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-   -   UK SAR 2013 privatisation: the new thread (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/511282-uk-sar-2013-privatisation-new-thread.html)

SASless 1st Apr 2013 10:23

I don't think any of us would have a problem with sitting in the co's seat offshore for 6 months to gain hours on type providing the guarantee of the captaincy at a specific SAR flight thereafter was honoured.

So....you are saying you would suffer the agony of being a Co-Pilot for up to Six months so long as you get to keep your same old seat as you have now and become a Captain after six months with the company along with a new Type Conversion thrown in for good measure?

My....you don't want much do you?

I can see the seeds for a very happy crew room.:rolleyes:

Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 10:41

Crab, check pm's

[email protected] 1st Apr 2013 10:46

And remember too they have a LOT of ex-mil SAR guys flying the rigs, with seniority and hours. Who do you think will get the SAR slots?
And how many of them quite like their pay and conditions offshore and might not want to go to 24 hour SAR shifts, middle of the night callouts, winching in unpleasant and sometimes dangerous positions, night mountains etc etc?

So....you are saying you would suffer the agony of being a Co-Pilot for up to Six months so long as you get to keep your same old seat as you have now and become a Captain after six months with the company along with a new Type Conversion thrown in for good measure?
If that is what pacifies the insurers, satisfies the DfT and MCA and ensures that the quality of SAR provision is maintained in UK for the next 10 years then no, I don't think it is asking a lot really. We already spend half our time as co-pilots, even when we are captains so it is hardly agony - it is one of the strengths we bring, competency and currency in both seats.

cyclic 1st Apr 2013 10:52

And how many of them quite like their pay and conditions offshore and might not want to go to 24 hour SAR shifts, middle of the night callouts, winching in unpleasant and sometimes dangerous positions, night mountains etc etc?
and the North Sea in winter at night is a walk in the park. It happens every night as well during the winter. Relentless would be the word for it. Some of us might be happy to swap it....

jayteeto 1st Apr 2013 10:53

SASless, totally agree with you. The opportunities WILL be there for some, but a HUUUUUGE reality check will be needed by a lot of military pilots. When leaving the military, I applied for a job 10 years ago, supplying a very comprehensive CV. The interviewer complemented me on my preperation and interview, then proceeded to tell me that my total lack of civil experience meant I would not be able to hold the position until I completed 6 months as a line pilot. The conditional offer was given, but the basing did not suit me at the time.
Military chaps, do not underestimate the power of unions and seniority lists. You may be good, but good only gets you a foot in the door. If you have realistic expectations, you will soon progress up the ladder, just be patient.

SASless 1st Apr 2013 11:22

The only real problem with hiring Military Pilots for civilian flying is convincing them they are no longer in the Military....Rank means squat....and that "Attitude" is everything.....and the way they did it in the Mob holds little water in the new organization they have joined.

No matter how great your abilities and background are from your military days....cop the wrong attitude in the new place and it gets very...very...cold.

Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 11:50

Sasless..spot on old chap. The guys on the SAR force have a HUGE reality check coming. But rather than believe me, Crab, you or anyone else, they just need to go and have an interview with Mr Bristow. All will rapidly become clear. If they want SAR, they need to leave asap and can ecpect a good couple of years on the rigs before even being considered for SAR.

I am in a position to know this.

Macaco Norte 1st Apr 2013 12:11

In a position to know? Where are Bristow currently recriuting?

[email protected] 1st Apr 2013 12:25

Baldeep - thanks for the pm - but if what you are saying is true then Bristows are not playing fair with the MoD and DfT which seems unlikely. Without the managed transition, the only option is mass PVR which will screw UK mil SAR for its last 3 years - the Govt don't want that and the MoD don't want that.

Jayteeto - I fully take your point regarding the jobs market but the SAR transition is a unique situation where the contractor can't allow a sudden drop in capability as the milsar machine grinds to a halt - they can have as many guys (ex-mil or not) working offshore as they want but that just provides drivers airframe, not SAR-current pilots.

Unless some mil crews (especially rearcrew) are taken on directly then there will (unless a new civ SAR school is being setup now to run a whole load of guys through in the next 2 years) be a problem since 80% of current UK SAR crews are presently wearing green - where are Bristows going to get current, competent SAR crews from?

