RAF high-flyer

Sgt Gav Anderson is pictured inside his Chinook helicopter.
Sgt Gav Anderson is pictured inside his Chinook helicopter.

A former Woldgate College student has become a real high flyer by becoming part of the 2018 Royal Air Force Chinook Display Team.

Sgt Gav Anderson, who grew up in Pocklington and attended the infant and junior schools, now travels across Europe as part of the team.

The 2018 RAF Chinook Display Team.

The 2018 RAF Chinook Display Team.

He is part of an elite set-up that showcases the helicopter’s capabilities at air shows in the UK and further afield.

As well as being part of the RAF Chinook Display Team, the crew are also part of the fully operational 27 Squadron where they combine their daily training demands with practising their display sequence.

Sgt Anderson, who is based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire, was also part of the relief operation to support flood victims following the torrential rain in 2015 and was deployed with his squadron to support the aid mission in the Caribbean, witnessing first-hand the devastation caused by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Sgt Anderson, whose parents live in Barmby Moor, said: “I am a weapons system operator with the team, which is part of the air crew set-up.

“We operate a four-man crew, two pilots and two crewmen, and I’m one of the crewmen.

“We are essentially responsible for everything after the cockpit. We look after underslung loads such as Land Rovers quad bikes, ammunition etc, the troops down the back, and the weapons such as the mini guns and M60 which is fitted to the aircraft.

“One of our additional duties is the display team. We go around the air show circuit to show what the Chinook can do to the general public.

“The squadron also has been used to help out with disaster relief operations.

“Being deployed to the Caribbean last year to provide disaster relief as part of Operation Ruman was one of the highlights of my career to date.

“We provided much needed aid to those who really needed it.”

The Chinook is an extremely capable and highly versatile support helicopter that can be operated from land bases or seaborne vessels into a range of diverse environments, from the Arctic to the desert or jungle.