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RAF Chinooks ready for action
Published Wednesday 26th October 2005
RAF Chinooks based at Chaklala, Pakistan as part of the UN-led relief effort following the earthquake. [Picture: Cpl Chris Hargreaves]
The Chinooks' twin rotor blades give them their distinctive "wocca wocca" sound as they fly. [Picture: Cpl Chris Hargreaves]
Readying their Chinook HC2 helicopters for action, ground crews of 27 Sqn RAF have toiled around the clock today, 26 October 2005, so that they can contribute to the UN-led aid effort in Northern Pakistan tomorrow.
Operating from Chaklala airbase near Islamabad, approximately 100 km from the epicentre of the affected area, the heavy lift helicopters will ferry supplies and evacuate casualties to and from the mountain villages cut off by the eathquake's devastation.
Said Gp Capt Les O'Dea, the Commander of the British military aid contingent in the region:
The RAF operates 34 HC2s. Used primarily for trooping and load carrying the helicopter can carry 54 fully armed troops, 10 tonnes of freight or 24 casualties on stretchers. The crew consists of either 2 pilots, or a pilot and navigator and 2 or 3 air loadmasters. With a maximum spped of 185 mph (298 km/h) and twin rotor blades with a diameter of 60 ft, Chinooks are easily identified by the distinctive "wocca wocca" thump they make as they fly.
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