/ SAR Helicopter Service contract: implementation phase, part 2
G-MCGM - BHL. At Lee-on-Solent. Training callsign.
G-MCGN - BHL. Flew from Aberdeen to Lee on Friday, then to Yeovil on Monday. Trg c/s.
G-MCGO - BHL. Operational, 175/176 at Lee.
G-MCGP - BHL. Flew from Prestwick to Lee on Friday (had been 199/190). Trg c/s.
G-MCGR - BHL. Operational, 199/190 at Prestwick.
G-MCGS - BHL. Operational, 175/176 at Lee.
G-MCGT - BHL. Operational, 199/190 at Prestwick.
G-MCGU - Leonardo (AW). Flights around Yeovil. Less than 20 hours.
G-MCGV - Leonardo. Flights around Yeovil. Less than 20 hours.
G-MCGW - Leonardo. Newly on register this month. Not seen flying. Listed as 2018 build.
G-MCGX - Leonardo. Newly on register this month. Not seen flying. Listed as 2018 build.
Leonardo AW139 (stand-ins)
G-CIJX - AW139, Operational, 163/164 at Lydd.
G-CIJW - AW139, Operational, 163/164 at Lydd.
G-CILN - AW139, Operational, 187/188 at St Athans.
G-CILP - AW139, Operational, 187/188 at St Athans.
So Bristow have three AW189 not deployed and still no sign of the AW139s being replaced at St Athans or Lydd.
Another two aircraft are complete and flying with Leonardo at Yeovil but Bristow Group have not budgeted the cash to buy them. A further two aircraft are in build awaiting completion and testing but again Bristow do not have the cash to buy them. All eleven AW189 SAR for this contract are now on the register.
explains more of Bristow's financial and contractual position in relation to these aircraft deployments.
Recently, two Leonardo AW189 SAR, G-MCGW and G-MCGX (the last two of the eleven required) appeared on the CAA register. No flying by these aircraft has been witnessed or has been declared in the register.
Also, a few days ago, two Leonardo AW189 SAR, G-MCGU and G-MCGV, that had previously been registered to Leonardo were transferred to Bristow Helicopters Ltd on the register.
Lots of Leonardo AW189 SAR deployment activity this last week.
On Monday 12th, G-MCGP flew from Lee-on-Solent to Lydd and has been flying around the Lydd area during the week.
G-MCGN flew from Lee to Yeovil (Leonardo) and the following day G-MCGM (the original Italian-made SAR aircraft) flew from Prestwick to Lee.
Just after 1400h this afternoon, G-MCGU arrived at Lydd after flying from Lee.
At a guess, I'd say GP and GU are at Lydd for a six week work-up with a view to replacing the 139s by going operational from Lydd on 1st April.
This is out of step with the plan that appeared in Bristow group's financials just a few weeks ago. I am not complaining. AW189 at St Athans in the summer might now be possible and even Inverness before the end of the year. Not going to hold my breath. It could change again next week.
As ever, Jim, thanks for the updates. Our wee AW139's been doing sterling work down here, including the odd trip up to the big hills in north Wales, but it'll be nice to have the bigger 189 soon!
G-MCGV has also arrived at Lydd and GP has returned to Lee-on-Solent.
So it's looking like Lydd is getting the two newly transferred aircraft GU & GV.
I’m posting this from the Department for Transport, as there has been previous interest in our statistics on this forum.
The latest quarterly Search and Rescue Helicopter (SARH) statistics have been published yesterday: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/search-and-rescue-helicopter-statistics-october-to-december-2017
We wanted to make you aware that we are carrying out a user survey to assess how well the search and rescue helicopter statistics are meeting user needs, and whether further improvements could be made. Please could you fill in the user survey to help us improve the statistics, which should not take you longer than 5 minutes to complete: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Search-and-rescue-helicopter-statistics/.
We don’t intend to post further, but if you have any views on the statistics, please get in touch with any thoughts or questions either through filling in the user survey or by email (Sarh.Stats@dft.gsi.gov.uk).
SARH statistics team
Department for Transport
Looks like Lydd is operational with AW189 aircraft G-MCGU and G-MCGV. One of them appears to have been out around Dover searching for the missing diver. No news of the diver unfortunately. AW139 G-CIJX has been withdrawn and moved to Norwich. G-CIJW: not known.
> As ever, Jim, thanks for the updates. Our wee AW139's been doing sterling work down here, including the odd trip up to the big hills in north Wales, but it'll be nice to have the bigger 189 soon!
Still a 1.4m cabin height of course, like any normal helicopter. The British probably haven't had something the size of the AW139 doing SAR since the Whirlwind replaced the Bristol Sycamore. Across most of the world, the AW139 is a normal SAR helicopter. The British, Norwegians, Canadians and Portugese all use bigger aircraft like Sea King, S-92, or AW101 but these aircraft are the exception.
From next year, a huge proportion of the UK high mountain SAR will be done by AW189 after the type is introduced at Inverness. This may be a major culture change and the anticipatory moaning is already in circulation.
I wonder if you could enlighten us with some of your experiences with the 139 and how the 189 will improve things.
A new MCA Aviation quarterly report on the UK SAR Helicopter Service is available at the following address.
The Airbus H225 accident at Turoy in 2016 is of interest to many helicopter users. The final report from AIBN was released a few minutes ago and is available at the following address.
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