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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

Old 15th Jun 2012, 21:14
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4th right we are allowed 4 hours training per day so, assuming 8 shifts per month, each crew member would get 32 hours of training. Jobs and unserviceability obviously reduce this somewhat but many crew-members do more than 8 shifts.

Lioncopter's training allowance pretty much aligns with ours so it would appear that about 4 hours a day should be the industry standard - the projected 600 hours a year needs to be at least doubled if there is not to be a drop in capability.

Last edited by [email protected]; 15th Jun 2012 at 21:15.
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Old 15th Jun 2012, 21:42
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Thanks for the reply Crab, but its not the question I was asking, or trying to ask.
What is the formal allocation of monthly training per pilot, not what happens to come your way. Are you really telling us that the RAF merely says do 4 hours per shift? No you must have a monthly training requirement. Please tell us what it is? As for Lion, they way I see what he is saying is that they are getting a bit more at the moment because of servicing schedules meaning they have to defer training to the next or subsequent months, Not sure I read that he /or they were doing 4 hours a day every day of the year. Not what we are experiencing either, 1.5 - 2 hrs per dayis the norm I think.

Last edited by 4thright; 15th Jun 2012 at 21:44.
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Old 15th Jun 2012, 22:15
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4thright - our training is organised on a quarterly basis with a specified number of hours for each discipline both day and night but I don't have the figures available off the top of my head.

The fact remains that we need to use about 4 hours a day (with allowances for ops and being u/s) to ensure each crew-member completes their quarterly stats.
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Old 15th Jun 2012, 23:21
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Crab et al,
having spent 22 years flying RAF SAR, Wessex and SK, I would contend that four hours per aircrew member IS over generous, unless you are constantly training new boys and girls, which of course is how the military operate.
I could see this figure comfortably reduced if experiance is retained on the SAR flights. The problem arises in training at the outset and retention therafter.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 15:48
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The minimum quarterly training for a CR pilot comes to 23 hours - so for 10 pilots that is 230 hours per quarter or 78 hours per month. That is just for pilots and doesn't include sim training (another 18 hours per pilot per year).

Whilst a fair amount of rear-crew training can be conducted on the back of the pilot's training, unless you run constituted crews (which is too inflexible) there will always be occasions when at least half of the crew don't get any stats during a training sortie - usually because they are already stats complete.

Now a certain amount of training will be covered on SARops but we still find some people struggling to complete their mandatory training even with 4 hours a day.
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Old 16th Jun 2012, 18:22
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but Crab,
the RAF is constantly posting people and training up new guys, front and rear crew. Four hours training per shift is plain ridiculous for stable (geographically speaking) experienced crews. How much night drums can a body take, and who says constituted crews are too inflexible? Works in FI (we used to do four months - remember?)
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 01:10
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4 hours a day!

Really Crab, with most of the civil crews having between 2500-5000 hours of SAR experience over and above their other flying. They have more than enough hands on to crack training with an allocation over 4.5 crew of some 50 hours. What the hell are you going to use 4 hrs for? 20-30 hours per month training and ops, ticks their comfort zone for feeling current enough to operate safely without flogging the good tax payers 's No wonder you are looking forward to the Civ SAR option soon. The cost of running Seakings for that sort of monthly training is prohibitive

They will just do more at night with NVG requirement, less day training, which lets face it I easy anyway. Come to think of it the night flying without goggles will be gone too, double bonus!

With an average of about 8 shifts a month that is a good 2-3 hours per shift, fair due if you are spending 30-45 minutes bimbling to and from training each way like the Chivenor crews do into Wales then you will need more time. Otherwise just go to Baggy Point and crack on with he nearest deck whilst there.
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 10:30
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NRDK - couldn't agree more! NVG not a black art either (well sometimes, esp in FI!). Did an awful lot of night mountains (and SHNI) pre NVG, goggles just make it a whole lot easier. Still have to allow a few hours for bimbling and waving though - and what about Santa deliveries? I once had three santas on board at once, obviously two were not real!
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 10:35
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That is exactly the attitude to training - currency vs competency - that will end up biting you in the a*se one day. Professional aircrew don't have that attitude
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 11:14
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Training V Competency

Crab,

Really? the last 20+ years of Civilians doing a THIRD of UK SAR has survived quite well thanks to the professional attitude, experience and training applied. It has not always been incident free but as you know, SAR is not without risk and every 'Service' provider can attest to that.

