Cumbria, United Kingdom—Imagine taking your family for a lovely weekend excursion. You don’t get to do it often, being busy with work and the children slammed with schoolwork. But today is different. You get into the car and drive up to the countryside. The weather isn’t ideal, but it isn’t so bad that it will ruin your weekend. And then, as you are driving through the foggy hills, and the children mumble from the backseat, you see it: a special operations helicopter flying ludicrously low above your car’s roof. Fiction? Not if you belong to the Weatherall family.
This exact incident happened to the British family a few months ago. Despite the bad weather, the Weatheralls fared well, and were quite lucky in avoiding a collision with a UK Special Forces (UKSF) AS365N3 Eurocopter Dauphin 2 helicopter.
The chopper belongs to the UK Army Air Corps’ (AAC) 658 Squadron, a SOF aviation outfit that provides aviation support to the UKSF, which includes the famed Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Service (SBS), and Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), among others. The 658 Sq., alongside the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) 7 Squadron, which flies specially designed Chinook helicopters, is part of the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing (JSFAW).