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SAR: Search & Rescue Ops [Archive Copy]

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SAR: Search & Rescue Ops [Archive Copy]

Old 3rd Feb 2006, 17:41
  #701 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 58
Hummingfrog,

So the A139 has to be followed around by a lifeboat so it can do the same job as a S92/S61 - now thats thinking outside the box!
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Old 3rd Feb 2006, 18:08
  #702 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Up north
Posts: 687
Dillon
You asserted that the 139 could not do a particular rescue when it could. I was correcting you. Your profile doesn't mention what SAR job you do so I understand your lack of knowledge of how SAR works.

Like the Wessex was not expected to do the Seaking role the 139 is not expected to do the same role as the S92. As RJS said it would be nice to have an all large SAR helicopter fleet but big is not always better. There were some jobs that were more suited to the more agile Wessex than the Seaking, such as picking a child out of an inflatable "play boat", or getting close to a cliff sticker whose hold was precarious and the Seaking downwash would have been too much.

HF
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Old 3rd Feb 2006, 18:45
  #703 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Hummingfrog,

I stand corrected, the A139 can do the same job as a Sea King/S61/S92/Super Puma L2 IF it has a lifeboat following it around, as in this case. In other cases it definately can't.

I am not against a mixed fleet, providing they are mutally supporting, but to put all your eggs in one basket by using a new small type to cover from Wattisham to Culdrose is a surprising choice. If there was a large type, such as the S92 at Lee and a A139 at Portland I would agree that it was a sensible mix.

I presume you are talking about downwash when you say that smaller types are better for kids on lilos. Well looking at the A139s rotor size and its weight, the downwash will be about the same as a Sea King or S61. In any case, if downwash is a problem, such as on calm days, hovering higher usually solves the problem and gets you out of the spray.
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Old 3rd Feb 2006, 20:28
  #704 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Up north
Posts: 687
Dillon

The 139 is of similar weight approx 14100lbs as the Wessex 13600Ibs. The Seaking when I flew it had a max weight of 21400lbs.

The problem with hovering higher in calm wind in a Seaking or S61 is that if an engine stops you become, if you're lucky, a boat. The 139 will (allegedly) remain in the hover as would old Walter the Wessex

The area that the 139 is operating is so busy it will have no problem finding a ship to cross winch to so it won't need its own lifeboat

HF
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Old 3rd Feb 2006, 22:36
  #705 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Nowhere Special
Posts: 127
The argument for the 139 seems to be reliant on the fact that other resources will always be there to help out with its poor capacity. Let's hope they are...
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Old 4th Feb 2006, 13:06
  #706 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Hummingfrog,

Apart from taking twice as long, ie to winch them onboard and then cross-transfer, you would have to assume that the vessel is not in the final stages of sinking or on fire - otherwise the lifeboat might as well fish them direct from the sea when they abandon the vessel and save all the effort of winching them!

I don't think the SE performance of the 139 is as good as dear old Walter, and thats using the marketing figures from the Agusta website .
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Old 4th Feb 2006, 13:44
  #707 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
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Can a 61 or SeaKing always handle whatever "load" might be present...say a cross channel ferry goes down and say....five hundred people go into the water?

We can always provide a scenario that exceeds capability...but at least lets pick something that is commonplace....say like a real event in the past where the proposed change of aircraft would prove the point.

Can anyone point out just such an incident....say...in the past ten years maybe?
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Old 4th Feb 2006, 19:08
  #708 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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SASless

How about 20 sailors winched from a ship off the coast of France in one hit and carried out I believe by the Lee On Solent S61 and with in your last 10 years criteria SASless.

There may well be more ...


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Old 4th Feb 2006, 21:43
  #709 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Scotch Land
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Devil

Potmess
That 20 person rescue hasn't happened yet! Not at Lee at least.

Froggie has is right, Dillon is still clutching at straws...with this capacity & cramped working environment drama

Ask the question to the current UK S61 operators; how many jobs have they turned down because the trade off between lack of performance and the task (Single engine flyaway V winchman), has not warranted the 'risk'
I would guess a hell of a lot more than 'fill me to the brim with foreign seamen' type rescues anyway. Those are rare events and as correctly mentioned earlier, on SAROPs crews find ways around capacity problems as the whole world and his dog are in the medal queue on those jobs. But the quick dash, one or two casualties on a hot, nil or tailwind day seem to be common and every bit as limiting. Lets see these modern high speed, high performance machines give the old girls a rest. Those old crewies who don't want to leave their comfort blanket can move aside for the next generation, if they so wish.


