On Tuesday, 14 March a Royal Airforce Puma helicopter, based at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, landed on the MES playing fields. The pilot and Flight Commander, Sqn Ldr Sarah Seddon of 33 squadron, is an MES FP who was also a member of the CCF during her time at school. Her military career includes tours to Afghanistan and Iraq. A group of 30 lucky S5 and S6 cadets had the amazing opportunity to go for a short flight above the city with the doors of the helicopter left open so the passengers could see the view of the city. Despite the wind, it was a glorious sunny day so the views were spectacular. The trip took the cadets over Murrayfield and out to the Pentlands. From there they made their way back down to Princes Street and then back over Stewart's Melville College to The Mary Erskine School. Some of the later flights were pushed for time so instead of going all the way out to the Pentlands, the cadets were treated to a slingshot type manoeuvre around MES. Lt Col Hamid (Head of Modern Languages at SMC) said of the visit,
Our former Cadets are always welcome back in school, particularly so when, like Sarah, they have made a career of what they first learned in CCF uniform. This day will remain in our memory for many years and may even have changed a young life or two.
The cadets were privileged to be involved in such a unique experience and were extremely grateful to the pilots and their crew and Lt Col Hamid for organising this once in a lifetime experience. They are also thankful to their younger peers who acted as marshals around the landing site ensuring everyone stayed at a safe distance.