If they are relying on ex-SH guys who have gone to the N Sea claiming SAR experience from Afghan and the like, they will be very embarrassed once the first callouts occur.

Sasless - what is wrong with a professional attitude? Surely an employer wants the best qualified and experienced employees to do the jobs if they are to provide a service safely and efficiently. There are very few rank-concious members of the RAF SAR Force - the union men and those 'time in the company' types are far more likely to cause friction in crewrooms than your average mil SAR boy or girl.

Al-bert 1st Apr 2013 12:48

Rank outsider?
rank never meant very much in RAF SH or SAR. It's differant from what I saw of US army helos, and our RN and Army of course! RAF helos were always devoid of mil bullshit, but that might have changed :bored:

Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 13:41


I clearly said that rather than believe me people should speak to Bristow and get the facts for themselves.
Your supposition will not help anyone. I support the mil guys, and I want them,flying SAR, thats why I posted some facts.

Simply ask Bristows.

snakepit 1st Apr 2013 13:47

But the first "fact" you posted was incorrect. Its 250 hours on type not 500. So by all means suggest people go to Bristow just don't add your personal case into the mix and assume it will be the same for everyone.

Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 13:57


Good spot...almost. 250 will get you in the door, but 500 is req. for an op captain. They will make up the extra 250 hrs on the north sea.

As I have said, speak to Bristows. In any event, 250 on type still rules out all the ex mil guys. They'll be co's at best, and captaincy will be dead mans shoes. Not like RAF sar where captains fly as co's...a civvy company won't pay a captains salary to a co if they don't have to. Once they have enough captains, they have enough captains.

One35 1st Apr 2013 14:07

From the Bristow website...

At least two hundred and fifty (250) hours on type except where previous glass cockpit experience can be demonstrated in which case this requirement may be reduced but will never be below one hundred (100) flying hours on type.

This is going to be a problem for many, not just the MilSAR guys. Although there are a fair few captains currently flying crew-change who may have the 500 hrs previous SAR experience, most will be operating the EC225 / AS332 L/L2. The S92 presence is increasing but it's still the minority on the North Sea. And as for the AW189....:uhoh:

SASless 1st Apr 2013 14:09


Professional performance and attitude is what the job calls for....without any single uniform colour being designated. Likewise, the Military guys and gals need to remember they are LEAVING one home for another and must be happy with the colour of the curtains until they have been in place long enough to get their feet under the table.

As in so many other things in helicopter flying....there is sometimes more than a single right answer to a question....and that is what has to be accepted by the newcomer. If there is a better way to do something then that can be worked out over time.

As the goal for all is to aid folks in distress....that should make it a lot easier to find the common ground without folks staking claim to having the only answer. As the Bristow SAR Operation has historically drawn from the Military...things should not be all that different where it matters....in the Air.

Admin policies and other mundane stuff will be different but the standards will not be. There definitely shall be a new set of "Bosses" to answer to with different personalities than one might be used to dealing with....for sure the system works much differently.

One thing that has not been discussed is what happens if Bristow splits off the SAR Operation into its own Business Unit and thus separates the SAR from the Offshore Business. That would make for a much easier way of transitioning Military SAR Qualified Crews into the Civilian SAR Structure.

PHI in the USA did that very thing with its EMS Operation as the Offshore and EMS work was so different both Operationally and Administratively.

If I were the Mandarin in Charge....that is what I would do.

Anyone want to make a wager how long it takes for that to happen?

Macaco Norte 1st Apr 2013 14:44

I'm sure SARBU will emerge, its what CHC already do and makes perfect sense as it would clearly define budgets.

Ian Corrigible 1st Apr 2013 15:05

Originally Posted by jimf671
7 of them are at about 99%

Bristow may have committed to a higher figure for UK SAR, but FYI Sikorsky puts the official S-92 fleet OA figure for 2012 at 95.0% (vs. 94.9% for 2011).


Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 16:19

Pretty rubbish troll if I am asking people to get the facts for themselves! Tell you what, ignore me, sit back, and wait for the managed transition. I'm sure you'll be fine :hmm:

jimf671 1st Apr 2013 16:22

... Sikorsky puts the official S-92 fleet OA figure for 2012 at 95.0% ...
That figure will be for a quite different operational tempo of course.

I accept that 99 is an exageration. I did see a figure of 98% somewhere. Requirement or target, I cannot remember.

Norma Snockers 1st Apr 2013 16:43

ignore me, sit back, and wait for the managed transition. I'm sure you'll be fine
So am I, thank you :)

[email protected] 1st Apr 2013 17:23

Now does anyone know a good employment lawyer who can answer the question of TUPE applying to mil personnel in the SARF?

Is the managed transition a method of determining who will be transferred across since the service provision of SAR UK is simply being transferred from RAF/RN to Bristows?

I know that Bristows wouldn't want to take on the mil pensions liability but those should get paid from the MoD budget anyway.

Any thoughts?

Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 17:29

Crab, as I understand it, nobody is bring 'transferred'. You simply leave the RAF, then join another company. This is no different than joing any company and pvr'ing...there is no special arrangement for this situation. The deal published daid, in essence, If you apply and get offered a job then you can pvr!

Like it has always been then.

Hummingfrog 1st Apr 2013 17:52

Baldeep Inminj

Actually Crab has put up an interesting point.

At the moment the SAR contract is run by the RAF.

A new company, Bristow, has been awarded this contract.

Now substitute SAR for say the BP contract to the West Sole Alpha in the central N Sea. Substitute CHC for RAF and Bristow remains the new company.

Now TUPE did apply when this happened so what is the difference??


NRDK 1st Apr 2013 18:07

Interesting logic? Since the RAF have half of the commitment only....blah blah, Not quite a fixed contract, one third is contracted to the contract. RAF=no contract...

No special licence deals from the CAA, thanks to your paymasters.
Join the rest of the job queue like everyone else.
Do time as a co-jo like everyone else.
If you make the grade (not guaranteed Crab!) then a captains slot beckons.

Talk to the Bristow team and hear how it is. You won't be on a TUPE deal.

P.S. leave your superior RAF attitude at Valley/EGDC etc you'll fit in.:D

Macaco Norte 1st Apr 2013 18:30


TUPE wouldn't apply, as you well know, using the analogy you have. If you had been type qual'd (& a little younger) you would be Bristow, as would the others that were let go with you.
So 'type' would nullify TUPE.

Putting aside TUPE, Mil SAR crews are a must for Bristow & they know it. It's just a case of making it work. That may become the stumbling block.

Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 19:09


Good point, but the stumbling block is surmountable. Bristow do need mil crews, and yes, they know it. They are absolutely determined not to be the next G4S. They are overcoming this by recruiting NOW. They will hire hard and fast until they have enough people. That is how they will overcome it.

Current mil SAR guys, I say again, need to apply now, and get out the mob asap.

Please guys, speak to Bristow soonest. Every guy who gets hired is one less slot for you to fill. And they are hiring as we speak.

212man 1st Apr 2013 19:37

For those who haven't found the dedicated Bristow (with only one 's' :ugh::ugh::ugh:) website, here's the application form for 'managed transition' applicants: Managed Transition Existing UK SAR Personnel | Bristow Search and Rescue

4thright 1st Apr 2013 19:51


Your commentary IMO remains firmly OTT on this matter.

Yes Bristow are recruiting. Good. They will have hundreds of CVs for all types of aircrew and engineers to sift through in the next few months before a suitable and complete list of candidates are listed and interviewed.

More specifically, the transition period is over 4 years as of now. People need to read the open government docs on the DfT website for precise base transition dates. This will be driving Bristow's recruiting timetable.

It may be quite likely they want to interview and draw up as full a list as possible very quickly. I would want to do that. They need to reassure themselves and the DfT that they have a good handle on who is going to fill which course and which base over these coming years. This will remain incomplete however, especially as the time period alone may lead to early commitals being withdrawn for all sorts of reasons.

