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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 21st Mar 2013, 11:49
  #1281 (permalink)  
 
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No, you're probably right. It'll all collapse into a colossal heap of mis-management and financial impropriety with the well informed standing on the sidelines of the smoking wreckage of UK-SAR wagging their fingers, tutting and smugly remarking "I told you it would never work".
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 19:45
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Flounder and JimF, I think you both raise good points. From within the present civvy provided service I think we recognise that the upscaling is not without its challenges, and it certainly is not just a larger amount of the same.
I think too while the likelihood of Bristow failing is small, thats not how the Government and its civ servants will have been looking at this in its entirety. They are scarred with quite a few other failures. despite the companies being apparently sound at the contract outset.
As for 2 contractors being more costly, thats not neccessarily so either depending on just how a particular bidder may have wanted to run the service, especially if they are going to draw on their wider management services from Aberdeen. I just wanted the possibility of 2 operators sharing the service as it would have given us all more choice as to who to work for, and the likely competitveness that would result. Seems odd that the DfT went for 2 for the GAP contract (which has yet to start - so no experience of how it works yet) and has given up on the idea for the longer term solution. There's now't as strange as civil servants - especially ones without a noodle of aviation experience in any of them!
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 19:46
  #1283 (permalink)  
 
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It will work because it has to.

I did wonder last night, as we were training in the top bowl at Snowdon in snow showers just below the cloud base, if the same level of 'train hard fight easy' will be allowed under the new contract or will less risk be accepted unless it is actually lifesaving.

We will just have to wait and see..
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 22:29
  #1284 (permalink)  
 
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It will work because it has to.
That pretty much sums up what I hear a number of people close to it saying. Possibly even more true with a Lot 3 solution. A Bristow aircraft gets tasked to do a job and if there's a problem then the fallback position is that a Bristow aircraft has to do the job.


I did wonder last night, as we were training in the top bowl at Snowdon in snow showers just below the cloud base, if the same level of 'train hard fight easy' will be allowed under the new contract or will less risk be accepted unless it is actually lifesaving.
This is the crux issue for a lot of MR guys. One of the drivers behind me getting so involved in this is the need to answer their questions about this issue. I have talked about this stuff with mil SAR pilots, civ SAR pilots, mil SAR management, CAA inspectors and SAR pilots from other european countries.

Conclusions?
- All human beings are different. Every pilot is different and every crew is different. Some are very experienced and some are not. Some are better at heaving decks and some are better at snow covered cliffs. 'Honi soit qui mal y pense'.
- There is a deep well of experience of flying Sea Kings in SAR that is at least 35 years deep while for S-92 it is a lot shallower.
- What makes the Sea King a decent mountain flying helicopter is the carbon-based life form in the right front seat.
- The S-92 may weigh the same as a bus but it has the power of a decent-sized harbour tug or a small oil tanker. It will get you out of there.
- The CAA consistently state that everything necessary to provide a life-saving service will be permitted.
- There will be restrictions in training, just as there are in the military. They will not be exactly the same restrictions.
- Coire Uaine is long way from Gatwick.


Let me know if I have got anything wrong. I know I can rely on you.
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 23:09
  #1285 (permalink)  
 
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Don't forget the spanners on the ground.

Hope you don't mind me butting in on the thread but no one seems to have looked at the larger picture or may be I lost it in the 52 pages of this thread?

How does the bidder/s hope to fill the EASA Part 66 posts? LAE's are not growing on trees and C rated ones with S92 type ratings are hard to come by.

My local SAR section (771) engineers seem to think its a P of P to get a 66 License and they will all jump ship just as the RN/RAF stop supporting the task.

May be the CAA will just pull up at the gate of every SAR unit and hand out the little red book with a smile for a large stash of cash from the matlots and crabs???

Just a thought and one I would like feedback from those in the know.

I have also heard the buzz that the Cornish SAR will ba at Newquay Airport and not the 'local' RNAS.

