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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Every girl's dream??

No - the helicopter landing in my field behind the house at sunset last night was not a Prince bearing a box of "Milk Tray" (British reference to an old chocolate TV ad), but the Scottish Ambulance Service (known as the SAS but not THAT SAS) doing a test landing on a site identified for night time emergency medical evacuation.

I've mentioned before about a number of folk on the island training as "first responders" to any medical emergency. We are also now provided with landing lights which we have to place out in a designated site should the Air Ambulance need to land to medically evacuate a casualty.

In daylight hours the pilot can land the helicopter anywhere on the island and nearer to the site of the casualty. But on a dark and potentially windy night a pilot unfamiliar with the terrain needs to have a safe landing site. So once we know they are on their way we will place the landing lights to guide them in.

Meanwhile last night was a test, which provide much excitement for the children living in the lighthouse, who rushed out in slippers, pyjams and dressing gowns to sit in the pilot's seat!

Meanwhile the landing lights were laid out and the helicopter took off and came in again to test them out.

And these two aren't Wil O' the Wisps but Graemsay folk carrying the landing lights.... hmm could come in useful at Halloween ;-)

Quite a bit of excitement for a Monday evening!


  1. How interesting, Sian - an exciting interlude with a very serious purpose. I can remember my sister being taken by helicopter from Sanday to Aberdeen 21 years ago, before her youngest son was born, when it looked like there might be complications with the birth.

  2. Wonderful pictures! I hope the crew were handsome, even if there wasn't a prince amongst them! ;)

  3. That is Too Cool. I hope you get to go in one, but not for serious medical reasons, just a test flight

  4. When I first saw the helicopter I imagined [I do have a great imagination!] the newly wedded Royals dropping in for their honeymoon. However it was probably just as an auspicious occasion, and what a wonderful service the helicopter will provide ... lets just hope it isn't needed too frequently.

  5. I'd rather have Terry's All Gold. And never mind about the prince.

  6. Perpetua - yes we are sincerely hoping we never actually need to USE the landing site....sigh....

    Dancingbeastie - well I do like a man in uniform!

    oxslip - hmmm yes I think I'll pass on going on one as I think it might only be in "earnest"!

    Shirlwin - you weren't the only one thinking that (not us on the island, but any helicopter around that time was viewed with interest!).

    Isabelle - I'm with you - give me the chocolate and forget the rest! LOL!