Sea King helicopters finally ready for full retirement on the East Coast
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, January 19, 2018 2:55PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 19, 2018 2:59PM EST
HALIFAX - Three geriatric military aircraft flew in formation above Halifax harbour Friday, marking the long-overdue retirement of the 54-year-old East Coast Sea King fleet.
Several journalists were taken for a ride to record the flight, which comes one week before the helicopters end their operational duties on the East Coast at 12 Wing Shearwater.
The Sea Kings operating on the West Coast at Patricia Bay near Victoria will remain in operation until the end of this year as crews from that base are trained to fly the new CH-148 Cyclone, which has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.
The first Sea Kings arrived at Shearwater on Aug. 1, 1963, and were expected to serve mainly as submarine hunters to deter the former Soviet Union from violating Canadian sovereignty.
But since then, the choppers have had to adapt to a variety of missions as their operational life was repeatedly extended.