Anyway must get back to taking something apart, buggered if I know how it goes back though
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Old 21st Mar 2013, 23:47
  #1286 (permalink)  
 
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A lot depends on what you are starting with.
A B1 licensed engineer with a type rating and an existing C licence will only require type training including practical and OJT. Say 8 weeks training max to get the B1 ( with the C being automatic) on type.

A B1 basic holder would take about six months after type training with the C taking a further 3 years.

The C is a nice to have but not a necessity for a line operation.

I have seen various figures including one as low as 8 for the numbers of engineers required..

I would say that is not far out but leaves no flex for leave, training or sickness.
It could be covered with extra staff or a floating pool, either will work.

Would the CAA give out licenses to ex military staff?
No would be my answer to that. The CAA already broke EASA regulations by granting licenses to employees of British Airways who only held American A&P qualifications. That has caused so much trouble that I doubt they will repeat the error.

Every engineer working on SAR has known this was comming so I would imagine that those keen to continue working in this area are already well on their way to getting their civilian qualifications.

Most smaller offshore helicopter operations in the UK Humberside, Norwich, Yarmouth work with close to 100% licensed engineers. Mechs are few and far between. Increacing numbers are dual rated B1 (airframe and engines) and B2 (Avionics).

"Real" B2 engineers are really like hens teeth and that is where the winning operator will struggle.

There is a lot of interest in these positions in the wider helicopter community and I think that the positions will be filled without major grief. In addition these jobs will be open to all EU citizens so a wide pool to fish in.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 12:18
  #1287 (permalink)  
 
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I know of atleast 3 mil engineers doing their Pt66 as we speak. Bristows will herd them through to achieve the relevant standards once the starting gun goes. The CAA will most certainly NOT give any mil engineer a 'free ticket'??

There should be NO mil bases as real estate - anyone worth their salt would not rely on the MoD as landlords now would they? [Future closing of MoD estates/sharing airspace/access restrictions etc].

The military exodus (aircrew/engineer) is being 'managed' such that those who wish to go AND have an offer of a job, get their PVR tailored to fit. It makes sense and suits the mil in an attempt to reduce their numbers

With a tail wind, this transition to civvy SAR might just work

[Crab - fancy working from Swansea boyo?]

Last edited by Thomas coupling; 22nd Mar 2013 at 12:19.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 12:57
  #1288 (permalink)  
 
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Worth a punt?

Is now the time to bang a CV into Bristows for SAR??

I get the in-post civvy engineers going for the jobs but don't you think they will need a lot more? Two shifts, possible night coverage, hoildays, sick and all those good things. 8 LAE's through the whole UK thats mighty thin on the ground even for a line station and we all know the helicopters don't wait to go U/S until they get back to a base maint org. Unless you have a good MEL the wheels will come off. You still need a type rated guy to sign the defect out of the tech log.

I do agree that SAR(H) will have attractions to us LAE's and it will be interesting to see how Bristows do this. If it does end up split between Bristows and Bond lets say with the S92 and the AW189 thats a lot of pegs to put in the right holes.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 16:43
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Swansea or St Mawgan (sorry, Newquay International) the spiritual home of the SAR Force in modern (pre-Valley) times!

The big question is - will the military manage to keep the SAR Force going until SAR H kicks in - manning crises all over the shop and lots of gearbox problems.

I'm not sure deploying the Mk 4s and 7s to Afghan did a lot of good for the spares supply.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 16:50
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I did wonder last night, as we were training in the top bowl at Snowdon in snow showers just below the cloud base, if the same level of 'train hard fight easy' will be allowed under the new contract or will less risk be accepted unless it is actually lifesaving.

We will just have to wait and see.
.


Hey Crab,

Perhaps this little ditty I found will help you sleep better tonight. So training is a bit pointless if you don't challenge yourself and this simple concept is even understood by civvie companies and not just an RAF SAR god like your good self; isn't that just amazing!

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=10c_1363748633
The vid isn't a training sortie but I wonder how they could possibly entertain the idea of conducting the SAR. Just ignorant cowboys or a well trained crew??

