PICTURES: Damaged Sea King hoisted by Mil Mi-26

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These dramatic images show the rescue of a stranded Westland Sea King from high in the Arctic Circle by a Mil Mi-26 on 23 December.

 

 Air Charter Service

The Sea King, operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force, was unable to be flown back to base after a it sustained damage to its undercarraige after a heavy landing while on a training exercise.

UK firm Air Charter Service was brought in to retrieve the 6.5-tonne machine. Justin Lancaster, group cargo director, says: "The nearest road was more than four miles [6.4km] away and the only way to retrieve it was to airlift it out."

 

 Air Charter Service

"We sourced the nearest Mil Mi-26, which happened to be in Arkhangelsk in Russia, and positioned it into the nearby base," he says. The Mi-26 can carry a payload of over 20 tonnes, he says.

"As can be seen from the photos, it was a tricky load, but the careful planning that we put in really paid off and resulted in a very smooth operation that only lasted an hour in total," says Lancaster.

 

 Air Charter Service