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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 18th Mar 2013, 12:33
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Snarlie

a fully qualified S92 captain with limited SAR experience but loads of time on the aircraft and seniority in the company plus membership of BALPA - who gets the nod? I think I know the answer but I would be interested to hear other views.
It will all depend on the what is
limited SAR experience
The company will have a duty of care towards the whole crew within the SAR aircraft so if the SAR experience is very limited then I would expect the very experienced ex Seaking Captain to be given the post. There are many precedents to ignoring the seniority list when when selecting Captains. I was made a Captain within 6 months of joining a NS operator - despite being near the bottom of the seniority list because I was more experienced than those above me for the role of a single pilot offshore based operation.

HF
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Old 18th Mar 2013, 13:11
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212man - unfortunately, although SAR does technically come under the state provisions, the CAA attitude seems to be that, where possible, states should operate iaw EASA rules. I presume all the police pilots have EASA licences because of that.

There is also a question whether you can fly an aircraft on the EASA list without an EASA licence.

Macaco - yes I would expect to be bonded for the IR and do it whilst on the type conversion course.

HF - it would seem the CAA have switched off the link between S61 and Sea King which seems odd, especially since the differences in engines and FCUs don't really affect the way it flies on instruments!

As for how the manpower pans out - since Portland will close, there will be a whole flights-worth of 139 crews who will just need a differences course to convert to 189 and a change of address to Swansea if they want to stay in the Southern half of the country unless Wattisham is moved to Manston.

There will be 2 full flights-worth of S92 crews at Stornoway and Sumburgh who will probably want to move South (or maybe they do like it up there)
That leaves 6 flights (in terms of numbers) to fill with some S92 and some 189.

The RN will try and grab all the slots at St Mawgan and Glasgow (if that is where Culdrose and Prestwick move to) leaving 4 flights to fill from other civvy posts in the company or RAF ship-jumpers who don't fancy SH or flying desks.

It will be an interesting few months...
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Old 18th Mar 2013, 13:43
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While I would have preferred for this work to have remained in the hands of the military, I am glad that it went to Bristows who (afaik) were pioneers in privatised SAR in the UK and still have the appearance of being a partly British company.
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Old 18th Mar 2013, 14:00
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It will be interesting to discover whether the resilience aspects of the final outcome result in crews needing to be qualified for all the type on the contract.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 10:52
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For example, if the organisation is faced with two candidates for a command position, one ex RAF Sea King driver weighed down with medals and cuttings from newspapers, not to mention Pprune posts and the other a fully qualified S92 captain with limited SAR experience but loads of time on the aircraft and seniority in the company plus membership of BALPA - who gets the nod? I think I know the answer but I would be interested to hear other views.
18th Mar 2013 10:55
I think the priority will go something like this.
1. Do they meet the minimum contractual requirement for experience levels. This tends to favour the ex military and others may have to serve time waiting for this before Command.
2. Do they have a type rating. This will save you 30k on an S92 or 50K on an AW139. Plus the cost of wages while your pilot is away being type rated. This favours existing civvie pilots.
3. Do they work for a major competitor of yours. This is the icing on the cake if you can get a qualified guy and sting your competitor for retraining costs at the same time!! This one is interesting because it actually discriminates against people already in your Company but is a very valid commercial reason.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 15:58
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I presume all the police pilots have EASA licences because of that.
Yes, or they will when they renew/convert their existing licences.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 16:44
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Just wondering on peoples views regarding the maintenance implications and how this will likely be affected?
Currently i believe there are around 24 Engineers per site, any idea what these figures may drop to per site? What the make up might be ratio wise B1.3/B2/Tech
If maintenance is likely to be carryied out at each site or at a central service location.

Also the likely hood that some guys might get brought over and if this info would be released by Bristows sonner rather than later?
I.e Jump now or hold on to the little ray of light at the end of current SAR

Last edited by seaking22; 19th Mar 2013 at 17:21.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 19:11
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That is very naughty of the CAA. The Sea King was always considered 'same type' for licence purposes when " I were a lad". All it required was 30 minutes with staneval / 1179 and you licence got S61 on it!

