MORAY RESIDENTS WILL be offered an opportunity to have a first close-up look at a Sea King rescue helicopter that has itself been ‘rescued’ for permanent residence in the region.
The Mk3 Sea King XZ592 was saved from the scrap yard by Morayvia and will stand alongside their Nimrod Mk2 ‘The Duke of Edinburgh’ as a permanent exhibit in their new interactive science and technology centre.
First, however, the iconic aircraft is set to ‘go on tour’ this weekend – making stops in Buckie, Elgin, Lossiemouth and Forres before arriving at its permanent base at Kinloss.
Members of the public can have a close-up and personal view of XZ592 at the Regency Garage on the High Street in Buckie on Saturday morning from 9am before it departs for Elgin’s Regency Garage on Linkwood Place, where it is due to arrive at 11.30am.
The helicopter, accompanied by Morayvia’s Nimrod exhibit, is due to depart for Lossiemouth where it will arrive at 2pm in the car park at Station Park. At around 3.15pm the tour will move on to Forres where they are due to arrive at the Lidl Car Park at 4pm, departing an hour later to travel to the Morayvia HQ at 5pm.
XZ592 enjoyed an illustrious career with the RAF. Built in 1978 by Westland the aircraft saw service in the Falkland Islands in combat camouflage colours before returning to the UK where it was again painted the distinctive yellow of the SAR service.
The aircraft saw service with 22 Squadron and 203(R) Squadron RAF Valley, and was one of several Sea Kings that served with 202 Squadron which had a detachment based at RAF Lossiemouth until April this year, when civilian aircraft assumed the SAR role in their place.
Its last military home was in storage at Gosport from where it was ‘demobbed’ in April before being allocated to Morayvia after a strong campaign for a Sea King to return to Moray.
Morayvia are bidding to cover the costs of their purchase, transportation and exhibition of XZ592 through a crowdfunding effort offering several attractive gifts in exchange for donations.