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Chinook Helicopters Training In Northern England

Three Chinook helicopters from RAF Benson will be operating at RAF Woodvale from 6-11 September 2020 to conduct essential training for crews during Exercise KUKRI DAWN.

The Exercise is part of the operational flying phase of the Chinook training course run by 28 Squadron based at RAF Benson; the Operational Conversion Unit for the Puma and Chinook Forces.  They will primarily be operating in rural training areas but may be seen using authorised helicopter landing sites in other areas in the region.

The course qualifies pilots and crewmen to fly the Chinook helicopter on operations in the UK and overseas.  This essential training provides the crews with key skills that will be required when they graduate from the Operational Conversion Unit and are posted to a front-line Chinook squadron at RAF Odiham.  The operational phase of the course is the culmination of months of training by the sixteen students and will enable them to learn various elements of tactical flying, including flying in formation with another aircraft.

They will be flying during RAF Woodvale’s normal operating hours of 0830 to 1800hrs, with no night flying expected.  The Chinook helicopters will sometimes be operating in pairs and may also work with British Army colleagues in the area to simulate tasks that they are often required to undertake on operations in the UK and overseas.  They will also be supported by Tactical Supply Wing who will provide the aircraft with refuelling capabilities.

RAF Woodvale was chosen for the exercise as it provides an excellent forward operating base for the Operational Conversion Unit.  It also provides additional support to the training being undertaking by introducing the crews to operating in unfamiliar surroundings and a different environment.

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