Jerry Grayson became the youngest helicopter pilot serving in the Royal Navy, aged just 17. By 25 he was the most decorated peacetime naval pilot.
Rescue Pilot is his story, with a foreword by HRH The Duke of York, Prince Andrew.
This book by Jerry Grayson, who became the youngest Search and Rescue pilot at the age of just 17 and went on to have a remarkable aviation career within both the Royal Navy and also the film industry, acts as a reminder of the bravery and selflessness of the crews who put their lives at risk to save others.
Leadership, teamwork and training are the key to success in many fields of endeavour and Search and Rescue flying is just such an endeavour that requires these skills and I know from my own service the importance of all three in creating an effective helicopter crew.
Reading this book I am also reminded of the undeniably strong camaraderie of aviators as well as the wonderful sense of humour that arises in the face of adversity. In recording and celebrating this invaluable work of Search and Rescue, I am certain that this book will be an inspiration for the next generation of pilots.
A Greek Play – The rescue, after an interminable wait, of the crew of the ‘Skopelos Sky’; a wreck that can still be dived on in North Cornwall.
The Mighty Ark – Operations aboard the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL in the time of the cold war.
Admirals – Comedic encounters with the highest ranking naval officers, often with no good outcome for either party.
Submarines – trying to destroy them, trying to save the men aboard them and trying to save others from them.
Conduct Unbecoming – How Jerry’s naval career very nearly came to a premature end.
The Disappearing Hunter – The mystery of an RAF jet that crashed and almost vanished without trace.
Grand Prix – A very public embarrassment at the British Grand Prix, followed by a change in the rules of Formula One motor racing.
‘Where are we going?’ – How even the best drop the ball when not paying full attention to the detail.
Summer Days, Doctors and Displays – it only takes one small joke to go wrong and suddenly a pilot is flying blind.
A Pleasant Surprise – Jerry’s first award for gallantry.
A Bad Decision – It takes a loss of lives to change the politics.
A Cow Called Jerry – from the sublime to the ridiculous.
‘What race?’ – Fastnet 1979, the race that changed the course of yacht design and the three day rescue that resulted in an Air Force Cross for Jerry.
Fastnet Revisited – Voices I never thought I would hear again.
Civvy Street – The transition from two gold rings to four.
Transplant – A new way of saving a life and the shock of seeing how its done.
Breaking Things – Suffering the one failure that all helicopter pilots dread.
Emma – When the casualty is a friend and you still can’t save her.