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Bristows get SAR contract.


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Sorry to bring this back to modelling.................. but..................are there any kits avaiable of these aircraft ???

In 1/72, Whirlybird do a very nice Bristow/Coastguard S61. I'm trying to get Whirlybird to produce some decals for the Bristow WS55, using an Italeri H-19 (drooped tail boom) coupled with a Heritage Aviation Whirlwind Mk10 nose. The Italeri UH-1N has the correct AB212 nose, Whirlbird produce winches, seats and floats, but again no decals for a Bristow aircraft. Alas, there are no kits of the AW139 (I've been badgering Italeri to make one) or the S92 - an opportunity for Airfix.

John

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The only option at the moment for an AW139 is the 1/48 Newray die-cast. I have bought one to try and see if it can be made into a decent representation and at a first glance the base is there but a lot of work is needed to make a properly detailed model. The most difficult part would be rebuilding the rotor head assembly that in the die-cast is very toylike... not surprising as this is afterall a toy. The tail rotor would need a similar work. Another area that would need improving are the transparencies, but at least the windscreen looks fine. A lot of work but at least the base is cheap, as can be found for a tenner

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The AW189 is a bigger beast than the AW139, so it would need two kits (personally I'd favour a AW139 as it's what is used in Cyprus and a multitude of other operators). I thought the AW189 is in development, so is it a case of hoping it is in full service and production by 2015?

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There is no reason why Bristows cant provide every bit as good a service as the RAF.

No-one bats an eyelid at life boat services being provided by the RNLI rather than the Navy - why should helicopter SAR be any different?

Taking SAR from the RAF/RN was an issue back in the SDR in 1997. One of the arguments that won the day back then was that Coastguard Helos were on the civil register and therefore had to fly within CAA limits and rules (such as weather minima and diversions). Mil SAR flys under military rules which are less stringent - they count as "ops".

Example was a mission in very poor weather in the Bristol Channel using both civ and mil assets. As the weather deteriorated the Coastguard helo had no diversion options according to CAA rules so had to RTB, Chivenor Sea King used the beach as their "diversion" and stayed on task, although unsuccessful in finding the missing person. Does this happen often? Probably not and it may have changed as capability of the new Helos move on. Is that an acceptable risk? Answer probably. Not sure what the CAA line is these days but there are differences between what the military and civil Helos are allowed to do.

The other factor is that there are far fewer FJ aircraft around these days and dare I say that Typhoon and Tornado are somewhat more reliable than earlier generation aircraft. In effect the mil task these days is tiny but it is a big PR loss for both the RN and RAF.

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At least the costs of saving civilians, both the unfortunate and the irresponsible, will now, more appropriately, fall to the DoT rather than the ever-shrinking defence budget.

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One of the arguments that won the day back then was that Coastguard Helos were on the civil register and therefore had to fly within CAA limits and rules (such as weather minima and diversions). Mil SAR flys under military rules which are less stringent - they count as "ops".

This is not strictly true. SAR is now governed by CAA publication CAP999 that takes into account the differences between 'training' and 'ops'. It is left to the Captain's discretion on how and when he conducts SARops. Before CAP999 there was a much looser arrangement of CAA dispensations from the Air Navigation Order (ANO) but even this did still allow a great deal of latitude on how SARops was conducted.

John

Edited by SARowl
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This is not strictly true. SAR is now governed by CAA publication CAP999 that takes into account the differences between 'training' and 'ops'. It is left to the Captain's discretion on how and when he conducts SARops. Before CAP999 there was a much looser arrangement of CAA dispensations from the Air Navigation Order (ANO) but even this did still allow a great deal of latitude on how SARops was conducted.

John

Fair enough, I was on the SAR working group back then and we relied on specialist inputs regarding the pros and cons and the example I quoted was given to the group, you can tell from my Avatar that my background is not SAR - more likely to have been a potential customer and we had great faith in them. Back then the case was made that mil SARops were less restricted. Sounds like CAP999 has addressed that now but it was a documented example which I used to try and answer the question about differences.

Things do change and move on; this has been coming despite much resistance and I have no doubt that Bristows will do a good job but it will be a pity when SAR Yellow is a thing of the past.

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As the other thread went *phut* I'll ask again here: does anyone know where Bristow will be building the SAR training base?

One thought may be that FBHeliservices operate/support the RAF at RAF Valley SAR training centre with AW139's.

Being that the B in FBH is Bristows a school of thought may push for North Wales. Good shoreline and the mountains next door. The RAF has trained here for years to equip the crews with the skills to carry out the tasks.

It seems that Bristows is following the Police and EMS crews and operating from civil airfields if they can. All the support services (fuel etc) and an ILS must be very attractive and makes sense when costs are an issue.

I agree that a kit of the S92 and AW189 in 1/48th would be great, even better if Airfix released it to coincide with SAR(H) coming on line.

Another thought would be that Xtradecal would consider a Military SAR sheet depicting 771 at Culdrose and Prestwick and the RAF cabs. I am sure the RN and RAF will have some sort of special schemes before they retire, let’s hope so. 48th for me boys.

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My understanding is that the Falklands contract is being negotiated as a separate entity...should be interesting to see how that one develops.

Do Bristow still operate S-61s on contract to the MoD in the Falklands?

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