Sorry if the eurowhatsmecallit jibe uspet the plastic fantastic brigade.
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Old 4th Feb 2006, 23:26
  #710 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sunnyvale Rest Home for the Elderly
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Mixed Fleets

The Government Flying Service of Hong Kong uses a mixed fleet of EC155s and Super Puma L2s for SAR, doesn't seem to be a problem for them. Look at the initial details of the callout and then jump in the appropriate aircraft. Flexibility, the key to air power etc................
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Old 4th Feb 2006, 23:34
  #711 (permalink)  
 
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Pot,

I will accept anything....let's get the details and see how it all played out. There may very well be these incidents...but at least we should be arguing about reality and not hypo's. The What If game can be played however one wishes and in almost all cases would ignore the reality.

Even in the event you mention....I am sure dispatching mulitiple aircraft was possible....the nice thing about SAR is usually....they only happen in small numbers of incidents at one time thus SAR units can stage to cover "disasters" using more than one aircraft.

Quick Google search found this statement....


According to official records, the Coastguard Sikorsky S61N search-and-rescue helicopter currently based at Lee-on-Solent undertook 188 sorties and rescued 106 people during 1991.

A Jetranger could handle that average sortie retriveal load. Thus it seems the 61 is a bit too much aircraft based on the 1991 numbers....using averages alone which does not tell the whole story.
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Old 5th Feb 2006, 10:24
  #712 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Posts: 109
As this is a rumour and speculation network.....
We know that the MOD had a major say in the aircraft choice for the new MCA contract. By filling in the gap between Wattisham and Culdrose with small MCA types they ensure that the MOD aircraft will get called to any larger incidents. If S92s had gone into Lee and Portland it would have shown up the obsolescent Sea King with their lower speed and payload.
We know that the MOD are fighting a rearguard action to keep a foothold in SAR, so perhaps they have rubber d***ed the MCA to ensure that they get an increased share of the S Coast action running up to 2012!
Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that they are not out to get you!
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Old 7th Feb 2006, 13:04
  #713 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Crabette, I quote.

"Ask the question to the current UK S61 operators; how many jobs have they turned down because the trade off between lack of performance and the task (Single engine flyaway V winchman), has not warranted the 'risk' I would guess a hell of a lot more than 'fill me to the brim with foreign seamen' type rescues anyway."

I can assure you that no S61 crew has ever turned down a SAR tasking. Even though your biased 'crab' attitude would like us to believe otherwise.

SASless;

You are quite correct, a jetranger could cope with the average load. But the Coastguard requirement is for a helicopter of 12 pax plus, just in case. Sumburgh picked up 35 from the MV Lunahod.
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Old 7th Feb 2006, 15:46
  #714 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Crabbette

Crabette: With reference to your entry on the 4th Feb.
That 20 person rescue hasn't happened yet! Not at Lee at least.

Crabette: In the time scale mentioned by SASless (Last 10 years) I respectfully point out that 20 survivors in total were indeed winched by the Lee S61 on the rescue I mentioned in my previous thread entry.


Please go ahead and verify this from your own sources? Establish the facts and prove this wrong if you can. I could save you the time though - The fact is “It happened”

Oh, and no medals were dished out or were required I understand, not all rescues have PR tail chasers …
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Old 7th Feb 2006, 21:00
  #715 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Scotch Land
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SARowl

I can assure you that no S61 crew has ever turned down a SAR tasking. Even though your biased 'crab' attitude would like us to believe otherwise
.

Must think we were born yesterday? What never ever??

Perhaps I hit a professional nerve, I realise that 99% of the time you don’t turn down tasking, however the question was; the turning up and actually doing the ‘job’ bit. I know that there are instance that make the 61’s performance such, that the rescue attempt has had to be left to other agencies, be it MRT members, CRT members, use of a surface vessel or the ‘steam for port’ option. This percentage is higher than the ‘need a big helo’ for a large number of persons scenario….!

Then there is the old, tired kit that is struggling for technical support. Thanks to the complacent SAR manager (is he from a SAR back ground??) and BHL senior wheels, who must have hoped doing nothing would drag them into another half decade plus of contract, despite the obvious hard work and bravery of the crews over all these years to earn the company such a first class civilian SAR name. You boys on the coal face deserved better; well hang about , it’s staring you in the face but it appears some of you old, ‘management will see us right’ types need to wake up and sign up to a new era. Don’t whinge about the good old days when you could stash your old SAR diver kit and stand up to string your hammock in the back of the cab. “Fraid dem days is over!” Your misplaced loyalty to Bristow’s (cause you would do this job come hell or high water anyway) needs to be shelved along with your misty eye memories of a big, tired, under performing aircraft.

POTMESS
Guess you are referring to a job other than the recent one a couple of weeks back then (aircraft 12- lifeboat 10) Must check the press and forms ‘R’s of old. Unless you would care to provide a concrete event, time, date and mission?

What would happened if 45 people had been on the Sumburgh incident??

Granted the 61 could hold more than the 139 will, and the CH53 can hold more than the 61 for those really big disasters mid channel, but where do we stop…?

