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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

Old 7th Apr 2013, 14:33
  #321 (permalink)  
 
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mmmmm

HC,
I would like to think that having an SAR capabillity does not mean that they are going to expose themselves to an unrequired risk (night crew changes). In the the North Sea with the exception of mechanical failures almost every accident has happened at night.
If anyone is sitting doing risk assessments then the night offshore thing is not really a LARP. I am sure one can convince oneself that night crew changes are reasonable, but, with better planning, even in the far north, they can be avoided. How many of us have been in the position that the sea state is too bad to go, then, after dark it improves enough to go. Call me old fashioned but, I would rather take my chances in the daylight.
Best thing to do is let the SAR crew with all their kit and training do the night stuff and let us lesser mortals keep the rest of it as safe as possible.
HM
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 14:48
  #322 (permalink)  
 
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HM, I agree. I think our operating model will echo that!
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 16:36
  #323 (permalink)  
 
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Is not the price of progress the fact that the entire top heavy edifice and
drastically reduced capability, which the brighter guys designed and got noticed
in, is about to be sh1t canned?
It would have happened anyway, 'top heavy edifice' or not. And how is the capability drastically reduced?


The OCU became painfully long due to being co-located with C Flight (guess
who gets priority?), poor serviceability,...
Not that it really makes much difference to anything (surely this thread is about the future rather than the past?), but your facts are largely wrong. For a start, the OCU isn't 9 months - except for one course just after the move to Valley where severe problems with SKIOS made everything grind to a halt. The course lasts between 5 and 7 months depending on how many students there are, and how many other tasks the OCU has to juggle at the same time.

The flying rate at the OCU is certainly affected by poor serviceability at times, but there are many other factors - crucially, insufficient staff, particularly rearcrew. Other problems include, but are not limited to, weather and restrictions on movements caused by the FJ operations at Valley (noone was in the least surprised that Bristow dropped all the mil bases like a hot brick!).


and a dogged reluctance to entertain
the thought of fast-tracking
experienced guys through.
Please explain how to do this - as in which parts of the course the experienced guys could skip. You are, of course, talking about experienced guys with no SAR background because you're well aware that there are refresher courses tailored to suit those with past SAR experience.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 16:41
  #324 (permalink)  
 
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TOTD only one of your quotes attributable to me

And how is the capability drastically reduced?
Ops only, no seconds, shortage of rear crew, reduction in training with outside agencies...

Last edited by Al-bert; 7th Apr 2013 at 16:42.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 16:48
  #325 (permalink)  
 
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This thread must surely by the front runner in the competition for the largest quantity of gobshite in the least number of threads?
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 17:09
  #326 (permalink)  
 
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Torque,

You're right, it's all quickly becoming irrelevant but I'll respond anyway.

All recent courses have over-run. For instance, last Jan's finished in August rather than the advertised June! Regarding the fast-tracking of experienced guys; there are myriad opportunities to get them through more quickly, for example is it really necessary for current procedurally green-rated pilots to do two separate instrument flying phases. I would suggest that a full basic IF phase and a separate procedural phase (the same number of sorties as an ab-initio student) is somewhat overkill or is SAR instrument flying more difficult? I think not.

Do you honestly think that a guy/girl who has completed three or more front-line SH tours needs to do exactly the same sorties at SARTU and 203 Sqn as an ab-initio student fresh out of Shawbury? The attitude of the die-hard yellow-hatters who have never done anything other than SAR that it is somekind of dark and mysterious art form is one of the reasons that the RAF SAR force became the unwieldy and inflexible empire that it did. Believe it or not there are non-yellow helicopters out there that can be fitted with a winch, fly in appalling weather conditions, rescue people and are even hovered quite accurately by non-SAR pilots.

