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North Sea Jigsaw

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North Sea Jigsaw

Old 1st Mar 2005, 12:38
  #261 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Scotland
Age: 67
Posts: 64
Humming Frog:

quote:

While Jigsaw is "simple" SAR with only the requirement to be capable at day/night wets and decks it will not be easy. If all the kit is working correctly your average line pilot with about 20hrs training should be able to do it.

I would love to know where 20 hours of training could possibly be enough for even "simple SAR" In my experience of SAR which goes back to 1984, I would never describe any SAR as simple. I personally find it quite difficult and during the night season it has never got any easier in 21 years. However, I do agree with you that experience can extricate you out of the mire when things start to go wrong. Personally, I wish the crews on the Bond contract all the best, but I will always remain wary of a chief pilot that quotes SAR as not Rocket Science. Indeed it is not but it is the most difficult flying on the North Sea. In my case the most difficult flying I have ever done and that includes pointed things with their arse on fire.

Back to your quote, what happens when a fishing vessel is sinking close by the offshore machine on a s....ty winters' night. Is your "simple" SAR crew going to turn it down? I hope not but if they have only 20 hours training, they better had.

Happiness is hovering over a small deck in a force 12!

Tuckunder.

P.S. I forgot to add: the doppler will help get you to the scene but once you commence winching over a deck you might as well turn it off. Manual only I'm afraid.
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Old 1st Mar 2005, 13:06
  #262 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: UK
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Unhappy

Tuckunder

I couldn't agree more. Anybody who says SAR isn't difficult has never done SAR.

Perhaps that 20 hours was a typo and should read 20 hours per month - but that is after they are trained of course!

RI
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Old 1st Mar 2005, 15:17
  #263 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oop North
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tuckunder

howdy, i hope you are not stirring things, how is the pole dancing going?

p.s am i doing a good job of stirring it?
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Old 1st Mar 2005, 21:10
  #264 (permalink)  
chopperman
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angelonawire

I agree with
windchill was -17 celcius last night and snowing !!
But
summer time usually up to high twenties, can reach thirties nice dry climate
Which part of Aberdeen, Shetland or the North Sea would that be then?
 
Old 1st Mar 2005, 23:30
  #265 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Up north
Posts: 687
Tuckunder

I grabbed the figure of 20 hrs out of the air but is it unrealistic? I am talking about experienced pilots not abos. My Seaking conversion and SAR course at Culdrose was 90hrs and this included type conversion, cliff and situation winching, mountain flying, deck landing practice all day and night, along with wets/drums and decks. I estimate less than 20hrs of my 90hrs was on wets and decks.

I had flown SAR in the Wessex but this was really only day VFR.

The term "simple" didn't refer to the act of wet/deck winching but more to the fact they wouldn't be required to do the full range of SAR tasks.

As for the quote by Lord Melchet enough said

SAR is a challenging and demanding role which I thoroughly enjoyed but too many people try and attach mystique to it. Running In's comment sums that up. Even the RAF didn't give us 20 hrs a month to train with.

As I said in an earlier post I wish them success but it will be a steep learning curve for them and if the wrong people are recruited or selected then it has the recipe for disaster and BP will expect management heads to roll.

HF

(latest offshore rumour is that they will have to be in immersion suits while on shift and take meals in their office )
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 07:12
  #266 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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If the wrong people have been recruited then they could completely damage the reputation of existing UK SAR crews.

And would someone please tell me that they haven't recruited a painter and decorator and 2 rampy's as winchmen who will get 1 months training before the project starts?

I hope that that is another wind up like the "any winchop worth his salt could keep a monkey hovering over a moving deck.." comment. I take it that was just stirring because I can't believe anyone would be that stupid.
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 08:01
  #267 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
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HF,

I appreciate that 20 hours has been plucked out of the air. However, if you think that is enough for a "line pilot" to convert to SAR then you are in cloud cuckoo land. I too did the Culdrose Course and then spent 10 months at a Scottish base (?) before my command. This was as a FJ cross over specifically posted to SAR for a quick command. Your comment about only spending 20 hours on wets and decks during the course is correct however, were you then a capable SAR pilot? I certainly wasn't. The only way that you can become a safe SAR commander is by experiencing very iffy conditions with someone holding your hand. Then when you are let lose you frighten yourself a few times with the rest of the crew still holding your hand until eventually you feel capable of having a look at any situation. This cannot be done in 20 hours.

I agree SAR is challenging and rewarding but I certainly do not imply that it has mystique attached. However, it does require bucketloads of experience to operate safely no matter what your background.

