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Ship to Air refueling

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Ship to Air refueling

Old 3rd Jan 2016, 18:14
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Judge Tudor Owen
Sea King Mk 7 SKASaC 'Baggers' of 849 NAS refuelling from HMS OCEAN, May 2015












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Old 3rd Jan 2016, 19:22
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Geoff - I think that was 814 Squadron from HMS Hermes evacuating British residents from Cyprus. They thought that winching down some of the little old ladies from a great height might have caused more than just a touch of the vapours. I think there was a disabled person or two amongst them as well.
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Old 3rd Jan 2016, 22:40
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HIFR Slideshow by 22sarboy | Photobucket

It ain't rocket science, even crabs can do deck landings, HIFR and on-deck rotors running refuel (very safely)
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Old 3rd Jan 2016, 23:32
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F L,

Nice phots,
The last one is the money shot though, as you can see the cab is a little too far out which has caused the team to (correctly) release the hose to prevent the possibility of being pulled to the edge. they are also correctly positioned outside the bend in the hose should the shackle part and allow the hose to pull. The issue I would have dealt with straight away was the positioning of the aircraft relative to the actual refuel point. If the hose does break free due to a failure in the break away point to release and the shackle breaking, the guy in the cat walk will get the benefit of a fuel nozzle in the head. I would have asked for 1 spot HIFR supplied from 2 spot, which would have put the guy in the cat walk in a safe position.
p.s. "B" flight ruled

Cheers now
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 04:26
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Crab:

Yes, I'm sure they can these days but only after doing the appropriate courses and passing lots of written tests. Also they'd need to do lots of planning and a risk assessment - just in case.

Seriously though, most of the crabs we had on exchange were sorry to go back to the RAF at the end of their tours as they had grown to love using their own initiative and thinking for themselves.

Just kidding crab - even the senior service wouldn't do it without a briefing!
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 06:20
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Strangely - none of the RN exchange chaps we had on SAR actually went back to the Senior Service once they had seen the light

Most of the RN QHI students I had were doing the QHI course to avoid going to sea

We used to do deck landings (to all grey funnel liners) as RAFSAR aircraft on an ad hoc basis and just treat them like any other SAR situation - it was the RN who got all rule-bound and officious so I was sent to be standardised by RN Standards so I could cascade the training down through the RAFSAR Force.
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 07:51
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[email protected],

You sometimes seem to have an each-way bet when extolling the virtues of RAFSAR against all other players. It seems that DLs and HIFR are easy-peasy to a RAFSAR player, yet SAR is the singular domain of RAFSAR and all other pretenders can't possibly meet your standards.

Then the RN (not unexpectedly) require long term players in their sandpit comply with deck landing standards and you post that they are 'rule-bound and officious' by requiring you to be checked and approved to check your own guys.

Hmmmm......
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 09:06
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Cyprus 1973

FD2 - if my memory is not totally shot you are correct about the Seaking from 814 landing on the frigate in July/Aug 73.

I seem to recall the reason being slightly different though.

The Turks had one of their ex USN Gearing class destroyers sunk following a bombing attack by a F4. This was to the South East of Akrotiri and we were initially tasked to search for survivors. The politicians then countermanded this instruction and we sailed full speed for Kyrenia to evacuate civilians caught up in the conflict who were offloaded in Akrotiri about 5 days later.

We discovered the destroyer crew were still floating around in very inadequate rafts and floats and in spite of the PC brigade insisting that we would be contravening our neutrality, the Skipper of Hermes decided to intervene regardless.

The survivors remaining were in a pretty dreadful state and were not allowed to be returned to Hermes but were to be dropped off well clear of Cyprus on one of our frigates (Hermione rings a distant bell) the survivors were in no state to be winched due to horrific salt water sores and sunburn and the Pilot elected to attempt a landing after all the antennae and obstructions had been removed from the frigate stern.

The survivors were later transferred by the frigate Wasp to a Turkish ship the next day - took about 30 flights I recall.

We received a plaque from the frigate saying " Hermione - your new Mother"

Sad twist to the tale was that the Air Force F4 who sank the Frigate was also Turkish - can't trust Crabs of any Nation once they get out of sight of land it appears!

Can't remember who the Seaking Crew were but this may jog the odd memory!

Trog
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 10:03
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Trog:

Many thanks - that really rings bells in the memory now - I think it was reported in 'Flight Deck'. I also think the pilot was M.P.C. (Splot at the time?)
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 10:14
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Crab:

Did you ever actually have any RN exchange pilots in the RAF SAR units or are you just making this stuff up as you go along?

Anyway, I think the world is now your oyster - a man of your talents could set up or sort out any number of poorly trained rescue organisations - I think there must be a job 'down under' just crying out for a man with your expertise!!

Just joking.
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 10:46
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A quick question please:

Clearly, the winch is used to raise and lower the hose when it's empty, but, is it the load bearing point when the fuel is being pumped or is the weight shifted to another hard-point during the actual refuelling process - It just seems to me that it's a big load to hang from your winch and has the potential to wreck it if something goes wrong.

