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Author Topic: Merlin pilot is first woman to receive top flying honors  (Read 4329 times)

Offline tigershark

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Merlin pilot is first woman to receive top flying honors
« on: March 11, 2008, 07:27:42 PM »
Merlin pilot is first woman to receive top flying honors
 7 Mar 08

Merlin helicopter pilot Flight Lieutenant Michelle Goodman has become the first woman to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).
Flight Lieutenant Goodman was awarded the DFC today, Friday 7 March 2008, for an act of courage during her deployment to Iraq in June 2007, when as Aircraft Captain of an Incident Reaction Team (IRT) Merlin Helicopter she flew into an extremely dangerous area of Basra City to rescue a casualty.   Flying on night goggles and under very heavy fire she landed next to the casualty and extracted him, despite mortar rounds landing nearby. Without the IRT, the casualty would have died within 15 minutes.
The citation for her DFC, which is awarded for 'an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy', explains the incident in detail: "The incident took place on 1 June 2007. At 2315 hours Flight Lieutenant Goodman was alerted that there was a serious casualty following a mortar attack on an isolated British location in the centre of Basra City. Landing an aircraft at this location is assessed to be very high risk and intelligence reports indicated a large, 'spectacular' attack would occur somewhere in Basra, with a helicopter being a possible target. Flight Lieutenant Goodman was fully aware of the elevated threat level.

"Alert to the high risk, but being fully conscious of the importance of providing unfailing IRT support to ground forces, Flight Lieutenant Goodman elected to fly her approach, whilst under intense enemy direct and indirect fire.  "Maintaining a firm control of the situation whilst flying tactically on Night Vision Goggles at very low level across a hostile city, she commenced a most expeditious transit and approach to an unfamiliar and dangerous landing site.

"She continued her approach, undeterred by close friendly covering fire and even closer enemy fire which began to impact to the rear of the aircraft.

"Despite the most complex approach, with numerous obstructions and ambient conditions on the limit of aviation operations, she executed a landing with few visual references bringing the aircraft in next to the casualty.

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