Hence the reason you are waving goodbye to the other Two Thirds, still you can be my co-pilot any day......WTF have the kids put in my fathers day cuppa tea! I'll roster you with another ex-crab as your Captain, better still ex Navy.

Al-Bert
True..bimbling and wave-ex's are essential and long may that be the case, after scraping someone plastered all the deck and doing your best for them and their family it is important to de-stress and wind down....I'm all for ice creams etc.

Last edited by NRDK; 17th Jun 2012 at 11:19.
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 11:18
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Things must have changed in the attitude to currency vs competancy since I retired CRAB! I saw a lot of the 'ticks on the board' generation, who just couldn't wait to get on with their ISS, Open Uni or whatever other career enhancing studies preoccupied them. A four hour training sortie that went from day into night and covered everything from day mountains to night drums was hardly quality training. As the RAF shrunk SAR became more of a career stepping stone for many who would never have entered the backwater that SAR had been when it was all commanded by a Wing Co in a green shed at Finningley! Flights reduced from nine to six, buildings got bigger and shinier, we gained a Group Captain, three Wing Co's and seven Squadron Leaders, while at the same time aircraft serviceability grew worse and fewer people got rescued. People had to really want to go SAR back in the day and they took a pride in their job that I have certainly witnessed the lack of in a number of pilots that I have served alongside. Yes, it was only amongst the pilots, many of whom would have preferred a posting to SH or FJ's and saw SAR as a temporary inconvenience.
The whole lot should have been civilianised round about 1988!
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 18:23
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Come to think of it the night flying without goggles will be gone too, double bonus!
I hope not. An overcast night in mid-winter, 20 miles and three glens from the nearest street-light, cloud-base 900m, 57N and <1 mlux is when you are needed most. Long-live the old-fashioned way.

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Old 17th Jun 2012, 18:52
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that's not the old fashioned way! It's a Seaking with latest technology lights. All we had when I were a lad were carbide lamps and we thowt us sen lucky!
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 20:22
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still you can be my co-pilot any day.
you never know - you might just learn something
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Old 17th Jun 2012, 22:21
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Crab

I'm sure I will, always learning something new. Day I stop learning is day I'll stop flying.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 09:21
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That's why you have to keep doing lots of training
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 13:37
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Too much repetitive training can have limited value after a while. If not focused on those who really benefit, punching holes in the sky is a waste of money, puts unneccessary demands on engineering and logistics, and frankly is abusing the Queen's generosity given from what you said earlier that the RAF formal allocation is now 7.8 hours per month per pilot.
After a point, most people improve their knowledge and abilities by the challenge and experience of SARops of any sort. One of the upsides of moving to 10 bases is that the increased op tempo at all will now provide more SARops per base (particularly those that have lived on the quieter side of life) and assist that "learn by experience" process.

Last edited by Tallsar; 18th Jun 2012 at 13:38.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 17:09
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That's where the training teams, standards and upper management come in so that 'burning holes in the sky' is not the default setting.

SAREXs, cat checks, QHI checks and opevals can all give challenging scenarios to expand crews' experience and comfort zones so they are not 'learning on the job' but getting the benefit of other people's knowledge.

The hope is that it encourages crews to challenge themselves and each other on their own training rather than taking the 'easy option' of role trip 1 alpha. It seems to work from what I see on my Sqn but you will always get some lazy ones that need a kick up the jacksie!

Those that think they don't need the training are often the same ones who need it most but are happy operating inside their own comfort zone where they can look good.

Last edited by [email protected]; 18th Jun 2012 at 17:11.
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Old 18th Jun 2012, 22:53
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Maybe it was better when there was less 'upper management' and more rigorous selection in the first place?
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 13:15
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Maybe things have just got a bit more professional since you were doing it
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