Cheers!
OH

Ps: Didn't Bristow / HMCG occasionally use and train for HIFR for their S-61s from small decks and non-deck vessels to get them further out into the Atlantic (or have I just invented that)?
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 12:28
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Cyprus

FD2 - also seem to remember it was MPC with AE as the co- pilot.

OH- seem to remember we had a hard point on the winch frame which took the load off the cable during refuelling.

Also seem to remember but may be wrong that the pressure refuelling coupling on normal S61's wasn't in a good location for HIFR.

We had another incident in Tiger (826 around 1977) when a Wasp crashed on our deck. They didn't want to shove it over the side since damage was really only collapsed gear.

We had a couple of very low time pilots airborne at the time who winched me up to take P1 seat. I did a HIFR and also winched up a SACRU and a couple of engineers and buggered off 100 miles plus to the nearest available deck on an RFA where we fitted the SACRU then returned to Tiger to sling the damaged Wasp back to the same RFA.

Interesting times!

Trog
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 13:42
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John Eacott - we previously took our lead from RN SAR as far as accepting that on SAR shout, a DL qual wasn't required. They were also roped into full DL quals when the boat drivers updated Br766d (although more of their pilots had been DL qualified in other roles/types).

However, I know they struggled to keep all their SAR crews at Culdrose and Prstwick DL qualified - it was an extra and unwelcome training burden.

DLs within the RN SHOLs for Sea King, day or night are, as you know, not that tricky whilst other types/ Navies may have less rigid limits (Canadians with bear trap for example) so it is hardly an area of superiority for RAF SAR.

OH - as trog says the heave-ho hoist bracket is used to support the hose during refuelling utilising the HIFR slip - a connection that can be quick-released to drop the hose in emergency.

FD - 4 to my immediate memory, and one of them stayed on for an extra 4 years in RAF SAR.
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 17:27
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OH,
Trog is correct, managed to find a picture showing the elongated hole in the strong plate behind the hook on the Seaking hoist at the address below.
The Crewman attaches a HIFR sling to this point and the hard lift point on the hose, then disconnects the hoist from the hose.
The HIFR sling is a manually operated quick release item, should all else fail and the hose won't break away in an emergency.

Sea King Walk Around Photo Index Page

Cheers now
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 21:29
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Originally Posted by wanabee777 View Post
It's amazing how they're able to maintain helicopters which are exposed to all that salt water spray.
We learned, in the USN, that fresh water wash and engine wash was a good first step after each such sortie.




(We also had daily, weekly, and monthly corrosion inspections and various treatment and touch up procedures ... that salt water is a pain to deal with).
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 21:54
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
John Eacott - we previously took our lead from RN SAR
Oh my, how it must have hurt to type that
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Old 4th Jan 2016, 23:34
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As my good friend Trog noted, the S61 would not be an easy aircraft to fuel in the hover as the fuelling port is on the left side by the main gear and the hoist is on the other side of the aircraft - I'm sure that someone might have tried it though!

Bristow did trial this on the SA330J Puma for a potential contract in Australia. The trial was successful, although the door could only be opened 16 inches as I recall, due to the fuel manifold and adaptor for the pressure fuel nozzle. The bigger challenge would be getting any regulatory authority to approve it for commercial operations with pax onboard!

Like so many great ideas originating there, this one vanished without trace. I do actually have some pictures somewhere of this installation and test.
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Old 5th Jan 2016, 06:16
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Oh my, how it must have hurt to type that
No, since we had to teach them everything else - FLIR, NVG, double strop lifts etc etc
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Old 5th Jan 2016, 09:01
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
No, since we had to teach them everything else - FLIR, NVG, double strop lifts etc etc
????

  • NVG first used in the Falklands by the RN in 1982.
  • Double strop lifts around since I was training, 1969, and certainly raised at INTSAR in 1972 when I was on the staff for the event. Not by the RAF, I hasten to add, but by the Noggie's who lost a survivor on the winch and another because he was too large to fit any of the standard strops in use back then.
  • Can't speak for FLIR, we were battling to get it in VicPol Air Wing in 1982 when the NSCA (Vic) got the first operational civil unit in Australia. What's the RAF/RN history there?

We were supposed to be on the same side when I was playing on Aunty Betty's Grey Funnel liners.
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Old 5th Jan 2016, 09:08
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Originally Posted by wanabee777 View Post
It's amazing how they're able to maintain helicopters which are exposed to all that salt water spray.
Naval aircraft are (usually) built to a higher standard to resist corrosion; often those standards have been learned the hard way through experience. Early attempts to save weight involved the use of skinning with a magnesium based alloy, but when you could hear the magnesium crackling as it dissolved after a ditching, rendering the salvaged aircraft into scrap, that was one idea soon consigned to Bin 13!

Another true story: a chinless wonder in the Treasury took exception to the vast amount spent on WD40 by the RN, and identified the cost of gallons that were sprayed into jet engines as they spooled down on the flight deck at sea.

Great savings were made, until the overhaul failure rate of Buccaneer Spey engines quadrupled to something like 100 times the savings made on WD40. Shut down sprays were soon reintroduced
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