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Topic - Helicopters: Civilian versus MOD

ScraggyGoat on 28 Nov 2011
In light of the renewed government desire to privitise all the rescue helicopters, I'm trying to decide whether (or not) to object. One current limitation of civilian (coastguard) helicopter provision appears to be a lack of NVG:

Currently
MOD Sea-kings: RAF/RN 'SAR helicopters are equipped for full day/night all weather operations over land and sea (some limitations exist with regard to freezing conditions, but in general terms the helicopters are all weather capable) and have a full night vision goggle (NVG), search radar and thermal imaging capability. Crews are well practised in NVG operations which, in itself, is a major enhancement to search capability'.

Coastguard helicopters: 'a limited night overland capability'.

(Source: http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/uksar.pdf) - Dated 2008

Note that the coastguard summary makes no mention of having NVG, staff being trained/current with NVG and critically currently have 'limited night overland capability'. Furthermore on at least one of the recent 'TV documentries' coastguard pilots have mentioned thier lack of NVG.

While many coastgard SAR-H bases don't do mountain flying, Stornoway does, commonly responding to Skye, N.W Highlands and on rare occasions as far south as the Ben.

Does anyone know why the coastguard don't, and if the new set up will also be similiarly lacking.....

Any other things I might be interested to know?
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