Editorial: Welcome to the new SAR era – but ‘D’ Flight a hard act to follow

A special tribute on behalf of insideMoray by our aviation expert Mike Crutch.

202 Sqn ‘D’ Flight Sea King HAR.3 over Lossiemouth (Mike Crutch)

At 8am today the Sea Kings of No.202 Squadron ‘D’ Flight are stood-down from their search and rescue (SAR) task at RAF Lossiemouth, ending just a few months short of 43 years of service.

The flight was the first RAF unit to move into Lossiemouth in the Autumn of 1972, following the handover from the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm in September that year.

Back then, the unit flew the Whirlwind HAR.10 in the trademark ‘canary yellow’ scheme adopted by the RAF’s search and rescue force.

1978 saw the arrival into service of the Sea King HAR.3, the airframes still being in service to this day although they are rigorously maintained and overhauled at set periods as certain flying hour thresholds are reached for both airframe, engines and equipment.

insideMoray joins the many people, civilian and military, that have come to depend on the service they have provided in thanking the air and ground crews that have served throughout D Flight’s time in Moray.

We wish those taking up the SAR mantle with HM Coast Guard at Dalcross Airport near Inverness the very best in their new role.

They have a tough act to follow.

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