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Sea King HAS.5 (XZ574)

Sea King HAS.5 (XZ574)

Falklands War History

As part of 820 Naval Air Squadron, this aircraft sailed from Portsmouth on the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible on 5th April 1982.  On the 23rd April during the passage south from Ascension Island this aircraft, piloted by HRH The Prince Andrew was sent to the aid of a Sea King from HMS Hermes that had ditched in the sea.  Flt Lieutenant R Grundy, the pilot of the ditched aircraft, was rescued but the aircrew man was not found.

On the 2nd June XZ574 was again involved in the rescue of a downed FAA aircrew, this time Flt Lieutenant Mortimer, the pilot of an 801 Squadron Sea Harrier, shot down by an Argentinean Roland anti-aircraft missile.  Mortimer spent 8 hours in the water before the emergency light beacon on his helmet was spotted by XZ574’s crew.

XZ574 left the Falklands on the 28th August 1982 with 820 Squadron on HMS Invincible.

During the conflict the Sea King was an important work horse for the Task Force.  824 Naval Air Squadron used Sea Kings to provide the Helicopter Delivery Service to ships of the British Task Force.  By the end of the conflict, they had moved over 2,000 tonnes of stores in 650 operating hours.

This Sea King HAS.5 (XZ574) helicopter entered service with the Royal Navy in 1976.  During its service it took part in the Falklands Conflict and a famous maritime rescue operation.  It was withdrawn from service in 2004 and entered the Fleet Air Arm Museum collections in 2008.

Statistics

Type: Helicopter Anti-Submarine

Crew: 4

Length: 17.1 metres (55ft 9 3/4ins)

Rotor Diameter: 18.9 metres (62ft)

Engine: 2x Rolls-Royce Gnome H.1400-1 turbine

Speed: 161mph

Dates Service: 1970 - present


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