The Fleet Air Arm’s 817 squadron is saying farewell today and flying it’s large Sea King Helicopters over Sydney Harbour, Canberra, and their home of Nowra.
Here are the details:
What: Royal Australian Navy Sea King helicopters of 817 Squadron
making their final flight before decommissioning.
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When: Thursday 15 December 2011 between 0930am and 1pm. (Please note that timings for all locations are approximate). The formation will depart Nowra at 0930am and arrive at Sydney Heads at 1020am. The formation will fly over Sydney Harbour between 1020am and 1030am. Arrival in Canberra is expected between 1145am and 12pm. The formation will depart Canberra at 1215pm at the latest and is expected to arrive back in Nowra by 1pm.
Where: A formation of Sea Kings will launch from the Naval Air Station at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, proceed up the NSW coast to Sydney, fly over Sydney Harbour then turn south to Canberra, fly over Lake Burley Griffin and the Australian War Memorial before heading east to the coast, then over the Shoalhaven and back to the Naval Air Station.
Who: Commanding Officer, 817 Squadron, Commander Paul Moggach, will lead the formation.
Why: To mark the end of an era. The Sea King helicopters will be retired after 35 years’ service and 817 Squadron decommissioned after 48 years’ continuous service at a traditional ceremony in Nowra on Friday 16 December 2011.
The Royal Australian Navy’s Sea King helicopters are being retired after 35 years of remarkable service to Australia in times of conflict, peacekeeping, natural disaster, search and rescue and national celebration.
As well as retiring its current aircraft, 817 Squadron will also decommission after 48 years of continual service, during which time it has operated the Wessex and Sea King helicopters.