Okay – I admit it – I just couldn’t face climbing the Horse again today! I took the easy option of driving to White Horse Farm and taking some long shots. The problem was that the sun was playing hard to get so as usual, a large number of photos went into trash. I just wish I had thought of it yesterday when the sun was shining bright……..

When we planned this lift, we aimed for a lift of about 110 bags, but the Veritair guys had carried on yesterday until the light failed them – and by then they had lifted close to 130 bags (65 tonnes)! By the time I got there this morning another 20 odd had been lifted and this time I got a close up view of Duncan doing the unhooking – in a matter of seconds.  It really is a very slick operation.

During a brief re-fuelling stop I took the opportunity to ask Wes and Duncan why they needed to take the curved flight-path rather than just go straight between Horse and drop area.  I learned that helicopters lose height by going forward and the route taken gave the necessary distance to achieve this.  Apparently if helicopters lose significant height without moving forward they risk creating a vortex of dirty air which means they can drop much too quickly for comfort.

With that important lesson under my belt I retreated to a safe distance and left them to their last few lifts before needing to head back to Cardiff. In the end they managed to lift 173 bags in the time available to them – over 50% more than we had originally planned. 

This was an incredible operation to watch – and I have spent the last hour or so editing up a short video which will give some idea of the level of skill and professionalism from the Veritair guys.

Greg Walker and team will be back up there next week and Veritair will be back in action on the 4th November – weather permitting.  And, of course, I am looking forward to climbing up there to take some more pictures……….