Sea King Spottersday
On Wednesday afternoon January 9th a photocall was being organized by Koksijde airbase for 250 lucky people. After a quick ID check and pickup of the specially made badge for the event, everyone
could enter the dedicated area at the beginning of RWY02. Sea King RS04 and RS05 were put in static display, as well as a marchetti ST41 which arrived just before the event started. Soon after we
arrived, RS02 -the star of the day- was being towed to the helipad for the flights later that afternoon and evening. To support the photocall some visitors of the Belgian Air Force came to our
coastal airbase. A marchetti made some touch and go's, a C-130 and ERJ-135 made some practice approaches and two F-16's made a base attack. Big surprise was a NATO E-3A Awacs which made an approach
at the start of the event. There were some small demonstrations of an A.109, NH-90MTH and NH-90NFH, Alouette III and offcourse the star of the day: the Sea King. The weather was the weather we can
expect early January: ice cold northerly wind, rain, hail and sun. When the sun was set it was time for a nightshoot. Four light units were installed which lighted the helipad very good and all
three based helicopter types were presented very nice. The strong wind made good night photography very difficult, but we are still very happy about the results. We would like to thank all the crews
and support personnel to make this great day happen. We hope more small events like this will be possible in the future.
Last flight RS02
Sunday January 13th was again a sad day as the third Sea King was being
retired. They took off at 14:09 and flew till 15:56. After take-off they first
made a low pass before continuing with seawork. After their seawork they went
to AZ St Jan hospital in Brugge for two LZ landings. They returned back to Koksijde
via the coastline, the scenery where this lady was being flown for over 42 years.
Again a low pass was made and after her final landing, a water salute of the
fire department was given before her last shutdown. The first flight of RS02
was on April 8th 1976, had 12.502hrs on the clock and 738 scrambles till its
final retirement. Thank you for serving us so well!