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SARH to go

Old 10th Jun 2009, 18:43
  #1001 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Re: Billy Deacon award

Whilst it is true to say that the aircraft Captain on the Spinningdale rescue was trained by the RAF, it is fair to say that any of the current (highly experienced) Captains at Stornoway could have carried out their part in the rescue equally well. The Stornoway 'patch' gives vast experience in mountain/coastal/cliff rescues in extremely hostile weather and dark nights(not much cultural lighting).


Remember that the winch-op plays a massive role in the successful or otherwise outcome of this kind of job. And it is not just bravery that is required from the winchman, but it is also a job that requires the ability to control a deteriorating situation in order that everyone can be safely evacuated.

This crew was a mix of ex Navy, ex RAF and ex foreign Navy - and it worked. It would equally have worked with any of the civilian trained crew from Stornoway - it is just chance who is on shift when the 'high profile' job comes in.

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Old 11th Jun 2009, 15:55
  #1002 (permalink)  
 
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As I said, it doesnt matter where people come from as long as they are competent in their job.
RAF is not the only institution that knows something about SAR. There is f.ex very good AWSAR coverage at several Norwegian oilfields, and the service has been there for many years. Paid for by the oil companies, but frequently used by the Rescue Coordination Centres. This is not the same as Jigsaw.
The service is now being upgraded with EC225's with all the goodies installed. Many people doing this job are not from the military. I am though, and after 30 years offshore I am humble enough to realize that coming from the Air Force did not give me all the answers. There is no difference in quality if selection and training are optimized.
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Old 11th Jun 2009, 18:31
  #1003 (permalink)  
 
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L2 - you are quite correct but I haven't said the RAF are the only ones who can do SAR; however, there are very few outfits who can match our level of capability across such a wide range of environments from mountains to sea and everything in between, day or night.

It all comes down to training and very few commercial concerns will cough up for the amount of training we do - this has been a major concern of mine (and many others) because cutting training hours (and therefore costs) is an easy thing to do and doesn't seem to have an immediate impact; experienced crews will suffer slower skill-fade but it will happen eventually. Getting back those training hours from the bean-counters is next to impossible because they say you have been managing so far, why do you need more and where is your justification for the cost? Unless you have some pretty robust arguments or there is an accident which shows lack of adequate training - you are then on the road to reduced capability and people will start scaring themselves doing stuff they were previously very competent at.

The fact you can do a drum or a deck on a nice easy training sortie to tick the training stats box does not replace quality, challenging training as a means to prepare you for SAROPs - it's a bit like only ever doing IF with the stab and holds in in VMC - ticks the box but doesn't really prove any capability.

You don't say if you were SAR when you were in or not but things have changed a great deal in 30 years in mil SAR - I'm not surprised the Whirlwind/Wessex didn't prepare you for offshore work.

Calli - very true about the winchop and they are they guys who seldom get the medals. SAR just wouldn't happen without quality Radops/winchops.

Jacko - the MoD wouldn't have to stump up costs to replace the aircraft - they could rent them, certainly for the short term until the Govts finances are in better order.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 11th Jun 2009, 23:31
  #1004 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

There are, as you say, very few outfits who can do this job properly. Those who are successful.....survive. They survive because their training / ethos / equipment permits this to happen. One such organisation is the RAF, another is Interim SAR. If it wasn't successful on any level, MCS would have pulled the plug a long time ago.
Don't let's denigrate these people, please. They are atleast your equal.
ALL SAR crews (front and back seat) are capable of ALL aspects of SAR in ALL scenarios. There is no operational restriction on civilian captains limiting them to the degree of danger each SAR mission may offer - they cope with the same demands that military crews cope with.
I flew RN SAR many years ago, we treated it as a secondary duty, because we had other major responsibilities thrown at us at the same time. It didn't prevent us from turning dangerous jobs down because it was a secondary role. We were experienced crews flying a capable aircraft. No-one commented that skill fade (due to it being sporadic and not main stream) increased our chances of making a mistake. Skill fade is associated with flying the machine (like IF), not carrying out the task. As long as one can competently handle the aircraft, the rest is down to competency and experience.
The RAF have chosen to make SAR an empire, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with that perse, but one has to remember, there are a number of ways to skin a cat.
Until you see SAR from a civilian perspective, surely you have to accept your views can only be one sided? Trust me UK civilian SAR is atleast your equal.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 11th Jun 2009 at 23:41. Reason: Remove reference to poster's identity
seniortrooper is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2009, 09:59
  #1005 (permalink)  
 
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Seniortrooper - I'm not sure how you infer from my posts that I am denigrating civsar in UK - that is completely untrue and if you read my earlier posts you will see I highlight the need to be operationally current within UKSAR as a whole, not just the mil bit.

