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SAR: Search & Rescue Ops [Archive Copy]

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SAR: Search & Rescue Ops [Archive Copy]

Old 6th Nov 2005, 09:44
  #461 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Rumour has it that CHC intend to set up their own SAR training school and that at Valley SARTU QHCIs are dusting off their CVs
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Old 6th Nov 2005, 16:12
  #462 (permalink)  
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So the MCA have signed a new contract that will, no doubt, protect their interests/responsibilities in the UK. What happened then, to the big Harmonisation project that was supposed to bring together the military and civil SAR communities to provide a coherant UK-wide organised structure to helicopter SAR? My guess is that the Military Sabre(SAR) project has fallen so far behind that the MCA cannot wait to see what the military are going to do. So, now the Mil SKs battle on and there's even less pressure to get them replaced quickly. Good luck you Mil guys.
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Old 6th Nov 2005, 17:00
  #463 (permalink)  
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All the mil bases are up for civil contracts in 2012.
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Old 6th Nov 2005, 17:26
  #464 (permalink)  
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The contract has not been awarded yet- MCA have merely stated that at the moment CHC is the preferred bidder, presumably because they are the cheapest.
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Old 6th Nov 2005, 19:34
  #465 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
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SABR(SAR) is gone. It was replaced by SAR(H) some time ago.

SAR(H) is still the joint (harmonised) project aimed at the future of UK SAR. The first implementation of SAR(H) will be in 2012; the size of the project not allowing earlier implementation. This timescale lead to the requirement for an ‘interim’ contract for the MCA locations as the original contract completes in 2007. It is the interim contract which is being discussed here, however some may view the bids as feelers for the 2012 contract.

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Old 8th Nov 2005, 13:52
  #466 (permalink)  
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Whooper 5

Thanks for the update. Good to see that the SKs might get replaced soon, 2017 was far too late, but I guess the yellow Sk boys and girls will not be holding their breath.

Harmonisation is the way ahead. The UK needs a good strategic repsonse to SAR (Mil and Civvy). Lets hope those involved are given the tools to do a most important job properly and see it through to a logical conclusion, whatever that happens to be.
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Old 9th Nov 2005, 10:54
  #467 (permalink)  
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Dear Mr CHC, when you eventually take over all UK SAR can I have a job at Chivenor please?
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Old 9th Nov 2005, 12:45
  #468 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Never mind Chiv, can I go back to Yorkshire (but based at an airport not a driver training school).
Old 13th Nov 2005, 05:33
  #469 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 232

Shame on BHL management for being so complacent, much like the Pay and conditions of employment. Pathetic and feeble response in the press about the S92 being unproven.

Still with CHC being the 'preferred' choice and the pay BHL talks going so well, a poor pension scheme and apparently some driftwood floating around HQ. Has anyone out there got the email address of the CHC UK HR department?? Best all those wanting to get into UK SAR(Civ) or those already in it start posting their CV's.
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Old 13th Nov 2005, 11:30
  #470 (permalink)  
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Bristow's commercial department seem far too focused on rubbishing the S92 and are perhaps losing sight of their real task - that is offering the clients whatever helicopter they want.

C'mon Nick McD et al, it's time to park up the "anti S92" roadshow. You're now hurting the Company.
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Old 13th Nov 2005, 17:32
  #471 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Bristow Commercial Department

You mean Bristow actually have one??

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Old 10th Dec 2005, 05:55
  #472 (permalink)  
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Coastguard crews get job protection

Hans J Marter

9 December, 2005

THE MARITIME & Coastguard Agency is expected to announce next week who will win the contract to operate the sea search and rescue service in the northern isles.

There was an outcry last month when it emerged that after 22 years Bristow Helicopters is might lose the service to the Canadian company CHC Helicopter which has a base at Aberdeen airport.

If they do lose the contract, northern isles MP Alistair Carmichael received a guarantee from the MCA yesterday (Thursday) that Bristow employees will be able to transfer to CHC under TUPE regulations.

