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Chinook Crew 'Chick': Highs and Lows of Forces Life from the Longest Serving Female RAF Chinook Force Crewmember

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Long runs were cathartic for me, and it cleared my brain, but at the start of lockdown we couldn’t travel more than five miles and that was detrimental to my mental health. When my behavior started to change and I stopped running and cycling, no one was around to see it because it was during lockdown. I swear a coworker caught me looking aimlessly out the window today, lost in thought in about the final chapters of this book.

Having sought help from the mental health charities PTSD Resolution and Help for Heroes, Liz emphasises the importance of such organisations and their tireless commitment to soldier and veteran wellbeing. On her busiest day of operations in 2008, she and her crew flew 14 separate sorties – including one where five British soldiers had been killed at a forward operating base. Down Northern Ireland she attended RAF Cranwell on her 19th birthday to begin her exciting career thereafter on Chinook Helicopters.So, there I was, being encouraged by the teachers to fill in new cast RAF forms and they said, ‘you’ll never make anything of your life if you don’t go to university and get a degree. Just seconds from smashing into the ground, the co-pilot managed to regain control and the Chinook soared into the sky. If your score isn't where you'd like it to be, think about the things you love, the activities that bring you joy, and consciously integrate them into your day.

AeroTime caught up with Liz earlier this week and also appointed her as the latest AeroTime Aviation Champion in recognition of her work and dedication to the industry. So you can take a lot around you, a lot of battle damage and as long as the engines are still running and you are still going, then you’re okay. BARB stands for British Army Recruit Battery and is a computer-based psychometric test someone must take before they can serve in the Army, to decide if they are suitable.Almost 45 minutes after taking off from Camp Bastion, 60 miles to the south-west, the Chinooks approached the drop-off point, with one aircraft circling above while McConaghy’s machine hugged the scorched earth, sending clouds of sand and dust into the morning sky as it settled its netted cargo of ammo on the ground. And he said ‘well, actually, it’s a wire, and the job is in helicopter recruitment’ and I was like I want to do that job. When she landed a dream job at an aviation company, life looked positive again, but then, in March 2020, Britain entered its first Covid lockdown.

Now hired as a motivational speaker, Liz shares how she has overcome her struggles with mental health and the ins and outs of her military career. Her biggest honour of all her duties, however, was serving on the Medical Emergency Response Team, or MERT, flying ambulance as it was more commonly known. Look, she’s the girl doing this job,’ you’re almost saying that they’re not capable of it in the first place.As an independent charity, this area of work as proved invaluable as a fundraising tool for the Museum, to ensure they can continue to develop the work they do in telling the story of army aviation to audiences young and old. What an inspirational story of courage to share her vulnerability which is testament to her strength! Of the awards themselves, Tom Dalby, former CEO and co-founder of Defence Discount Service, said: "It's a great way of recognising inspirational women in defence and it's something that we're exceptionally proud to run each year and, actually. By sharing her journey coping through PTSD enabled our people to get a better understanding of the condition and most importantly, how to manage it. As the situation in Afghanistan escalated, McConaghy’s responsibilities grew, leading to some harrowing experiences on the medical emergency response team.

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