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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 16th Feb 2013, 16:21
  #1141 (permalink)  
 
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There will be a significant training burden - where and when will the Bristow crews be starting their NVG training? The timescale declared by the Bristow spokesman looked quite tight yet you would have thought that the aircrew would need at least a month away from the frontline to conduct dedicated overland NVG training sorties to get familiar with handling, depth perception, navigation, weather hazards, map preparation, obstruction avoidance etc. Trying to convert to NVGs in the middle of summer could be a bit of a challenge when you've only got about 2 hours of darkness to play with. Will they be heading south?
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 16:32
  #1142 (permalink)  
 
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BBC News - Bristow Helicopter crews to train at Inverness Airport
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 17:05
  #1143 (permalink)  
 
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VSF: Did you do NVD when you were in the RAF? Can't you remember how any new training was completed.

Options:
You take a floating crew out of the existing roster and train them in NVD ops.
or
You train an existing rostered crew up on the job and immerse them in NVD ops.
or
You recruit a new crew and train them up and then feed them into the roster to replace an existing crew who then subsequently get trained up in NVD ops.

Whats difficult with any of this.

How do you think military crews did it? How do you think the police operations (who don't have spare floating crews) did it?

OSM: Bristows are not doing this out of charity, believe me. There is ONLY one reason for doing this and that is to offset them against Bond who have yet to declare their hand in NVD. Bristow can now prove they are ready for Long SAR.

(Vote TC: your local sciolist)

Last edited by Thomas coupling; 16th Feb 2013 at 17:08.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 17:23
  #1144 (permalink)  
 
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Whats difficult with any of this
The length of time it takes to ensure competency and comfort with the new technology.

The extra burden placed on remaining crews who aren't doing the conversion training at that particular moment.

The cost and administrative burden of setting up an alternate training location (please don't try and suggest that thorough overland NVG training can take place in a place like the Shetlands when you're never more than a stone's throw away from the sea).

The difficulty for despatchers in knowing whether today's crew is NVG capable or not.

The usual barriers to training (weather, sickness etc)

The extra serviceable aircraft required to run a long term second line to convert so many crews.

The fact that it'll be summer!

I'm sure there would be more were I not just about to sit down to dinner.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 21:03
  #1145 (permalink)  
 
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Whats difficult with any of this.
Probably not much if the training requirements are the same as they are for the Police.
Stage 1 training qualifies to fly not below 500'. Consists of approx 1.5 hour groundschool, 3 x 1 hour flying sorties, plus a line check.

After 25 hours flying at Stage 1, Stage 2, operations to ground level training: approx 1 hour groundschool, 2 x 1 hour flying sorties, plus line check.

Edit: Numbers are now correct.

Last edited by MightyGem; 21st Feb 2013 at 01:59.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 21:55
  #1146 (permalink)  
 
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other big issue NVG

NVGs have been part of the requirement

knowing whether today's crew is NVG capable or not.
Is that like NVD?


70+ RAF/RN assigned to each SAR unit
Your hook needs to be better baited than that! Out by a factor of 3!
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 22:06
  #1147 (permalink)  
 
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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

And before there's a pissing contest about who does NVD's better let's remember that it's the military. But that's because they have to dodge bullets, radar and missiles at night and therefore require loads more training than required to use the same NVD's to achieve safe night low level VMC flight to a white light hover.
So please, play nice :-)
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Old 17th Feb 2013, 09:59
  #1148 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

No HF is no issue in the days of SatCom....
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Old 17th Feb 2013, 10:12
  #1149 (permalink)  
 
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But it makes airborne tasking of an asset somewhat difficult when the tasking agency only uses HF. The MCA knew this and still procured aircraft without it.

Good to see Bristows taking the initiative on NVD, I'm sure the Stornoway and Sumburgh crews will be very glad of it.

No vote Joe - you are right about needing to look downwind with a radar search - this can be achieved flying into wind or crosswind if you aren't limited to a 120 radar.

Last edited by [email protected]; 17th Feb 2013 at 10:14.
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Old 17th Feb 2013, 12:59
  #1150 (permalink)  
 
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But it makes airborne tasking of an asset somewhat difficult when the tasking agency only uses HF. The MCA knew this and still procured aircraft without it.
Clearly, they thought that they were taking over and all that was needed was Zero. Then came April Fools Day 2010, direct ARCC tasking, and suddenly their spec was useless.


