Photos of Canadian Navy Flying People in Sea Kings for Questionable Fun

When I went out for my run at 10 AM this morning (Saturday October 22nd), I noticed the choppers were constantly flying relatively low overhead in the Halifax South End. When I got to Point Pleasant Park, I noticed they were flying just above the tree line out on the water next to the park, and did the same thing along the waterfront. Seemed like some serious military exercise was going on!

Being a spy for the Chinese, I got the call to get my digital SLR down to the waterfront for some high shutter speed shots (1/8000th of a second) of what was going on. Turns out, it was all for fun cause there were kids and adults hanging out the opened side doors of these things as they flew by. Must have been Family Day at CFB Shearwater or something.

Jokes aside, though, those helicopters did some questionable maneuvers, in my opinion, as shown below. They were flying close over the ferry, where I’m sure there must have been a serious down draft and lots of noise for the people on the upper deck without hearing protection. They were flying very close to the MacDonald bridge, sometimes at road level beside it, where I’m sure drivers were distracted and the propeller draft was probably felt. One Sea King passed close to a sailing boat and gave it an unexpected nudge sideways with the draft in its sails. And one Sea King almost hit a seagull, as shown in a photo below. That would have been an epic photo and maybe some news story had a collision happen, even if the seagull would have simply been cut to smithereens.

And they were doing this at least from 10 AM to past 6 PM. With at least 3 helicopters going at a time at least 4 times an hour over basically the same routes, that was a lot of noise and rides to be putting up with! So much for a nice quiet walk in the park or waterfront!

6 thoughts on “Photos of Canadian Navy Flying People in Sea Kings for Questionable Fun

  1. As one of the pilots of the five Sea Kings that were flying that day I was happy to show the people who support us, our family’s, a good time. The perspective from the ground can be deceiving as there were never any unsafe maneuvers made. I give you my word.

    I am always happy when I read criticisms of the military and its actions that people have the freedom to write those criticisms, you are most welcome.

    • Thanks for doing what you do, Norm, along with your compatriots in the military. I wasn’t against people having fun and such with the Sea King rides. I thought just thought a little better judgment could have been shown with the activity. I don’t think any of the maneuvers were unsafe to the helicopters, it was the side distractions and their effects that I questioned, like distraction to drivers on the bridge, excess noise to people on the upper deck of the ferry, and the slight tipping of that boat with draft in its sails probably took its passengers by surprise. Let’s hope they liked it rather than have their wine slide off the table or something like that.

      The military does protect us and allow us the freedom, and I am thankful for it having started my life in a country where it wasn’t present that my family and I had to emigrate. However, the military is neither perfect nor solely responsible for that freedom that I hope it would be more than thankful the people have the freedom to criticize it when they see criticisms. That’s the sort of pompous entitled opinion it doesn’t need as every military has its nightmares that if it doesn’t examine things objectively, it becomes like every negative military you can think of… including the ones my family fled from.

      • As one of the people who was lucky enough to fly on the Sea Kings that day, I can say there were no unsafe maneuvers on our helicopter. We were not on Norm Hanley’s helicopter, but like he said, perspective from the ground is different. We weren’t any where near anyone enough to hurt or distract them anymore than any other “traffic” does on a road, including sailboats. I actually own a boat myself, and am a boat captain who is in the Halifax harbour all the time, and I know we weren’t any where near a range that would concern the sail boats. We waved to everyone one of them we went by, and unlike when I am in my own boat, and people wave back, we were so far away from them, they couldn’t even see us waving.

        I do love your photos though, so thanks for posting them. You are very talented.

        • Hi Krista, thanks for your comments and weighing in with the perspective from the public side. I don’t doubt you know what you’re talking about, but maybe you weren’t in one of the flights that did the maneuvers shown? Most didn’t do the maneuvers shown as the photos shown were out of about 300 taken in an hour an a half. The others were just “boring”, only “interesting” for the lack of motion blur in the propellers of flying Sea Kings that was my intent to get the photos in the first place. The others were rather nice which, if I didn’t think the military had some or wanted some, I’d be willing to donate for their public relations purposes. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Regardless, my questioning does not mean I am correct, of course. It opens things for discussion and possibly changes for the better. As one article linked to this said, perhaps a public announcement next year would be good. Maybe they’d consider some guidelines for distance to certain objects like the ferry, boats and bridges, especially where there are people openly exposed to the noise and draft (walkers on bridge on side of those hovering Sea Kings, people on upper deck of ferry). Maybe have more than one route so the people can get a reduction in noise of the things going by all day. Even a second route would have halved the noise impact. Surely there must be more interesting things to see in HRM than just the one route would allow for?

          Thanks again for your comments, though. Added nice insight to the whole situation.

          • You do like to see the negative side of things. Hee! The thing that really made me chuckle was that you said one of the sail boats lufted as the helicopter went by, and you thought that was concerning. Let me stop peeing in my pants! – – – . . . Um . . . are you sure that was from the helicopter? You *do* know sail boats *sail* from the WIND, right? I sail a quite a bit, and have done long distance sailing. If I ever meet a sailor who has a problem with a puff of wind coming off a helicopter, they better get the heck off their boat and sell it immediately because mother nature has tremendously more power than any pitiful helicopter gust. (No offense to the lovely helicopter, of course.) ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyhow, have a nice day!

          • Hi Captain Krista,

            Of course I know Mother Nature has far more power than a helicopter. I can feel it right now during the northeaster. However, I can also tell when it’s not Mother Nature with the tip bigger than the usual bobbing going on when the helicopter approached and the helicopter having a small reaction to veer away.

            As for being negative, I fall on the realistically optimistic point of the Hope Scale. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Stay safe and warm, even if you’re on the waters, during this northeaster!

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