Students at Manchester Academy had the chance to sit inside a Royal Air Force helicopter after it touched down at the Moss Lane East site yesterday afternoon.
Academy students were joined by Year 5 pupils from St Mary’s Primary School in Moss Side, who watched the helicopter land on the school field, before being given the chance to meet the
crew and look inside the cockpit.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue also made an appearance, giving students the opportunity to see the inner workings of a fire engine.
Year 7 student Gabriela Rodriguez Castro said: “It was so exciting to go inside the helicopter. I’d never seen one up close before.”
Year 7 student Tanisha Singh added: “I was not expecting we’d have the chance to go inside the helicopter. It was a really brilliant experience.”
St Mary’s Primary School pupils were equally impressed.
Pupil Hannah Aina said: “Going inside the helicopter was amazing, it was something I’ll never forget.”
Fellow St Mary’s pupil Amilah Ghafoor said: “It was so interesting to see inside the helicopter and I also enjoyed looking at the fire engine and all the equipment on board.”
The helicopter visit is part of RAF Shawbury’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) engagement programme.
It is an annual occurrence, which, since 2010, also sees the RAF bringing Christmas cheer to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, with military personnel visiting children on the wards and assisting Father Christmas in distributing his presents.
Donna O’Reilly, Senior Community Fundraising Officer at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity said: “Our annual visit from the RAF really does mean so much to our young patients, who love getting a visit and present from Father Christmas whilst in hospital. The visit is always a very special day at the hospital, so we’d like to thank everyone involved for their generous support once again and for spreading Christmas cheer throughout our children’s hospital.”
Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant Rachael Collier said: “Our aim is to help raise morale amongst the children in hospitals over the Christmas period by delivering Christmas presents. We hope to continue to run this event, making it bigger and better each year.”