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NPAS News 2022

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NPAS News 2022

Old 27th Jan 2022, 08:21
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: U.K.
Posts: 10
Attempting to bring some objectivity to what seems to be a discussion of the misinformed/promote own agenda/silo mentality/FW bitch fest. I did a bit of research (as advised) and discovered the following.

“They use relatively ancient piston engines” The Lycoming IO engine designed and flew in 1960's apparently this suggests it is a 'poor performer' and there are better engines. The IO360 engine is built like the proverbial 'brick out-house' it is extremely robust, reliable and fuel-efficient. For comparison the P&W PT6 engine was built around the same time and is widely regarded as amongst the best in class. I have never heard negative comments on this engine; rather that it is amongst the best turbine engine of its category and is used in RW and FW.

It has a limited payload and consequently can only have 2 crew – not true. How does anyone think ‘line checks’ or TFO checks/training flts are carried out? The normal FW crewing is 2. The Observer operates the radios AND the cameras. Whereas RW has 3 crew 1 pilot & 2 Observers 1 operating the radios the other operating the cameras.

The high wing design means that is has small windows; If it was a ‘low wing’ aircraft the wings would obscure the camera and Observer LoS surely

Only operates from limited number of airfields due to AvGas availability – not true see below. Additionally there was also a Value For Money issue by “throwing hard earned public money away” – if anyone wishes to look at the map they could discover that just 1 of those sorties lasted almost 9 hrs yes 9 HOURS covering a vast area of the UK’s policing needs. Therefore it represents excellent Value For Money and also could solve the opinion of never needing to land to refuel with this extremely scarce AvGas.

Purchase costs: 1 x P68 costs approximately £900,000: 1 x H145 costs circa £6million – do the maths

Please look at Twitter at NPAS NorthEast the map is there in all its glory and shows where the P68 has operated from and covered

Good Morning from

NPAS East team. With the help of clever software we've tracked tasking since 2019. The map shows the range of locations in, the majority of deployments are from our base at NPAS Doncaster, however we've utilised numerous airports and smaller airfields




Last edited by black.beard; 27th Jan 2022 at 10:52.
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Old 28th Jan 2022, 17:13
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Black Beard– no FW Bitch fest intended. However, if you’ve been in the business a while you will know that the 2nd most expensive single item is the wrong aircraft – not only did you buy it but you now have to spend even more on it in an attempt to make it the right aircraft. One P68 may cost £900K but NPAS bought four, then had to spend more on converting them to the police role, then insisting on them being capable of flight into known icing which added more cost, then getting them all certified again which added more cost. Add to that the undercarriage/high wing configuration that limited the choice of camera to the “Sub-optimal” camera system which was subsequently fitted. Nobody is ”Anti Fixed wing” but, like the helicopter, they have their strengths and weaknesses. The purchase of a fixed wing solution that played to its strengths – endurance, ability to operate at greater heights with a larger and more capable camera – as the military does and GMP used to do - would have made sense. Buying them to replace the proven rotary fleet in the hope of saving money was a poor decision. UK Policing has long been in the business of spending millions to save a few pounds and has little concept that spending can also be investing if it brings results.

NPAS trialed fixed wings prior to purchase (Based at an RAF Helicopter Unit in the Thames Valley area) and, having seen the trial reports, I wouldn’t have bought a bucket that performed that badly never mind an aircraft. It doesn’t matter how “Cheap” it is to buy or operate, if it can’t do what you purchased it for then it is not “Best Value”. If you put so much role equipment in it that it cannot maintain level flight on one engine then it was a poor decision. If you buy an aircraft than runs on a fuel type not readily available in the wee small hours then it was a poor decision. If you buy an aircraft that takes 10 minutes to start up from cold and then has to taxy to a runway to take off then it is not an ideal “reactive” platform. The pre-purchase trial showed that for a task less than 17 miles from the base, the rotary platform would always get to the task quicker than the chosen fixed wing operating from the same location. Speed of arrival means that the “Search Area” is smaller as the scrote/misper has less time to move from place last seen. If you buy an aircraft before you decide where you are going to base it, hangar it or how you will crew it then it was a poor decision. If, during the purchase process, you keep changing your mind about which propellors you want to fit then it was a poor decision. If you have to keep looking for ways to shave weight from your role equipment in order for the aircraft to meet its performance requirements for certification then it was a poor decision. If you buy an aircraft for the purpose of observation and surveillance at lower altitudes and then choose one with small windows and only one crew member looking out of them whilst the other has twice the workload they used to have then it was a poor decision.

