World Rally Championship - Rally IrelandPhotographers: Frank Grealish
/ Sonya Cooley
30th January - 1st February 2009Location:
Sligo Institute Of Technology, Sligo, Ireland
The World Rally Championship returned to Ireland in 2009 under the guise of Rally Ireland and courtesy of Rally Ireland and Simtech Aviation
IrishAirPics went along to report on the flying activity with some rally action thrown in for good measure.
The football pitch of Sligo IT (Institute of Technology) was the location of the Helicopter Air Marshalling and Site Services (HAMSS) site for the rally.
The HAMSS site, which was run by Simtech Aviation, was the main helicopter operating location for the duration of the rally although other landing sites which had previously been surveyed were used over the weekend so that spectators could visiting the various stages of the rally.
The use of helicopters allowed dedicated rally goers the opportunity of viewing more than one stage in a day. Also based at the Sligo IT HAMSS site was a Twin Squirrel that provided emergency medivac cover for the rally.
For the duration of the event, a TRA (Temporary Restricted Area) was in place over the HAMSS site from surface to 2500ft. This involved close coordination with Sligo Airport. Fire and rescue cover was also provided at the HAMSS site.
Fuel facilities were available at Sligo Airport which was located just 5 miles from the site, IrishAirPics went with one of the helicopters on a refuelling trip and while there the Sligo Airport based Coast Guard Sikorsky S-61N departed (picture show on right).
IrishAirPics would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Se Pardy, Simtech and all the HAMSS crew for the hospitality and good banter over the weekend of the rally.