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Damaged Sea King won't fly again

sdimock

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WTF

I know that Seakings aren't army kit but in this article,

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/12/17/seaking041217.html

"Peter Stoffer, NDP defence critic, said he doubts whether taxpayers would consider the refit a good use of $1 million. He wants the federal government to appoint a financial comptroller to watch how the military spends its money. "

It ticks me of that this member of parliament, a "defence critic" has no clue what he is talking about. :mad:

After keeping these birds in the air for forty years the military decides that it has to pull the plug on Seaking 401, the fact that mechanics and engineers have been working tirelessly to keep these things in the air for fourty years seems to be lost on this person who thinks a "comptroller" is the best person to decide about the feasibility of fixing or writing off major equipment.

Unless said comptroller can reach into his/her pocket and pull out a replacement aircraft they have no business having any say in the matter.

Never mind the fact that if a comptroller was to watch over every significant repair that went through the militaries doors the entire system would come to a halt waiting for the ok from a bean counter.

As if things weren't tough enough already.

end rant.


Chimo

 

Slim

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I'd appoint a comptroller to watch OTHER areas of govt. long before I'd aim one at the service.
 

sdimock

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I just saw the report on CBC-TV, it isn't being written off but becoming a teaching tool.

On the grand scale of things I don't see it as outrageous at all.

(Moderator, Maybe this should have been under political, feel free to move it).

I admit I've calmed down since my first post, I'm still choked with this guy though.
 
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TG1 GUNNER

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im sorry but im a conservative and you no what it was a waste of tax payers money people would rather spend the million and in the end make it fly.but in the end the people at fault are the liberals not spending the money and getting brand new helicopters and wasting it on repairs.this is a true fact  for one hour of flight time theres 30 hours of repair. :cdn:
 

sdimock

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I'm not an expert in this field so if there are any reading this please chime in if I'm off base with any of this.

In our current situation, ie: years more service for the Sea Kings I'd argue the training value is there.

If a person looks at the cost of training a pilot and the risks involved, spending the money on a current airframe for the support techs to work on is a good investment.

Another angle to this is who else in the world is supporting these aircraft?

I'm not sure there is technical support phone line out there we can call anytime we run into problems, the CF may
be the only experts, this training vehicle may be our test bench as well.
 
 

Garbageman

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Sheerin said:
Are the Cormorants back in the air or are they still grounded?

This is the last news that I've heard:

http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/news/2004/11/16_e.asp

Only a partial lifting of restrictions, allowing SAR, maintenance flights and critical training flights.  That news is more than a month old though, so hopefully things have changed in the weeks since.
 

Ex-Dragoon

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this is a true fact  for one hour of flight time theres 30 hours of repair

::) Great now cadets are experts on helo repairs. If you look at some of Inch's posts he goes into detail about the actual repair time.
 
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aesop081

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Ex-Dragoon said:
this is a true fact   for one hour of flight time theres 30 hours of repair

::) Great now cadets are experts on helo repairs. If you look at some of Inch's posts he goes into detail about the actual repair time.

Didnt we just go trough this whole "expert cadet" thing over the C7 ???  now its gonna be the sea kings ???
 
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panzer413

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Actually, 401 is being put back into 'almost' flying condition to better fulfill it's new 'role' as a training platform. So says the Wing commander. It will only be put back into full flying, Airworthy, shape if there is an EXTREME requirement. Ya, right. 
 

X-Rigger

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sdimock said:
Another angle to this is who else in the world is supporting these aircraft?

I'm not sure there is technical support phone line out there we can call anytime we run into problems, the CF may be the only experts, this training vehicle may be our test bench as well.

Having spent 6 years on the Sea King as an AVN Tech, I can state that a training aid such as that would have been invaluable - system mockups are good, but merely represent the real thing.

As far as who else is supporting these a/c, there's still several countries using the Sea King including the US, the UK and Egypt to name a few.  And strangely enough, the Cdn, US and Egyptian ones are overhauled (3rd level maintenance) by a Cdn firm, IMP Aerospace in Halifax.

So you may conclude that we're very much a technical authority on that a/c.  
aesop081 said:
::) Great now cadets are experts on helo repairs. If you look at some of Inch's posts he goes into detail about the actual repair time.

Didnt we just go trough this whole "expert cadet" thing over the C7 ???   now its gonna be the sea kings ???

Expert cadets.  That's funny!  I would highly recommend seeing Inch's post on that - it's a good work breakdown.  And it's not 30 hours, it's 30 man-hours, e.g. 6 men (or women) working for 5 hours each, or some other equivalent combo.  And since the a/c usually fly every day (barring major sangs), it would be impossible to have 30 hours of maintenance per hour of flight.
 

1feral1

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On Saturday night we lost a RAN Sea King (Shark 02) based off the RAN vessel HMAS Kanimbla. Shark 02 was flying low, when for reasons unknown, fell from the sky, hitting hard, and shorrtly after impact exploded. This was in Indonesia whilst doing earthquake relief on the Ilse of Nias.

11 on board, 9 killed (7 male 2 female). They flew in their remains into Sydney today via C130J. The two survivors sufferd multiple fractures but will recover.

The helo came to rest on a soccer field, where locals were credited with saving two lives before the fire spread.

The RAN have grounded the entire fleet of Sea Kings until the cause has been determined. RAN Sea Kings are 30yrs old, but are maintained to a high standard. Yesterday the 'black box' was found.

The CO of the ship had said he wanted Aussies to collect the remains of the ADF personnel, and asked for volunteers for this task. The whole crew wanted to go.

