RAF Pilot Awarded Air Force Cross

Posted on November 2, 2018

The award is for saving the lives of all the crew on-board his Merlin helicopter after an engine malfunction. Just moments after lifting off and with the helicopter just 120ft above the trees, a catastrophic emergency situation developed with no power going to the engines, the rotors slowing to a stop and a student at the controls.  “I was aware something pretty bad had happened at that point, so I took the controls from the student pilot.” Flt Lt Wallis calmly steered it to a clear area while issuing warnings to his crew and completed an engine-off landing, saving the lives of all the crew on board – all in just 15 seconds. “Luckily we cleared the trees and managed to put it down in a field but it was a close run thing. At the time, it was so quick, the training kicked in and it went exactly as it would do in a simulator.

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