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The best show and tell ever? Dad drops into Worthing school - in a helicopter
A father paid a flying visit to his children at their Worthing school by turning up in an RAF helicopter.
High-flying parent Paul Rudd left hundreds of pupils at West Park Primary and Middle School in a spin of excitement.
The 36-year-old petty officer landed as part of a routine flight along the south coast from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire to say hello to his nine-year-old son Ben and seven-year-old daughter Daisy.
More than 750 “delighted” children from the school in Marlborough Road, Worthing, witnessed the 23-metre long Merlin mark III helicopter’s dramatic arrival at 1.45pm on Friday.
PO Rudd lives in Worthing and has been in the Royal Navy for 17 years, although he is currently working with the RAF.
He said: “I had checked with the school beforehand and they said they would love us to come.
“I spend a lot of time away from my children during the week so it is nice to come and see them.
“It was nice for my children to see what I did and also for their friends because it can be quite difficult to explain.
“I had friends and family lined up outside the school and they said the kids were screaming from the first time they saw us as just a little spec in the distance.”
The school’s deputy head Malcolm Howie described the visit as the “best show and tell ever”.
He said: “The cheers from the children could be heard for miles around.
“One child was heard to say, ‘What’s happening next Friday?’ while another Year 3 child said, ‘I don’t want to do PE, I want to make helicopters’, and that is what he did.
“The school were first made aware of the visit a few weeks ago and had told the children that it might happen, although it might have to be cancelled if the crew were called off to another job.”
Mr Howie said the visit had sparked the prospect of a career in the forces with many of the children.
The school was presented with framed and signed pictures of the helicopter to mark the 20-minute visit.
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