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  • AgustaWestland AW139

    Renovation works begin on Skellig Michael



    Seven tonnes of material have been airlifted to Skellig Michael for essential renovation works on the Unesco world heritage site.

    Specialist Air Corps helicopter crews were dramatically dropped down on to a small landing pad some 37 metres over a sheer drop to the Atlantic Ocean.

    Pilots in an Agusta Westland AW139 were then directed into the area with its heavy cargo suspended underneath the aircraft.

    Seven tonnes of essential materials were flown from Valentia Island in Co Kerry to Skellig Michael over the course of the mission, which took several hours.

    The Office of Public Works (OPW) said the Defence Forces delivered stone which will be used for repairs to the walls on the road leading to the Lighthouse on Skellig.

    “The works will take place in 2014 and when weather conditions allow safe access to the island for all involved in the work programme,” it added.

    The jagged Skellig Michael is home to one of the earliest monastic settlements in Ireland.

    It stands in the Atlantic Ocean some 12 km southwest of Valentia Island and is renowned as being one of the remotest locations in the country.

    The helipad on Skellig Michael was constructed in 1969 with reinforced concrete and is partially supported off the cliff face by three five metre high concrete columns.

    The mission was carried out as the Defence Forces celebrated 50 years since the first helicopter arrived in Ireland at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel.

    Captain Brendan O’Dowd, of the Air Corps press office, said the AW139 can carry 2.2 tonnes underneath the helicopter which allows the transport of heavy loads into remote and otherwise inaccessible areas.

    “This is the second time the Air Corps have flown cargo to the Skellig Islands for the OPW in the recent past. but they also help out with other government organisations when asked,” he said.

    “For example in October they assisted the National Parks and Wildlife Service bringing materials from the conservation area on Inishkea Island to Blacksod.”
    http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakin...el-615851.html

  • #2
    Some great pictures on the Irish Times website.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/galle...lift-1.1613620

    Comment


    • #3
      Air Corps flies restoration materials to Skellig Michael

      Seven tonnes of stone slabs flown from Valentia Island to 7th-century monastic site


      Air Corps crew and OPW workers remove a delivery of stone from the helipad on Skellig Michael.

      Skellig Michael and Little Skellig

      Ground crew unhook a load from a helicopter on Skellig Michael.

      Helicopter carrying restoration materials to Skellig Michael.

      The Air Corps has flown restoration materials by helicopter to Skellig Michael, off the Kerry coast, for the third time, a month before the Unesco World Heritage site opens for its visiting season.

      Over seven tonnes of stone slabs underslung an Agusta- Westland AW139 helicopter that flew from Valentia Island to the seventh-century monastic site at Skellig Michael earlier this month at the request of the Office of Public Works (OPW).

      Air Corps helicopter handling teams were deployed at both Valentia and Skellig Michael to support the transfer, along with refuelling staff on Valentia.

      The slabs will be used to cap the monastic rock’s lighthouse wall where original stone had been lost and repaired with “unsuitable mass concrete”, the OPW said.

      Controversy

      Much of the focus of the restoration/conservation work by the OPW on Skellig Michael is on the lower lighthouse road and platform.

      The State body says it is also working with Birdwatch Ireland to ensure preservation of nesting sites, particularly for storm petrels.

      The OPW says that its works programme on the monastery, the hermitage on the South Peak and other monastic structures has “come to a close”.

      That conservation programme has been the subject of some controversy, with Unesco reporting in 2007 that “well argued and supported criticism” had been made about the extent of work on the rock’s “dramatic hermitage”.

      Connemara-based archaeologist Michael Gibbons had stated that some key features had been either constructed or removed over a seven-year period, and there is no data on the disappearance of St Michael’s holy well, the removal of an altar from the main oratory and the removal of five sets of stairs from the main monastery.

      In its 2007 report, Unesco noted that the conservation works had “dramatically” transformed the appearance of remains on the South Peak, but it said that they were “justifiable” and that the “outstanding universal values” remained intact at the site.

      Unesco recommended that a site manager be appointed, that conservation work be documented in an academic publication, and that a “durable agreement” be negotiated with the Skellig ferry operators.

