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conor1939

Royal Navy SAR Sea Kings circa 1979 - What livery?

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Hello,

I was reading earlier that the Fleet Air Arm used Sea King helicopters in the SAR role alongside the Wessex since the 1960s, and that both participated in rescues during the tragic 1979 Fastnet yacht race.

I know Wessexes at the time were painted in Dayglo Red/Extra Dark Sea Grey, would the Sea Kings have been the same?

Many thanks,
Conor

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RN Sea Kings were not employed as dedicated SAR aircraft at the time, but rather performed rescue duties as a secondary role. Therefore they operated in their normal finish of overall RAF Blue-Grey - which, incidentally, I believe was also the colour applied to the Wessex, rather than EDSG as stated....

Edited by andyf117

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Ah yes, BlueGrey. Thank you for clearing that up :)

The Sea King HAS1 in deed carried the secondary rescue role because they had longer range & Day / Night capability & were RAF Blue Gray overall , Fastnet rescue was carried out by 771 NAS who had just received the Wessex HU5 only two were in RAF Blue Gray/ Docker blaze dayglo red the others were in intrim Olive Green /Post Office Red finish. They were joined by 706 NAS & German Navy OCU Sea Kings in the rescue from RNAS Culdrose.

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Sea Kings did not completely replace Wessexes until 1996 - depends on the prototype you want to model really - as they had a protracted entry in service from late 1978 !

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Sea Kings did not completely replace Wessexes until 1996 - depends on the prototype you want to model really - as they had a protracted entry in service from late 1978 !

Sea Kings did not completely replace Wessexes until 1996 - depends on the prototype you want to model really - as they had a protracted entry in service from late 1978 !

Sorry Pete610 Sea King HAR / HU 5 took over the SAR roll completely in 1988 & the Wessex stood down in FAA service. I believe 84 Sqn RAF in Cyprus were the last to use the SAR Wessex HAR2. The first batch of 66 HAS1 Sea Kings arrived from 1969 at RNAS Culdrose with 700s OEU. 706 NAS OCU & 824 NAS HMS Ark Royal formed the first units on type. Regards Len

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Hi Guys, fascinated to find this thread.

I was first SAR pilot airborne on the Fastnet '79 rescue in a 771 Wessex Mk5 and have just published my book Rescue Pilot. (see www.rescuepilot.net where you can read the first chapter for free if you scroll to the bottom of the home page). We mainly used Mk5s that were still in drab olive green that day as they were only just coming to the squadron to replace the Mk1s, starting a few weeks earlier.

The airframe that you usually see in any news pictures from that day was XT482 in drab olive. Lt Albie Fox flew it in the morning and I lifted 10 people from Golden Apple in the afternoon using the same airframe. The starboard side of it is now the aircraft from which you exit onto the flight deck exhibition at the FAA museum in Yeovilton. But when you enter it you're actually entering the port side of XT769, in which I also did 11 rescues, first when she was in green and then from the end of 1979 in the proper blue and dayglo SAR colours of 771 NAS.

The best preserved example of the Mk5 is at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Doncaster (XS 481), although that one is also in olive colours. It's the airframe I was flying during the air day incident described and illustrated in the book.

There are no Wessex Mk5s still flying today but I've been excited to learn that XT761 has recently been acquired by the FAA Historic Flight and moved back to Culdrose. She was the machine I flew during the Skopelos Sky rescue described in the free first chapter. I suspect that it may be the intention of the Historic Flight to one day get her airborne again. What a day that would be!

Happy to supply any detail photos that anybody needs. Best way to get my attention is on the book Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rescue-Pilot/882280861803740?ref=hl

Great to know that you guys are keeping the memory of these wonderful aircraft alive through your modelling. I was alerted to your site by a lovely review of the book by one of your members at http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234981496-rescue-pilot-by-jerry-grayson/

Please post pictures of the end results, I'd love to share them.

Cheers

JerryG

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Hi Guys, fascinated to find this thread.

I was first SAR pilot airborne on the Fastnet '79 rescue in a 771 Wessex Mk5 and have just published my book Rescue Pilot. (see www.rescuepilot.net where you can read the first chapter for free if you scroll to the bottom of the home page). We mainly used Mk5s that were still in drab olive green that day as they were only just coming to the squadron to replace the Mk1s, starting a few weeks earlier.

The airframe that you usually see in any news pictures from that day was XT482 in drab olive. Lt Albie Fox flew it in the morning and I lifted 10 people from Golden Apple in the afternoon using the same airframe. The starboard side of it is now the aircraft from which you exit onto the flight deck exhibition at the FAA museum in Yeovilton. But when you enter it you're actually entering the port side of XT769, in which I also did 11 rescues, first when she was in green and then from the end of 1979 in the proper blue and dayglo SAR colours of 771 NAS.

The best preserved example of the Mk5 is at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Doncaster (XS 481), although that one is also in olive colours. It's the airframe I was flying during the air day incident described and illustrated in the book.

There are no Wessex Mk5s still flying today but I've been excited to learn that XT761 has recently been acquired by the FAA Historic Flight and moved back to Culdrose. She was the machine I flew during the Skopelos Sky rescue described in the free first chapter. I suspect that it may be the intention of the Historic Flight to one day get her airborne again. What a day that would be!

Happy to supply any detail photos that anybody needs. Best way to get my attention is on the book Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rescue-Pilot/882280861803740?ref=hl

Great to know that you guys are keeping the memory of these wonderful aircraft alive through your modelling. I was alerted to your site by a lovely review of the book by one of your members at http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234981496-rescue-pilot-by-jerry-grayson/

Please post pictures of the end results, I'd love to share them.

