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Old 6th Mar 2017, 14:21   #1 (permalink)
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NPAS 2017 news

NPAS news - 6th March 2017.
NPAS Base Closures | NPAS
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 17:13   #2 (permalink)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabby View Post
NPAS news - 6th March 2017.
NPAS Base Closures | NPAS
With regard to the following quote from that document:

Quote:
“This new fleet will be able to stay in the air for longer and will be faster and able to operate over greater distances and for longer periods than our helicopter fleet. They will also be less vulnerable to adverse weather conditions.
Some points to consider:

1. The only weather conditions (apart from very high wind speeds that would prevent a rotor start and would also probably preclude fixed wing Ops) that would stop an IFR equipped helicopter from flying would be airframe icing. Do these new miraculous fixed wing have full icing protection and a proven record of safe operations in icing conditions?

2. With regard to very high wind speeds, Doncaster has just one runway. What are the crosswind limits for the new fixed wing aircraft? Helicopters aren't adversely affected by crosswinds, from a practical point of view, because they have no need for a runway.

3. On the subject of runways, from personal experience of fixed wing Ops from Doncaster (I was based there when it was known as Finningley), getting airborne can take quite some time if you're in a queue. Helicopters don't need to be held in a queue for a runway and can get airborne straight from dispersal outside the hangar.

4. The police job, by its very nature, requires VMC. If a helicopter can't be flown safely at a very low altitude in order to keep clear of low cloud, what chance would a fixed wing have? Even if a fixed wing could climb above cloud then have a higher cruise speed (for the longer transits now necessary) how will it let down to VMC below to begin the task?

So....how can a fixed wing be "less vulnerable to adverse weather conditions"?

More smoke and mirrors, methinks. It would be better to admit that police air operations are going to be even more limited due to ongoing budgetary constraints. But that wouldn't be good for the careers of those pulling the strings.
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 19:42   #3 (permalink)
 
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What a load of pony. I stopped flying prior to NPAS being formed, and have vowed never to return until it is scrapped.

At this rate, there won't be anything left by the time I get to retirement age!

A truly sorry state of affairs.
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 20:16   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
NPAS news - 6th March 2017.
That's a rehash of a news release from a couple of years ago? I was just reading it last month.
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 07:46   #5 (permalink)
 
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That man is typical of the current breed of Senior Officer, - two thirds Politician and one third Police Officer. Air support as we knew it, an immediate overhead back up to the officer on the ground is over. Thanks NPAS.

TF
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 17:27   #6 (permalink)
 
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One third TF?
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Old 7th Mar 2017, 23:19   #7 (permalink)
 
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OK. Perhaps a bit less than that!

TF
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 22:49   #8 (permalink)
 
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And according to the news release, closing the bases has made NPAS less efficient, only being able to reach 97% of the population in 30 minutes instead of 98%.
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Old 8th Mar 2017, 23:55   #9 (permalink)
 
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Yes & I believe in father Christmas too! But more critically how many of our major cities outside London have a response in less than 15 minutes, to assist bobbies under threat on the ground? My unit used to do that in about 10 minutes back in the late 90's. And the knowledge that we carried high definition camera's saved many a bobby from a beating then. But I guess officer safety is not important today.

TF
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Old 9th Mar 2017, 07:39   #10 (permalink)
 
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As somebody who spent over 7 years on an air ops unit and was part of that large and proud family that gave us one of the best police aviation systems in the world coupled with making aircraft manufactures listen I am so devastated by what has happened. One of the sad things is that those who should have known better were part of the problem. I always thought that turkeys never voted for Christmas but........! I know that things have to change and that organisations have to strive for value for money but I fail to see where that value is with this system. All it seems to have done is look after a small number of areas and to hell with the rest.
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Old 13th Mar 2017, 23:56   #11 (permalink)
 
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Oh dear,

Rumour on the street is that the vacancy for Safety Officer, NPAS is having to go out again - for the 3rd time in as many months.
And STILL human remains and the accountable manager don't get the message??
So what does the CAA say about a largish onshore outfit not having a safety officer for the whole of 2017 so far? Let's keep fingers and toes crossed for no accidents then shall we.

Moving onto the next debacle: Who briefed the respective PCC's to swap their all singing all dancing modern helo for piston power props?
Were they warned that the product will almost certainly enter service heavier (much heavier) than forecast. Of course this means it will have a much reduced endurance and coming all the way from Doncaster (?) means its operating radius will be decimated. 20 minutes transit each way before going live on the job eh? Nice one - well thought out lads?