Mr Carmichael held an urgent meeting with the MCA's chief executive Captain Steven Bligh to express his constituents' concern over the implications of the change.

The meeting was originally scheduled for next Tuesday but had to be hastily rearranged after it emerged that the MCA was planning to make its final decision public on that date.

Mr Carmichael said: "I have been assured that anyone currently employed by Bristows at Sumburgh will be able to transfer to the new operator under TUPE regulations, with their terms and conditions guaranteed.

"I hope that this undertaking from the MCA will alleviate some of the very reasonable and understandable concerns that have been expressed about the implications of any change."

He also pressed the case for an independent, professional evaluation of the new Sikorsky S-92, which is the aircraft CHC propose to use.

"The MCA is of the view that although this has not been undertaken there is sufficient evidence from the use of these helicopters in Canada and Norway to make a full scale assessment unnecessary.

"I am no expert on helicopters and shall need to speak again with those in the profession who may be able to advise me," he said.

A spokesman for the MCA made no comment other than that Mr Carmichael has received the assurance he had sought.

The new five year contract will come into force in July next year.
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Old 10th Dec 2005, 12:32
  #473 (permalink)  
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And from the Press and Journal....

09:00 - 09 December 2005

Coastguard search-and-rescue helicopter crews at Sumburgh and Stornoway were last night promised they will keep their jobs when a new company takes over running the service.

The pledge to keep on staff was given yesterday by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's chief captain, Stephen Bligh, at a meeting in the Commons with Orkney and Shetland Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael.

An announcement that CHC (Scotia) is to take over the role from Bristow Helicopters for the next five years is expected on Tuesday.

CHC, which plans to replace Bristow's ageing Sikorski 61 N helicopters with newer Sikorski S92s, has already been named the preferred bidder.

It is understood the contract includes search-and-rescue bases in England at Lee-on-Solent and Portland.

Mr Carmichael, accompanied by Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Lib Dem MP John Thurso, said after the meeting he welcomed Capt Bligh's assurance because it would secure the "professionalism and expertise" of existing staff.

He said: "I hope that this undertaking from the MCA will alleviate some of the very reasonable and understandable concerns that have been expressed about the implications of any change."

Na h-Eileanan an lar SNP MP Angus MacNeil called for a statement on the future of the search-and-rescue service in the Commons and later secured a pledge from the MCA that the undertaking would also apply to staff at Stornoway. He said later: "This is very welcome."

"The MCA is of the view that although this has not been undertaken there is sufficient evidence from the use of these helicopters in Canada and Norway to make a full scale assessment unnecessary.

I thought the S92 was proving to be a bit problematic in Norway and was having major problems? Can anyone confirm deny/this?
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Old 10th Dec 2005, 12:55
  #474 (permalink)  
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Whoa guys,

The current crop of BHL Mandarins are merely trying to copy Big Al's axe job on the Chinook. He was successful.....why can't they be just as capable in the current business climate?
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Old 10th Dec 2005, 13:16
  #475 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Aberdeen, UK
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There are concerns with the S92 and I've heard of problems in Norway too. Bearing in mind that this is aircraft going to be used in SAR then why can't these issues be discussed. If anything it may prove that the S92 is all that the glossy Sikorsky brouchure suggests!!

If it is a BHL 'axe job' like you imply then a discussion on here may well prove you right! What do current S92 drivers think of the aircraft?

Actually I think the S92 may not be as problematic as the AB139 which is to be used on the south coast this seems to have major problems with performance.

And I think the oil companies stopped using the Chinook when it fell out of the sky from 3000 ft. You're not seriously suggesting that the old man had something to do with that are you?
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Old 11th Dec 2005, 20:32
  #476 (permalink)  
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CHC is the confirmed winner of the contract.

