John Sheldon’s pilot has still got that ‘kid with a new toy’ look – Jim Fraser
- “The kit on the outside and the equipment may have changed.
- Underneath the heart and soul of the troops remains the same.”
- How true today!
I had a look at the new Bristows helicopter a few days ago what a great aircraft it looks and all shiny and new. We got a great brief by the pilot John Sheldon and crew and a look about. It was amazing to see the many changes since the early days of the helicopter. I was impressed with it all and especially the casualty area and the light inside the cab for working on casualties is impressive. All the technology is impressive as was the attitude of all concerned to ensure that everything works seamlessly. Many of the Military aircrew are joining Bristows with the loss of SAR in the military and this will enhance the experience and professionalism of this already impressive aircraft. The new aircraft have already been in action and every day will ensure that any small glitches are sorted before the winter. I wish everyone well and it will be a learning experience for all and many lessons will be learned. This is a powerful aircraft with dedicated crews and I wish it a safe and successful long life in saving lives in SAR in the land on the mountains and on the sea throughout UK.
A few asked questions about the new helicopter here are a few replies.
Jim Fraser “AW189 acceptance has been delayed by a number of factors. Some of those are similar to the problems when the AW139 entered service in 2007. The important thing is that it’s better right than on time. The changes to the DfT spec in late 2012 (around the time the second EC225 ditched) have meant that there are enough aircraft of each type to run the entire network. Thus there will be enough S-92A for all of the bases but there are also some AW139 to fill the gap. S-92A will stand in for AW189 in Scotland and AW139 in England and Wales. There are plans that would allow the service to survive into 2016 without AW189. The effect of all this on Bristow’s training load is extreme.”
Jim Frase “The Sikorsky S-92 entered service in late 2004 and SAR service in 2007. It is important to realise the new UK SAR contract brings a step-change in technical specification and the regulatory framework George Paton that has been developed to allow that specification to be implemented. This means that the previous UK civilian SAR contracts are not comparable. Unfortunately, although Bristow bases at Sumburgh and Stornoway may see upgrades in equipment during the Gap contract, they are not expected to transition to the new regulatory framework until they transfer to the main UK SAR Contract in 2017.”
Lots more info in online editions of Casbag.
George Paton ” I think they will end up being a formidable Beast for the job Heavy ! I well remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Wessex and Whirlwind were withdrawn, with a lot of MR types Military and Civil being very vocal about perceived deficiencies with the incoming Sea King ! I have friends in the RNLI and they are very enthusiastic about the S 92 !”