Thursday, October 6, 2011

First female completes helicopter fast-roping instructors course

From the MoD:

A Training and Adventure news article

5 Oct 11

Leading Aircrewman Sarah Christenson from 820 Naval Air Squadron, a Merlin helicopter squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, has become the first ever female to successfully complete the helicopter fast-roping instructors course.

Service personnel practising fast-roping from a helicopter

Service personnel practising fast-roping from a helicopter
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

Fast-roping is a technique used to deploy lightly-equipped troops rapidly into confined areas where helicopters cannot land.

The technique involves the fast-roper, wearing special gloves, sliding down a rope suspended from a helicopter hovering at heights of up to 85ft (26m). Only the fast-roper's gloved hands are in direct contact with the rope.

Leading Aircrewman Christenson completed the course with a number of descents and despatching others from one of 820 Naval Air Squadron's Merlins at Culdrose last week.

Royal Marines Colour Sergeant Pete Curley, chief roping instructor based at RAF Brize Norton, was the trainer for the course. He said:

"I had the pleasure of awarding a helicopter fast-roping instructors certificate to Leading Hand Sarah Christenson, the first female on record to receive this award. Previous applicants have not achieved this award due to the strength and confidence required to conduct this type of training....

Read the rest here.

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