown back to Canada, again in a C-17.

The SAR-meet was a competition between the SAR helicopters and consisted of several items:
-navigation flight
-winch control
-bucket-transport in an obstacle track

A Media Day was organized by the Public Relations Office of Leeuwarden airbase on May 27th 2009. During this day, all helicopters would fly the bucket through the obstacle track. A bucket was filled with water and at the end of the obstacle track, the amount of spilled water was measured. During this day, a heavy wind put a lot of stress on the crews to maneuver through the obstacle track. The Slovenian helicopter attached the bucket under the belly of the helicopter; while the other participants attached the bucket to the hoist, which could be manually controlled by the hoist-operator. This manual operation allowed the hoist-operator to guide the bucket though the course, which paid-off for the crews that decided for some manual control. The Slovenian helicopter had some problems controlling the bucket in the heavy wind that day.

After the last item, the scores could be calculated and these helicopter-crews won gold, silver and bronze:
1 Belgium Sea King
2 Dutch Coastguard S-61
3 German Sea King

Thanks to the Leeuwarden PRO and the Dutch Helicopter Command PRO, for their assistance during the Media Day.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5064.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5084.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5102.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5123.jpg
(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5138.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5161.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5175.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5185.jpg
(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5196.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5236.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5271.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5280.jpg
(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5303.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5309.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5310.jpg(c)Sentry Aviation News, 20090527_ehlw_sarmeet_mt03_jvb_5315.jpg
topBack to top of page

sentrySentry home page.