Yes, you can have 3 crew on board for line checks and even for ops – but you won’t be airborne for 9 hours or anything close to it. I remember well when Westlands were selling the Lynx to the Army as a multi role aircraft that could carry 8 TOW Missiles plus reloads, 8 fully armed troops and have fuel for 2 ½ hours. Sounded great and all three statements were true – but not all at the same time – 8 troops meant around 35 mins fuel. 8 TOW missiles meant no troops and not much more fuel. The same salesman was around this time and all those who pointed out the shortcomings were demonised and silenced by the Senior Officers in charge.

For an idea of what could have been – with all the required kit, bells, whistles, legroom and headroom - Google “DA62 MPP”.

Anti-fixed wing? – emphatically No.

Anti poor decision making based on assumptions and little or no experience of the task required – I’m in the same camp as Tigerfish on that one.
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Old 28th Jan 2022, 20:26
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Excellent summation, Forty. I'm going to save that.
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Old 29th Jan 2022, 07:08
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Confirmed: All FW to be retained as national assets based at Doncaster
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Old 30th Jan 2022, 09:55
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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DA 62 MPP certainly looks the business, what does it cost? You wouldn't be doing much visual searching in that but that's probably not required much nowadays with such good sensors.
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Old 2nd Feb 2022, 08:41
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Is there an over 60 cutoff for NPAS pilots?
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Old 2nd Feb 2022, 08:46
  #27 (permalink)  

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Public transport, single pilot…..
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Old 2nd Feb 2022, 09:02
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Is there an over 60 cutoff for NPAS pilots?
Does that count for the TRE's?

How many pilots, and TRE's do NPAS currently employ?
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Old 2nd Feb 2022, 09:25
  #29 (permalink)  

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I’ve not worked for NPAS but in my time in that role the company TREs also flew as line pilots.
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Old 2nd Feb 2022, 14:39
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
I’ve not worked for NPAS but in my time in that role the company TREs also flew as line pilots.
Recalled a 2018 advert for training captains.

Training dept chiefs must be on more. £100k - £120k?

XP147 Training Captain

Location
National Police Air Service
Salary
£75,000 to £80,000 per annum

Job Advert
Training Captain
National Police Air Service (NPAS)
Wakefield

Part of the 2018 advert below:
"NPAS is the national provider of air support to the Police Forces of England and Wales with West Yorkshire Police being the lead Force. As part of its commitment to delivering the National Police Air Service, West Yorkshire Police is looking to recruit a Training Captain.

In this exciting and challenging role, you will report to the Head of Training to achieve the delivery of a safe, cost effective and high quality service, within appropriate strategic, fiscal and regulatory provisions. You will plan, conduct training and examination tasks to meet EASA and CAA standards as detailed by the NPAS Approved Training Organisation and NPAS Operations Manual.

Eligible candidates must hold a current EASA Part-FCL Commercial Pilots Licence (Helicopters) with single pilot instrument, multi-engine helicopter, TRI (H) ratings IR, RT Licence and a current EASA Class 1 medical certificate for single pilot operations carrying passengers.

All applicants must hold EASA Type Rating Instructor (TRI) and Type Rating Examiner (TRE) H Licensing Certificate for single pilot, multi-engine helicopters.