So to me this means there will always be slots next year and beyond. The MoD peeps, in whatever numbers Bristow think they need will fit into that plan, with some no doubt not expetced to leave HM Forces for some years yet, despite the need for Type ratings and non SAR commercial work up experience. Part of Bristow's plans probably includes some time (depending on that experience) on the North Sea etc to get relevent hours and type experience before SAR duties. Nothing wrong with that especially for those with no civvy licensed operations behind them. Bristow will not be recruitng and employing everyone this year whatever role they wish to use them in. They will be certainly looking for well qualified training staff, thats for sure if their transition plan is to get sorted early. Even in the circumstance they had 100% of the needed SAR experienced staff on other Bristow duties at present, they are not going to stack up their replacements on the salary book up to 4 years too early! Calm Down everyone.

As I understand it, the road shows will reveal all to those who want to listen. By all means put your CV in now if you wish, but if you;re MoD then expect it to be sifted for suitability, and subject to interview, be prepared to be offered a job of some sort with Bristow at a forecast date sometime in the next 4 years. :ugh::\:ooh:;)

and well done 212 a good sanity link provided there too:)

ShyTorque 1st Apr 2013 20:05

From past personal experience of a contractor/service provider change at a base I once worked at, I'd be quite surprised if TUPE applies here.

In my case, my company lost the contract to a new provider. The new provider wanted to retain the pilots, but offered less money and less leave, insisting that TUPE did not apply. The customer then agreed to pay extra to "bridge the gap" to retain the existing pilots. However, the new service provider insisted on a clause in the pilots' contracts whereby they could be moved to a new base at no notice, whereupon their Ts and Cs would revert back to "unbridged standard". I smelled a rat and went elsewhere for employment.

A basic question - does the RAF actually have a contract per se, to provide the service in the first place?

SeaKingDriver 1st Apr 2013 20:06


There seems to be a lot of 'fact' floating around, that presumably has been heard from various sources. All of it is interesting to read and has led me to the point where frankly I have no idea if my recently submitted 'managed transition' application will even be seriously looked at. However, for those who are interested, this is what was briefed to me and others regarding mil crossover:

1. Bristow have already decided on a manpower plot and plan to achieve such, and therefore know how many Co's and Captains they want from mil and civ sources. Regarding Captains there is presumably a plan to reach the required hours on type.

2. The managed transition for mil guys is a transfer of sorts. Regardless of current employment/commission terms, if you are selected by the company then a mutually agreed crossover date will be arranged between Bristow and your respective career manager, at which point you will swap rank slides overnight. At this point, pensions etc will be dealt with on a case by case basis as the numbers are not going to be excessive for each career manager.

This is all in order to STOP a mass exodus leaving gaps in the current SAR organisation. To me it makes sense for both Bristow and the MOD, as well as the individuals concerned. The fact that Bristow Academy can furnish us with IRs may even mean is is included in the deal (dreaming...?).

Frankly, time will tell, but you have to be in it to win it. Personally, I am not a ladder climber, I just thoroughly enjoy my job, and if I get to do it as a civilian, no one in the crew room will be getting attitude about 'how we did it in the mob'!

Take from this what you will, and hopefully see you on the other side!


[email protected] 1st Apr 2013 20:39

Sea King Driver - completely with you on this one:ok:

Despite what baldeep says, the transition website is allowing mil guys and gals to make their application now without the need for a kneejerk PVR and for Bristow and the MoD to agree who transfers and when.

As to TUPE - the various websites (including ACAS) highlight that TUPE applies when there is a transfer of services or contract from one employer to another. The MoD is the major service provider of UKSAR and that service is being taken over by Bristow on behalf of the DfT and MCA. Since the transfer of services is effectively from one govt dept to another, who is to say that TUPE doesn't apply?

Hummingfrog 1st Apr 2013 21:02

Macaco Norte

If you had been type qual'd (& a little younger) you would be Bristow
You have your facts wrong I was TUPEd across to Bristow and "worked" for them for 2 weeks, they offered 332L2 out of Aberdeen as well as voluntary redundancy which for me - being a little older;) was a better option:ok:

The fact is Bristow will want experienced SAR crews for its' new contract - it won't be able to take too many crews from oil and gas because it would leave it short there. Remember there is a requirement for 50? odd new to UK pilot posts with this contract so the RAF/RN SAR crews will all stand a good chance of being employed. I know times change but when I left the RAF I had a chat with a chief pilot in Aberdeen and the next day I was on a Puma course because I had loads of experience flying over the NS.

