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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

Old 10th May 2020, 23:33
  #2821 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Inverness-shire, Ross-shire
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I am aware that there are AW139 out there across the planet doing SAR and doing a decent job of it. However, when you put a couple of well-qualified paramedics, or the EMRS team, in the back of a SAR helicopter, up to a couple of hundred miles from their destination, they are there to do real work on the patient that will advance their survival chances.

I have listened to CHC rear-crew talking about how little they were able to do in the back of the AW139. I have listened to MERT guys moaning about how small and cramped the Merlin (AW101) is to work in. Yes, to Chinook folks, the Merlin is a small and cramped work-space! I am convinced by those voices of comprehensive red and sticky experience.

The Norwegian and the Falkland Island SAR flights have had recent experience of really big evacuation jobs, so I am convinced by the need for larger aircraft for the occasional job like that. An entire crew of a decent sized fishing boat fits in a S-92. You then also have space for deploying large teams of MRT or CG for big search jobs.

We should give the DfT and MCA credit where credit is due. They have been landed with this by virtue of already have done maritime SAR contracts in the past but instead of a sitting in their maritime silo and creating a restricted service for their own purposes, the current contract serves the wider emergency service and civil contingency needs of the entire country. Take a bow. If the next contract takes the same approach then that too will be world-class in that respect. We shall see.
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Old 11th May 2020, 06:59
  #2822 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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The DoT will have to cut costs and this must be seen by a public mostly unemployed and on UC. So I see a 3 base solution with a 175 each in Aberdeen and Norwich and a 169 in Blackpool that will also be available on O&G work for our decimated Offshore industry. The 2 hours per day training nonsense could be reduced and money saved by using less paint on the machines. Yellow would be a nice, conspicuous colour. Pay is also far too generous so a 50% cut is in order and crews will be grateful that they still have a job. Brave new world.
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Old 11th May 2020, 06:59
  #2823 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Well said jimf671. This thread was heading off in a very strange and pointless direction IMHO.
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Old 11th May 2020, 09:34
  #2824 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Here we go again... My chopper is bigger than yours routine.

We all like a big chopper however and it is a big however, The tasking for the last 5 or so years fully document how many people and in what scenario they were helped.
The ONLY factors which will decide the next aircraft are the Facts .Not supposition or what ifs.
The government has a duty to provide a service at a reasonable cost. 100 year events of the Titanic sinking again in the channel will not factor in to that .
The reality is the tasking carried out by the 92 could have been done cheaper with a smaller airframe it would be irresponsible of the government not to know that fact and act accordingly.

Oh and I'm a big Fan of the 92 and it saddens me write this.
Did it do a good job ? yes

Is it the most cost effective way of achieving that job? probably not.


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Old 11th May 2020, 14:35
  #2825 (permalink)  
 
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So there's a lot of folk talking about cost, with statements that sound like they know the facts.. Does anyone care to quantify the difference in operating costs of different types, based on reality rather than conjecture?

Once the aircraft DOCs are established, anyone care to add on the fixed costs associated with a crewed SAR machine, based on facts rather than conjecture?

Then we'll all have an idea about the real (rather small) difference in cost!!
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Old 11th May 2020, 16:33
  #2826 (permalink)  
 
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The Award Notice figure of about 1.6bn is the fixed cost for the entire contract period. At the start, MCA Aviation expected that fixed cost to be about 85% of the total. That ends up as 1.88bn but I suspect oil prices have been doing them a favour although I have no indication of how the real variables have panned out.

There are a number of things about these costs that are regularly overlooked. One is that in a 24 hour SAR operation in a 'hostile environment' (45deg) with mountain and maritime work, the training load is massive. The other is the same thing that many overlook in the COVID-19 situation: people ARE the economy, so losing people is damned expensive and it is well worth saving them.

