Danish Air Force hold Sea King retirement ceremony

Danish Air Force hold Sea King retirement ceremony

7-Jul-2010 Source: HelIHub.com

Nearly 500 people recently turned up to help 722 Squadron say farewell to the venerable S-61 Sea King rescue helicopter which has anchored rescue operations across the country for 45 years.  Tactical Air Command chief executive, Henrik Dam, called a huge vote of thanks to former crew members, former patients and special invitees who had come to take leave of Sikorsky S-61A Seaking.

Many memories were shared, stories were told and retold, as young and old crowded around to take dignified farewell to the rescue helicopter cwhich has touched many lives.

A last guard flew three S-61s at Karup, which were received back at Squadron 722 with applause on landing after a formation flight.  The subsequent reception started with Maj. Gen. Henry Dam giving a speech where he, among other things, touched on the difficulties the S-61 had an initial stage, but improved over time. He drew parallels to with the  EH101 also having had difficulties in its initial phase, but now ably taking over the duties of the rescue helicopter from the S61.

Squadron Leader Lars Henrik Thor Green talked about the mixed feelings of the S-61 has been a part of – from the good experiences where lives have been saved, to the emotionally difficult experiences where lives are lost.

Finally, SAR pilot Tommy Hesselbjerg shared his anecdotes from his time as a pilot on the S-61.

The Squadron hangar hosted a display of lifejackets from previous missions, and scrapbooks in which you could read articles from the early 1970s to date, chronicling the many missions S-61 has contributed to.

(Adapted from automatic translation of Danish press release)

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