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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

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UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread

Old 31st Dec 2014, 09:41
  #1461 (permalink)  
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He'll find out all about it when he does the TR course.
not a very likely event
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 10:16
  #1462 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

The point that I'm trying to make, probably rather clumsily, is this: new types/technologies can provide new solutions/procedures to old problems.

For the night ejectee scenario on a flat-calm night, where references will be virtually nil at the necessary high hover height, modern systems allow perfectly acceptable lateral pilot control and accurate height-holding (with no 'top-box' limits) using AFCS modes which can be easily overridden if a faster movement is required. The absence of doppler removes the risk of flat-surface 'unlock', sea movement error etc. That, to my mind, is a far better way of dealing with this scenario than using 'hover trim' in a modern system, whereas HT is doubtless the best procedure in the SK with its more restricted AFCS.

In the scenario of a rapidly- and randomly-moving small (but possibly tall) vessel, especially at night, HT might indeed be the most suitable mode to use on a modern type, but it might be equally appropriate to use a pilot-controlled lateral mode - with accurate automatic heightkeeping without practical restriction - which the pilot is able to easily modify if the vessel's movement requires it. With a lot of cable out, this approach can also minimise the likelihood of a significant swing for the winchman.

As I said, different technologies can provide different 'best ways' of doing business. The trick, of course, is to continue those 'best ways' where appropriate while avoiding the assumption that all of those 'best ways' MUST transfer between types/technologies.

Anyway, Happy New Year to all, and best wishes in particular to all the military SAR operators who will be facing a pretty tough time over the next couple of years. Keep up the good work regardless; your customers will appreciate it.

Last edited by louisnewmark; 31st Dec 2014 at 10:17. Reason: Bloomin' predictive text...
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 10:48
  #1463 (permalink)  
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Louis - I see where you are coming from but the weak link in your proposition is the pilot - no matter how good his autopilot and 'fly through' modes of operation are - he can't see what is happening beneath the aircraft and so any response of his is 'lagged' by the time the winch op recognises and verbalises the correction required.

The winchop's Hover Trim on the new aircraft will give him sufficient authority through the clever autopilot to move the aircraft precisely to assist the winchman.

There is often some manoeuvering required for a night wet (or day for that matter) as the winchop needs to keep the cable in such a position that it doesn't hinder or endanger the winchman or casualty whilst the casualty is prepared for lift.

The pilot can establish the aircraft in an autohover and then verbally give control to the winchop - I don't think this will be done any differently in the new aircraft, they just won't have to fret about doppler mislocks or spend ages trimming the aircraft to a relative hover.

All the new technology is in the aircraft, not where the winchman is working.

BTW the 3A Sea King, although still doppler based, has a more flexible, digital SN500 AFCS with few of the limitations of the mk31 FCS I think you are remembering.

Out of interest, on the Bristow roadshow the accuracy of the autohover was stated to be such that it could keep the aircraft in a 1-metre cube of space - that is impressive but still not accurate enough for precision winching and it is still only a datum from which you have to manoeuvre to compensate for wind, tide, downdraught, sea movement etc. I know you can give it vectors to compensate for steady state drift, for example, but responding to a messy sea with random waves breaking is beyond even that tech.

New technology is great but it isn't a panacea for SAR.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 11:03
  #1464 (permalink)  
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Things do change

"As I said, different technologies can provide different 'best ways' of doing business. The trick, of course, is to continue those 'best ways' where appropriate while avoiding the assumption that all of those 'best ways' MUST transfer between types/technologies."

LN, I agree with you entirely but there will be many old dogs who will argue (I think there may be a few on here) that why try and reinvent the RAF SAR wheel.

I can't remember the name of the yank who closed down a US patent office in 1899 or thereabouts saying "everything that can be invented has been".

Having used the old doppler system and the newer AFCS in the modern SAR a/c I disagree with crab that the w/op is best placed to conduct that type of job. In some cases he MAY be but the built in delay can make the job harder and with the presentation the pilot now has in front of him he can tell exactly where the a/c is going and what speed and has the ability to change that in an instant rather than waiting the few seconds it takes for the Winch/op system.

