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Michael_Mcr

The Americans are coming !!

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We have just returned from a nice (apart from the Football result) long weekend in London and stayed at our usual hotel, which is just across the road from the North West corner of Regents Park.

Looking out from the hotel bedroom windows you can clearly see Winfield House, the official residence of the US Ambassador, which takes up most of that same corner of Regent Park.

On Thursday night, as we approached the hotel in a taxi from Euston station, we turned the corner to see the biggest wave of flashing blue lights that you can imagine. The cabbie told us it was because “Obama is there tonight”.

On Friday morning , we were walking out of the hotel to go into town and as we stepped outside to an extraordinarily loud noise rolling in directly overhead, and this turned into VERY loud  helicopter noises – it was so loud we were convinced it must be landing in the car park, but couldn’t see it and then spotted that it was actually about 300 yards away over Regents Park and was slowly circling the area and came back around a couple of times.

The Helicopter was, in fact a V-22 Osprey Tilt Rotor which, apparently, carries Presidential support staff and equipment. We watched it for a couple of minutes then it landed.

Osprey 1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 5 minutes later, we heard another Helicopter approaching from the South and this was Marine One, Obama’s transport aircraft, and as this approached, we became aware that another helicopter was approaching from the North and this was an identical helicopter, also painted up in green and white with the Presidential seal on the side.

They both landed within a few seconds of each other next to the Osprey in the grounds of Winfield house.

 

Marine One.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s was all a bit James Bond for a few minutes.

On Saturday morning we went for a walk in Regents Park and again there was a staggering number of Police and emergency service vehicles and some very hard looking men in suits and overcoats walking round. There was also an exclusion ring of steel fencing around that corner of the park, of the sort you see at outdoor events, to supplement the normal fencing around the Ambassadors residence.

As we were leaving the park, we heard the helicopters spooling up again, so stayed to watch then all leave as, according to the Police stood watching near us, Obama was being flown off to have lunch with the Queen at Windsor Castle !!

Apologies for the poor pic quality, it was quite overcast and I was using the zoom, so the 950 was struggling a bit.

How the other half live, eh ?

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Very cool to see it all, but yes, how the other half live!! :-)

 

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Wow! That is pretty damned awesome Mike! Impressed with the photos!

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A bonus on your trip Mike, I know the V22 pretty well. They have a few on a base near me and as you say are quite loud, but move at a rapid rate. They had a lot of issues early on but the issues are now just about solved. ;)

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