Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

NPAS News 2021

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

NPAS News 2021

Old 10th Jan 2021, 08:33
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Waltham Abbey, Essex, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,122
I heard the Carr Gate thing slightly differently in that they were planned for downsizing a while back. Someone found an 'old' report on line [on the internal system] that mentioned a Carr Gate downsize. There was also mention of the helicopter going to Doncaster. As a result staff that could not get to Doncaster from their homes bailed out of air support [or moved bases]. So that when the plan was was eventually queried and discounted by management officers had already gone and a new tranche of officers needed to be recruited to fill the resultant gaps to take the base up to 24/7 capable.

A new plan [the most recent] emerged that sought cut the hours of Carr Gate and other places which means that Carr Gate now has too many TFOs for it needs.

Just ongoing confusion of plans that appears to be wasting money in training up new people unnecessarily.

If Carr Gate were to move to Doncaster to fill the yawning space there it would compound the cost issues.

Why would you give up an existing, bought and paid for, base on your own land at Carr Gate [the site houses many other police departments] to simply fill space within a hangar at Doncaster airport where you have to pay ongoing rent and rates etc at International Airport numbers? Moving the remains of fixed wing [whatever that is] elsewhere makes more sense. As I said confusion.

There is nothing wrong with fixed wing but it is a different mission profile to helicopters [and drones].

PANews is offline  
Old 11th Jan 2021, 10:21
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,596
But reducing one base and then making another 24hr seems stupid to me.
Not just the one base. It seems that a number of bases are reducing to a single 12 hour shift.
MightyGem is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2021, 07:03
  #23 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: I have no idea but the view's great.
Posts: 1,243
They say that if you could give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters then, eventually, they would produce the complete works of Shakespeare.

Give one monkey a typewriter for half an hour and he'd come up with a better plan for NPAS than they've managed in the last 9 years.
J.A.F.O. is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2021, 19:29
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,596
I don't know if any of you ventured beyond Bryn's comments in January's PAN. I didn't initially until my attention was drawn to an article by David Howell who served as(I think) the UEO of Central Counties ASU and Base Manager for the Met. I think he may be here on PPRuNe as well. Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite.

http://www.policeaviationnews.com/Ac...anuary2021.pdf
The decision to move the Lippitts Hill base was made several years ago, but why was it made? It was made by a Chief Operating Officer who was intent solely on removing any organisational influence from The Met and was based on personal biases created over many years, some of which were actually spent working within the Met itself.
There was also an unhealthy desire for the then Chief Operating Of- ficer of NPAS to succeed, having failed the Senior Police National Assessment Centre (PNAC).
I for one went through several sessions of counselling to get over a 2 hour ‘non-disciplinary and welfare’ meeting after I dared to question and suggest an alternative plan to his non-sensical restructuring of base managers’ duties.
MightyGem is offline  
Old 12th Jan 2021, 19:46
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tarn-et-Garonne, France
Posts: 11
Picking up on Mighty Gem’s mention of the decision to leave Lippitts Hill. I understood that the departure from Lippitts Hill was because the MPS gave NPAS notice to vacate i.e. it wasn’t NPAS that triggered the move. I would have thought that David Howell was more than aware of this? Or is there another side to the story?
Ruffles is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2021, 07:34
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Waltham Abbey, Essex, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,122
Hello Ruffles,

Its a timescale thing. The original move from Lippitts Hill to North Weald was precipitated by NPAS and may arguably be placed at the feet of the COO. That was the several years ago DH mentioned.

The Lippitts Site was relatively expensive [rental/lease] but what is being suggested is that the prime mover was breaking the bond between the Met and the NPAS unit - force jealousy.

Lippitts has been in use as a Met helicopter base full time for over forty years [53 on and off if you include the army trials] and remains firmly Met Territory even though a border move actually placed it in Essex Police area since 2000.