This post is suitable for job share. The online application process will close at 23:55 hours on 30th November 2018."

Last edited by Cabby; 2nd Feb 2022 at 15:07. Reason: Training chiefs salary.
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Old 2nd Feb 2022, 16:21
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Public transport, single pilot…..
I thought that was the case but wondered if they had an exemption - thanks Shy.
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Old 3rd Feb 2022, 09:23
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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This morning the Air Accidents Investigation Branch published a 24 page report into an investigation into a "serious incident involving an MBB-BK 117 helicopter which occurred on 12th March 2021 at North Weald Airfield, Essex."

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Old 3rd Feb 2022, 15:26
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a...airfield-essex

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Old 10th Feb 2022, 22:27
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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"Fixed wing air support extended to all England and WalesWednesday 9 February 2022

The National Strategic Board, which governs the National Police Air Service (NPAS) has taken the decision to extend the service provided by its fleet of four fix wing aircraft to support policing operations across England and Wales.

Chair of the National Strategic Board, John Campion said: “Since January 2020, the aeroplanes have mainly served the North East region, from their base in Doncaster. The aircraft will now be used to support operational policing, in conjunction with the helicopter fleet, across England and Wales.

“Following consideration of the fleet’s capability, endurance and cost, the Board determined that the aeroplanes offer increased value as a national asset.

“The excellent endurance of the aeroplanes makes them particularly suitable for policing large scale events, as well as being highly effective in conducting lengthy searches and carrying out prolonged vehicle pursuits.”

NPAS operates four aeroplanes from its base in Doncaster.

Crewed by a pilot plus one tactical flight officer, the aircraft are kitted out with the same mission equipment as police helicopters, with a specialist camera, mapping system, downlink transmitters and UK-wide radio communication.

Once in flight, they can remain airborne for around eight hours, covering a range of 800 miles.

Between January 2020 and December 2021, the aeroplanes were deployed 1,564 times.

The service is currently seeking to recruit two additional fixed wing pilots to join the Doncaster-based crews.

The National Strategic Board which governs NPAS comprises nine Chief Constables and nine Police and Crime Commissioners, each representing the regions of England and Wales.

NPAS was formed in 2012 as part of a national collaborative agreement and is funded by the police forces.

It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has a fleet of 19 helicopters operating from 15 bases plus the four aeroplanes."
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Old 11th Feb 2022, 20:29
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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On the bus, off the bus.
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Old 11th Feb 2022, 23:27
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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NPAS now provides a very small fraction of the effective Police Air support that was available across the Country before its creation!

TF
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Old 12th Feb 2022, 00:27
  #37 (permalink)  

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Once in flight, they can remain airborne for around eight hours, covering a range of 800 miles.
“On paper” (!), maybe but bearing in mind that these aircraft have no “facilities”, how long can the crews hold out?

800 miles in 8 hours…..so they now cruise at only 100 knots? What happened to the business case claims that they were much faster than the helicopters they were to replace?
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Old 13th Feb 2022, 09:45
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Police fixed wing pilots vacancies in the UK

NPAS are advertising for fixed wing pilots..
Closing date 29th Feb
https://twitter.com/NPAShq

Good luck to those pilots out of work at the moment

Last edited by Cabby; 13th Feb 2022 at 18:11.
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Old 14th Feb 2022, 00:21
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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P68 will cruise at 150 kts, faster still if you pour more fuel in to it.
It will loiter comfortably at 80-100 kts burning a lot less fuel.
As for physiological endurance, I used to regularly fly 8 hour surveys (now flying kerosine burner that can't dream of staying up that long). I've never used a travel john... but the advantage of a fixed wing is "look Mum, no hands!"
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Old 14th Feb 2022, 08:12
  #40 (permalink)  

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Dusty,

I know about the cruise speed. It’s similar to modern helicopters. But I can also do basic mathematics.
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