Ireland - Air Corps Sud Aviation SA-316 Alouette III 202
Image ID: 161007
Operator: Ireland - Air Corps - 202
Aircraft: Sud Aviation - SA-316 Alouette III
Airport: UK - Northern Ireland - Long Kesh
Photo taken on 2011-9-17 by Wallace Shackleton [Contact]
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(5.10.2011, 21:08 CET)
Alouette 202 joined the Irish Air Corps helicopter Squadron on the 24th March 1972. During an operational life spanning over two decades, tasking was destined to include such missions as search & rescue, air ambulance, military support operations and VIP flights. 202’s flying career came to an abrupt end on the 20th October 1995, after ditching in the county Donegal lake of Lough Eske, whilst on a joint army and police search operation for a missing man. Fortunately her crew scrambled clear and 202 was subsequently recovered. However plans to return the airframe to flight status came to nothing and she was transferred to the Corps Engineering Wing for use as an instructional airframe, on the 12th January 1996. When the Alouette fleet was being retired inquiries were made regarding the potential acquisition of an example for the collection. 202 was refurbished and repainted by Air Corps volunteers before it was presented to the Ulster Aviation Society by the Irish Government in a ceremony held in the Irish Air Corps main base at Baldonnel on the 27th May 2009. My thanks to the Ulster Aviation Society for their hospitality.