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Sea King

Sea King ZA298: “King of the Junglies”

Sea King HC4 ZA298 has earned the name “King of the Junglies” after over 34 years’ service with the Royal Navy.  Since 1982 it has clocked up more than 9,000 flying hours operating with the Fleet Air Arm all over the world.   It also delivered the Olympic Flame, via a Royal Marine and a rope, for London 2012.  It will go on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in June 2016.

ZA298 has an exciting and fascinating story to tell.  It famously survived a rocket propelled grenade [RPG] attack in Afghanistan in June 2011 but a team from 845 Naval Air Squadron were able to get the Sea King back to Camp Bastion.  The attack severely damaged the starboard [right hand] side of the helicopter narrowly missing pilot Lt Cdr Steve Brown and injuring the Marine door-gunner.

It is a hardened veteran of several conflicts and the RPG attack was not the only battle damage ZA298 sustained.  During the Falkland’s War [1982], it was attacked by an Argentinean Skyhawk, leaving it with a 30 mm cannon shell hole in one of its rotor blades.  This is now proudly displayed at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.  Later it served in both Gulf Wars and in Bosnia where it was hit by small arms fire during a rescue of civilian refugees.

In recent years the green Sea King HC4 ‘Junglie’ Marine battle field transport helicopters have been a common site in Somerset’s skies but as a type the Sea King retires from service with the Fleet Air Arm in March 2016. Only a few specialist machines will remain in service.


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