Sunday, 19 February 2012

Seats - Spotter Seats

Spotter Seats

There is on the other hand plenty of documentation to demonstrate the difference in spotter seats.  The seats located at the forward search blisters were an essential part of SAR Labradors, but unnecessary weight and bulk in the troop carrying Voyageur.  Voyageurs, as one might expect of an Army transport helicopter made use of troop seats when carrying personnel.  Troop seats were of the standard red nylon variety typical of all Canadian aircraft.

Canadian Forces illustration of the CH-113 Labrador right hand spotter seat.

Early picture showing the Labrador style seat turned 90 degrees to the right as a spotter performs the tedious task of searching. Both this style and the Voyageur style seat are capable of 360 degree rotation.

This what the Labrador seats looked like in 1976 when I started flying on the Labrador. The SAR Tech harness  draped on the back of the seat is typical. The harness was also stored on the ends of the stretchers.

Canadian Forces illustration of the Voyageur  style spotter seat.  After  SARCUP, all 113 airframes would use this style seat which was infinitely more comfortable than the old Labrador style seat.

When Voyageurs became part of the Air Force SAR inventory, proper spotter seats became a necessity, however where to get seats?  The answer, I believe, was in the Argus.  The Argus seats, if in fact they are Argus, seats were taller and more robust than those of the Labrador, so it made sense to eventually replace the Labrador seats as well.  When the Labrador seats were replaced and the source of the new seats is unclear, but I suspect the source of the seats was the Argus, which was being replaced by the Aurora.!

View of an Argus seat that I believe was the source of Voyageur and then Labrador seats.  I took this picture at the  Air Park in Comox, BC.

Another look at the Argus seat eventually used in all 113s. This seat was photographed in the Comox  Aviation Museum.
This picture is, as the lack of wire and tubing tunnel covers, of a SARCUP Labrador.
Note the later style and colour of the seat covers.
Seat covers were for the longest time red. Note that neither the Argus style seat  or the old Labrador style seat had anything more than a lap belt.

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