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A&P technician(Flight mechanic) or Rescue swimmer(winchman) ?

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A&P technician(Flight mechanic) or Rescue swimmer(winchman) ?

Old 24th Apr 2015, 11:48
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A&P technician(Flight mechanic) or Rescue swimmer(winchman) ?

Could you tell me who operates hoist in the Coast Guard helicopter SAR teams ?
A&P technician(Flight mechanic) or Rescue swimmer(winchman) ?
I'm wondering who operate hoist in the SAR team aircrews around the world especially US,UK,Canada and the more ?
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 21:03
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In my day on UK CG SAR, (CG S61N), the winch Operator always operated the winch and the winchman went down on the wire. All of our winch crews were dual qualified which made things a lot easier

TC
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 22:37
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Not in UK SAR - but some other winch operations use qualified engineers or mechanics who are also HHO qualified.
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Old 24th Apr 2015, 23:32
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In the USCG, the hoist operator is the Flight Mechanic, who will normally be either a AET or an AMT (Avionics Electrical Technician or Aviation Maintenance Technician).

The Rescue Swimmer will be an AST (Aviation Survival Technician). While some ASTs are qualified as Flight Mechanics, they are fairly rare, and in practice don't perform the duty, because they're usually hanging on the hook or administering medical treatment when aboard the aircraft.
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Old 19th May 2015, 22:53
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NYPD is using their mechanics (A&P technicians, to be correct) to serve as winch operators. Similar in some other police and military ops. I believe French Gendarmerie and Securite Civile do the same.
In some other places (like UK RAF) winch operator is a full time specialist, trained to do only that job (and crosstrained with winchman, as stated above) There are pros and cons for dual role trained winch operators. PM me for more subtle explanation.
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Old 20th May 2015, 09:14
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Because of the all weather capability of the Sea King, the winch operators in RAF SAR are trained as radar operators and sensor operators (almost 360 degree search radar/FLIR/TV turret).

I would be interested to see how much initial and continuation training is given to the mechanics who winch op in other countries.
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Old 21st May 2015, 08:15
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Crab,
I would be interested to see how much initial and continuation training is given to the mechanics who winch op in other countries.
I was winch op for ship service operations years ago and we had to do Company recurrency training every few months.

It was a check ride with the Chief Engineer of the Base who was an ex-Mil Instructor and included all the emergency drills as well as winching an Apprentice into the Bay if there was one that fell for the "want to come for a flip? " line....
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Old 21st May 2015, 20:16
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Unstable load - that sort of answers my question, a RAF winchop will have to meet strict currency requirements EVERY month, day and night, doing dry (land) winching, deck winching and wet winching (as it sounds from the water or in a single man dinghy).

Proficiency isn't the same as currency and our aim was always to use currency as a step towards retaining proficiency.
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Old 22nd May 2015, 12:10
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That makes sense, Crab, but as we were not dedicated SAR our training requirements didn't need us to be at that level of preparedness.
We spent the majority of our flying hauling nets of cargo on the hook and smaller stuff on the winch for ship resupply. On the occasions we couldn't land on board the vessels, we winched crew change members on and off.
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