Hampshire residents had the chance to say goodbye to a soon-to-be retired Royal Navy helicopter which has been a familiar sight in the skies.
To mark the official decommissioning of the Mk8 Lynx helicopter there was a farewell flypast staged today.
Four helicopters from 815 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton conducted the flypast across southern England, touring military sites associated with the Lynx. They will be flew over Hampshire after leaving Sandbanks at 12.57pm.
They then flew east across the south coast, flying over Fleetlands, Gosport, between 1.08pm-1.13pm and the Navy Command HQ in Portsmouth between 1.13pm-1.18pm.
The helicopters then went north to Odiham, arriving between 1.29pm- 1.34pm, and departing between 1.53pm- 1.58pm.
The aircraft served with 702, 815 and 829 Naval Air Squadrons at RNAS Portland.
The Lynx, which goes out of service on March 31 after 41 years of operations, is being replaced by the new AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat helicopter.
The last deployed Lynx helicopter flew home for the final time last week as HMS Portland ended a nine-month deployment.
The Lynx, which was flown by Lieutenant Laura Cambrook, was welcomed back to RNAS Yeovilton by Commander Phil Richardson, the commanding officer of the base.
“We are delighted to welcome back 208 Flight, who have been embarked in HMS Portland for the last nine months,” he said.
“They have operated in every environment, from the oppressive mid-summer heat of the Arabian Gulf to the harsh conditions of the South Atlantic.
“They have conducted lifesaving missions at extreme range, fired sea skua missiles for their continuation training and have delivered a most impressive level of aircraft serviceability of an ageing yet hugely successful airframe.
“We welcome them home after a very successful deployment. They are the last Lynx deployed after a very successful history of Lynx helicopters being embarked and integrated within the Royal Navy’s frigates and destroyers.
“Their success and experience will be transferred across to the Wildcat as 815 completes its transition to this new aircraft type. Welcome home 208 Flight – last of the Lynx.”
Lynx farewell flypast Friday, March 17:
9.58am-10.03am: Depart RNAS Yeovilton
10.07am- 10.12am: Glastonbury Tor
10.20am- 10.25am: Rolls Royce Filton
10.30am- 10.35am: Weston-super-Mare helicopter museum
11.08am- 11.13am: Devonport
11.23am- 11.28am: Britannia Royal Naval College (will follow the coast to Lyme Regis).
11.44am- 11.49am: Lyme Regis Return to RNAS Yeovilton
12.18pm- 12.23pm: Depart RNAS Yeovilton
12.23pm- 12.28pm: Leonardo Helicopters
12.37pm- 12.42pm: Portland
12.44pm- 12.49pm: Lulworth
12.52pm- 12.57pm: Sandbanks
1.08pm- 1.13pm: Fleetlands
1.13pm- 1.18pm: Navy Command Headquarters
1.29pm- 1.34pm: Odiham
1.53pm- 1.58pm: Depart Odiham
2.13pm- 2.18pm: Isle of Dogs Westbound following River Thames
2.45pm- 2.50pm: Middle Wallop
2.50pm- 2.55pm: Boscombe Down
3pm- 3.05pm: Compton Abbas
3.13pm- 3.18pm: Arrive at RNAS Yeovilton