The only thing you have to get used to going MIL>CIV is that nobody authorises you to go flying, there are no secondary duties, the seniority list plays a large part in where you can chose to be based and management always knows best!

Best of luck


Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 21:02


I shall say no more, but many of you are deluded, or blinded by the RAF line. Last month bristows hired mil pilots with SAR on their cv, and they are interviewing every day.

Note I did not say SAR pilots. SH guys from afgan/ Telic etc, plus ALL RN grey fleet can legitimately put SAR on their CV's. And they do.

And they apply to Bristows.

And they get hired.

Check for yourselves.

gasax 1st Apr 2013 21:06

TUPE is something of a minefield. Which is why private companies will frequently agree that it applies as a contract changes - doing that simply reduces the issues.

Of course those protected rights are usually lost within the first 18 months by a whole variety of means.

As for it applying in a transfer from the military to private sectors? My first thought is not a chance. The military do not have anything which resembles a contracted service. The hardware and personnel requirements are totally different - so the undertakings (that U in TUPE) are different....

Some of the early test cases revolved around whether equipment used in the undertaking of the contract was handed over - that might cover parts of the bases? Probably not though as a simple change in definition will make things look sufficiently different.

In short if yu are an office cleaner TUPE can protect your wages, if you are in a skilled profession - more skilled legal people will have ruled all of that out.....

212man 1st Apr 2013 21:19

Baldeep, given your intimate knowledge of all things recruitment related, would it be too difficult to actually use the company's correct name rather than that abomination 'Bristows'? :ugh:

SeaKingDriver 1st Apr 2013 21:21


I guess you could say I'm lucky then, in that I'm in no position to apply without a transfer process. My plans involved the standard route of attaining my licenses over time, which I have begun, and then job hunting on the open market.

This opportunity, fictional though it may be, is still a potential big win - so why not give it a go. I am sure everybody here is in a different situation both personally and professionally and will do what is right for them.

My information mentioned in my previous post came from the most reliable source available to me, short of a Bristow recruiter, and therefore, for me, it is what I have to work to.

What I don't understand is why they would organise the 'managed transition' process, including website, roadshows, briefs etc and then jump the gun with recruiting. The avenue they have set up means they will almost definitely be able to pick and choose from a reasonably large list of highly qualified personnel served up on a silver platter, and still have plenty of time to train and qualify them before mil SAR dies. Therefore, why settle for a Puma/Junglie SK mate who, though he may have SAR on his CV (and is obviously extremely qualified and capable in his own particular field - good save!) is not necessarily the right horse for the course?


Fareastdriver 1st Apr 2013 21:28

TUPE is something of a minefield.
TUPE would define it as one SAR company handing it over to another SAR company in the same location. The RAF and RN are not SAR companies. They are fighting services and the pilots are military officers who could be sent anywhere.

Snarlie 1st Apr 2013 21:34

I am sure that any talk of TUPE applying to military SAR crews is wishful thinking on the part of some. I always believed that once you accepted the Queen`s shilling you could be deployed anywhere the Service thought fit. The fact that some SAR crews have grown accustomed to the role indicates that, perhaps, they have lost the bigger picture involved in life in a blue suit.

I suspect that talk of a transition will offer the Service an opportunity to get shot of some of its `surplus` pilots ie, those coming up to pension but I doubt very much that the MOD will want to cooperate with a civilian operator to ensure that the new SAR contract gets off to a flying start.

Bristow will look favourably on applicants with specific skills who wish to join provided it fits in with vacancies available and the ability to fill positions from within. Don`t for one minute think that there are any special deals within Bristow!

A dose of reality would appear to be in order for some on this thread.

pohm1 1st Apr 2013 21:37

I'm sure that most of the SAR guys will able to stay within primary role, GD!;)


Baldeep Inminj 1st Apr 2013 21:41

212 man. Excellent post. Most erudite. :hmm:

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