      No data

      Two years ago, Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan had moved to meet Unesco recommendations by publishing a report on 24 years of excavations at the monastic complex.

      He promised a “series “of reports on the final results of the architectural, historical, archaeological and engineering works carried out there.

      However, Mr Gibbons says that there is still no data published about the scale of OPW interventions, and that there is no published record of what is “imaginary, conjectural or original” at the heritage site.

      Skellig Michael made it to the Unesco World Heritage list in 1996.

      The rock’s visitor season has been reduced on foot of recommendations of a safety review, after two American tourists lost their lives on the rock in 2009, in separate incidents.
      Link to video.
      http://bcove.me/eo0mu4oj

      http://www.irishtimes.com/news/envir...hael-1.1768328

      Comment


      • #4
        The Air Corps have been involved in transporting ballot boxes too and from islands off Galway, Mayo and Donegal.


        Sgt Val Murray assists Carmel McBride, Presiding Officer for Inishbofin island in Donegal
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Alpha Whiskey 279' winching personnel onto the Western side of the Blasket Islands in a joint operation with Ordnance Survey Ireland and the Naval Service.

          The video is a mix of FLIR footage from the helicopter and a CASA maritime patrol aircraft which was patrolling in the area.

          Comment


          • #6
            "Take a trip on board "AW278" during a recent air ambulance flight from Letterkenny to Dublin. From this seat you can appreciate the sophisticated avionics suite on the AgustaWestland AW139 and enjoy the views along the route."

            Comment


            • #7

              Carmel McBride, presiding officer for Inishbofin, waits in an Air Corps helicopter as crew member Dermot Corcoran delivers a ballot box after landing on Tory Island.


              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Anyone know when the AC decided to paint the reg number in large white numbers on the green AW139s?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ias View Post
                  Anyone know when the AC decided to paint the reg number in large white numbers on the green AW139s?
                  They also seem to have moved the roundel and painted "IRISH AIR CORPS" on the doors aswell.
                  Last edited by CTU; 26 February 2016, 19:10.
                  It was the year of fire...the year of destruction...the year we took back what was ours.
                  It was the year of rebirth...the year of great sadness...the year of pain...and the year of joy.
                  It was a new age...It was the end of history.
                  It was the year everything changed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ias View Post
                    Anyone know when the AC decided to paint the reg number in large white numbers on the green AW139s?
                    They saw the spray painted numbers on the sides of the mowags and decided to do a fancier version before someone went crazy with the spray can.
                    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ias View Post
                      Anyone know when the AC decided to paint the reg number in large white numbers on the green AW139s?
                      Banksy

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        F**K sake.For a few years there it looked like we finally had the genesis of a military mindset with the purchase and roles of the new helis.
                        (Green paintscheme,door guns,more Army co-op missions)
                        Now they have reverted to the good ole days by the look of things.Whats next?A giant tricolour on the belly of the aircraft.
                        The equipment was not bought for air ambulance as its primary role.That's what most countries use civi sponsored helis for.
                        "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          because its all about the PR. they would of looked well in grey green camo. like the british lynx

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Agreed Air Corps should not be conducting HEMS. My guess is the the Army and Navy are not employing the Aircraft for the use they were purchased, Army just don't know how to use these asset. Navy are going it alone. Tri-service concept.... it's not.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Heligun View Post
                              Agreed Air Corps should not be conducting HEMS. My guess is the the Army and Navy are not employing the Aircraft for the use they were purchased, Army just don't know how to use these asset. Navy are going it alone. Tri-service concept.... it's not.
                              I think a lot of it boils down to trust.AC trust the likes of ARW because they are a small unit and are well trained and the AC feel confidant in trusting they can do the drills.Habitual association I believe they call it.The problems arise with the the bigger units.The AC boys don't trust us with ANYTHING!!an NCO Opening a door with a crewman supervising?NO.
                              Night embarking and disembarking??No.
                              Even basics such as LPC's running trooping drills??Not in your unit.Come to the Don so we can ensure that the people we trained and tested to run such training are doing the job OUR way.
                              And the AC aspire to serving overseas??To do what???
                              "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

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