...... I will forgive you the loss of hearing the arthritic ankles and the dodgy back because you looked after me a treat. Not all of my colleagues can say the same but I guess being on the very first Sea King training course was my lucky break.
PPruNer SWBKCB posted an alert on the Nostalgia Thread about this programme coming-up on 28th February but .. it is probably better addressed on a separate thread where Sea King crews past and present (and others) can air their thoughts on this dependable craft.
100+ being retired in the UK in3 years and counting. I wonder if the government will wake up and think: "Gulp" where has our mil rotary fleet gone? The Sea King has served this country well, she's tired and desperate for retirement but carries on relentless. Fantastic value for money. I hope some respectable 'other' country will buy them up and run them for another 40 years!!!!!
Duration: 59 minutes John Sergeant presents a TV love letter to one of Britain's most iconic aircraft, the Sea King helicopter. An unsung hero of Britain's flying past, vital in wartime and yet essential to the search and rescue work of the Royal Navy.
John Sergeant presents a brand new hour-long documentary on BBC TWO celebrating the Sea King helicopter
BBC TWO, Thursday 28th February at 9pm
On the back of last year’s critically acclaimed BBC TWO documentary about the Spitfire, passionate flying enthusiast and broadcaster John Sergeant returns to the channel this February continuing his celebration of British aviation excellence with a televisual love letter to another jewel in Britain’s flying past - the Sea King helicopter.
Once again reveling in his love of all things aeronautical, John, who is himself a former RAF Cadet, guides us through the story of this great aircraft and shares the powerfully emotional stories of the people whose lives it has touched over almost 50 years of service.
The Sea King is the true unsung hero of British aviation history. It has protected British troops through ten wars during over four decades of military and civilian service.
It has mounted a staggering 14,595 British search and rescue missions since Royal Navy records began in 1982 and more recently it has stirred pride in our hearts as the aircraft flown by HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge in his role as a Search and Rescue pilot with the 22 Squadron covering Wales and Northern Ireland.
Prince William says in the show: "I'm incredibly proud to be amongst the Search and Rescue guys and very privileged to be flying with some of the best pilots, I think, in the world."
As its retirement draws near, Sea King: Britain’s Flying Past commemorates half-a-century of noble service with a 60-minute show packed with stunning footage of this mammoth yet graceful helicopter and featuring moving stories of heroism, bravery and flying excellence.
Riding shotgun with Royal Navy pilots from RNAS Yeovilton and also with 771 Squadron at RNAS Culdrose, John travels across the British landscape, relishing the power and grandeur of the aircraft.
John will also meet the men, women and children who have been saved from serious injury or death and the brave pilots who risk their own lives in order to save others. We learn about the sophisticated equipment on board and through archive we’ll begin to understand the pivotal role the Sea King has played in search and rescue at home and in the major wars of the past few decades.
Although in service for over fifty years, Sea Kings first captured the imagination of the British public in the Falklands in 1982.
They played a key part in winning the war with heroic insertion of SAS troops into dangerous terrain, anti-submarine search and attack, even acting as decoys to deflect sea-skimming missiles away from surface ships.
Both at war and on civilian missions the herculean shape of the Sea King thundering across the skies like a prehistoric metal beast, always inspired feelings of fear and hope.
The Sea King always brought relief in one form or another: back-up troops, much needed supplies, rescue facilities, tracking radars.
This Bird has seen all types of duty in its history and in Sea King: Britain’s Flying Past the people who owe their lives and livelihoods to it tell us their moving and fascinating stories.
I saw this programme last night. A nice review of some impressive SAR ops and some good footage. As somebody who occasionally ventures to sea or into the mountains, it is nice to know that there is such skill and service available in an emergency (or at least until privatisation). He often referred to one airframe that had been around for ages (sorry I forgot the number), had been shot down and repaired 3 times, been around since the Falklands etc. My question is how much of the original airframe would actually still exist now ? Clearly the moving parts would have been replaced more than once so is this really a case of Trigger's broom or are they still flying on the same frame structure and hence in need of a rest ?
Does John Sergeant live near Culdrose by any chance?
Or does he have a relative in the RN PR dept?
With all that SAR footage, the only yellow ones were shown with Prince William walking round it or as a second fiddle at Boscastle.
Just remind me who has the most SAR flights in UK again......
Unfortunately we can't get the programme on iPlayer outside the UK so I haven't seen it yet, but I'll find a way!
Crab, I thought the title and the theme of the programme is Sea King, not SAR Flights? Why wouldn't it concentrate on the home of the Sea King since 1969, regardless of the tasking. Might just as well ask why they didn't show more ASW, or sling loading, or RAN/Noggie/German/Indian/Pakistani/Egyptian....
ps can someone tell me what the bagger's said or did that has the Mil Forum in such a tizwaz?
The programme was about the Sea King, the introduction and development of the type. In that context, I thought the balance of the programme was absolutely correct - 59 minutes RN and i minute RAF. One omission, however, was the part played by other nations in the development of the SAR version of the aircraft. No mention of the Norwegians, Germans or Belgians, all of whom contributed hugely to the RN SAR platform which was eventually cherry picked by the Crabs.
I`m sure Geoffers will have enjoyed seeing some of the Mk1 Sea Kings in action.
I enjoyed the programme last night; however, I was surprised that BEA Helicopters were not mentioned. I seem to recal back in the early 1960's (64?) they instroduced the S61 on their service to the Scilly Islands from Penzance heliport (specially built for the S61 operation) this was carried on when BA were formed in 1974 up until the mid 1980's when sold to Robert Maxwell and the name changed to British International Helicopters.
Yes but LAS, the S61 isn't actually a Seaking is it? It also doesn't fall under the remit of the programme in that it concerned on the British version. Which in reality is quite a different aircraft.
As for the concentration on the naval version. Well I happened to think it was a bit overdue. The RAF tend to get all the glory with their yellow birds. I happen to think that the only reason the RAF was mentioned at all was the fact that HR Wales flies one.
You obviously missed the beginning of the programme. John Sergeant was quite specific that Westland had taken the Sikorsky airframe and reworked it completely, starting with the Rolls Royce Gnomes, " and you don`t get much more British than that" were his words.
Many old Sea King lags went on to spend many a happy hour ( and some not so happy) in the S61 and it was a wonderful aircraft, some would say yet to be improved on in spite of the march of technology, but it was not a Sea King.
Crab: Priceless comment The truth is and remains that the vast majority of Se King tasking and flexibility of ops lies with the RN. And the prog reflected that. Brought a lump to my throat meeting all my old buddies again after so many years and seeing how they have all aged at different levels A student of mine - now Cdr Air on Lusty! My old nav - STILL in the mob!! And best of all the two winchmen who won the QGM in 1989 with whom I had the pleasure of flying with. Good to see they are all still fighting fit.
Funny old thing – as I watched last night right up until the point where HRH and the RAF Seaking got a mention, I thought the only footage of a yellow RAF Seaking was going to be the 5 seconds of the model helicopter at Yeovilton that had no blades on it. I just knew there would be a moan in here about the programme not being RAF centric from Crab and I was right
I thought it was a very well done tribute and good to see the two RN Aircrewmen recounting their storey well done chaps.
PS as I recall, there were three SAR helicopters involved on the day at Boscastle – 1 RN, 1 MCA and 1 RAF. I wonder who was the third fiddle. No points for guessing eh Crab