However, I must take issue on the skill-fade issue - it is one thing doing SAR in a rural/coastal enviroment away from busy airspace - it is another matter entirely inland, at night, with poor weather and several radios on the go in a multi agency SAROP - that operational competency fades very quickly and, if you have never been exposed to it before, takes time to cope with if you are to be a truly effective SAR asset.

Frankly I wouldn't hold the interim contract up as a paragon of virtue - not because of the crews (many of whom were doing the job before in Bristows guise anyway and all of whom are still doing an excellent job) but because of the management issues (S-92 without sufficient range when introduced, AW139 STILL without a night overwater winching capability, trying to steamroller Ts and Cs without consultation etc etc).

Whilst you, like many others, claim I should see SAR from a civilian perspective before spouting off - you, like many others, have no knowledge of RAF SAR to back your assertions and so are arguing from a similar standpoint. There are a number of ways to skin a cat but if you want it done properly, take it to a professional cat-skinner
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 10:00
  #1006 (permalink)  
 
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Senior Trooper,

If you read Crab's posts you will find that he does not criticise the skill or bravery of his civilian counterparts who are doing the job. What he does criticise is the organisation above them.

As for interim SAR, and I am referring to the aircraft NOT the crews, is it now able to provide the full service promised in the press releases and statements from senior coastguards and CHC managers?

CD
Clever Richard is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2009, 10:13
  #1007 (permalink)  
 
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Crab - your last paragraph - if only you knew

Inland SAR scenarios are a typical example of what I was trying to get across to you. The task (that of SAR) remains a 'relatively' straight forward task. It is exacerbated by additional pressures from radios/ATC/external agencies. But is something ALL experienced Captains continuously train for and remain competent in.

Clever Richard - have you ever read/heard/experienced any Interim SAR situation where the equipment did not perform in public as advertised on the tin? No-one could question the robustness of the service now, after this many years of active service.

I wish you both well.
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Old 12th Jun 2009, 10:55
  #1008 (permalink)  
 
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seniortrooper

have you ever read/heard/experienced any Interim SAR situation where the equipment did not perform in public as advertised on the tin? No-one could question the robustness of the service now, after this many years of active service


And I wish you well in this argument because I think you may have just blown it! Read posts 1 through to 1007.
Vie sans frontieres is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2009, 12:01
  #1009 (permalink)  
 
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Senior Trooper,

Everything set for rescuing someone from the water at night in the Solent or deploying the MIRG teams from Lee or Portland?

I notice you chose not to answer the actual question I posed.

Regards,

CD
Clever Richard is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2009, 18:11
  #1010 (permalink)  
 
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Crab - your last paragraph - if only you knew
Well do tell old chap I am always ready to listen.

Inland SAR scenarios are a typical example of what I was trying to get across to you. The task (that of SAR) remains a 'relatively' straight forward task. It is exacerbated by additional pressures from radios/ATC/external agencies. But is something ALL experienced Captains continuously train for and remain competent in.
How exactly do you train for it then? It is exposure to the environment that gives the skills and if you don't do low level, poor weather night inland SAR, how can you train for it.

The Interim contract only started operating last year and has constantly failed to match real capability with claimed capability and aspiration.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2009, 21:42
  #1011 (permalink)  
 
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Just to change the subject a little, but a purely theoretical question from a discussion today.

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of:

a) Putting the SAR-H aircraft on the civil register ie G-XXXX
b) Putting the SAR-H aircraft on the military system ie ZZ000

Would having these aircraft on the military circumvent some restrictions put in place by the CAA. Not a fishing exercise, answers on here or by PM.
tonyosborne is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2009, 22:08
  #1012 (permalink)  
 
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...and at the same time as answering that, could someone in the know give us an update as to when to expect an announcement as to the winning consortia?

I need to know where to send my CV
Spanish Waltzer is offline  
Old 17th Jun 2009, 17:49
  #1013 (permalink)  
 
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Think it is November
Bucaneer Bill is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2009, 10:29
  #1014 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Buc.

