"It's in fine shape. It just looked like it may have had a little bit of fire damage," said Naomi Robinson, who lives nearby.
Air Force spokesperson Alexandre Cadiuex says the six-person crew was returning from a training flight when it had an in-flight emergency.
A sensor in the gear box detected an anomaly. The crew landed at the helipad at Hartland Point Golf Course and the chopper was then towed to 12 Wing Shearwater.
No one was injured.
The military's fleet of Sea Kings are now 50 years old. The plan to replace the choppers — which fly from the decks of Canadian warships — is years behind schedule, at least $200 million over budget and beset with technical glitches.
The government announced this summer it had finally signed a renegotiated contract with helicopter-maker Sikorsky for 28 new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters at a cost of $7.6 billion.