It's interesting that Bristow are only stipulating 250 hrs SAR experience for their prospective captains and more onus is being put on overall experience isn't it?
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 17:14
  #327 (permalink)  
 
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There has been a decline in recent years but

Ops only,
Not a recent phenomenon


no seconds,
Forced on us by external factors - yet it has proven possible to generate a second crew when needed even after the formal commitment was dropped (in the same way as the MCA guys have done on occasion recently, and like the old days outside the hours when a seconds crew was required).

shortage of rear crew,
Also not a recent phenomenon. What has changed is that we now prefer to admit defeat when we run out of people, rather than doing 48 hour shifts and other work-arounds. I would suggest that the capability of a crew, at a point where some of them had been on shift for 40-45 hours, wasn't much greater than no crew at all!

reduction in training with outside agencies...
If some lifeboat units used to get an exercise a month (not something I've seen myself), then a reduction will not have hurt capability that much!

Last edited by TorqueOfTheDevil; 7th Apr 2013 at 17:20.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 17:22
  #328 (permalink)  
 
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Torque - from your response(s) it is evident that you never had the benefit that many of us enjoyed! It's been a long and slippery slope, soon to end, sadly for the best it seems
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 18:10
  #329 (permalink)  
 
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Llamaman,

Having just seen you post, I feel obliged to correct the facts - again, not because it matters to Bristow and the people who will work for them, but because some of the nonsense on here paints some people in an unfairly poor light (and, worryingly, the nonsense appears to be borne of genuine ignorance rather than trolling!). So if I may:

All recent courses have over-run. For instance, last Jan's finished in August
rather than the advertised June!
For a start 203 doesn't advertise finish dates (and hasn't for some time, because of the multitude of factors which affects rate of progress). Secondly, while that course last year did last longer than most, the course immediately before that one started in August 2011 and were all complete by Christmas (Christmas 2011, for clarity!). Thirdly, this time last year, the unit was hit by nearly half the rearcrew staff being grounded due to serious illnesses - this would affect any unit's progress, and sure enough the main OCU course was affected until replacements could be posted in and trained up.

is SAR instrument flying more difficult? I think not.
Probably not, though how much time do SH guys spend hovering in IMC 50' above the water? Of course, it's no harder than any other instrument hover - but there is minimal margin for error. Either way, whether you do all the IF in one go, or in two separate phases, the total time required is the same! The basic IF phase is definitely needed to set people up for the FCS flying; if you chose to get rid of the Proc IF, you would save a grand total of...one week.

Do you honestly think that a guy/girl who has completed three or more
front-line SH tours needs to do exactly the same sorties at SARTU and 203 Sqn as
an ab-initio student fresh out of Shawbury?
No - but very few of the guys and girls coming across to SAR have 3 or more tours under their belts. And most of the recent SH guys' hours have been either in theatre or training to go to theatre; these skills which they acquire, for which I have the utmost respect, don't necessarily prepare them for UK SAR. And there is now a generation of SH guys who have never done some of the core SAR skills (eg decks) because of changes within DHFS.


there are myriad opportunities to get them through more quickly
At first sight, this seems to make sense - yet you offer no examples at all other than the IF which, as I have said, would make little difference. Please pick three examples from your myriad to illustrate your point.

Last edited by TorqueOfTheDevil; 7th Apr 2013 at 18:14.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 19:46
  #330 (permalink)  
 
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Torque,

I'm not keen to drag this thread any fiurther away from it's intended path, I think it's abundantly clear that we could argue this one all night long. My point was that there has been ample opportunities for the RAF SAR Force to be more efficient/flexible in their approach to converting experienced crews. Your vehement defence is admirable but symptomatic of a Force that has been very reticent to change with the times. Sad though I am to see the crown jewels being sold to our civilian friends it could be just the breath of fresh air that.SAR needs. A commercial outlook will certainly bring an element of innovation that has been sadly lacking in recent years
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 20:29
  #331 (permalink)  
 
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Exactly - we'll have to agree to disagree, mainly for the sake of anyone looking at this thread in the hope of finding out something useful!

