Photo Report – Eins, Zwei, Polizei!

By me
All photos me too (copyrighted)

While foreign aircraft at my base airfield of Lučko are not really uncommon – and usually take the form of various skydive aircraft from neighboring countries – 2012 has seen something of a spike in the number of “higher ranking” and government rotary visitors :). Following closely on the heels of the US Navy MH-60 Knighthawk seen here earlier, a couple of months ago we’d been visited by a German Super Puma, in town for a week during an international rescue exercise.

Quite an eye-catching and striking machine, parked – appropriately – in front of the Croatian Police hangar, home to its four strong Bell fleet

Operated by the Bundespolizei – Germany’s Federal Police – D-HEGM was tasked with providing aerial support during the IPA-CRO FLOODS 2012 international civil defense exercise, held in May on several artificial lakes close to the airfield. Interestingly, back in March 2011 – when it was just a year old – this helicopter had suffered a double engine flameout while transporting German chancellor Angela Merkel. The cause was determined to be intake icing, necessitating a – thankfully safe – forced landing :).

Quite a purposeful looking machine, the Puma is still one of Western Europe’s most popular helicopters – despite its 47 years of age. Like its Soviet counterpart, the legendary Mi-8, the Puma has outlived many of its intended replacements, and has over the years evolved into several versions, including the Cougar military transport and EC-725 Caracal gunship
Packing her up after the last flight of the day as ominous storm clouds roll in from the west. Cursed with unstable weather all week, the crew had had to curtail several flights when the winds and rain turned for the worst