Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt CB OBE, the Master of the Household, was guest of honour at HeliOperations’ Osprey Quay on Thursday 8 August, in his role as Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Dorset. Admiral Johnstone-Burt, accompanied by his wife Rachel, presided over the transfer-of-title of sixteen former-Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Sea King Helicopters from the Head of the Defence Equipment Sales Authority, Commodore Clive Walker, to HeliOperations CEO and former-Royal Navy Sea King pilot Steve Gladston.
In a ceremony attended by former-Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE, and the last Captain of Royal Navy Air Station Portland, Captain John Harvey RN; Commodore Walker handed-over ownership of sixteen of the most iconic aircraft ever operated by the Fleet Air Arm. The much-loved helicopter has recently been retired by the UK Ministry of Defence but has found a new lease of life under the ownership of HeliOperations. HeliOps operates the aircraft in support of United Kingdom’s commitment to train pilots and crewmen of the Federal German Navy under a longstanding inter-governmental arrangement
Admiral Johnstone-Burt, a former-Royal Navy Sea King pilot himself and Commander of Joint Helicopter Command between 2008 and 2011, was given a warm welcome from HeliOperations, almost all of whom are former-Fleet Air Arm colleagues. Mark Deaney, HeliOperations’ Technical Director, commented how delighted the Company was to welcome “Admiral J-B” back to the former-HMS Osprey where he had served as a Lynx pilot, and to share such an important step for HeliOperations as it continued to support military operations from its Dorset heliport.