quarta-feira, 10 de março de 2010

Merlin at Porto da Cruz - Part1

This is a special post for me for several reasons.
I allways was more a military aviation fan than civil one....here in Madeira, there aren't many oportunities to spot military traffic and even less to see them operating outside the regular aviation instalations (airports....)

Also, allways was a big fan of Sqd.751 since the Puma time for their work here at Madeira and for the fact that helicopters do provide more interesting stuff than regular flying tubes...
For that reason all the Merlin photos will be on 1024x683 format and not the usual 800x533.

Also a big thumbs up for J.T. and C.J. and all the 751 personel.

Last Saturday, like I already mentioned on the Photo of the Week post, one the the Merlins detached at AM3, at Porto Santo transported the image of the Pilgrim Virgin, from that island to the north coast of Madeira, to Porto da Cruz.

It landed at a landfill near Porto da Cruz and really near to the sea.
When I got there, the "road" to Porto da Cruz was still being prepared by the machinery. The semi-prepared helipad was given a layer of gravel and marked by a white chalk "H"....


Paulo Olim arrived earlier and checked for the best place for spotting the Merlin. There was a cliff right in front of the landing zone.....


It wasn't as dangerous as it might look by the photo but with my vertigo and all the rock falling due to the rains...at first wasn't very keen on going there...but as soon as the Merlin arrived, completely forgot all that...hehe!
A few moments before the landing of the Merlin, some tourist that came down the hills decided to cross the brook for the other side, right into the landing zone....some managed to do it dryer than others...LOL


The Air Force guy on the area runned into them and at first wasn't very willing to let them pass, sending them back, but ended up telling them to hurry, crossing the landing area...it would have been a long walk back to anywhere else....

Anyway, as soon as we heard that it had lift from Porto Santo, kept looking at there, expecting to see some small tiny little point becoming bigger...
As time passed by, started wondering were the hell were them...when suddendly apearing from the back of a cliff to the right, there it was on a quick low pass, getting us completely of surprise...still managed one aceptable shot...

After that first pass, they made a circuit to the right and came in for the final approach and landing, passing right in front of us....


As it approached the sea, we noticed (and felt) the amazig downdraft of that birg big, with sea splashing everywhere around and even as high as we were, we also got salted by it....
Also the chalk used to mark the "H" and some of the land and dirt around were completly vanished by its downdraft.
In front of the building, to the left (if you can even see it....) there were a couple of firemen standing by...poor guys...hehe!
(anyway, with the size of the fire-extighishers that they had, don't really thing they would have extinguished any kind of fire....)


Notice the detail of the heading of the landing and then the rotation for the tail (and the exit ramp) to be on the right direction to let the passengers out and unload the statue directly to the back of the FireDept LandRover....

Left wheel down and still rotating to the right position...co-pilot looking at the wheel and commander controling the position to the right...
Landed....


Next post, the rest of the pics on the ground and take off with one last (and great) passage before proceeding to Porto Santo...

4 comentários:

  1. Nice story...
    It's nice to know the other side!
    ;)

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  2. Boas...
    Ficaram boas, muito ate gostei.

    ResponderExcluir
  3. Ola Rui
    O Gabriel ta a falar de um caça
    A-4 Skyhawk - Marinha do Brasil
    O McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
    Não e do a310...

    ResponderExcluir