Cheers

JerryG

Thanks for the great information Jerry regards Len

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Excellent insight and advice from all, thank you.
I think I will attempt the Olive drab/ Post Office Red scheme, I have the Modeldecal Sheet which includes this scheme for XT471/524 of 771 NAS in 1981. I imagine it would still have been the same in 1979? Of course I can change the serials to whichever aircraft needs be as these come from a separate Xtradecal generic white lettering sheet :)

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Thanks for the heads-up on your book Jerry, I'll see if can get a copy. Good to see you still remember the colour scheme, which is unusual for aircrew, they are normally only interested in the cab getting them to and safely back from the mission. We've got a Wessex Single Type Group Build starting here on BM but unfortunately only next year. You migth want to look in when we get going.

I was a Wessex 5 grubber on 845 back in 65-67, great cab to work on. A Lt McGregor was our flight commander, he later went onto instruct the Prince of Wales "Red Dragon". Great guy.

Colin

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Heloman1 - I much look forward to the single type group build, you could have chosen no finer airframe.

Conor 1939 - Although most "cabs" were temporarily in olive and day-glow the overall olive drab that they were delivered in (from their junglie squadrons) was generally replaced by the SAR day-glow plus BLUE over time. Either scheme would be accurate.

XT471 is recorded as having perished at Dishforth in 1998, probably as a fire training airframe. I flew her on two scrambles in 1979. If somebody could help me with how to attach files and photos here I have some that might be interesting to you.

The other task I flew in that airframe was the casualty evacuation from the 1980 British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch (described in the book) which resulted directly in all Grands Prix having to have a helicopter present before they could start. She did indeed have the side number 524.

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Hi Guys, fascinated to find this thread.

I was first SAR pilot airborne on the Fastnet '79 rescue in a 771 Wessex Mk5 and have just published my book Rescue Pilot. (see www.rescuepilot.net where you can read the first chapter for free if you scroll to the bottom of the home page). We mainly used Mk5s that were still in drab olive green that day as they were only just coming to the squadron to replace the Mk1s, starting a few weeks earlier.

The airframe that you usually see in any news pictures from that day was XT482 in drab olive. Lt Albie Fox flew it in the morning and I lifted 10 people from Golden Apple in the afternoon using the same airframe. The starboard side of it is now the aircraft from which you exit onto the flight deck exhibition at the FAA museum in Yeovilton. But when you enter it you're actually entering the port side of XT769, in which I also did 11 rescues, first when she was in green and then from the end of 1979 in the proper blue and dayglo SAR colours of 771 NAS.

The best preserved example of the Mk5 is at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Doncaster (XS 481), although that one is also in olive colours. It's the airframe I was flying during the air day incident described and illustrated in the book.

There are no Wessex Mk5s still flying today but I've been excited to learn that XT761 has recently been acquired by the FAA Historic Flight and moved back to Culdrose. She was the machine I flew during the Skopelos Sky rescue described in the free first chapter. I suspect that it may be the intention of the Historic Flight to one day get her airborne again. What a day that would be!

Happy to supply any detail photos that anybody needs. Best way to get my attention is on the book Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rescue-Pilot/882280861803740?ref=hl

Great to know that you guys are keeping the memory of these wonderful aircraft alive through your modelling. I was alerted to your site by a lovely review of the book by one of your members at http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234981496-rescue-pilot-by-jerry-grayson/

Please post pictures of the end results, I'd love to share them.

Cheers

JerryG

Just ordered a copy of your book, Jerry; sounds great. I later flew SAR Sea Kings as SPLOT 819 at Gannet, but only ever had the pleasure of flying in a Wessex as a passenger Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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Sorry Pete610 Sea King HAR / HU 5 took over the SAR roll completely in 1988 & the Wessex stood down in FAA service. I believe 84 Sqn RAF in Cyprus were the last to use the SAR Wessex HAR2. The first batch of 66 HAS1 Sea Kings arrived from 1969 at RNAS Culdrose with 700s OEU. 706 NAS OCU & 824 NAS HMS Ark Royal formed the first units on type. Regards Len

Agreed - sorry - I was talking about Wessexes in general - not the SAR of the OP :oops:

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Is there any way we poor benighted Canuckians can get hold of your book, Jerry? The website seems to believe that Canada doesn't exist :(

I'd love to do a review of it over at Aeroscale...

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To ExFAAWAFU - Thanks for the book purchase. Love to know what you think of it when you've had time to read it. I never served on 819 but your guys were of course the last to pick up anybody alive on the day of Fastnet '79 after the long transit down to Cornwall from Prestwick. I was heavily reminded of this by Nick Ward last month (Author of "Left for dead") when we met up for the BBC radio 4 programme "Reunion" http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05q5ynq He couldn't have been more grateful.

To Jessica - Yes, you've highlighted a conundrum. The official word is that, despite being published in the UK in March and in Australia in April, the book version won't appear in the USA and Canada until September, I have no idea why that is. You can certainly buy the Kindle version here ...

http://www.amazon.ca/Rescue-Pilot-Cheating-Jerry-Grayson/dp/1472917936/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431097337&sr=8-1&keywords=rescue+pilot

On the other hand, Random House Canada seem to have it available here http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/445062/rescue-pilot#9781472918840 and I'd be interested to know whether they can supply as there's been a good deal of interest from Canada.

Thanks for the interest guys!

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Well, that's sorted my spare time reading for the next couple of days - I'm off out to work this afternoon, and good old Mr Google has the e-version of Jerry's book on special. As much as I prefer 'real books', e-books have a convenience that is hard to fault.

Thanks Jerry, that first chapter makes the rest of the book look promising.

(And as I have noted before, the beauty of BM is that we can interact with 'people who know', the bods that were there at the time.)

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