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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 06:20 GMT 07:20 UK
Beach welcome for giant of RAF
The three-mile stretch of sands is helping train pilots in take-off and landing.

A beach in Carmarthenshire is helping to train RAF pilots land a huge Hercules aircraft without a runway.

The 50-tonne planes are among the more unusual visitors to Pembrey Sands near Llanelli.

The three-mile stretch of beach is being used for practising take-off and landings without a conventional runway.

Wing commander Greg Cook said the terrain was ideal, adding: "It is exactly the sort of thing we get involved in every day in Afghanistan."

A crew from RAF Lyneham was among the first to use the beach.

Wing commander Cook said: "It's a skill that every pilot will need to have these days."

He said the training could be useful for humanitarian missions to Darfur, Sudan in the future.


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On board the Hercules planes



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