Civ SAR has been on the go in it's current guise since 1st Dec 1982. Since then Civ SAR crews have been tested time and again by SAR ops they train to be able to respond to......sound similar?? You needn't allow yourself in future to become distracted by silly ignorant thoughts during critical flight phases in the mountains, but thanks for sharing dude.

Cheers

Pig
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 18:05
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And that dude in the left seat is flying at some point in the film too. Really scary.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 18:15
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Crab.....training hard

When you do become that civilian captain and you want to go training, the world is your oyster. If you fancy night mountains then fill your boots. There has never been a restriction on what you can do taking all the calculated safety into consideration. After all even the MOD doesn't accept training incidents/accidents these days.

At the moment the current civ bases have crews with 1000's of hours and on averages a few hundred missions under their belts. Convincing them to participate in worthwhile and essential training has never been a problem.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 18:15
  #1293 (permalink)  
 
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Oh dear Piglet - you seem determined to make an issue out of everything - I wasn't having a pop at anyone presently delivering SAR but you have taken umbrage anyway.

My point was that challenging training is important and people often get stuck in low cloud and snow in the dark as well - which is what we were training for.

And I was watching someone else do the tricky flying as it happens and she was God(ess) like

Last edited by [email protected]; 22nd Mar 2013 at 18:17.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 18:31
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Oh dear Piglet - you seem determined to make an issue out of everything
Jeez.....that one made me laugh out loud coming from you!

Thank you.
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Old 22nd Mar 2013, 21:34
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Is it me or has the invective gone out of this thread? No one’s slagging off nasty commercial practices or inadequate equipment any more - just asking polite questions and taking a pop at others in the queue. Is this the sound of dust covers coming off interview suits?
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Old 23rd Mar 2013, 00:36
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B1.3

Yep time to get your c.v in, everybody else is!!!!!!

I agree 8 is thin, better would be a B1 and a B2 on an early shift, 2xB1 and a B2 on lates with two back to back shifts total 10 as a minimum.

People should not underestimate reliability on newer aircraft. Talking to a 139 guy he reckons that the aircraft comming out of the factory now from an avionics standpoint are making him redundant from a defects point of view. Scheduled maintenance is much lower than previous generation aircraft. I would expect this to carry on in to the 189.

If they are only doing 400 a year (not sure about that figure) then scheduled maintenance will hardly cause a ripple.

If an aircraft goes u/s how many people can you get on a snag? 2 or 3 max.
If would have to be a main box failure to generate a requirement for more people.
Engine changes are not a big deal anymore with very little in the way of set up procedures.
The joys of modern digital systems. Tracking and balancing done with onboard maintenance computers with little in the way of test flying required.

The biggest problem on the 139 for engineers on a 1000 hour a year aircraft is boredom!!!!!
A big change from when they first came out.
Again after the 189 settles it should be similar. Maintenance on this generation of aircraft is light years on from the Seaking/S61.

Not in a position to comment on the S92 maybe somebody else can give an impression.

Your comments on the MEL are spot on.

In the end it will come down to what the contract says so we should all know soon.

Last edited by ericferret; 23rd Mar 2013 at 00:38.
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Old 23rd Mar 2013, 01:28
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Cool Great Vid IFR Piglet

What a great vid and what a lovely shiny heclopeter! Took me right back to the good 80's; same place, same weather, same MRT, same Corpach (but fuel in 45 gall drums) and good ole Walter Wessex! Happy days
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Old 23rd Mar 2013, 10:54
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Nice video piglett. I'm a bit confused though - why isn't the helicopter yellow and being flown by people in green suits?

Looks pretty chilly - no doubt some of the crew will be enjoying warmer climes in the not too distant future......

I should add, that I have no idea who the individuals are (though crab alludes to one person) but was talking in generalities!
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Old 23rd Mar 2013, 11:54
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green suits

212man - 'cos they closed Leuchars (B Flt 22 Sqn) years ago, otherwise it would have!
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Old 23rd Mar 2013, 12:18
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Albert - I know they did, but that wasn't what I meant.....
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