Although the cost per job over the early part of the contract worked out at 78k, it is irrelevant really. The Crown Office, HSE and Network Rail figures have published average figures for the cost to the state of accidental and unexpected deaths. You see, in a highly-developed economy, with world-leading standards of personal safety and security for its citizens, the state gets a bit excited when people die for silly reasons. These published figures measure that excitement at between 1.6m and 2m, averaging at least 1.87m.

Now, if we look at the number of rescued persons, we can tell that not all of them were saved from death. So a conservative estimate would be 1000 lives saved per year. 1000 x 1.87million = 1.87bn, thus saving the state the entire cost of the nominally ten year contract in each year of service.

Now you can argue about the 1000 lives figure or argue about the 1.87million state costs figure but what you can't do is reduce the whole thing by a factor of ten.

There will, no doubt, be ppruners and others who continue to know the cost of everything and the value of nothing but keeping your people safe and able to contribute to society and the economy makes economic as well as social and political sense. It happens to be something that the British are universally good at and so far this service has been an excellent example. I shall be making every effort to encourage MCA Aviation to continue those standards and not drift off into accountant-land "and I commend this motion to the House".
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Old 12th May 2020, 07:50
  #2827 (permalink)  
 
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One is that in a 24 hour SAR operation in a 'hostile environment' (45deg) with mountain and maritime work, the training load is massive.
Yet the training hours that were set for the present contract were very low compared to the Mil hours and we were regularly told we were just too expensive and a 'gold-plated solution'.
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Old 12th May 2020, 17:32
  #2828 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yet the training hours that were set for the present contract were very low compared to the Mil hours and we were regularly told we were just too expensive and a 'gold-plated solution'.
I must be on the right track if that's all crab can find!

The basic training hours number as I understand it are the shift training hours. That does not include simulator work, check rides and other items. Not everybody is an aircraft captain in this system and they are not on a three year tour, so that strips off the gold-plating. I'd say it was still sterling silver underneath though.
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Old 12th May 2020, 19:56
  #2829 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yet the training hours that were set for the present contract were very low compared to the Mil hours and we were regularly told we were just too expensive and a 'gold-plated solution'.
Nonsense. We fly more hours now than we did in the military.
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Old 12th May 2020, 20:17
  #2830 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by drugsdontwork View Post
Nonsense. We fly more hours now than we did in the military.
Don't wind crab up with the whole mil vs civ training hours requirement. We all had enough of that some years ago.
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Old 12th May 2020, 20:32
  #2831 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jeepys View Post
Don't wind crab up with the whole mil vs civ training hours requirement. We all had enough of that some years ago.
Good point. Agreed. Out.
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Old 12th May 2020, 20:52
  #2832 (permalink)  
 
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Nonsense. We fly more hours now than we did in the military.
I didn't say anything about what you fly now, just what was quoted as the training hours for the contract at the beginning so calm down.
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Old 13th May 2020, 03:09
  #2833 (permalink)  
 
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We now know for sure what the combined company from the Bristow-Era merger will be called.

Bristow.

Has a familiar ring to it I think. Indications are that commitment to SAR operations and business development is undiminished. The Chief Commercial Officer is a former UK SAR Director. The merger transaction is due to complete in mid-June 2020.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 02:14
  #2834 (permalink)  
 
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On Tuesday 12th May the MCA held the Industry Day in the form of an online meeting. The recording of that is on gov.uk and youtube. It's over an hour long but you can get a strong flavour of what is going on by skipping from one slide to the next in the first half and the second half is a live Q&A.

GOV.UK - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/second-generation-uk-search-and-rescue-aviation-programme-uksar2g

YOUTUBE -

The MCA team appears to consist mainly of the usual suspects with the odd new face. So they've done this before and had a good result. It's reasonable to expect continuous improvement and an even better result, which is what I'm sure we'll all press for.

If "short range rescue" starts turning into a secondhand 365 doing "Mountain HEMS" then I am ready to get very grumpy. Are you ready Crab?

The right nerds are in place and the tech spec should be better than last time so hopefully it'll be plain sailing.


Last edited by jimf671; 24th May 2020 at 17:47.
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