Thai navy S-70Bs to the rescue


Thailand recently saw serious flooding on the resort islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand. A fleet of Thai ships were sent to rescue stranded tourists, with some lucky rescuees getting a free ride to the Thai Navy carrier HTMS Chakri Naruebet, Southeast Asia’s only aircraft carrier.

The video above shows general footage from Koh Tao during the flooding, with footage of a navy Sikorsky S-70B at 0:58. A Huey is also in the footage, but I don’t believe UH-1s are normally deployed with the carrier.

The videos below show some European kids enjoying their helicopter ride, and the last video a UH-1 flies overhead on final approach.

 Unfortunately I couldn’t find any videos of actual flight deck operations during the rescue mission. Not surprising: any tourists lucky enough to be flown to the carrier would have been ushered into the hanger immediately upon landing. An active flight deck during high winds is not the safest place for camera-wielding civilians.

In 1997 I visited the USS Independence (the real Independence, not the littoral combat ship) with a carrier on-board delivery flight. Watching flight ops after lunch I asked the skipper if I could go down and stand with the catapult guys. He politely declined, pointing out that it takes months of training to get onto the flight deck, and that new guys spend a month watching flight ops from the bridge before they are allowed on deck. 

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