WATCH: Santa swaps sleigh for a helicopter for final time

Santa hitched a lift with RAF Boulmer for the last time to fly over schools in north Northumberland today.

He left the reindeer behind and hopped on board a helicopter, courtesy of A Flight 202 Squadron, a tradition that is due to end this year with the handover of the UK’s Search and Rescue service to US-owned firm Bristow from April next year.

Santa arrives at Longhoughton First School. Picture by Jane Coltman. Copyright: Johnston Press

Santa arrives at Longhoughton First School. Picture by Jane Coltman. Copyright: Johnston Press

He flew over schools in the district and landed at Longhoughton First School, where youngsters were waiting to meet him.

For more pictures, see Tuesday’s Northumberland Gazette.

* The contract for Bristow Helicopters will see 22 helicopters operating from 10 sites around the country, but the nearest to north Northumberland will be Humberside or Glasgow with additional cover for the area provided from Caernarfon in north Wales..