Poignant flypast for Tilton villagers

Four Lynx helicopters wihich buzzed Tilton in a commemorative flypast to mark the aircraft's decommissioning'PHOTO ROGER STOCKS EMN-180117-123619001
Four Lynx helicopters wihich buzzed Tilton in a commemorative flypast to mark the aircraft's decommissioning'PHOTO ROGER STOCKS EMN-180117-123619001
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Villagers gathered on Tuesday to watch a commemorative flypast of four helicopters with a particular poignancy for their community.

The event, at Tilton-on-the-Hill, was part of a special flight journey across the UK for the Army to say farewell to the Lynx helicopter, which has been decommissioned after serving it for 40 years.

Four Lynx helicopters wihich buzzed Tilton in a commemorative flypast to mark the aircraft's decommissioning'PHOTO ROGER STOCKS EMN-180117-123629001

Four Lynx helicopters wihich buzzed Tilton in a commemorative flypast to mark the aircraft's decommissioning'PHOTO ROGER STOCKS EMN-180117-123629001

The four Lynx helicopters visited specific locations which have played a part in its service with the armed forces.

And Tilton was chosen because three soldiers died and another was seriously injured when a Lynx Mark 7 crashed in a field near the village in May 1999.

An eyewitness said at the time that it appeared that the pilot manoeuvred the craft to avoid houses before the crash, which was at Whatborough Farm.

A crowd of around 30 people gathered to watch the commemorative flypast, including Roger Stocks, who took the photos on this page from a raised location between Robin-a-Tiptoe Hill and Whatborough Hill.

One of the Lynx helicopters wihich buzzed Tilton in a commemorative flypast to mark the aircraft's decommissioning'PHOTO ROGER STOCKS EMN-180117-123659001

One of the Lynx helicopters wihich buzzed Tilton in a commemorative flypast to mark the aircraft's decommissioning'PHOTO ROGER STOCKS EMN-180117-123659001

He said: “The helicopters circled around the village and everyone was very respectful as they flew over.

“We could see a crew member hanging out and dropping what appeared to be a flare as a gesture of respect to those who lost their lives in the crash.”

The four Mk9 Lynx left from RAF Odiham in Hampshire around 9am on their aerial tour, taking in military bases and other locations associated with the helicopter.

The procession ended with a flight along the River Thames in central London at about 4pm.