Farewell to the RAN Sea King fleet – December 2011


December 15 2011 was the last day of operational flying for the Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of Westland built Sea King helicopters.  The Squadron using them HS-817 was also being decommissioned at the same time. The versatile and legendary helicopter fleet had being acquired during the 1970s to operate primarily from the former aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne in a ASW role but by time of their retirement they had been operating from the RAN home base and from selected ships at sea in a primarily utility support role. The newer S-70 Sea Hawk had replaced the Sea King in ASW operational capabilities.

The day was marked with sadness that a great team of pilots, technicians and support personnel were to be dispersed to other squadrons and role. The day witnessed former aircrew attend including the first HS-817 commander who reminisced with the current commander on the days gone by.

817 Sqn  IMG_0090 IMG_0093 IMG_0081IMG_0101 IMG_0112 IMG_0119 IMG_0121 IMG_0124 IMG_0126 IMG_0148 IMG_0162 IMG_0165 IMG_0171 IMG_0177 IMG_0181 IMG_0182 IMG_0187 IMG_0188 IMG_0193 IMG_0199 IMG_0200 IMG_0201 IMG_0204 IMG_0206 IMG_0208 IMG_0228 IMG_0231 IMG_0232 IMG_0236 IMG_0243 IMG_0247 IMG_0251 IMG_0253 IMG_0255 IMG_0258 IMG_0266  IMG_0280 IMG_0282 IMG_0277IMG_0284 IMG_0290 IMG_0295 IMG_0297 IMG_0298 IMG_0299 IMG_0301 IMG_0303 IMG_0311IMG_0312IMG_0305 IMG_0310    IMG_0325IMG_0315IMG_0320 IMG_0321 IMG_0322  IMG_0334 IMG_0343IMG_0335 IMG_0331IMG_0337 IMG_0338 IMG_0340 IMG_0342  IMG_0346 IMG_0347 IMG_0350 IMG_0354 IMG_0358 IMG_0362 IMG_0363 IMG_0366 IMG_0370 IMG_0372 IMG_0376 IMG_0378 IMG_0381 IMG_0382 IMG_0384 IMG_0387IMG_0386 IMG_0390 IMG_0393 IMG_0394 IMG_0398IMG_0395  IMG_0401 IMG_0402 IMG_0404 IMG_0405 IMG_0406 IMG_0408 IMG_0409 IMG_0410 IMG_0414IMG_0412  IMG_0423IMG_0415 IMG_0416 IMG_0420 IMG_0428IMG_0422  IMG_0431IMG_0438IMG_0424  IMG_0430  IMG_0435  IMG_0447IMG_0439 IMG_0440 IMG_0442 IMG_0444  IMG_0450 IMG_6443 IMG_6659 IMG_6661 IMG_6665 IMG_6666 IMG_6667 IMG_6669 IMG_6674 IMG_6677 IMG_6687IMG_6681 IMG_6682  IMG_6691 IMG_6693 IMG_6701IMG_6703IMG_6694 IMG_6699   IMG_6708 IMG_6709IMG_6729IMG_6707IMG_6710 IMG_6717 IMG_6725  IMG_6730 IMG_6738IMG_6744IMG_6734 IMG_6722 IMG_6746 IMG_6750  IMG_6756 IMG_6767 IMG_6769 IMG_6753IMG_6770 IMG_6774 IMG_6780 IMG_6784 IMG_6788 IMG_6800 IMG_6805 IMG_6809