Thames Valley crews in Queen's flypast

10 June 2011, 05:00

Heart's been having an exclusive chat with a Thames Valley pilot who's preparing to lead the Queen's birthday flypast over Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

For the first time a Chinook Helicopter will be leading the formation of 25 aircraft over the Palace.

Chinooks are most famous for supporting our troops out in Afghanistan; both taking troops out there and evacuating any who have suffered injuries.

The particular Chinook involved is from North Hampshire's RAF Odiham, and will be flown by four crew members including 37-year-old Squadron Leader Stu Hague (27 Squadron) and 30-year-old Tim Andrews (18 Squadron).

Chinook Helicopter co-pilotTim's been telling Heart why leading the flypast is such an honour:

"It's very exciting for us. We see it really as a bit of a reward for the roles we've played in Afghanistan, the increasing importance of the Chinook out there and back here at home."

Close behind the Chinook will be two Puma Helicopters - one of which is from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire.

This is what the formation will look like:

Queen's birthday flypast 2011

The formation will fly over Buckingham Palace at altitudes of between 1,000 feet and 1,500 feet starting at 1.00 pm precisely.

It will take four minutes to fly over the Palace, but if the Trooping the Colour ceremony be delayed by weather, the flypast will also be delayed until 5.00 pm that day.

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