Someone in Defence can’t count ;-)

The offical and officially cleared caption on this photo says…

Royal Australian Navy AS 350BA Squirrel Helicopters from 723 Squadron conduct a six ship formation fly past over HMAS Albatross.


…and, yes, I know the seventh aircraft is a Bell 429, but the caption doesn’t account for its existence.



sir_jeffrey_blog_logoAnother comment from resident crankyman Sir Jeffrey Armiger, a retired Public Servant with a pet hate for BE – bovine excrement. Follow Sir Jeffrey on Facebook here.





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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

2 thoughts on “Someone in Defence can’t count ;-)

  • 06/11/2017 at 1:14 pm

    Caption is technically correct – it is a six ship formation of Squirrels (probably a rare thing to have them all fly at once)
    The Bell is probably from a different unit and is being used to record the event for Navy/PR – I see side door open.
    This would enable Air to Air photos and video could be obtained.
    Does it need to be part of the caption, probably not.

    • 06/11/2017 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks for your comment Stephen.
      In my world, the ‘rule’ for captions is, it must ‘describe the action in the photo in present tense’. As such, the Bell’s presence should be at least acknowledged if not explained.
      I would have written this something like – “AS 350BA Squirrel helicopters from the Royal Australian Navy’s 723 Squadron conduct a six-ship formation flypast over HMAS Albatross [for ?occasion?], while a Bell 429 with photographers on board shadows the formation” (note the other corrections too).
      To most people (especially fans of this web site, who are military knowledgeable), my (tongue-in-cheek) post might sound nitpick-ey or even petty. But, as a PR/media professional, I cringe at ‘errors’ like this because the whole point of Defence putting out these photos is to inform and educate the public, via the media (many of whom barely know the difference between a helicopter and an airplane, let alone two helicopter types, painted the same colour, at pin-prick size in a photo (which I cropped significantly)).
      All that said, I wasn’t having a serious dig at Defence (this time). I even used a winking emoji 😉
      Sir Jeffrey
      Resident Crankyman


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