It is a UK first that required nerves of steel and a head for heights.

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But as these impressive images show, this group of hardy engineers were up to the task thanks to a Lowestoft-based helicopter.

The photos were taken during Bond Air Services’ maiden flight to the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm near Sizewell.

It was the very first helicopter operation of its kind in the UK – with technicians flown in to provide maintenance for the giant turbines.

Bosses hope that this will improve safety and ensure they can reach parts that are impossible by access by boat.

The new aerial support service operates from a purpose-built facility at Lowestoft Port, using a Eurocopter EC135T2i.

It will mean operations such as those pictured could soon become a common sight off the Suffolk coast – with Bond Air contracted to provide a seven-day-a-week service.

David Bond, commercial manager for marine services at the Gloucestershire based company, said: “We’re delighted to have started operations at Greater Gabbard.

“It was the very first flight of its kind, so marks an important milestone for the company, which strengthens our reputation for innovation and reinforces our position as the UK’s market leader in the provision of helicopter services.”

Stephen Rose, offshore wind generation manager at Greater Gabbard Offshore Winds Limited, added: “Safety is our number one priority at all times, and by using helicopters it means that we can get greater access to the turbines in conditions which may have been otherwise impossible by boat.”

Greater Gabbard is a joint project between SSE and RWE npower renewables and consists of 140 turbines, generating 500MW – enough to power around 530,000 homes.

6 comments

  • Reality check; Greater Gabbard output at 7am 24 October 2012, 104.62MW. Gonna a be a lot of dark houses about in the very near future!!!!

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    nrg

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Must be a slow news day !.

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    "V"

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Good to see so now maybe they might be able to work on guliver as that huge thing hardly ever goes round for more than 24 hours a time it might as well be pulled down for what use it has these days maybe the journal could look into why Gulliver never works anymore.

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    vinny.p

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • Gullivers biggest supporter is the Journal. So the chances of them investigating just why the useless contraption never works for more than ten minutes at a time are just about zero.

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    kevin bacon

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Yikes, all that for a bit of 3 in1

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    nrg

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • vinny.p, Gulliver is not connected to anything, it's basically a visual con to get the sheeple used to these monstrous useless bits of junk.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

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