Happy hovering

Tuckunder
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 17:26
  #268 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Posts: 42
chopperman

a reply to you scoffing at my optomistic climatology, my comments were definately not about shetland nor the north sea but inland aberdeenshire is surprisingly warmer than the coast, most summers do reach mid twenties, but yes i do agree thirties is a long shot, and being on the east coast of the uk it does benefit from a drier and warmer climate than the west, (fohn effect), after living in cornwall for six years and expecting lovely weather, while infact it pissed down for most of the time, aberdeenshire's climate is rather pleasant.

anyway if queeny and three past royal generations have relished spending their summers here then who am I to argue?

I eagerly await your amusing retort!

x x x

NIGHT WATCHMAN

I suppose " a monkey" was a bit of an audacious description, I should like to withdraw that and replace with "reasonably competant helicopter pilot"....and what would be so bad about training a painter and decorator to be a winchman, I think the training will be a little more than a month and since most SAR captains are able to fly unassisted into force 12 gales whilst simultaneously winching twenty needy survivors from a pitching vessel into the aircraft and performing open heart surgery....who needs any backseaters

besides we are all just ballast easily replaced by 200lbs of fuel

I hope your over inflated reputation doesn't burst.....x x x

Last edited by angelonawire; 4th Mar 2005 at 23:36.
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 18:38
  #269 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Up north
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Tuckunder

You are not comparing like with like. I understand you were a FJ pilot with no helicopter exp before Culdrose. I would not expect you to be ready for a SAR command straight away. The RAF had the same routine. My 1st SAR tour was on the Wessex and I had already done 2 SH tours so could fly the a/c I just had to have some brush up work on hovering over the sea and high cliff winching. Then it was on shift and away.

It is the decision making process which is the hardest to teach. When is it safe to go on a job and when it is unsafe. The first turn back being the hardest.

I hope that the pilot's chosen to go on Jigsaw with no past SAR experience will be experienced N Sea Commanders who will have been used to working in the wx that the N Sea can throw at you.

Angel on a wire.

I thought rearcrew were worth 250lbs of fuel

HF
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 19:45
  #270 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: North Sea
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jbrereton

First you tell me I shouldn't spread rumours and phone the chief pilot and then you say rumours are fine! Make up your mind!

You also suggest that my only interest is putting Bond down. It's not. It's about maintaining a level of professionalism and experience in a difficult job.

The only one who is putting Bond down is angelonawire. The sad thing is he doesn't know it. He is doing more damage to the Bond jigsaw team than anybody else on this thread!
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 19:54
  #271 (permalink)  
BHPS
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True Tuckunder may have been on his first tour as a helo pilot and he didn't get his SAR Command straight away (about a year I think), but he did have a lot of airmanship to fall back on, even if it had been flying horrible pointy things with their backsides on fire.

I was also a first tour Sea King pilot (and first tour anything). It was 15 months before I had my SAR command with a total logbook time of 850 hours. The point I am making is that you do not need all those tours or hours under your belt, but you do need a good grounding in your specialist task prior to being a commander. How many of the BOH guys will get decent experience in the job before being a SAR commander? I expect there may be some as I believe that there is at least one ex-RAF SAR commander being employed. How many civil guys have decent Sea King or S61 SAR experience? It will be hard for anyone having only done Day VFR SAR in their past life.

As for training a winchman in 20 hours to do the job? Well, it's been done. The guys have the skills to get someone out of the water, but only at a basic level. What they don't have, which is what military and civil MCA crewmen have, is an awareness of what is going on around them in the aircraft, the ability to know when to talk and when not to, when to help out, etc. That all comes from time in the air and experience. Military crewmen get that before they go anywhere near SAR training.

It will be difficult for them to pick up that experience quickly especially with the limited amount of flying they will do offshore.


Oh and HF, the RAF did give us more than 20 hours to use to train each month, it's just you always sat in your office, so the rest of us used them for you
 
Old 2nd Mar 2005, 20:06
  #272 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oop North
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return to sender

I don't know how you've worked that one out....pot/kettle!
I'm not dissing bond, I'm simply toning down a few pilots ego's
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 20:31
  #273 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NORTH
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Jigsaw

Folks, havin been an avid reader of this thread for some time now i felt now was the time for my first post on this subject. I feel that i speak with a level of knowledge clearly lackng in some of the regular contributers. Why? Because i was interviewed for a crewmans position and i am a current SAR operator!! I was offered a job but regretfully had to turn t down due to family reasons. Would you like to know the interview progress? Well here goes.
1. A stringent fitness test.
2. A written exam
3. Two Interviews
4. A swim test involving cas rescue etc

A long and rewarding day built by an operator who was something of an unknown to me untill i turned up. I was able to return to my unit and quash all the daft rumours circulated by gossips.

