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April 26, 2012
CPO Simon Hustwit's years of experi-
ence manoeuvring a 22.15-metre heli-
copter were obvious when he reverse-
parked Sea King Shark 07 at the Fleet
Air Arm Museum on April 4.
The Sea King is the latest addi-
tion to the museum's collection and
was installed in time for Easter and
school holiday visitors to see the Sea
King proudly on display between the
Wessex and Scout helicopters.
Shark 07 was given to the museum
in June 2011 in recognition of the Sea
King's place in naval aviation history.
The Sea King's had more than
60,000 flying hours on operations in
the Middle East, as well as operating
817 Squadron also provided assis-
tance to many Australians, fighting
raging fires, rescuing hundreds of peo-
The Sea King
Shark 07 is moved
nto position at
the Fleet Air Arm
as personnel of
the Sea King
pose in front (inset).
fit for a
ple in flood-ravaged areas and con-
ducting countless sea rescues.
A lot of behind-the-scenes work has
gone into getting the Sea King ready for
its museum debut.
Sea King Logistics Manager Kevin
Beare oversaw the process and said
the helicopter was looking better than
"Many hours have gone into get-
ting Shark 07 safe and suitable for
public display," Mr Beare said.
"All the fluids have been drained
out of the transmission and hydrau-
lic systems, it's been washed with a
special cleaning agent and polished
with automotive polishes. The 817
Withdrawal Unit has done a great job."
For CPO Hustwit, who was with
817 Squadron for 15 years, it was a
labour of love.
"I think it's great that it's got a
place here in the museum. Obviously
it's going to preserve the Sea King
and some of the legacy of 817 for
the people to come and check out,"
"I'm looking forward to bringing
my kids here, and all the boys feel the
same. We can bring our children to the
museum and show them what we've
done and what we used to work on.
We're going to be part of history."
A handover ceremony for the Sea
King is scheduled for later this year.
A TA-4 Skyhawk jet arrived
at HMAS Albatross on an Air
Force C-17 Globemaster on
The Senior Curator of
the Fleet Air Arm Museum,
Terry Hetherington, said the
two-seat aircraft would be the
only RAN Skyhawk held by
the museum, after the former
RAN and Royal New Zealand
Air Force (RNZAF) aircraft
was donated by the New
The Skyhawk was intro-
duced into RAN service in
1967 to provide naval fighter
protection to ADF assets over-
The Skyhawk fleet was
withdrawn from RAN service
in 1984 and subsequently sold
to the RNZAF, which under-
took to return one aircraft to
Australia for heritage purpos-
es after decommissioning.
Following its arrival at
Albatross, the Skyhawk will
be reassembled by the New
Zealand project team and
repainted in 724 Squadron
livery before going on public
The New Zealand govern-
ment has funded the aircraft
disassembly and load prepa-
ration, as well as the reassem-
bly and repainting costs.
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