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Who still operates the Sea King?

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Who still operates the Sea King?

Old 19th Sep 2021, 15:37
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Who still operates the Sea King?

Seeing this rather nice civillian operated Sea King on Saturday had me wondering who still operates the type and how many in civilian hands?


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Old 19th Sep 2021, 17:42
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I believe there are now two airworthy in the UK - the one above and a Commando.

Off the top of my head I can't think of any other civilian/preserved examples. Some military examples remain in service, including of course the two USMC VH-3Ds that accompanied Biden on his recent visit to the UK
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 17:57
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I believe there are now two airworthy in the UK - the one above and a Commando.

Off the top of my head I can't think of any other civilian/preserved examples. Some military examples remain in service, including of course the two USMC VH-3Ds that accompanied Biden on his recent visit to the UK
There are considerably more than 2 of the USMC operated ones in service. There may also be some civilian operated ones in use in the UK for coastguard use but I'm not sure about that; I certainly saw one transitting eastbound on H3 a few weeks ago.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 18:01
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The Qatari sold their fleet of 10 to Pakistan last month.
So at least Pakistan is still operating them.

HeliOps in UK (training for German navy)
German navy (to be retired 2023)
Norway is phasing out (2022)
India Navy has still some 42B but will replace by Sikorsky MH-60R.
For the Egypt Westland Commando’s an overhaul contract was placed in 2015 but not much news since??

Are you looking for Westland Sea King operators only or also Sikorsky H-3/S-61?
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 19:47
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Originally Posted by Self loading bear View Post
Are you looking for Westland Sea King operators only or also Sikorsky H-3/S-61?
I was thinking Westland types but could include all types.
Curious as to the state of the type in general. They seem to be being phased out and once they start appearing in civvi hands that's normally a sign the type will soon dissapear.
Be nice to think we might see them for a few more years to come.

BTW the operator of the yellow Sea King have a Whirlwind. Is that the sole airworthy example? Don't recall seing another?
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 20:55
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A pair of SeaKings is based at the old RNAS Portland IIRC.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 21:31
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Originally Posted by Pypard View Post
A pair of SeaKings is based at the old RNAS Portland IIRC.
Those are probably the HeliOps aircraft.

I found a photo on Jetphotos of dec 2020 of a Egyptian Westland Commando.

Last edited by Self loading bear; 20th Sep 2021 at 04:46.
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Old 19th Sep 2021, 22:22
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
There are considerably more than 2 of the USMC operated ones in service.
Yes, HMX-1 (the Presidential flight) has around a dozen VH-3Ds. It's the only USMC squadron still operating the Sea King.

Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
There may also be some civilian operated ones in use in the UK for coastguard use but I'm not sure about that; I certainly saw one transitting eastbound on H3 a few weeks ago.
I don't believe the Coastguard operates anything so ancient, so the one you saw would probably have been one of the two heritage aircraft discussed above, or one of the aforementioned HeliOps machines (both of their airworthy ones are still on the military register).
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Old 20th Sep 2021, 08:15
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British International Helicopters still have three S-61Ns registered in the UK - do they fly?

The HeliOps Sea Kings can some times be see operating out of Portland on ADSB - one is XV666, can't recall the serial of the other but it is a rather newer airframe.

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Old 20th Sep 2021, 11:13
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
British International Helicopters still have three S-61Ns registered in the UK - do they fly?

The HeliOps Sea Kings can some times be see operating out of Portland on ADSB - one is XV666, can't recall the serial of the other but it is a rather newer airframe.
From the BIH website:-
"BIH operates two AW189s in the Search and Rescue role and two S61N Support Helicopters based at Mount Pleasant Airfield in the Falkland Islands.
The SAR service is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and carries out a range of duties in extremely challenging environmental conditions"
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Old 20th Sep 2021, 11:54
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BIH have 3 S-61s on the UK register, including the appropriately-registered G-FLKI, but they have never operated Sea Kings.

The other HeliOps flyer is XZ920. They were also reportedly restoring ZA166 to airworthy status a few years ago, but I don't think it has actually flown to date.
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Old 21st Sep 2021, 06:58
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Old 22nd Sep 2021, 00:55
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At least 6 companies in the US still operate the S-61:
AAR
Carson Helicopters
Croman Corporation
CHI Aviation
Helimax Aviation
Helicopter Transport Services

John Scott
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Old 22nd Sep 2021, 09:58
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HeliOps XV666 is busy in the Yeovil area just at the moment. Hadn't noticed it in a while...
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Old 22nd Sep 2021, 19:29
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Originally Posted by munnst View Post
BTW the operator of the yellow Sea King have a Whirlwind. Is that the sole airworthy example? Don't recall seing another?
Yes, its the only airworthy example.

They also have the only airworthy Wessex as well
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Old 23rd Sep 2021, 13:00
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
The HeliOps Sea Kings can some times be see operating out of Portland on ADSB - one is XV666, can't recall the serial of the other but it is a rather newer airframe.
In Weymouth three days ago, Monday 20 Sept, thought I must be mistaken thinking a high hovering aircraft over the town was a Sea King, but looks like I could have been correct.
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Old 24th Sep 2021, 19:05
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Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
Yes, its the only airworthy example.

They also have the only airworthy Wessex as well
Wow. Only one Wessex airworthy. That's sad.
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Old 24th Sep 2021, 19:06
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Just to broaden the debate a little. How many civvi Hueys still flying?
I saw one in the UK a few years ago.
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Old 25th Sep 2021, 15:54
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Originally Posted by munnst View Post
Wow. Only one Wessex airworthy. That's sad.
It is; I flew in 3 of them (XM330, XS241, XL728) with test pilots from Farnborough and had a great time.
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