As I squelched across the fields this morning, all desire to climb onto the Horse for photography deserted me – which was just as well, as I was met by one of the Ranger’s new recruits, who very politely suggested that I didn’t go any further!Yes, I was a little late, and the Veritair team had already started operations. Even with my high-vis jacket and hard hat I was not allowed under the flight path, so I headed for the drop off point to take a few pictures.

With Wesley piloting the helicopter, Dave up on the Horse hooking on and Duncan hooking off, they were rapidly down to their usual three-minute turn round. It is such a smooth operation to watch that I just had to take a few more photos and make the best I could from the occasional rays of sunshine.

I returned to the scene just before 4.00pm, in time for a couple more snaps before they ceased operations for the day with a total of 112 bags delivered – approximately 56 metric tonnes.  And that was in spite of the less than pleasant weather.

They will be operational by 0900 hrs tomorrow and at the current rate, peace will descend on our valley by about lunchtime – and the Horse will be naked to the world – at last!

Click thumbnails for larger image