I am 99% certain this was training. The Griffons are operated by SARTU - Search and Rescue Training Unit - from RAF Valley. They are winch capable and from experience they often use Yr Aran for some reason. From public information I’ve seen (I’m not publishing private MR info) they had an RAF crew member on the ground and 4 RAF, plus a civilian in the Heli. I suspect they were doing winch training when an “uh oh, better land it now” moment arrived and the pilot stuck it down immediately.
Saw a picture of what’s left… not much!
Now pity the poor old RAF Mountain Rescue Team members who will be 24 hour a day “Crash Guard”, come rain, hail or shine.
Modern aircraft contain all sorts of nasty stuff. So best to stay away from it. Which is why Crash Guard will be up there.
The whole thing around Snowdon was even more confused because there were some “bread and butter” injured person callouts going on elsewhere on Snowdon. So other helicopter activity was involved with that. Busy busy!
Llanberis Mountain Rescue had 10 (yes 10!) callouts on Saturday and Sunday on Snowdon…
I bumped into RAF Crash Guard on Ben MacDui in May 2001. They had been stuck up there since two USAF F-15’s crashed at the end of March! Sadly that caused fatalities. They had to wait for all the snow to melt to find everything. But in the meantime they were removing tons and tons of snow contaminated by jet fuel, to protect the delicate “tundra” environment on the top of MacDui. This was helicoptered off to Braemar where it was processed. What a job!