Rescue pilot commended

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A Sumburgh-based search and rescue pilot has gained special recognition for three decades of service to the Royal Navy and military aviation.

Roger Stinger was presented with a Fleet Commander Commendation at a recent ceremony in Portsmouth.

Mr Stinger completed 30 years’ service, flying 18 helicopter types and accruing 7,500 flight hours, before retiring from the military in December 2012.

After two front line tours, he qualified as an instructor, teaching every level of helicopter pilot training.

In 2004 he assumed command of the UK’s busiest SAR unit, HMS Gannet Search and Rescue Flight at Prestwick, and the Naval Flying Standards Flight Rotary Wing based out of RNAS Yeovilton, combining his talents for command and instruction.

On retiring from the navy, Mr Stinger joined Bristow Helicopters, briefly as a senior first officer working in the oil and gas division, before taking up a role in the so-called ‘Gap SAR transition team’ working out of Sumburgh, Stornoway, Aberdeen and Inverness.

In November he became an integral part of the UK SAR transition team based in Sumburgh and working towards his command qualification.

He said: “I am honoured to have been awarded the Fleet Commander Commendation after a challenging and rewarding career in the Royal Navy.

“Looking ahead, I genuinely feel very privileged to be part of UK SAR and to be closely involved in the transition project planned for the next two years.”

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