Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I wouldn’t get too excited about the deployment of the S-92 in this role. It’s worth reading the Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s report on the Sikorsky S-92A crash off Newfoundland in March 2009 which killed 17 people. Sikorsky has spent a decade unsuccessfully trying to develop a military variant of the S-92 to replace the Royal Canadian Navy’s Sea Kings. Unfortunately, Sikorsky cannot seem to make the helicopter meet the military specifications required by the contract.


There’s another angle to this. The choice of bases for the new service is intriguing. Not one is a military base. This will be used to decouple the MoD further from the Treasury when it comes to future base closures; the “excuse” that a SAR service is also provided will no longer be acceptable. Of course, Whitehall’s reliance on the market also backfired when London Kent International (aka Manston) closed; an expensive Change Control process had to be followed to fund the set up costs at Lydd.

When I voiced a similar doubt about privatising SAR in particular the question of acceptable risk (employees subject to H&S Regs v RN/RAF crews) I was subjected to some harsh criticism. Perhaps I should have posted here. I have two questions. What happens when the ready supply of trained crews direct from the Services dries up as it surely will over time and where is the S&R for downed Service Pilots coming from?
The RAF/RN service has been provided since WW2. I cannot believe it is cheaper to contract it out. Published figures might help but then,that isn’t a part of the privatisation agenda is it?

amanda wright

Bring back the sea king. Done a fantastic job.