End Of The Iconic Yellow Sea King Chopper

#1
Britain's iconic bright yellow Sea King rescue helicopters - recently seen in action in the West Cumbria floods - are soon to disappear.

Today, the Ministry of Defence will name the private company chosen to take over provision of the military-run emergency service.

After more than 40 years, the RAF and Royal Navy aircraft that have literally saved hundreds of lives among shipwrecked sailors and stranded mountaineers, are being replaced.

A new consortium is to operate brand-new white and orange helicopters from 2012.

Under a Private Finance Initiative, reported to be worth £5bn, the new service will be flown by a mixture of civilian and forces pilots.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK...m_That_Will_Operate_White_And_Orange_Choppers
 

BiscuitsAB

LE
Moderator
#2
dangerousdave said:
Britain's iconic bright yellow Sea King rescue helicopters - recently seen in action in the West Cumbria floods - are soon to disappear.

Today, the Ministry of Defence will name the private company chosen to take over provision of the military-run emergency service.

After more than 40 years, the RAF and Royal Navy aircraft that have literally saved hundreds of lives among shipwrecked sailors and stranded mountaineers, are being replaced.

A new consortium is to operate brand-new white and orange helicopters from 2012.

Under a Private Finance Initiative, reported to be worth £5bn, the new service will be flown by a mixture of civilian and forces pilots.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK...m_That_Will_Operate_White_And_Orange_Choppers


Civvie pilot to civvie winch man" Can you just drop down there and get that chap"

Civvie winch man " Nah, sorry can't its to windy/wet/muddy I'll have to do a H&S risk assesment first mate"
 
#3
Presumably the next thing to go will be the RAF and RN S&R teams?

Shocking and outrageous but given the attitude of the government, predictable.
 
#4
I do believe civvy helicopters and pilots already run part of the air sea rescue stuff, no one seems to be moaning about that.

I do believe the fire service is staffed by civvies

Last time I looked the RNLI weren't in the services

this is long overdue, its just not core business for the MoD and the sooner it is shut of it the better
 
#5
The Coastguard seem to cope fine and they are civvies-can't see why this wouldn't provide the same service.
 
#6
Sundog said:
Presumably the next thing to go will be the RAF and RN ?
There, fixed that for you Sundog. :D
 

BiscuitsAB

LE
Moderator
#7
meridian said:
Last time I looked the RNLI weren't in the services
Different situation mate, each fishing village or town had at one point its own life boat and the service grew out of that. as far as im aware most of the boats are still crewed from people from the town or village that they launch from. Often they are going out to family or friends, as well as the odd lost tourist whos been blownout on their inflatable bed.
 
#8
coast guard helicopters not sure if they are coastguard or contractors for the coast guard.

seems a dubious idea really has to be done and gave the military and the RAF :twisted: a lot of good publicity.
whats the princeling going to do now?
 
#9
Good point biscuits but how many 'villages' have a fishing fleet now

Can you say the same about fire crews who dive into burning buildings, given the size of their catchment areas now

Its a non issue, just because you are a civvy doesnt mean you cant do the job and the resources used in maintaining the grey and yellow sea kings is better used elsewhere
 
#10
I was picked up some years by 202 (motto: "202 Will Rescue You") and when I woke up at Raigmore was extremely grateful.

That having been said, having a civvie team involved in this asks the question - what happens to Prince Williams burgeoning career as an SAR pilot?
 
#11
This move has been on the cards for years,since John Major was at No 10.

I feel it is a bad move,and whoever the private contractors are,cost will be a factor of their operation.

Out of curosity,Lord Mandleson of Backander was not in on the contractor selection process,by any chance?.
 
#12
I would just like to point out many of the Mountain Rescue teams up here are civvie volunteers. They often put themselves in extremely dangerous circumstances to help the military SAR teams.

Just thought they needed a "big up" :)

As for civvie choppers and crew..well, the North Sea oil companies already do this, with contracts held by civvie companies. Now new in that..and they do a very good job.


What is noticable though is that many of them are ex forces!
 
#14
Enoumous thread (70+) pages running on this over at www.pprune.org , long running arguments for and against. However it is happening, and hopefully these new a/c will offer a quantum leap in capability. Though under contract to HM Coastguard with a cadre of mil personel attached, I see no reason why the good name and reputation of UK SAR should be damaged. Thecurrent CG SAR crews do stirling work across the country - at its most basic level this contract is an extension of that service.

EWD
 
#15
£5billion PFI= the tax-payer getting screwed again.
Used to work with Rescue 195 and the other S & R helicopters out of Culdrose all the time, this I feel is a bad move.
When you're in the sh1t the best 2 sights are the orange and blue of a lifeboat and the grey and red of the SAR helicopter.
The 2 CG helicopters are WB and IJ based near Southampton, and yes they do a bloody good job as well.
RN trialled the Merlin for SAR duties but the downdraft was to great, over 10ton of prop wash (for want of a better word). Also the Seaking is damn reliable platform.
 
#16
Chicken G, your information is a little out of date. And as much as I am a fan of the SK in all of its various marks, the current sar a/c are at the end of their working lives.

The two south coast CG helo's are currently AW139's - perhaps not the greatest advert for civvy SAR, but lessons have been learned. And the future a/c will be either S92 (in service at shetland and stornoway) or EC225.

The multi billion price tag is indeed steep, but it is for the next 40 years. When you think of all the staff, infrastucture, training and maintenance costs. Plus of course the a/c for the 12 bases it isn't perhaps as pricey as 1st thought.
 
#17
As well as improving reliability, the changeover will free up military pilots for operational duty in Afghanistan.
If this is the case then there is nothing wrong with the idea and given that most of the pilots will be ex-Mil anyway it's a win win situation.
 
#20
As a serving Coastguard, I can with happy authority say that orange and white helicopters are not a new idea - if you're a resident of anywhere on the South Coast you can prrobably confirm that. Yes, the aircrew are civilian, but mostly ex military. The Coastguard is the oldest of the four emergency services, and the only one with Her Majesty's in the title. As for the idea of a civvie crew being health and safety types; nothing could be further from the truth. We have at Lee-on-the Solent an excellent winchman called John Spencer with a couple of QGM's to his name. (I think it may be three, but I know he has at least one and bar) The Stornoway crew has lost a couple of winchmen who were later awarde the George Medal. In 2002, the HMCG boats were withdrawn from duty, and there were more than a few medal winners amongst them. If anything the work of the Coastguard is overlooked, and confused with the RNLI, another overlooked and misunderstood national asset.
 

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