RAF rescue craft set for spectacular show

Sea King
Sea King

THE RAF Sea King is just one of the aircraft which will be wowing the crowds during the four-day festival of flight.

The Westland Sea King HAR3 entered RAF service in 1978 and the 3A in 1996: both marks of aircraft are used in the Search and Rescue (SAR) role.

For the search aspect of its role, the Sea King is able to operate to precise navigational standards and is fitted with a multi-band homing system, satellite navigation systems, a search radar, a comprehensive avionics suite and a large selection of radios.

For its rescue role, the aircraft is equipped with a hydraulically operated main rescue hoist, an electrically-operated emergency rescue hoist and electrical connections suitable for powering medical equipment such as incubators.

The crew is made up of four members: two pilots, a radar operator who acts as the winch operator at the rescue scene and a winchman, normally trained to paramedic standard, who will supply immediate first aid and recovery services at the rescue site.

The SAR fleet of Sea Kings are fitted with a video/infrared detection pod, which is similar to the equipment used by police helicopters to help search for casualties.

All SAR crews are trained to operate using night-vision goggles over unfamiliar terrain.