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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

Old 20th Aug 2015, 07:19
  #2241 (permalink)  
 
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The service that has existed pre-2015 has had up to 4 providers and all of them had major short-comings. There were reduced numbers of aircraft in some flights, poor aircraft availability, poor contract specification, absence or late introduction of critical role equipment, resources diverted to war-fighting, poor and unco-ordinated reporting, no de-icing, poor communications, and late introduction of a unified tasking regime
Well that is certainly a set of sweeping generalisations Jim.

Granted the Sea King had its problems with serviceability on occasions during the last 30 years but lets see what the new shiny aircraft do when all their flights are up and running and coping with 2 - 300 jobs a year.

You conveniently forget that until a few years ago, the Mil SAR Flights held a full second standby, aircraft and crew, at RS 60 - will we ever see that capability in this contract? Not a chance. Yes, sometimes its availability was limited by aircraft serviceability but the stats will show a very high percentage in its favour.

I don't know which resources you think were 'diverted' to war-fighting but it wasn't aircraft or crews since any deployments of personnel were managed without compromising UKSAR.

If by poor comms you mean HF - that is valid but we seem to have got the job done with it and it is unlikely that the new contract would have Airwave had it not been used and proven extensively on milsar.

Presumably by poor contract specification you are talking purely about civsar - perhaps the introduction of the 139 when it had inadequate lighting and no cleared overwater SAR modes, yet was declared ready for 24-hour ops.

As for absence or late introduction of critical role equipment - do please clarify.
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 08:27
  #2242 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

Hang on Crab,

Couple of issues with what you've asserted there.

How will civ flights manage serviceability with 2-300 jobs a year? Well given half are S92 flights and since that types introduction in 2007 the average rate was above 98%, which no mil SAR flight was managing despite often there being more than one spare airframe per asset. Civ SAR managed with only a single spare per base and will continue to do so, also only 2 engineers per duty, the norm for many many years.

UKSAR was definitely compromised in the latter years, flights having only a single rear crew member on board and unavailable for winching due to staff shortage to support the front line. Yes, it happened.

Not having a go, you raise many valid points but those mentioned required clarification.
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 10:24
  #2243 (permalink)  
 
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Fair points Hedski, especially on the short-lived 3 man crew situation which was a result of the OCU being underresourced for a while.

As for the aircraft availability rate - I think 98% is what is in the contract but none of the civsar flights (up to now) have had to deal with the flying rate of Prestwick, Valley or Chivenor, all of which regularly top 300 jobs per year.

Out of interest, I believe the 3A fleet were managing 98%, but maybe that was just Chivenor (the best SAR flight in the UK, but only until the end of next month)

However, as has been highlighted, we won't know how it is going on the front line in the new service because the MCA just don't publish that sort of info and, once the ARRCK closes, I will be surprised if there is a version of the RCS from the new MOCC.
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 12:36
  #2244 (permalink)  
 
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Crab, I think you'll find Lee On Sea gets more than 300. Stornoway about 200 but more hrs due to longer flights.
I must say I would be worry as to how the 189 does, anything with Westland in its name worrys me. They should have stayed with garage doors where they can do little harm.

Last edited by Sevarg; 20th Aug 2015 at 12:37. Reason: 185 to 189 typo.
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Old 20th Aug 2015, 23:08
  #2245 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by llamaman View Post
Thanks very much for the (thorough) lecture, ...
Not meant to be a lecture.

I wanted to list a number of major influences from those of the distant past through to recent problems that take us to where we are now (without writing 3000 words about technical detail).

Meanwhile ...
Originally Posted by llamaman View Post
... ... The issues of the new service will, in time, be resolved and UK SAR will continue to evolve (and improve). ...
... but that continued evolution may be where we can have the greatest influence rather than the minutiae of implementation glitches. For instance, I am keen that we leave the DfT and MCA Aviation in no doubt about the effectiveness of existing and previous incarnations of ARCC so that the new ARCC becomes a highly effective tool in the SAR toolbox. Also, the work of DASA/DefenceEconomics in recording the work of milSAR over the years has been outstanding in many ways. There is no equivalent service without equivalent reporting: and anyway, how else would we know whether it is equivalent?


Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Well that is certainly a set of sweeping generalisations Jim.
As above: I wanted to list a number of major influences from those of the distant past through to recent problems that take us to where we are now ...


Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
... clarify.
Availability. Covered by others.

Not forgotten about second standby. Flew in 135 and 138 often enough. See "reduced numbers of aircraft in some flights". Rather than some great plan for surge coverage (although it may have served that purpose on some occasions), I expect that second standby was an anachronism with its roots in a time before your day or mine when aircraft fell out of the air quite routinely.

"resources diverted to war-fighting". I have no comment at this time.

Poor comms refers almost entirely to previous incarnations of civSAR: now fixed. (HF, though not what the playstation generation would think of as reliable, has a kind of resilience that other options cannot emulate. Airwave's usefulness varies across the country and is linked to population, infrastructure and topography. Some flights might only use it for ordering a takeaway during the flight home. )

Poor contract specification refers to the decades of shabby Coastguard/DETR/DfT SAR helicopter contracts with no competent technical specification.

"absence or late introduction of critical role equipment" Where SAR Force led, others sometimes followed, sometimes ridiculously slowly and sometimes not at all.


Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
... once the ARRCK closes, I will be surprised if there is a version of the RCS from the new MOCC.
What has been described to me is as follows. The Coastguard have a computer command and control system called Vision. A new computer command and control system has been in development specially for ARCC Fareham called AeroVision. It takes the essential elements of Vision and adds aviation elements including the essential elements of RCS.

.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 10:49
  #2246 (permalink)  
 
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Originally posted by Jimf671
For instance, I am keen that we leave the DfT and MCA Aviation in no doubt about the effectiveness of existing and previous incarnations of ARCC so that the new ARCC becomes a highly effective tool in the SAR toolbox
Don't hold your breath. It's one thing replacing aviation specialists (the military) with aviation specialists (Bristow). Transferring the ARCC to the MCA is the forgotten last piece of the puzzle, attempting to embed the niche specialisation of the ARCC within the maritime-heavy environs of the MCA is not without it's challenges. You pay peanuts etc....
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 14:25
  #2247 (permalink)  
 
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Let's hope Aerovision is a better system than their search box program which often gives ridiculous results in coastal waters since it is only designed for open water.

Does that stop them rigidly applying what the computer says and wasting valuable assets in pointless areas? No, of course not - we are back to that 'pay peanuts' thing again.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 15:11
  #2248 (permalink)  
 
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Granted the Sea King had its problems with serviceability on occasions during the last 30 years but lets see what the new shiny aircraft do when all their flights are up and running and coping with 2 - 300 jobs a year.
How will civ flights manage serviceability with 2-300 jobs a year? Well given half are S92 flights and since that types introduction in 2007 the average rate was above 98%, which no mil SAR flight was managing despite often there being more than one spare airframe per asset. Civ SAR managed with only a single spare per base and will continue to do so,
Crab, I think you'll find Lee On Sea gets more than 300. Stornoway about 200 but more hrs due to longer flights.
...but what the civ flts haven't been doing is 4 hours' training a day as well as all these jobs. Given that Bristow will also be doing less training flying than the mil units, it will not be possible to make a valid comparison of how the new aircraft serviceability compares to the Sea King, even once the Bristow SAR empire is in steady state.

But does any of this really matter? Probably not...
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 15:16
  #2249 (permalink)  
 
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Crab says
Does that stop them rigidly applying what the computer says and wasting valuable assets in pointless areas?
I had the pleasure of 'liaising with and advising' our CG brethren on far too many occasions, after computers had replaced that misguided and redundant 'local knowledge' from the sector stations.

One case that stands out above all others in my mind was the occasion a 12ft speedboat ran out of fuel 2 miles off Borth (mid Wales) at last light. Because the numerous search assets (Brawdy 1st standby SK, Nimrod, three Lifeboats and a fast fishing boat failed to find it during the night, by dawn the Nimrod (second or even third sortie) was searching off the Isle of Man - a good 90+ miles away. My crew was called in early to replace our 1st S'by (who'd been tasked with a coastal search from St Davids to Anglesey throughout the hours of darkness) and we found the missing craft within the hour, with its three cold but unharmed teenage occupants (no light, no radio, no flares) in the early dawn, 20 miles or so downwind from where it had launched. I had decided to ignore the ridiculously expanded search area that the computer said we should search and which was passed to us by Milford Haven CG. The response from the three ringer in charge at MHCG when I called in to explain the next day was "but surely, how was it missed, Nimrods can find a needle in a haystack"!

Anyone remember that advert?

Last edited by Al-bert; 22nd Aug 2015 at 01:30.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 08:45
  #2250 (permalink)  
 
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G-CILN and G-CILP (AW139) arrived at St Athan last night just as the sun went down.

One month work-up.

Only one base to start up in this round. Catch-up time?



A thought for Boulmer.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 10:54
  #2251 (permalink)  
 
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Any news on the 189? I see on another thread a debate over whether it will meet the Falklands contract timeline too. Don't imagine a 139 is ideal in that part of the world but I guess time will tell....
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 13:00
  #2252 (permalink)  
 
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No worry about Tetra either
FeaturesDetails
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 17:10
  #2253 (permalink)  
 
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Spanish Waltzer

1st FI AW189 is on the AW Flight Line for final fit and post production flight tests. Acceptance starts in 30 days.
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Old 2nd Sep 2015, 22:40
  #2254 (permalink)  
 
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Belgian Navy NH 90 SAR Cab busy in British Waters.

Belgian NH90 First SAR Mission - Helicopter Database
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 11:51
  #2255 (permalink)  
 
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Only because the Lydd AW139 was conducting a winch of a patient from a yacht at that time. Can't be in two places at once.
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 14:41
  #2256 (permalink)  
 
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Can't be in two places at once.
No, that's why we used to have 3 flights on the East coast instead of 2 ridiculously far apart! And, not that many years ago, a second standby aircraft and crew.

Progress and faster helicopters make all the difference apparently...........lies, damn lies and statistics!

From the article
By the end of 2018, the NH90 will definitively replace the legendary Sea King.
shame we didn't think of that!
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 16:57
  #2257 (permalink)  
 
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Snoop Only three flights?

Lossie, Leuchars, Boulmer, Leconfield, Coltishall and Manston I seem to recall - and all with a second standby
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 19:10
  #2258 (permalink)  
 
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I was just harking back to the good old days - you are talking about the good old, good old days
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 20:36
  #2259 (permalink)  
 
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Can't be in two places at once
Unless you are [email protected] of course....
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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 22:16
  #2260 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

I was just harking back to the good old days - you are talking about the good old, good old days
ah yes, that was prior to the last round of improvements!
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