Maybe some of the older RAF SAR crews can tell us whether the procedures that were used on the Whirlwind, Wessex were different to the SK days.

Happy new year.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 12:57
  #1465 (permalink)  
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Jeepys - please explain the 'built-in delay' in the AFCS system.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 14:54
  #1466 (permalink)  
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It would seem to me that the winch operator who has direct visual contact with the survivor is able to provide a better service to the winchman rather than the service provided via a pilot looking at instruments? However, I do agree that we should not be constrained by old habits/old technology. Anyway, good luck to all involved in SAR in the coming years.
PS not just AHT on Sea Kings;Super Puma and Cormorant too.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 16:56
  #1467 (permalink)  
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It is worth pointing out that although the use of AHT/Crew Hover in UK civilian SAR is part of the training requirement, the majority of winch operators will achieve their currency on drums without exploring the system's capabilities on wets or decks.

Many aircraft commanders would not expect their winch operator to do any more than deliver the hi-line were the system to be used on decks with the evolution flown manually once the hi-line is established. Should AHT/Crew Hover be used on wets, a significant number of winch operators would ask their pilot to provide the winching inputs (on the winch operator's command) as they do on drums, rather than overloading themselves with both aircraft control and winch operation.

AHT/Crew Hover is therefore not a well-used feature. The differences in approach between military and civilian SAR crews (detailed above), combined with the effectiveness of the AHRS-based autohovers, a lack of user confidence and some ergonomic challenges may go some way to explaining why the pilot retaining control appears to be the preferred method in the civilian world.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 17:18
  #1468 (permalink)  
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rather than overloading themselves with both aircraft control and winch operation.
really?????? overloading themselves???? an LCR winchman can do hover trim wets in secondary role in the RAF.....no wonder the payscales in UKSAR are set low for rearcrew
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 08:56
  #1469 (permalink)  
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AHT/Crew hov

Hi guys,

Happy New Year all!

Crab - having done ejectee jobs from RAF Sea Kings, and S-92s (as a WinchMan) I can say from experience, the service provided from an AHRS based 'V-HOLD' with Pilot flying in a 200' hover is as good, if not better than than doing the same thing on AHT in a SeaKing. I've also operated both sytems as a WinchOp. The lag that you talk about by having the Pilot make the inputs is insignificant in practice. What kind of target are you talking about that is moving so rapidly that these fractions of a second are going to make such a difference to the service provided? Don't forget WinchOps can anticipate and give directions early if they feel the required inputs are being made too slowly by the Pilot. But as I said, this is insignificant in practise, and never enough to make crew hov a better option.

Also, in response to 'I have grave concerns about their motivation to go that extra mile beyond the minimum spec in the contract'

- Don't be concerned. I will alway go the extra mile and risk my arse as much as is required on a job (as I'm sure any of my fellow civvy rearcrew will also). But during training and with only the same amount of sick pay as an office worker, I won't take any risks.
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 20:19
  #1470 (permalink)  
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Thinking about those HD cameras pointing down below the aircraft. I'm sure it would be possible using current image processing and electo-optical direction technology (to say nothing of reversing cameras on cars or Hawk Eye at Wimbledon!) to provide information/direction during a rescue? Set it to track casualty/boat/winchman and the crew could set 'avoid' areas or 'capture' areas and let the system provide cues one way or another, or even send direct inputs into the flight control system (I know, a _lot_ of work would be required before the latter would be a goer).

Dunno if it would be a help (less things to worry about) or a hindrance (more to monitor or go wrong) but it could be explored.
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 20:30
  #1471 (permalink)  
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Very amusing

Having experienced military SAR, HMCG SAR and O/G SAR. I find that having a browse of this thread now and again makes me giggle, a great deal of "willy swinging" and an entire new class of "sciolists" (a term that I was introduced to by an ex RAF colleague), very befitting of a great many posters on here.

Extract below taken from an Internet site well versed on the subject:

A sciolist is a person with a “smattering” knowledge who pretends to be an expert on some subject. Sciolists can be easily identified by their vociferous use of dazzling buzz words coupled with an ability to speak authoritatively and with conviction while at the same time not actually saying anything or providing information not already obvious.

