Flight gear, circa mid-1960s.The chest parachute was required for cross-country work. Crew did not have to wear the parachute of course, just the harness. The chute clipped on the front if needed and no one can recall any instance where a parachute was ever deployed. Oxygen packs were provided which  were good to 14,000 feet but most cross country work was done at 10,000 feet or below. 
The hood was used for simulated instrument flying. All the pilot could see was the instrument panel unless he raised his head to peek.  It was an alternative to the old “bag” (curtain) that was used in fighter/trainer types where the pilot could not see out at all.  Because there was so much windscreen in the Sea King (and  most helicopters) such a solution was impractical. An alternative was one used by the USN where they put clear amber panels in the windscreens and the pilot wore blue goggles. The two cancelled out any view outside but the safety pilot could still see through the amber panels. This system was not used in Canada. 
All photos in this table from the collection of David Wall.

Over Dartmouth N.S. Micmac Mall and Lake Banook are to the right with Lake Micmac to the left. This photo of "Savage 40" shows a modernized Sea King painted up in a vintage scheme for some centennial celebration (unknown at this time). When radar was introduced into the Sea King, the helicopters were  painted up in the new low-IR paint scheme.  Everything was painted in a flat mat finish to reduce 'glint', which the missile IR seeker could 'see' and home on.  Besides being VERY expensive, the paint was very toxic and it  had to be applied in a special paint booth at IMP Halifax.

The early IR missile seekers were sighted slightly off the longitudinal axis of the missile, and rotated with the missile as it spun around the axis for stability while in forward flight.  The missile control would vector the missile to keep the amplitude of the IR signature equal all around as the scanner rotated.  Crude but effective.  The IR flares were designed to ignite very close to the aircraft and draw the missile away as it 'fell away' through a combination of aircraft forward motion and flare gravity free fall.  As you can imagine the 'miss distance' wasn't a whole lot.

Later seekers were more sophisticated (i.e. gimballed and shutters, etc.) and the response in part was the IR heat lamp that you see on (for example) the Gulf War birds.  It was VERY hot and the lamp rotated.  It was designed to present a modulated signal which again would cause the missile seeker to 'think' that the aircraft was slightly off the true missile/aircraft line of site, again leading to a near miss.

Over Sable Island. David Wall recalls the early days of flying the Sea King. " The crew in the back just operated the sonar, the hoist and had a supply of smoke floats to be tossed out the door. That was it – the “co-pilot” was the navigator. I say co-pilot because we used to switch seats on a trip-by-trip basis so the Crew Commander could be in the left seat doing “co-pilot” duties while the second-in-command flew from the right seat. There was never any question who was in command 

However I don’t recall doing a lot of “search plotting” although we were trained to do it and must have done some but most of our time at sea was spent under strict radar control from (usually) one or more DDE’s in the screen or possibly the carrier (Highground). We acted purely as an extension of the ASW screen and while we plotted our own sonar data on the old Mk VI board I think we passed it all back to the ship that was controlling us.We certainly had nowhere near the independent  cabapility that came as a result of advancing technology.

Of course, the best combination was a Tracker overflight on a MADVEC (Magnetic Anomoly Detector Vector) from the Sea King.".

Making a landing on HMCS Bonaventure circa mid-1960s. The fire guard was always suited up for any flying operations, however, those personnel normally stayed inside the base of the island unless required outside and probably did not wear the full suit and hood all the time. 
Oops...this Sea King ran into another while landing on HMCS Bonaventure. No one was injured in the incident. 
seaking_ t58_a.jpg
The original Sea King T-58 engines. 
All photos in this table from the collection of David Wall.

seaking_cockpit5_s.jpg seaking_cockpit4_s.jpg seaking_cockpit11_s.jpg
Co-pilots position Cockpit centre section Pilot's position.
Click to enlarge. All photos in this table from the collection of David Wall.

Credits and References:

1) David Wall <walld(at)>

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May 23/11