Santa delivers presents by helicopter as reindeers 'on strike'

  • Watch Santa and his crew make the special deliveries

A Regiment Army Air Corp based in Somerset has been getting in the Christmas spirit by delivering presents to schoolchildren in the region.

Santa and the crew from the Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) in Yeovil made several stops to schools in the area after his reindeers went 'on strike'.

The team dropped off presents to eight schools before returning to base.

With an established army presence in the county, the regiment took on the Christmas tour with the hope of strengthening relations with local communities.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Rivett, Commanding Officer 1 Regiment Army Air Corps said: "As the only Regular Army Unit in South Somerset, 1 Regiment Army Air Corps has established itself as a major presence in the county.

"Our engagement with the local community in which we all live, and work is key to our ability to operate and we relish the opportunity to support local activities.”

He added: “This Santa visit initiative has only been possible through the relationships that have been established with the network of local civilian organisations."

Among the Wildcat's helicopter tour the crew visited Birchfield Community Primary in Yeovil.

Headteacher Judy Parker said: “It was our absolute pleasure to welcome our friends from the army to school this morning.

"We had over 450 children on site, aged between two and 11, who were lucky enough to see the helicopter land and Father Christmas arrive."

Children at Birchfield Primary School in Yeovil were excited to see Santa and his crew. Credit: Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS)

She added: “Santa spent a magical time handing out Christmas gifts to each class. We can't thank the Army enough for delivering such a special opportunity and creating such a wonderful memory for our children.”

Warrant Officer Class Two Michael Hartley and his team ensured the Santa Wildcat dash went ahead without any issues.

But, as he explains, the day was also used to benefit the personnel too: “This event provides an excellent training opportunity to both the ground crew and aircrew.

"It provides the aircrew with the opportunity to fly into previously unvisited landing sites each providing a unique set of conditions."

The Wildcat helicopter returning to base after a successful mission delivering presents. Credit: Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS)

Michael also added: “Initiatives like this are great for the local community. These children see military helicopters flying overhead every day.

"A helicopter bringing Santa to their school would be something we would only have dreamed about as children.

"Helping spread a bit of Christmas cheer in challenging times is the main focus of the event”.