You are correct that the Met have/will/might [it has not happened yet] precipitate the return to Lippitts Hill and the site has been maintained ready to accept them on that basis. Whether the immediate neighbours will scupper that - they have had many noise free months - and whether the recently reported move of the Exeter EC145 to North Weald is a bargaining chip only time will tell.

The only problem with being a 'fly on the wall' in this situation is that you probably also need to be on many walls at the same time in this zoom age!
PANews is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2021, 17:04
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: The sky mainly
Posts: 317
the site has been maintained ready to accept them
Not the case. The site was falling apart before the move out, (one hangar out of action due to folding doors not working) and not a penny has been spent on it since.
Sky Sports is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2021, 19:46
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Devon
Age: 66
Posts: 99
Helicopters, planes and drones.

The NPAS social media pages mention that their planes have been very busy over the last few months visiting various force areas.

With regards to the earlier drone comments, how many forces have their own drone units?

Do those with drones pay as much for NPAS as other forces who don't use drones?
Cabby is offline  
Old 15th Jan 2021, 18:51
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,596
Originally Posted by Cabby View Post
Do those with drones pay as much for NPAS as other forces who don't use drones?
Forces pay NPAS for the time that the helicopter spends on "Actioned Calls": ie overhead a task. Doesn't matter whether they are using a drone for other jobs, their use of drones doesn't affect what they pay NPAS.
MightyGem is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2021, 19:28
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Devon
Age: 66
Posts: 99
Originally Posted by MightyGem View Post
Forces pay NPAS for the time that the helicopter spends on "Actioned Calls": ie overhead a task. Doesn't matter whether they are using a drone for other jobs, their use of drones doesn't affect what they pay NPAS.
Thanks for the answer
Cabby is offline  
Old 17th Jan 2021, 21:53
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Waltham Abbey, Essex, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,122
So, it appears that NPAS are moving the single EC145 from Exeter to London permanently leaving the western parts of Cornwall without long range air support [which is why the BK117C1 and then the EC145 were bought in the first place]..

Unfortunately it appears that the timing appears a little disjointed [no surprise there then] as there is a need for at least a couple of EC145s to be in Cornwall in June.

Details of the planning are coming out that there is to be an international G7 meeting in mid-June near St. Ives. That will require NPAS resources to be down at Newquay Airport/RAF St, Mawgan at the same time.

Planning?
PANews is offline  
Old 18th Jan 2021, 21:38
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: SW England
Age: 67
Posts: 1,322
I don't know that the move from Exeter would make much difference to Police air support in Cornwall - historically, police officers there were wont to refer to the "Devon Police Helicopter", while officers in west and south Devon referred to the "Exeter Police Helicopter". Plenty of instances of the aircraft not being available for operational tasks because the crew were needed for a visit - or IR renewals - or whatever. I certainly flew once from Wilts to Okehampton to assist with a murder investigation one night (called off as we got to within 5nm), and also remember being tasked from Brum on another night (stood down before we'd left Brum CTR). Later, when flying air ambulance in the county, a policeman I'd known in a former employ told me that their traffic officers working the motorway had no SOP for using the heli (other forces I'd worked with would only conduct a motorway pursuit or stop under the watch of the aircraft) as they knew it would rarely/never be available - despite Middlemoor's perfect position next to the M5/ANPR locations.
Thud_and_Blunder is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2021, 11:24
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Waltham Abbey, Essex, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,122
Originally Posted by Thud_and_Blunder View Post
I don't know that the move from Exeter would make much difference to Police air support in Cornwall - historically, police officers there were wont to refer to the "Devon Police Helicopter", while officers in west and south Devon referred to the "Exeter Police Helicopter". Plenty of instances of the aircraft not being available for operational tasks because the crew were needed for a visit - or IR renewals - or whatever. I certainly flew once from Wilts to Okehampton to assist with a murder investigation one night (called off as we got to within 5nm), and also remember being tasked from Brum on another night (stood down before we'd left Brum CTR). Later, when flying air ambulance in the county, a policeman I'd known in a former employ told me that their traffic officers working the motorway had no SOP for using the heli (other forces I'd worked with would only conduct a motorway pursuit or stop under the watch of the aircraft) as they knew it would rarely/never be available - despite Middlemoor's perfect position next to the M5/ANPR locations.
I accept all you say.