What would i have had to do for a coastguard interview????
Answers on a postcard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 20:40
  #274 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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doorstopper

turn up! the job's yours!
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Old 2nd Mar 2005, 20:43
  #275 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Up north
Posts: 687
BHPS

If I recall correctly we had about 15hrs training per pilot/month made up of:-

1hrs day each for of- wets, drums, cliffs, sits, decks, IF and GH = 7hrs

1hrs night each for each of - wets, drums, cliffs, sits, decks night ccts = 6

Then a quarterly requirement of 2 hrs for Mtn Flying and Nav.

The rearcrew had the same less GH and IF

If you were doing more than this you were very very naughty

The only reason I was in my office was to make sure you all went night training when Coronation St was on

I wonder what monthly training Bond will give the guys to keep current??

HF
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 08:41
  #276 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 43
angelonawire:
".....it is hiring from a wide range of professions for winchmen....."

As with most things there is usually more than one way to skin a cat and perhaps Bond's approach to crewing Jigsaw will prove adequate for the task.

However, I can't help questioning the wisdom of employing ab-initio winchmen who come from various non-aviation backgrounds to crew a high profile North Sea SAR contract.

If the winchmen employed are already qualified helicopter crewmen then please tell me to shut up. But can anyone in the know (perhaps angelonawire himself) tell us the backgrounds of the Jigsaw winchmen?
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 09:32
  #277 (permalink)  
chopperman
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Correct me if I'm wrong (and no doubt someone will), but, wasn't the aim of Jigsaw to use Helicopters to supplement/replace some of the standby vessels that BP use around their platforms? These helicopters to be available should some poor soul fall overboard from a platform or an emergency abandonment be required. I don't recall (again maybe I missed something) that they were ever intended to replace/supplement the military or coastguard rescue crews in any way.
If this is the case, then, while the crews will obviously require some very comprehensive SAR training, it will not need to be quite so extensive as that given to coastguard or military SAR crews.

Chopperman.
 
Old 3rd Mar 2005, 10:05
  #278 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oop North
Posts: 42
juan smore

I wish I was "in the Know", I am simply standing up for the Jigsaw venture

Last edited by angelonawire; 3rd Mar 2005 at 10:49.
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 12:09
  #279 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: cornwall
Posts: 5
chopperman

I too would like to stick in my ten pennith worth, firstly please do not confuse the ablities of military and coastguard SAR crews, military crewman are medically and physically fit, they are fully medically trained and maintain their currency in this, they are trained in met, air traffic control, navigation and highly aware of flight safety practices, they have comprehensive knowledge of maps and charts, aviation publications and instructional techniques. most of them have usually served in various conflicts overseas which prepares them for the most challenging conditions imaginable. they constantly practice diver drops,cliff winching, confined area landings, underslung loadlifting, navex and pinex this is all on top of the standard decks and drums which the coastguard think is all that is required for SAR, they are constantly overseen by standards to ensure they all sing from the same songsheet and their medical skills are constantly evaluted and kept up to date.

Their counterparts in the coastguard outfits however are either retired military crews intheir mid to late fifties, lots of experience but their physical ability and medical fitness are rather questionable. or they have been trained by bristows from rampies or public transport winchmen/cabin crew, their training comprises of on the job winch training with little or no met, air traffic or nav skills, apparently some of them have done a dicky cours at RAF valley to tick a box, again these guys are not required to pass any fitness or medical exams to get a job, their medical training is by no means as comprehensive as the military yet they claim to have paramedic status.

I am a firm believer that the calibre of people being hired by Bond are far in excess of those employed by bristow. the winchops are aparently all ex mil sar crewmen with age on their side and the winchmen come from highly proffessional backrounds such as hems paramedics and divers etc, if one or two come from rampies or a painter and decorator then i am sure they must have shown potential to pass the strict criteria demanded by bond.

I think bristow and chc need to take a leaf from bonds book!!

personally if I fancied leaving the military then I am quite positive which outfit I'd rather work for.

and as a survivor in the north sea I think I'd rather have a physically fit young paramedic fish me out rather than a grandpa with his colostomy bag getting in the way!
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Old 3rd Mar 2005, 13:00
  #280 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Posts: 43
Oh Dear! Any colostomy patients care to reply?
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