Truly a sad past few days for Australian Defence Force.

Regards,

Wes
 

jmacleod

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MP Peter Stoffer NDP represents the Halifax HRM Eastern Shore area of NS. Peter Stoffer is a very
good representative of a certain sector of the electorate in what is a traditional Liberal riding -
12 Wing Shearwater NS is located in his riding. Mr. Stoffer is adept at using selected issues (or non
issues) to focus on himself and his Party. Nothing wrong with that, but once an elected offical
starts commenting on areas of military operations, for instance, which he/she knows nothing about
several problems arise almost immediately. I will only focus on one - Canadian media, particularly
the CBC. The CBC is no friend of the CF or DND and much of their perspective is slanted. I remember
a report from CBC Halifax that the Board of Trade were concerned "that a Sea King would bump into
a large container ship or super tanker, while on an approach to 12 Wing" - pointed out to one of
our Federal Cabinet Ministers "that this was highly unlikely, and the reason UT Sikorsky put windows
in the aircraft" But this type of thing has caused many problems for CF and DND and sadly, is unlikely
to change. MacLeod
 
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aesop081

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X-Rigger said:
Expert cadets.   That's funny!   I would highly recommend seeing Inch's post on that - it's a good work breakdown.   And it's not 30 hours, it's 30 man-hours, e.g. 6 men (or women) working for 5 hours each, or some other equivalent combo.   And since the a/c usually fly every day (barring major sangs), it would be impossible to have 30 hours of maintenance per hour of flight.

You are not talking to me are you ?
 

X-Rigger

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aesop081 said:
You are not talking to me are you ?

Not specifically.  It was directed to the general reading public, but I wanted to use part of your thread to further discussion.
 

Cloud Cover

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Since the RAN Sea King thread has been locked, I thought I woul post this here, since portions of the article are relevant to a wide spectrum of topics. The author of the article has raised, I think, some of the excellent points raised by Sam69 and others througout the past few months.

From the Australian:

Paul Couvret: Trusty Sea Kings will reign for a long time yet

07apr05

WITH the Nias weekend tragedy that killed nine Australian servicemen and women, it's unfortunate that many in the media have pointed the finger of blame at all the usual suspects - from government neglect through to conspiracy theories and cover-ups. Not surprisingly, all the usual players have trotted out to have their say.

First off the blocks was the Australian Defence Association's Neil James, declaring the 30-year-old aircraft should have been replaced years ago. It was just a variation on the usual "the Government should spend more money on defence" theme but, astonishingly, given a wide airing. Certainly the ABC didn't need much prompting to push its usual angle that the Government is evil or incompetent or both.

Next came the difficult case of the close relatives of the dead making pronouncements about the aircraft's airworthiness, as well as the outstanding flying skills and airmanship of their loved ones. Perfectly understandable, and we all feel for them, but completely worthless as objective or knowledgeable input.

Normally, next on the scene is the disgruntled or otherwise personally challenged former employee, saying: "I've been telling people for years they were unsafe, but it was all hushed up." Even the ABC wasn't going to run that line on the same evening it showed the distressing footage of the ceremony at Sydney on Tuesday afternoon. However, it then proceeded to push precisely the same view by proxy, through suggestions of a cover-up in relation to a different aircraft at an earlier time.

So in the face of all this tragedy and media circus, what do we really know?

First, compared with fixed-wing aircraft, it is true that helicopters have more accidents. After all, they do difficult, hazardous work, often operating close to the ground or water, away from airfields. Most commonly they hit wires or the ground and sometimes each other. They are also dependent on lots of moving parts to stay airborne in a way that fixed-wing aircraft don't.

For naval aircraft, the consequences of any problem are often worse. Above land, you can often make a forced landing. But at sea, however minor the problem, once you ditch, the aircraft normally fills with water, rolls over and sinks.

And with all those moving parts, helicopters are also heavily dependent on maintenance to keep them going.

In my time with these aircraft, we were quite efficient -- I recall we achieved about 40 maintenance hours per flying hour. More modern machines are no doubt better, but you have to buy them first.

So how do the Sea Kings compare with other helicopters? Pretty well, given the work they do. And how do ours compare with other Sea King fleets? Certainly there are plenty still flying -- the British-built Sea Kings and the original US-built Sikorsky S-61s on which they were based. The US President has one. His version is called the VH-3D, but it's basically an S-61. It has been flying him and his predecessors around since 1976 and is expected to keep going until at least 2012. Ours are not especially old or unusually accident-prone.

But we don't need to get too sentimental about them; they are only machines, assets that need to be managed. Certainly we'd like to hold on to them if we can. Very few other aircraft have the range, carrying capacity or overwater capabilities of the Sea King. Certainly not the Sea Hawk, which is much smaller inside.

So far, the aircraft have followed the normal life cycle for such machines, from frontline service in the anti-submarine role to less demanding utility and support work.

The suggestion that they should have been replaced years ago is obvious nonsense. The only way this could work would be to accept that every equipment item in the defence inventory should be new at all times. That's not asset management, just irresponsible.

So what needs to happen? First, the media needs to lose interest, so that the accident investigation can proceed in a calm, rational, painstaking manner to determine the cause, if it possibly can.

The outcomes from this then can be incorporated into the asset management strategy and, if necessary, operational procedures and training.

The final step will be some objective thinking about how best to manage the assets during the remainder of their lives - not over yet, but nevertheless finite - and how best to make a future transition to a new type to maintain the outstanding capability these aircraft provide.

Paul Couvret, a former Sea King Air engineer officer, works for management consultancy Evans and Peck.
 
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