Taking police air support overall you could easily write it off with such observations.

Policing is a 24/7/365 requirement and, except in some rare circumstances, police air support does not, cannot, meet that exacting requirement. Weather alone stops such aspirations in its tracks, that added to maintenance, pilot and crew availability and a myriad of other difficulties suggests that it is a waste of time.

However, as a past user of police air support, I can counter that with a belief that with all its failings on a clear day/night there is nothing better than the availability of an aircraft in support of humble work on the ground. The peace of mind is worth a million £/$/Yen.... On the no aircraft days you just get on with the job as you might have had to for the last 200 years.

After 9 years of effort it appears clear that the national police aircraft organisation is making all the same mistakes that others thought they had pretty much ironed out, and making them time and time again. The Exeter aircraft is just one symptom of the malaise. There are too many symptoms. Notwithstanding the standard availability drawbacks of air support we might expect for the right type of aircraft to be assigned to a given area. Someone thought about BK117/EC145 for Devon & Cornwall and EC145 for London [even if some think they were wrong].

The organisation has not apparently entered into a new rotary aircraft requirement in nine years. They do though have a fine selection of high quality but largely empty Rubb Hangars and other peripheral equipment that they seemingly now think were a waste of resources.

The one aircraft type they appear to have blundered on with, the fixed wing, now appears to have fallen from their favour despite not being utilised to any great extent. How much they have cost is a closely guarded secret but the estimates I have heard for this fleet of two operational aircraft is about equal to being able to buy 2-3 new helicopters. Undoubtedly a much greater number of used low hour airframes could have been an option along the way.



PANews is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2021, 14:10
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Home
Posts: 52
Yet they continue to advertise for fixed wing pilots... How have they managed not to fill such few positions, especially in the current employment climate?
richardthethird is offline  
Old 19th Jan 2021, 15:03
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Liverpool based Geordie, so calm down, calm down kidda!!
Age: 58
Posts: 2,030
Richard, it all depends on contracts and T&Cs
What are the “handcuffs” like?
jayteeto is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2021, 07:34
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: 4DME
Posts: 2,225
Hope this is the right place to ask. I believe we bought four P68s and based them at Doncaster. These days in the house I have noticed that they rarely fly two at once and POLZ never seems to fly at all. Is there a reason.
N707ZS is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2021, 09:52
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Alps
Posts: 2,583
And a temp facility (if it’s still there) for Covid deceased ...

cheers
chopper2004 is offline  
Old 22nd Feb 2021, 09:55
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Alps
Posts: 2,583
Originally Posted by N707ZS View Post
Hope this is the right place to ask. I believe we bought four P68s and based them at Doncaster. These days in the house I have noticed that they rarely fly two at once and POLZ never seems to fly at all. Is there a reason.
Supposed to be assigned to our neighborhood (Cambs) and have been seen funnily operating over Cottenham— Ely to response last summer.

cheers
chopper2004 is offline  
Old 7th Mar 2021, 14:00
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Once a Squirrel Heaven (or hell!), Shropshire UK
Posts: 768
An actual sighting of POLW over here in W Midlands. Does it come here often?
Shackman is offline  
Old 7th Mar 2021, 19:10
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,596
Meanwhile, it's musical helicopters here in the North West. Hawarden's is going to Bournemouth, Bournmouth's to Barton and Barton's to Hawarden. It's enough to make you dizzy. There is some method in it though. It puts the 135Ps and 135Ts in their own areas and Barton's 135 is going to Hawarden as it has less hours on it and Hawarden is going down to a single 12 hour shift in the summer.

Other news. It seem s that West Yorks are losing control of the aviation aspects of NPAS and are just retaining the central tasking.

And there is still no sign of the 2018/19 Annual Report on the NPAS website. It's time for the 2019/20 report as well.
MightyGem is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.