Sciolism is a form of deceit which automatically engenders a level of paranoia and I suspect sciolists are natively insecure and therefore especially defensive/offensive lest they be found out. The attitude displays an enormous hubris in that sciolists presuppose their own life experiences are somehow more valuable to the discussion than the rest of the public. In fact, sciolists by intruding and inserting their shallow “expertise” into deeply complex issues have been and are potentially very damaging.

I wish you all well for 2015, please continue the "willy swinging" and re-inventing the SAR wheel......very entertaining

Last edited by angelonawire; 2nd Jan 2015 at 13:11.
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 20:53
  #1472 (permalink)  
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Skystalker - I bow to your experience and expertise - it is really of no concern to me as I have and will not have any further input to UKSAR.

As an ageing parent, I completely understand how irrelevant past experience is to the brave new generation so, please be my guest, re-invent the wheel and let the new UKSAR be judged by its own merits and performance.

Good luck.
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Old 1st Jan 2015, 22:23
  #1473 (permalink)  
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Crab......Dude!, I wasn't trying to start another [email protected] beating session. I happen to agree with a lot of your comments on here. I just felt that some of your comments on the current topic, whilst authoritative, isn't the full picture either.

Past lessons and experience play a very important part in the way we do business. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. But with a different machine, some techniques have evolved or just need to be done differently.

Angel - If you re-read your post, I think you'll find you're guilty of the very thing you're trying to accuse others of.

You've told us about your 'experience', (although, abit of Navy SAR, a few months in Sumburgh then Jigsaw means you've probably done a handful of jobs at the most)

You vociferously have used the buzz word 'Sciolist' and have cut and paste someone else's work and are holding it up as if it's in someway your thoughts

You also have'nt actually added anything to the subject being discussed. You have just posted to have a dig at others.

PPRuNe rocks!
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 00:21
  #1474 (permalink)  
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Bait cast.......first "SAR expert" takes a bite

I must humbly apologise for my lack of experience and slither back to the rock from under which I crawled.

I must also sincerely apologise for cutting and pasting the humouros description of a "sciolist" that I found on the Internet, which does appear to hit a raw nerve

Sky stalker, You obviously know who I am; as I never mentioned that I was in the "senior service"

I shall leave you all to it and await further torrents of abuse from the other connoisseurs of SAR.....please don't wait around for a further retort, you won't get one as I tend to get into trouble for posting my opinions of civSAR on prune

Let's get back to how to re-invent SAR........
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 20:02
  #1475 (permalink)  
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I was unaware that an S-92 had been used in rescuing an RAF ejectee. When and where was this?
Please don't think I am questioning your integrity; I am genuinely interested.

Subsequently edited this as I believe the S92 was used in the Moray rescue in 2012. Have there been others?

Last edited by HAL9000; 2nd Jan 2015 at 20:18. Reason: Follow up.
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 20:16
  #1476 (permalink)  
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Was this not the one?

BBC News - Tornado jet crew eject before aircraft crashes
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Old 2nd Jan 2015, 21:43
  #1477 (permalink)  
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That was the one I was referring to hilife
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Old 3rd Jan 2015, 07:27
  #1478 (permalink)  
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Skystalker - I haven't operated the S92 so I can only accept your findings but tell me, do you use 'crew hover' for night wets - as you know that was SOP for the Sea King. As for quick response, drums or wets in a big or confused sea usually meant you were behind the drag curve up front and AHT/HT was often the best method. By the time the winchop had said "Forward 1" it was time for "Back 5" as the wave broke.

BTW, particularly amused you have 'outed' Angel for his lack of SAR experience - he is indeed the sciolist in the room
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 17:44
  #1479 (permalink)  
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Crabbage - Let me just say, I am not an expert on the 92, nor am I particularly experienced at SAR.

It's not a hard and fast SOP that we will default to 'crew hov' to do Night wets/drums. The option is there if you feel it will provide a better service to the w/man in the prevailing conditions. However, we are required to train with it as part of our ongoing currency requirements.
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Old 4th Jan 2015, 22:09
  #1480 (permalink)  
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Thanks - it will be interesting to see what the very experienced guys make of it later in the year when they come across on managed transition.
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