Oh - and what do we have here - they need petrol. And where do they get petrol from, out of hours, methinks? Which airfield will that be then?
Poor PCC's - lamb's to the slaughter.

Bad weather and icing issues as mentioned earlier - tut tut.

Any more clever ideas from the top, guys?

Who is the project officer for the introduction of FW then? I'd wager a weeks salary they aren't aviators.......

Watch how quiet it goes once the evidence stacks up for FW.
Watch the PCC's squirm and wriggle with this one..............
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 18:22   #12 (permalink)
 
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Rotary to fixed wing transition

I thought the plan was for the 3 rotary bases to stay open until the fixed wing were up-and-running?

Does this mean that huge areas of England will be without a 20/30 minute response until the end of the year?

Has somebody done a risk analysis of leaving places like Norwich out on a limb, and what will the 97% figure drop to?
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 20:02   #13 (permalink)
 
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The fixed wing team are a former GMP pilot and the Assistant Ops Director is a former Army air corps officer. Third member is a sergeant TFO.

Last edited by PANews; 22nd Mar 2017 at 14:04. Reason: missing word
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 20:34   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Who briefed the respective PCC's to swap their all singing all dancing modern helo for piston power props?
The NPAS Board is still upbeat about it:
Quote:
We are aware that the use of helicopters is restricted sometimes by weather and geography. In an effort to mitigate this NPAS will shortly commence the introduction of fixed wing aircraft with flight into known icing capability. The four aircraft will be fully operational in early 2018 and offer police forces additional all weather capability.
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 22:12   #15 (permalink)
 
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PA news, do you have the initials for the ex gmp fw driver?
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 22:28   #16 (permalink)

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I've now managed to answer my own question wrt to weather limits. According to the flight manual for the chosen aircraft, it is not cleared for flight into known icing conditions, or at least wasn't at the time of publication. The demonstrated maximum cross wind is 25 kts.
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 20:59   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
According to the flight manual for the chosen aircraft, it is not cleared for flight into known icing conditions
The NPAS Board obviously thinks otherwise.
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 21:49   #18 (permalink)


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WISHFUL THINKING

QUOTE
“This new fleet will be able to stay in the air for longer and will be faster and able to operate over greater distances and for longer periods than our helicopter fleet.... UNQUOTE

Really... adding to those points already made by ShyTorque and TC. Rumour has it that the plank, fully fitted, will have an endurance approximately ten minutes less than that of the EC135 T2+. If rumour is correct, the above statement seems a little like … wishful thinking. The AM, however, will probably argue: not a lot in it, cheaper to run etc. Nice, new, shiny aircraft and a glossy, contemporary, new base at Doncaster. Would be interesting to know: whether, when, if ever the cost of a shiny new base was factored in!

Let us hope it is not yet another police air base, built at enormous cost to the tax payer, only to be abandoned in the next round of cuts; or at the whim of the next or future AM whose perpetual, personal strategy is to ascend the career ladder!

On a positive note, the plank will offer those areas within an hour or so of Doncaster some sort of service, although not quite the same as that given by a helicopter. If, however, the plank ventures too far from home, it will probably struggle to find a place to refuel, out of normal airfield operating hours. It might, also, need to waste costly airborne time, in the event that they are cancelled after take-off, in order to reduce down to maximum landing weight!

Ultimately, it all depends on what sort of service has been promised to the police chiefs and PCCs, particularly those operating in the more rural parts of England and Wales, who have lost their helicopters. Perhaps, they are fully informed and content with the situation under these so called budgetary restraints! Judging by the latest press release and if rumour is correct, it would appear unlikely! Perhaps, as CC Byrne, previously suggested the dreaded drones will fill the gap!
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 22:14   #19 (permalink)
 
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It appears that the name of the game is that NPAS are paying for the P68R to be certified to meet the icing requirement.

I have not had sight yet of any document that states that certification has yet been acheived.

I expect that certification work lies with either Airborne Technologies in Austria and/or Vulcanair in Italy. As the first certifiable airframe only appears to have been completed late last year, will only be delivered in late June, and a 'fully operational' unit is not expected to be on line until January next year it may well be that the process is ongoing.

So "not certified but hopeful" appears the situation. I am no engineer but I assume that adding the weight of de-icing gear will alter the weight, balance and performance somewhat. So any readily available documents will relate to a different, lighter, version of the P68R.
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Old 19th Mar 2017, 18:53   #20 (permalink)
 
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I understand NPAS Warton stands down today, can I just say thank you to all involved in the operation and support of the operation.

PM
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