It will be formally announced as scheduled on Tuesday, but the information is out there already.
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Old 11th Dec 2005, 20:45
  #477 (permalink)  
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Congratulations to CHC. I hope they will do as good a job as Bristow has over the years. I'm sure many of the crews will move over anyway and every one of them will do a thoroughly professional job.
Years ago when Bristow first started flying Coastguard contracts there were concerns as to whether civil crews could do the job that had been the exclusive domain (in UK) of the military for so long. There had also been concerns about the S61 (blade spindles and various other matters), but over the years both Bristow and the S61 proved themselves up to the demanding task. There will surely be some pitfalls along the way, but I'm sure that CHC and the S92 will eventually prove to be, not only up to the job, but show that a new era in SAR is starting. Fortune favours the brave, so good luck to all in a brave new venture
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Old 11th Dec 2005, 20:48
  #478 (permalink)  
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The PR blitz that was done against the Chinook had nothing to do with the crash at all. The PR blitz did poison a lot of minds about the aircraft prior to the crash. It is interesting to note a couple of people survived that crash and none survived similar catastrophic failures of 61's in Norwegian waters and they still fly today. Key there....no axe job had been done on the 61.

There were good valid reasons the Old Man did not want to invest lots of money in the Chinook and that was part of the motivation for dissing the aircraft.

In the current case....who knows what is going on?

I was always taught the worst sales pitch is demeaning your competition and their product and the better pitch is in selling your services, product, and ability to service your client/customer.

For sure....if your competition is doing the latter and you are not...they will be successful to your detriment.

Free and open competition is the key to a healthy industry....seems the losers have to sharpen up their tools in order to remain competitive.
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Old 12th Dec 2005, 15:28
  #479 (permalink)  
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The PR blitz against the Chinook is surely a figment of SASLess` very fertile imagination. Bristow conducted an in depth study of the Chinook as it did with the Super Puma. It was felt that, whilst the range and payload were impressive, it would create problems for oil installations having that number of passengers descend on them at one go and numerous installations would have to upgrade their helidecks to take the beast. In addition, the attractions of so called new technology and improved safety features of the AS 332 scored over the BV 234.

At the end of the day, the deciding factor was cost and Aerospatiale, as they were in those days, offered a huge discount for the 35 machines ordered.

In practice, the decision was justified on many levels. Not only did the BV 234 not live up to its performance specifications through mechanical shortcomings but it proved hugely unpopular with the bears. Anyone who witnessed passengers boarding would compare it to the most undignified rush for Ryanair or Easyjet in order to avoid certain seats. The levels of vibration were unacceptably high for public transport sectors. As part of a trial, some pilots were invited to fly with rectal thermometers in place to assess body core temperature as a result of excess vibration.

The point is that the BV 234 did itself in without any help from anyone else.

As regards the point of the thread, I am at a loss to understand why anyone would think that the S92 would not cut it as an SAR platform or, indeed, the AB 139. What performance problems could the 139 possibly have?
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Old 12th Dec 2005, 17:36
  #480 (permalink)  
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This is how I see it.

The 92 and 139 are probably both going to be good aircraft once some teething problems are ironed out - on the 92 at any rate, the 139 is too new to know what the teething problems will be. I think the point at issue here is the progression from a crew-change type aircraft to a SAR one.

For example, do the 92 and 139 have tried and tested auto-trans down / hover? No doubt its in the sales brochure but does it actually exist in a certified flying state yet? And does it work reliably? Do they have dual hoist installations in service now?

I am not saying the answers to these questions is "no" but it seems likely that if you are the first to fit the high tech options, there are bound to be problems. Therefore it is rightly considered by some to be a fairly high technical risk to go this way.

Especially if you are the one floating about in the water waiting to be rescued in fog etc!

Of course to remain with existing technology ad infinitum is ludditism, but surely the compromise is to ensure that the kit will do what it says on the label before committing to using it in anger. In other words, if I were the MCA I would have commissioned a trial on the kit before going firm on its use (a bit like BP did with Jigsaw). Effective SAR requires the combination of well-sorted kit and well-sorted crews, and that takes time to develop with new kit, new crews and new (to them) procedures.

By the way Snarlie, the performance issue with the 139 is its range / endurance not its OEI lifting capability - the latter being tremendous (Oh dear that's bound to set Nick off on another one of his rants.......)

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