Given that the interviews for the new Flight Operations Director (providing a most inauspicious TLA, & rife for jokes in due course?) were held before Christmas, are there any rumours as to who might have been selected? I had heard that four were selected for interview, although I gather that one-who-posts-here (& cannot be named) apparently pulled out before the day? It would appear imperative that, if anything is going to get done by 1st April, certainly to the satisfaction of the CAA, this post needs to be filled as immediately as possible.
In the meanwhile, however, a very Happy New Year to all ppruners - especially the prospective NPAS ones, hoping for a little more than !!
Sadly, the cynic in me feels that the evidence to date favours a continuation of the cluster-***k approach so far adopted, although I'll be happy to be proved wrong
a relief helicopter will be available when the regular aircraft is off-line.
Any more info on this now it's been publicly announced ? Bearing in mind that the current service offered by that ASU does not cover the full 24 hour period each day, and therefore the aircraft will be off-line for part of the day, Does this mean that an NPAS aircraft is going to be made available during those times, or is it just to cover Scheduled / Unscheduled maintenance periods ?
Zorab - you little tinker Let's hope that common sense prevails and the right person gets it eh? Meanwhile consider the start date sliding right by about 6 months before anything concrete happens. Thank goodness for a gentle transition after the starting gun goes off in April. More later...................
Thats great! So can I take it that the spare aircraft will have already pre positioned and will not have to fly long distances to be of assistance, and that the 15/20 minute rule will not be abused?
No, - thats fine. Clearly, all pigs are saddled and are ready to fly at a moments notice!
For Gods sake let's get real! Like TC, I have given up. NPAS is a reality. It will happen!
But don't let anyone try to tell you that NPAS is an improvement! Their spin is bullshit! - For example, - that "Now you will have a spare aircraft available!" That is is pure media spin. Oh yes, technically its true, but not for this mission! Maybe tomorrow, or the day after, but not now. Not immediately.
I must, and with great difficulty, I can, accept NPAS, solely as a result of the financial mess that we are in. But please, please, do not try to insult my intelligence by trying to tell me that this abortion will deliver an improvement in service.
For if you do, that will only invoke in me a determination to redouble my efforts to fight for what is right, and for the service we used to provide.
In the words of John Paul Jones, "I have not yet begun to fight!"
Right with you there - that's why I was aksing, it's not at all clear what the "more effective service" will be, if any.
Sure in some places there will be improvements - there already are, for example in the Midlands where that Press clipping came from, if an incident happens in the South of Derbyshire, or Nottinghamshire, while the North Mids a/c is on a task at the the very top of their patch, then the nearest aircraft can deploy - maybe East or West Mids - That happens NOW and does not need NPAS to achieve those service improvements, along with the consequent savings in the transit times ( and cost thereof ), which are reduced by deploying the nearest aircraft.
BUT by doing so, that leaves either East or West Mids with a POORER service than they had before, because "their" aircraft is no longer immediately available to the "Home" force.
This is particularly so during those "out of hours" times when the 1 Midlands force out of 4 that operate 24 hours a day, could get pulled away anywhere in the region a lot more often than it does now.
So some days you'll win, and the "facts" will be brandished accordingly, while ( I suspect ), on the days that you'll lose, it will all be kept very "Q".
When seeing the news coverage of the discovery of female remains around the Sandringham estate, the BBC newscasters were saying about Norfolk police helicopter assisting with investigation so thoughts of the ghost of Sterling and G-BMTC haunting the grounds of royalty came to mind
Then reality awoke as the camera zeroed in on G-SUFK (forgetting the Cambs/Suffolk/Essex Consortium now covering Norfolk and so enough G-SUFK may well be covering Cambs as well come April onwards)
In all seriousness thoughts with the families of the two missing girls this will as unfortunately any outcome of the formal identification investigation won't bring anything positive to them.
I can't remember off hand if G-CMBS was scrambled initially when the Peterborough girl disappeared or if it was down for maintenance at the time (?)
Regardless of the consequences over the horizon from NPAS I wonder if in the case of missing persons whether there be easier re tasking of more resources to concentrate on tracking say missing children, kidnap victims, or anyone at risk in terms of health problems in need of immediate medical attention.
Chopper, I believe you're quite correct, as I understand that Suffolk have been covering Norfolk since April anyway, so you'd expect them or Cambs (as the closest two aircraft) to be covering that part of Norfolk. I've also heard that CMBS has been short of a part for a "little" while, so just pre-empting NPAS, as far as operations in that region are concerned.
Spare aircraft - Will they all be the same type? If not, who will fly the ac type that is not usually used at that unit? How will only 3 ac cover the servicing requirements of 26 aircraft? Will they all be fitted with same cameras, role equipment, software or a generic airwave fill? Or would the training needs be met before the spare arrives at the unit, thereby preventing a potential loss of effectiveness/efficiency/profficiency
A19 - Will this apply to NPAS? Is there any truth in the rumour of a 4 year minimum secondment to NPAS, which may lead to some present observers going over 30 years service or deciding they cannot make that commitment?
Pilots - EASA Licencing, Ref AIC W 090/2011 do I read it that they will all require an IR within the next 2 years for 'commercial air transport' flying? If not, will the 'type' of flying change meaning the observers can then become 'crew' and in turn the age limit for pilot retirement increases?
Sid, IMHO i think 1st April (the date you and I amongst others join NPAS?)will be the start of a very long process of trial and error, perhaps by the time the last region join 'we' will have provided the management team with sufficient 'evidence' to start to answer some of those questions of yours. I imagine there will be plenty of 'projects' for us to be the subject of.
My first question would be with 11 weeks to go to the start date, who will be the new employer?
A very gradual process no doubt and good luck to all involved!
Nice to know, hope that doesn't change in the near future. Will they also be paying for the 80 odd IRs that will be required for us to captain the single pilot helicopters we already fly, within the next 2 years?