New sites are complemented for between 6-8 engineers TOTAL. The mil are always top heavy and this is another reason why running civvy SAR will be much much cheaper (and easier). Even with the profit margin built in

It's not called the 'managed path' it's managed route or something else (name escapes me). The bottom line is this and Bristows (oops sorry) ahem the winner will have to be prepared to accept that the RAF are NOT repeat NOT going to release a load of SAR qual'd pilots/aircrepersons onto the market place. They will be looking at their interests initially and then the interests of the individual second. I estimate that out of a total of 25 extra crews needed, the winner will be 50% short of staff

Last edited by Thomas coupling; 19th Mar 2013 at 19:11.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 19:20
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SK22. Changes in the approach to the number of a/c may work in your favour.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 19:29
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there are 8 per site as min of 2 per shift reqd (on 92 bases). 24h on 24h off on the current roster. theres also a labourer and a chief engineer.

139 bases work different hours but would envisage the same as h&s doesnt allow working on your own.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 19:41
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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

Jim671
What are you saying? That there more ac than you have been insisting will be the case whilst you were casting doom and gloom with your BFF? I am sure you said if that was the case you would admit you had been wrong! I can find the post if needed
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 20:59
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Yes, snake, it's true. You were right about something.

No need to search for the post. You're behind the curve again because in anticipation of a 10 aircraft solution being announced I have already put out feelers for another Agusta Westland mug to replace the one I have promised to smash!



The original contract notice and all publicly available DfT documents do not specify the number of aircraft. It was up to the bidders to risk assess and to propose a scheme that achieved the required availability. The world changed on 22nd of October. It hasn't yet changed back. We shall soon see what effect that has had.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 21:06
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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

I don't believe I've been wrong about anything yet? Not that I've said much just had a positive mental attitude instead of a we're all doomed attitude
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 21:23
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With all this rumour and speculation it would be good to think our over cautious beaurocrats in the DfT will get their bosses to say something "official" very soon.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 22:02
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With all this rumour and speculation it would be good to think our over cautious beaurocrats in the DfT will get their bosses to say something "official" very soon.
Over-cautious bureaucrats in the DfT will re-read all public procurement regulations and directives and take their time to ensure the loser's lawyers cannot catch them out.
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Old 19th Mar 2013, 23:08
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Thanks for that insight, and the correct spelling! I had hoped we would have a choice of contractors to work for but it seems its gonna be Hobson's Choice if the rumours are right.
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Old 20th Mar 2013, 01:24
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The two-provider solution has a lot going for it and it has served us pretty well for most of the last 60 years.
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 07:56
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2 bidder solution?

The main thing against a 2 bidder solution, Jim, is cost. 2 seperate contracts, 2 companies, 2 sets of HQ/mangement/training etc would more than likely cost more than a single bidder solution. This would sound pretty appealing at a time when budgets are being cut again.

Yes, 2 contactors mitigates a certain amount of risk should one company fail to deliver for whatever reason, but I'm lead to believe that there's some sort of mechanism in the contact that allows the Govt to step in and run the service for a short time (using that contactors personnel and aircraft) in that situation, giving a continuity of service and allowing some time to rectify the situation.

Last edited by No Vote Joe; 21st Mar 2013 at 07:57.
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 08:02
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Bristow operated in four locations for 20 years as a sole provider without any issues. Should be no reason they can't do the same again in 10 bases for 13-17 years, particularly now they are a much bigger company with more financial clout.
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 10:39
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The main thing against a 2 bidder solution, Jim, is cost. ...
Yes. However, the DfT is believed to have gone for other options to reduce risk levels that cost at least as much as these differences.


... a time when budgets are being cut again. ...
And when bankers and insurers are nervous and useless and making decisions that stifle enterprise and economic growth, perhaps endangering the efforts of others to advance commerce.


... I'm lead to believe that there's some sort of mechanism in the contact that allows the Govt to step in and run the service for a short time (using that contactors personnel and aircraft) in that situation, giving a continuity of service and allowing some time to rectify the situation.
Yes. Like Sweden.


... Should be no reason they can't do the same again in 10 bases for 13-17 years, ...
Four years of basic services at two bases for 106 million compared to 10/11 years of advanced services including the entire manpower supply issue, base location and construction, fuel depots and many more details costing what? 2bn plus or minus a few hundred million? You don't see this as a significant step up then? Even at a time when getting your ?anker behind you is no easy feat?
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