Thursday 14 December 2017

Blue skies ahead: pilots get bird's-eye view of the capital

Air Corps' Neptune Section over Dublin yesterday. Photo: Irish Air Corps/Cpl Declan Parke
Air Corps' Neptune Section over Dublin yesterday. Photo: Irish Air Corps/Cpl Declan Parke
Two Air Corps planes fly in formation over the city centre
Photo taken by Corporal Declan Parke of the Irish Air Corp during a formation training flight over Dublin.
Megan Fox from Malahide enjoying the good weather in St Stephen's Green, Dublin. Gareth Chaney Collins

Michael Staines

Summer in Dublin – as seen from the cockpit of the Defence Forces's CASA 235 aircraft.

The country continues to bask in summer weather and the Irish Air Corps took advantage of the clear skies to get a bird's-eye view.

These pictures were taken by Corporal Declan Parke from a maritime patrol aircraft which was acting as formation leader for 'Neptune Section', a formation flight group which also included four PC-9 turboprop trainers.

Air Corps Captain Brendan O'Dowd said that members of the Corps are trained in formation flying from when they are cadets and have to be "on the ball" and ready for state visits and whenever they are called upon.

"The level of concentration that it takes to fly in formation like that is phenomenal," said Capt O'Dowd. "You have to maintain exact distance and height from each of the planes around you, so the pilots aren't on the jolly up there, it is very hard work."

The Air Corps operates two CASA 235's, mostly for fisheries protection. However, they can also be called upon to carry out search and rescue missions, as air ambulances and for transport missions.

The PC-9s are used for air support and as the main pilot training aircraft for the Corps. There are seven of the planes in service.

The good weather made for perfect training conditions and the good news is that they will have plenty more opportunities to practise over the coming days. The sunshine is set to continue until Friday, according to Met Eireann, with the possibility of even warmer conditions on the horizon for next week.

"We can all enjoy a lovely day on Tuesday with temperatures of 20 to 22 degrees," said meteorologist, Evelyn Cusack.

"For Wednesday and Thursday it is going to be quite warm and humid. There may be some cloud and showers, but nice summer weather right up to the weekend."

Irish Independent

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