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Old 21 May 2015, 14:11   #1
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Goodbye SeaKing

Today 771 Squadron, Culdrose marked the end of an era over mid Cornwall. 771 and their SAR Seakings will soon be no more. To mark the occasion, the last six Seakings flew in formation over central Cornwall to say goodbye. One was on 'standby' and was called off for a shout, that left five and a Merlin carrying film crews and press. It was touching having spent my whole life living under a Seaking 'corridor'.

Pic1 is Pendennis Point, Falmouth. Falmouth CG station can be clearly seen.

Pic2 shows the kids of Illogan Junior School in their red jumpers.

https://www.facebook.com/BBCRadioCornwall?fref=ts
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Old 21 May 2015, 14:13   #2
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So sad to see them go they have been a marvelous workhorse over the years.
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Old 21 May 2015, 14:47   #3
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Just the aircraft being retired or the squadron?

There is something oddly moving about old aircraft. Built when engineers were half magician. Drawn by hand on paper. Worked well because some magician said he knew it would and the math kind of supported that. The old B17, B25, and a P51 mustang were visiting town last week. It was a great time to work next to the airport and live next to the approach path.
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Old 21 May 2015, 15:08   #4
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Just the aircraft being retired or the squadron? .
Both.

SAR operations have been moved to coastguard who have a fleet of shiny new helos which are faster and with longer range.

Some of the military bases and squadrons only exist to support this civi rescue role so will also go. Many of their crew will move to the CG.
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Old 21 May 2015, 15:23   #5
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I will be sorry to see them go. I've holidayed in Cornwall on & off for over 40 years - usually messing about in a boat when there - & been used to helicopters from Culdrose buzzing around.
Always go down well with their performances with the lifeboats on the various lifeboat days.
I do remember in the 70's when they were still using the Wessex that it wasn't unusual for them to lower a bucket with bottles of beer down to one of the fishing boats & the boat crew would fill the bucket with fresh mackerel or crabs
Hopefully the level of service won't be reduced, but it is a worry.

I did wonder where No 6 had gone on pics posted on another forum!
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Old 21 May 2015, 16:13   #6
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..... a bucket with bottles of beer down to one of the fishing boats & the boat crew would fill the bucket with fresh mackerel or crabs
Yer - not the first airman to receive Cornish crabs in a beer driven transaction I'd bet...
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Old 21 May 2015, 17:40   #7
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Hopefully the level of service won't be reduced, but it is a worry.
Its odd that people worry about that when HMCG have been running highly acclaimed helo rescue services for years.

I understand the nostalgia for the old girls but I also find it peculiar that people (not just on ribnet) seem reticent about replacing helos but excited about the latest lifeboat design!
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Old 22 May 2015, 05:11   #8
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Its odd that people worry about that when HMCG have been running highly acclaimed helo rescue services for years.

I understand the nostalgia for the old girls but I also find it peculiar that people (not just on ribnet) seem reticent about replacing helos but excited about the latest lifeboat design!

not always

http://m.scotsman.com/news/scotland/...sure-1-3773687

This is due the upgrade of the fleet


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Old 22 May 2015, 16:49   #9
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personally - very very grateful for their service, but happy with a more modern, faster and better equipped replacement.
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Old 22 May 2015, 17:17   #10
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Just the aircraft being retired or the squadron?

There is something oddly moving about old aircraft. Built when engineers were half magician. Drawn by hand on paper. Worked well because some magician said he knew it would and the math kind of supported that. The old B17, B25, and a P51 mustang were visiting town last week. It was a great time to work next to the airport and live next to the approach path.
It's always emotional to see old aircraft and vessels retired. It's like old horses being shot. I have a client who was an engineer on the VTOL project in the video - he still gets all misty talking about them:


I've flown in the S61 and the S92 (the S61 being the base aircraft for the Seaking). There's no comparison, a superior aircraft in every way. The aircrew on the S92 in question were largely ex-RAF or NAVY and seemed to be happy in civvy street. I'd be very happy to have them searching for me
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