Culdrose helicopter rescues model airplane from mine chimney near Nancegollen

A Royal Navy helicopter crew made an adjustment to their training schedule to help out an amateur 'pilot' who ran into some trouble with a tall chimney.

Roger Bath from Camborne is a member of the RC Cornwall Flyers model aeroplane club, and was flying his model plane with some other aviation enthusiasts when the wind picked up.

The plane landed on top of an old mine chimney, the only tall structure in the area.

The chimney was the only tall structure in the area Credit: Royal Navy

We were having a competition of spot-landing. I had the perfect spot-landing alright, you could say.

Roger Bath, RC Cornwall Flyers
Nearby 824 Naval Air Squadron is a base for training Merlin helicopter crews Credit: Royal Navy

When the model flying club got in touch with the base at Culdrose out of desperation, members of the 824 Naval Air Squadron took the opportunity to combine a good deed with a training exercise.

A Merlin helicopter was flown to the site near Helston, where Lt Donell Fairweather was carefully winched down to the chimney to retrieve the plane before being lowered to the ground.

Roger Bath describes himself as a 'novice' pilot, but says he definitely won the spot landing competition Credit: Royal Navy

We had a three and half hour training sortie booked for the afternoon and this was a genuinely valuable training opportunity for a student pilot who had been given an usual search and rescue scenario, and staff rear crew who had the task of conducting the rescue.

Lieutenant Commander Steve Thomas, senior pilot and instructor

Mr Bath and his fellow club members were delighted with the recovery and thanked the Royal Navy crew for their dedication.