I digress though...the ink is dry on CHC's new contract, the new aircraft will be arriving, the crews will get on and do the job. Whether it's the right aircraft or not for each and every mission is immaterial. As I've said before stop whingeing about it (I know it's what you probably look forward to at work the most) join the party or leave...
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Old 8th Feb 2006, 08:06
  #716 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Posts: 119
Crabette

Don't you think taking into account the risk assessment side of a sortie is part of a Captain's responsibilities? If some other unit - lifeboat etc - can do the tasking more safely and efficiently then they should be tasked. Are you implying that once a SAR helicopter is tasked it should complete that task regardless of safety implications? If you lose an engine in your Seaking at 80%+ torque, although you brief a flyaway there's only one direction you'll be going - gravity effects us all.
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Old 8th Feb 2006, 09:00
  #717 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 448
I think you will find that 80% in a Sea Queen is committed unless there is enough height to judge otherwise - that's certainly the way it used to be!
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Old 8th Feb 2006, 09:49
  #718 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Scotch Land
Posts: 35
Devil

SARowl
Don't you think taking into account the risk assessment side of a sortie is part of a Captain's responsibilities? If some other unit - lifeboat etc - can do the tasking more safely and efficiently then they should be tasked. Are you implying that once a SAR helicopter is tasked it should complete that task regardless of safety implications? If you lose an engine in your Seaking at 80%+ torque, although you brief a flyaway there's only one direction you'll be going - gravity effects us all.
You are missing the point....get an aircraft that has performance and the constant S61 'risk assessment' of NOT enough power in hand to safely winch/land etc, is removed from the equation. Otherwise you will risk assess yourselves back into bed and leave the others to do all the jobs. Anything more than 67.5% Tq in the 61/Sea King and you can ‘risk assess’ til the cows come home, it won’t get the job done. Have the confidence in your aircraft to accept the fact that it is extremely unlikely to let you down at the vinegar stroke. Hey, if it does then that’s why you get paid big civilian wages for doing the job, it’s a risk you know is always present in life.

The reason for the helicopter is quick response to aid a casualty, not fly about or land on somewhere and wait for others to get the casualty ready for you because performance is too risky! Granted at times even the best performing machine may meet it's match and conditions require another means of rescue, but the more capable the aircraft the less frequent those scenarios become.

Perhaps you have been doing this job too long now and have lost sight of the role you are attempting to re-invent in the Tardis that is a 61. We all want to collect our pensions but it doesn’t mean don’t embrace life and the job at hand, the challenges and new ideas that change with the times. Think back to your old SAR diver, gung ho Whirlwind days…get some drive back into yourself man. (please don’t tell me you are an old fart pilot otherwise I’ll cry having got you pegged as a old, use to be bold ex-RN crewie)

From what we hear most of you can’t wait to get into CHC and embrace a new aircraft, your moth eaten security blanket that was Bristow's and the 61 is History.

If you and a couple of other old timers don’t want to leave, then I know several young keen SAR capable persons who are after and applying to replace you. I’m sure your SAR contracts manager (if he is still in a job) can find some ad-hoc work for the 61 abroad with the need for you. Good Luck.
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Old 8th Feb 2006, 17:45
  #719 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: PLANET ZOG
Posts: 305
Crabbette.
You really do have a problem don't you? But at least you are evenly balanced with regard to chips on shoulders!
No one on this forum has said that the sticky bun is not past it's sell by date, nor the Sea King come to that. Has your bright yellow publicity machine got FLIR fitted yet?? The MCA 61's had this over 20years ago. And it has been upgraded! What is being questioned is the suitability of their replacements. So far there is absolutely no positive info. about the 139 so naturally people are suspicious.
You are so obviously after a job that you should really refrain from slagging off people you do not know, have probably never met and definitely never worked with! You never know, it may be one them old wrinklies who carries out your interview. Or on the switch!!!
Running In.
You are 100% correct. ARCC cannot believe their luck. The MCA having to ask them whether they can use their own contracted aircraft. Watch the statistics for last year and see the change. No prizes for guessing which uinits increases.
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Old 8th Feb 2006, 17:59
  #720 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 135
We'd all like a bit more speed/legs/room of course. The dear old 'King is ideal for most jobs as it covers all the bases inc plenty of room in the back for the boys to treat the trauma plus stack a few more bods.

I think specification creep sometimes gets in the way. Joe Public would rather have 2 older, average choppers than one gucci one. No matter how flash the cab it can only be in one place at once. Is anyone in Govt listening?! Looking forward to seeing how the mil/civ mixed crews of the future get on. Hopefully as long as the feds will pick up the bill then the crunchier jobs will still get done. Hard to see a civvy contractor allowing their most expensive mechanical asset to grub about the hills in the middle of the night.

A mixed fleet is the probably the way ahead but when you look at the stats, literally 98% of jobs are well within the capability (range/payload) of a 139 or Griffin/412 type cab.

Doubt anyone's flown away from the casualty just because they weren't SSE. Those figures are well out anyway, all based on a Mk1 Gnome with a 96 PPI, you'd almost certainly do better in the real event.
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