You call it a defence, I call it an explanation - there are those in the SAR Force who are resistant to change, but they, like me, are the pond life. The people in exec positions in the Force in recent years are mostly people with eyes wide open, either from a long background in SH (who usually arrive with an understandable desire to shake up the cosseted little SAR world) or from being the best of the bunch in the SAR world - some would seek to change the Force in a genuine attempt to improve it, others for self-serving attempts to get promoted, yet neither group has made much difference. My personal view is that this is more because it's harder to do than it may first appear, rather than solely because the stove-pipers have sabotaged any attempt to change.


it could be just the breath of fresh air that.SAR needs.
Agreed.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 21:16
  #332 (permalink)  
 
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A commercial outlook will certainly bring an element of innovation that has been sadly lacking in recent years
I don't think that is a fair comment, especially on the front-line - the management wheels do turn in predictable and ever repeating circles though and no-one wants to listen to the unpalatable truths of manning and aircraft shortages.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 21:44
  #333 (permalink)  
 
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If it's innovation you want then get hold of the aircrew and some of their management that have made it possible to keep SAR Sea Kings in the air in recent years against the odds, maintained remarkably high standards with old weary kit, constantly developed SH operations in theatre and generally kept the whole show on the road and kept smiling.

If you expect the same innovative approach from Southampton or Abbey Wood then I fear there may be some disappointment. We've already had the KPI conversation on here and getting those numbers in the right boxes and on the right colour of paper could easily be what becomes important if the normal pattern of public procurement prevails.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 21:50
  #334 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

Don't take it personally. I'm not talking about innovation at the coal-face, that has always been there through the need to make things work when all else is against you. I'm referring to innovation at a more strategic level. I don't think many in the military have the first idea how forward thinking [B]some[B] commercial companies can be. Not every Organisations' decision making is driven by senior managements' desire to get promoted every few years.
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Old 7th Apr 2013, 22:24
  #335 (permalink)  
 
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Norma,

Innovative and progressive? Really? Apart from being among the last to properly adopt NVGs the RAF SAR Force is pretty much doing things the way it was a decade or more ago. Not necessarily a bad thing but innovative and progressive it isn't.
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Old 8th Apr 2013, 01:09
  #336 (permalink)  
 
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This thread must surely by the front runner in the competition for the largest quantity of gobshite in the least number of threads?
Yes, and is it any wonder that civvy companies regard recruitment from the military as high risk (except for Bond of course!)?
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Old 8th Apr 2013, 08:07
  #337 (permalink)  
 
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Please dont mistake Innovation for Good Ideas. There is a huge difference between strategic management and fleet changes and reactions to shop-floor diffculties.
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Old 8th Apr 2013, 12:20
  #338 (permalink)  
 
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Night Crew changes are much more dangerous than Day Crew Changes?

Do Airlines operate only in daylight?

I would suppose the Oil Companies might find a way to improve the safety of night operations if they wanted to do so....but probably the cost benefit is such that maintaining the Status Quo is where the cost savings lies.

Why even F-18's land on Aircraft Carriers at night....why should landing a helicopter on a platform be that much harder?
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Old 8th Apr 2013, 12:32
  #339 (permalink)  
 
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10 yrs behind civvy street with FLIR, last in the mil to go NVD. Check lists designed to compete with War and Peace, no GPS back up procedures unlike every other mil flying outfit out there
hmmm.... brought in FLIR of a significantly higher quality than was being used in civsar at the time; taught RN SAR NVD; checklists!!!!have you ever compared a mil set of FRCs with the equivalent document set carried on a AW139 for example???; how do you mean no GPS back up procedures? we carry 2 hand-held sets and the CDNU and RNAV can be operated on doppler and or VOR/DME and Loran in the case of the 3A.

If you are going to criticise, at least get some of your facts right.

Oh and who was it who drove paramedic qualifiactions leading to the raising of the bar in medical care available on a SAR helicopter???? oh yes the RAFSAR Force

Last edited by [email protected]; 8th Apr 2013 at 12:32.
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Old 8th Apr 2013, 14:08
  #340 (permalink)  
 
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Prime minister approves of Long SAR contender:

http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/512...ml#post7782498

'nuf said!

Crab:

Reading your response to ST, it's agreed then - you don't disagree with each of his facts then?
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