This breathtaking aerial video over York Minster was taken by historic last Army helicopter flight

Our city looks stunning from the sunlit sky
12 May 2016 @ 9.32 pm
| History, News
Flying in formation high above the Minster. Photographs: Sgt Jamie Peters
Flying in formation high above the Minster. Photographs: Sgt Jamie Peters

This fair takes the breath away.

Video footage and photographs of York from the air were shot on the historic final flight by British Army helicopters from Dishforth.

They marked the occasion by flying over iconic Yorkshire landmarks, including the most glorious of them all – York Minster.

Pilots from 9 Regiment Army Air Corps (9 AAC) bid farewell to the county they have come to regard as home, also flying over the White Horse at Kilburn.

The flight of the four Army Lynx MK9A helicopters heralded the end of Army aviation in the north of England and the end of the regiment which is due to disband.

The helicopters flew in formation commanded by the Commanding Officer of 9 AAC, Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Cook OBE, who was able to fly over his daughter’s school.

Commanding Officer of 9 AAC, Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Cook OBE AAC goes through the flight plan with the crews of the Lynx helicopter
Commanding Officer of 9 AAC, Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Cook OBE, goes through the flight plan with the crews of the Lynx helicopter

Lt Col Cook said:

This is a sad day but also a day to celebrate – it truly is the end of an era.

It’s a poignant moment – the end of flying at Dishforth and the end of the regiment – but we are proud and want to celebrate our history.

The final flight of four at the airfield at Dishforth
The final flight of four at the airfield at Dishforth
The helicopters taxiing to there final take off positions at Dishforth Airfield
The helicopters taxiing to there final take off positions at Dishforth Airfield

The local community asked 9 AAC to make the flight to mark their departure from Dishforth Airfield where they have been stationed since 1992.

The helicopters flew over the Ripon, Pateley Bridge, Leyburn, York and the town of Boroughbridge, who last year held a freedom parade for the regiment.

Cleared for final take-off
Cleared for final take-off
A pilot's eye view as the Lynx turns across the Yorkshire countryside
A pilot’s eye view as the Lynx turns across the Yorkshire countryside

They passed over the Yorkshire Dales as well as crossing the M1 motorway and running alongside a Virgin Trains East Coast service.

The journey also took in military sites across Yorkshire including RAF Topcliffe, RAF Leeming, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, Catterick Garrison and the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

Our city looks stunning from the sunlit sky
Our city looks stunning from the sunlit sky

Lt Col Cook, who has been at Dishforth for the past eight years, said: “It’s a hugely significant occasion for all of us, with most having established close and lasting links with the local area.

“Yorkshire is a county that we view as home and it will be missed by all who have served here.”

The helicopters, which were being flown by the last remaining aircrew at Dishforth, eventually departed for the south of England.

They passed over London before reaching their final destination, the home of the Army Air Corps at Middle Wallop in Hampshire.

The Kilburn White Horse behind the formation of three
The Kilburn White Horse behind the formation of three
A closer look at the White Horse
A closer look at the White Horse

The name of 9 AAC – who have supported combat and humanitarian operations worldwide including Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, the Philippines and Afghanistan – will now disband.

It will merge with 1 Regiment Army Air Corps in Yeovilton, Somerset, and operate the Army’s new fleet of Wildcat Battlefield Utility Helicopters.

Three of the Lynx helicopters flying over Ripon cathedral
Three of the Lynx helicopters flying over Ripon cathedral
The formation flying over the Yorkshire countryside
The formation flying over the Yorkshire countryside

Lt Col Cook said:

Yorkshire has provided an immensely warm welcome from the start and has shown continued support throughout.

We will all look back at our time here with immensely fond memories and will hold North Yorkshire dear to our hearts.

Over a picturesque Yorkshire village
Over a picturesque Yorkshire village

Dishforth has been used by the military intermittently since World War Two, the airfield has a long and prestigious history that has seen it as a base for Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bombers and Douglas Dakota transport aircraft.

More recently, it has provided a home to the British Army’s Apache and Lynx helicopters.

The camp and airfield will be handed over to a ground unit, 6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps later this summer, with the last remaining Army Air Corps personnel posted to various locations around the UK.