One of the retired Royal Canadian Air Force Sea King helicopters was transported through Langford on Aug. 6. (Karissa Gall/News Staff)

Sea King spotted in Langford as DND works to divest retired aircraft

Helicopter destined for the Comox Air Force Museum trucked through Langford on Aug. 6

It was a bird! It was a plane! No, it was a retired Sea King helicopter trucked through Langford on Aug. 6.

According to a spokesperson for CFB Esquimalt, the helicopter was being transported down Sooke Lake Road on Tuesday evening, en route from 443 Squadron at Patricia Bay to the Comox Air Force Museum.

The aircraft, one of 28 retired from flying status by the Royal Canadian Air Force in December, was originally from a fleet of 41 purchased in 1963. Over the years, the aircraft were used for search and rescue operations, disaster relief, counter-narcotic operations as well as fisheries, international peacekeeping operations, and pollution patrols.

READ MORE: Royal Canadian Air Force retires CH-124 Sea King helicopters

A spokesperson for the Department of National Defence (DND) said that, following the retirement of the helicopters, DND and Public Services and Procurement Canada have been working on the divestment of the aircraft.

“The Department of National Defence wants to ensure that the venerable history of the Sea King is preserved, while disposing of aircraft in the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way possible,” the spokesperson said.

In addition to the historic chopper transported to Comox last week, seven other Sea Kings have been retained for public display at: Shearwater Aviation Museum (two); Shearwater Memorial Garden; Trenton National Air Force Museum; Borden Military Museum; National Defence Headquarters; and the 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron Gate Guardian in Patricia Bay.

One aircraft has also been retained as a DND and Canadian Armed Forces training aid at the Naval Fleet School Pacific in Victoria, and another has been transferred to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa to be put on display.

Three Sea Kings were demilitarized and converted to waste in September.

“The three helicopters were deemed unsuitable for disposal by any other means, including sale or retention for display,” the spokesperson said. “Many of their parts have been used to help sustain the rest of the fleet as it approached the end of its life cycle.”

Since some of the aircraft were still in good flying condition and enough had been identified for historical preservation, 15 of the helicopters have also been sold to Rotor Maxx Support Limited.

According to DND, the Canadian company will take possession of the aircraft in a phased approach expected to begin in the coming months, and intends to refurbish the aircraft and remarket them to eligible customers.

READ MORE: New SAR plane on display in Comox



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria resident lives well despite dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

New Victoria Conservatory music scholarship recognizes long-time Sidney resident

O. Thomas Webb died in Sidney last year after retiring to the community in 1975

New Oak Bay bylaw supports planting 5,000 new trees

Residents can share thoughts on new tree protection bylaw at Jan. 29 open house

New BC Ferries hybrid-electric vessels arrive in Victoria

BC Ferries plans to add four more hybrid-electric vessels to fleet

Blue Monday is a myth but seasonal affective disorder and winter blues are real

Canadian Mental Health Association says weather can affect mood

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Most Read