No HF is no issue in the days of SatCom.
One hundred years ago, resilient telecommunication was a battery, an oscillator and a bit of wire (antenna). This remains true today and will be true a hundred years from now. HF is only slightly removed from that basic format and that is why it remains a useful facility in spite of a few annoying idiosyncrasies.

Last edited by jimf671; 17th Feb 2013 at 13:00.
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Old 17th Feb 2013, 14:30
  #1151 (permalink)  
 
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And channel zero wouldn't be much use at any great distance from land or way inland - the redeeming strength of HF is its extreme range. The MCA had no hope of controlling Boscastle because it was in a valley and HF was the only answer.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 11:07
  #1152 (permalink)  
 
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HF

I don't know if it's just me but on the Bristow's news link under the specification for communications it says high frequency, which the last time i looked was HF. Maybe I have miss read it!!

"Multiple communications systems, including high frequency, VHF AM/FM radio, UHF radio, satellite communications, satellite tracking of the helicopter, marine vessel transponder, secure communications capabilities and wireless intercoms"
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 12:27
  #1153 (permalink)  
 
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Yes. The new Bristow aircraft for Sumburgh and Stornoway definitely have HF.

This is an improvement in the comms fit compared to the CHC aircraft on the current 2007 to 2012/13 contract. These current aircraft have Iridium sat phones but no HF. Since 1st April 2010, they have been tasked directly by ARCC who use principally HF for BLOS comms.

A few years ago there were murmurs about the CHC aircraft getting an HF fit before 2012 (when they were originally intended to move to Ireland). There was a suggestiion that HF was a requirement for the Irish CG contract (Is this true? Not in the Irish framework doc.). There was also talk of digital HF but the dust certainly hasn't settled on the question of which digital implementation for HF will be the future.

As Crab has pointed out there are a number of advantages to HF that are useful for long range sea jobs and for land jobs. That is on top of the resilience and capacity issues in relation trunked radio and satcoms.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 16:03
  #1154 (permalink)  
 
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Having done a long-range job off the coast of Ireland, we were only able to talk to Valencia using HF (250nm out) so I can't see why it wouldn't be a requirement for Irish SAR as well. Once the Irish get their S92s established and the Sea King retires, there should be no need for UK SAR assets to fly to the W coast of Ireland and then out to sea since the native assets will have the same range and capability.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 19:55
  #1155 (permalink)  
 
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Come on guys HF is sooooo out dated. Yes I know it is still used with good success but in times of sun spot activity etc it is worse than useless. HF comms gradually being phased out in Oceanic ATC in favour of data link and Sat comms....Surely the easiest solution will be Sat phones? Having worked in Oceanic ATC it would not be the first time that during poor HF conditions the flight crew have phoned the unit on their sat phone making their position reports.
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Old 18th Feb 2013, 20:37
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Having also done a long range job 250nm west of Ireland we were only able to talk to the MCA, ARCC, engineering, flight ops or Dominos Pizza using the sat phone. We decided not to use the email or text functions as it wasn't necessary.
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 00:54
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Devil

So how are said aircraft tasked after 01/04/10 if they have no HF fit?

SatCom or via MRCC if airborne perhaps?
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 00:59
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With some difficulty at times if one considers that role and callsign do not necessarily correlate with airframe and telephone number.
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 08:43
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Or on channel zero which is what the MCA prefer.

I'm not saying that satphone isn't the way forward, just that everyone needs to be on the same means.

HF is old technology but has a track record that satphone will have to try to emulate - after all, modern technology never goes wrong, goes wrong, goes wrong.........
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Old 19th Feb 2013, 09:59
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Devil

If each machine has a built in SatCom, then number remains the same unless the unit is changed so where's the problem with regards to phone numbers? If the unit is changed due to fault etc. then all those required to be informed would be informed......
Channel 0 seems to work most of the time with long-range being the exception and then SatCom can be used.
Taskings can and have been received by SatCom direct from ARCC, I see no problems with the exception of unit failure but that happened often enough with HF units where tx were strength 2 on a good day.....
Nothing against HF, to have both would be ideal but not having HF isn't a show stopper.

Last edited by Hedski; 19th Feb 2013 at 10:00.
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