While we wait here is a link to a recent happy ending story including footage of a RAF helo rescue. I assume it was the one from Valley but will happily stand corrected by those in the know...

BBC NEWS | UK | Wales | Rescue after 30 minutes in water

regards

SW
Spanish Waltzer is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 13:42
  #1015 (permalink)  
 
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The angler was lucky not to have been intubated and cannulated whilst he was on his way up to the aircraft since Dr Ed was his winchman!!

tonyosborne - as I understand it, the main advantage of having the aircraft on the military register is that the crews (civ or mil) can operate to military rules and regs, especially concerning things like low flying and NVG use. Although no-one has actually stood up and said it, I believe both contractors would prefer the aircraft to be mil registered (I think they end up being dual registered so they can be returned to full civil registration quite easily if required).

With only a few months to go to the announcement of the preferred bidder and both consortia trying to find ways of keeping within the budget - it is highly likely that the bids will undergo extensive financial scrutiny because the public purse is empty; all the hard work and attention to detail by the SARH team will be wasted and we will just get what we always feared - the cheapest bidder
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 16:11
  #1016 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Interesting that the article states that the crew treated the casualty for Hypothermia in the aircraft. But viewing the footage you see that the winchman went down with 2 strops (hypothermic lift in mind) but elected not to recover utilising this standard method of recovery for a potentialy hypothermic casualty.

But wait, this is the RAF, and they set the standard for SAR so I shouldnt even be asking the question. HMMM Petty, yes, but so are some of Crabs arguments against civvy SAR.

Incoming!!
pusser is offline  
Old 24th Jun 2009, 20:03
  #1017 (permalink)  
 
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Money worries?????

I keep saying it but the shortage of funds is almost certain to result in an emasculated SARPLAN that will probably involve a major retrenchment. If there is no money for Trident, no money for CVAs and no money to run the fleets of Typhoons I can just imagine what sort of turmoil MoD is in. Crikey! I mean the Army are looking at losing a few regiments and they are fighting the odd war or two. What chance have we got when you are up against those odds. Let's get real and work out how we can manage. Doing more with less is not really going to be an option. It will be more a case of doing as much as we can with what is left.

G
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Old 24th Jun 2009, 22:02
  #1018 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks crab, appreciate the answer. Is there no sign of the CAA budging on NVGs by 2012?
TwoStep is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2009, 08:00
  #1019 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Thumbs down

Pusser -

Recommended Google searches for you :

"Hydrostatic Squeeze"
"Fastnet"
"Lyme Bay Tragedy"

and

"How not to embarrass my service by trying to be clever and getting it completely wrong on my first PPRuNe post"
Vie sans frontieres is offline  
Old 25th Jun 2009, 09:47
  #1020 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Dear oh dear.

VSF, whilst your reaction to my gentle post is exactly what we have come to expect from the 'experts', to humour you (and maybe assist) a quick google search produces this:

Retrieval of a victim from cold water immersion must be performed with caution. Sudden reduction of the "hydrostatic squeeze" applied to tissues below the water's surface may potentiate hypotension, especially orthostatic hypotension. Since a hypothermic patient's normal cardiovascular defenses are impaired, the cold myocardium may be incapable of increasing cardiac output in response to a hypotensive stimulus. A victim's vertical posture may also potentiate hypotension. Hypovolemia, secondary to combined cold- and immersion-induced diuresis, and increased blood viscosity potentiate these effects. Peripheral vascular resistance may also be incapable of increasing, since vasoconstriction is already maximal because of cold stress. The net result of sudden removal of a hypothermic patient from the water is similar to sudden deflation of antishock trousers on a patient in hypovolemic shock: abrupt hypotension. This has been demonstrated experimentally in mildly hypothermic human volunteers, and it has been suspected as a cause of post-rescue death in many immersion hypothermia victims. Accordingly, rescuers should attempt to maintain hypothermic patients in a horizontal position during retrieval from the water and aboard the rescue vehicle. If rescuers cannot recover the patient horizontally, they should place the victim in a supine posture as quickly as possible after removal from cold water.


My post was a gentle prod, nothing more, the SME on the end of the wire made an initial choice (to take 2 strops), then made the choice to use 1, fine, thats his call. Everyone does things differently, thats the point, which a few of our esteemed posters will never, ever accept
pusser is offline  

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