TWO civil servants working at the airfield at RNAS Culdrose have been singled out for their diligence and attention to flight safety.

According to a statement posted on the RNAS Culdrose social media page, Bob Messer was marshalling a visiting RAF Chinook helicopter in September when he noticed a loose panel near the tail rotor.

He immediately notified Paul Ludlow, the airfield support manager, who radioed the aircrew of the potential hazard. The helicopter had not been due to stop and was preparing to fly away.

Mr Messer, a former Royal Navy leading air engineer, has worked as a civil servant for 16 years at the Royal Naval School of Flight Deck Operations.

He said: “You don’t have to be a helicopter engineer to know a loose panel is not right. It was only small, but it needed to be secured. It takes me back to the old days in the navy. For me it is always ‘check and double check’.”

Lieutenant Commander Andrew ‘Tank’ Murray, who oversees flying operations at Culdrose, said: “This was a good observation of a small panel in an awkward location on an unfamiliar aircraft type, demonstrating excellent attention to detail and flight safety awareness.

“Mr Messer’s keen observation and prompt reporting of his concerns, followed by the correct reporting action being swiftly initiated by Mr Ludlam prevented a potential incident.”