The Sea King – A fond farewell

On board a ship, a helicopter is silhouetted by an orange sunset.
Onboard a ship at sea, a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-124 Sea King helicopter is silhouetted by the sun setting at deck level. PHOTO: Sergeant René Dubreuil

Tags: | | | | | |

When the Royal Canadian Air Force’s remaining Sea King helicopters are phased out, retired Major Paul O’Reilly admits it will be akin to losing a close friend.

That’s because he spent much of his 34-year career flying the Cold War-era, Sikorsky-built twin-engine amphibious helicopter—first acquired by Canada on May 24, 1963—on and off the decks of Royal Canadian Navy warships.

Major O’Reilly, 71, believes saying goodbye to them will be a teary affair. “You can’t help but get a little bit misty-eyed. For any pilot who flies an aircraft,” he says, “you grow attached to it as the years roll by, and you would forever recognize it instantly.”

Read the rest of the story . . .

Date modified: