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  1. #1226
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    Quote Originally Posted by TangoSierra View Post
    Whistleblowers and people who leak info have not been treated very well by the political establishment in Ireland. Just look at Air Corps. Not even people dying with serious illness caused by chemicals is phasing government ministers
    They aren't from the ministers constituency. Their lives matter not.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

  2. #1227
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    Has there been any info on the grapevine about what sort of fitout the new aircraft will have regarding it's PAX and cargo transport and ISR role? Be interesting to see what it comes with, and from previous posts it seems like 2 will have the kit, and one a transport. Interesting to hear any updates.

    Also, any chance of a few extra in future?

  3. #1228
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    Has there been any info on the grapevine about what sort of fitout the new aircraft will have regarding it's PAX and cargo transport and ISR role? Be interesting to see what it comes with, and from previous posts it seems like 2 will have the kit, and one a transport. Interesting to hear any updates.

    Also, any chance of a few extra in future?
    Yeah im sure that that sort of information would be freely available and in the public domain.

  4. #1229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turkey View Post
    Capable of what exactly? anything expensive or ''warry'' for them won't be bought, and they will never be allowed out of gliding range of land, because the sniveling serpents would have a fit if their paint gets scratched, much less end up with a dip in the ditch, they don't facilitate twin training, about the only thing they add is a slightly more reasonable parachute capability, which could have been got buying a old Anatov, for about €25000.... Apart from that, their fine.
    Your response is littered with ignorance.

    The reality is you have absolutely zero appreciation for what it may or may not be capable of. Submit an FOI and support your assertion.

    If you are PDF, you may be pleasantly surprised. If not, then it really isn't any of your concern. Stick to what you know.

    Ill ask the question again, what opportunity was lost exactly?

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  6. #1230
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    For a start, I doubt very much if a single parachute jump will ever be made out of a PC-12, in AC service. The demands on the aircraft for dropping parachutists of any type require modification to doors and the fitment of wind deflectors and a strip out of the interior so that's highly unlikely to happen. As for cargo hauling of any kind, it'd probably be of the type done by the King Airs whereby a package was carried loosely aboard, unless they actually come with a reinforced roller floor, which is essential for palletised cargo. So, I suspect that the Don will do as they have always done, which is, figure out actual utility on the hoof. The first six months has always been critical in Don aircraft because organisationally, the learning curve is a vertical line. This is not unique to the Don but given the current state of the manpower establishment, it could get quite tight when it comes to numbers. The best way for an organisation to absorb a new type into the fleet is to train hard and train early so that you build up a solid core of experienced manpower at all levels and you get the new type absorbed into the spares and computer and records system. You have to be able to cope with losses of manpower due to retirement and resignations and the best time to do it is when the aircraft is new.

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  8. #1231
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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    Has there been any info on the grapevine about what sort of fitout the new aircraft will have regarding it's PAX and cargo transport and ISR role? Be interesting to see what it comes with, and from previous posts it seems like 2 will have the kit, and one a transport. Interesting to hear any updates.

    Also, any chance of a few extra in future?
    Not specified in the public domain but see post 852 on

  9. #1232
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    For a start, I doubt very much if a single parachute jump will ever be made out of a PC-12, in AC service. The demands on the aircraft for dropping parachutists of any type require modification to doors and the fitment of wind deflectors and a strip out of the interior so that's highly unlikely to happen. As for cargo hauling of any kind, it'd probably be of the type done by the King Airs whereby a package was carried loosely aboard, unless they actually come with a reinforced roller floor, which is essential for palletised cargo. So, I suspect that the Don will do as they have always done, which is, figure out actual utility on the hoof. The first six months has always been critical in Don aircraft because organisationally, the learning curve is a vertical line. This is not unique to the Don but given the current state of the manpower establishment, it could get quite tight when it comes to numbers. The best way for an organisation to absorb a new type into the fleet is to train hard and train early so that you build up a solid core of experienced manpower at all levels and you get the new type absorbed into the spares and computer and records system. You have to be able to cope with losses of manpower due to retirement and resignations and the best time to do it is when the aircraft is new.
    Parachuting isn't a function of the FWUA and given that the DF have never deployed (by parachute) anyone into anything remotely resembling conflict, parachuting is a complete waste of time. They can already do it from Heli's, and if the Danger Wing want to play soldiers once a year they can use the CASA. The FWUA was never intended to be a parachuting asset.

    What wind deflectors were fitted to the 172's?

    As for cargo. The CASA has done several resupply missions to various locations in recent times. Not always covered by social media, so whats with the obsession of roller floors? If the DF have an asset which can even partially perform a cargo resupply, then it should be used. Just because it isn't what the chaps in EI do, doesn't mean it cannot or should not be done.

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  11. #1233
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    Parachuting isn't a function of the FWUA and given that the DF have never deployed (by parachute) anyone into anything remotely resembling conflict, parachuting is a complete waste of time. They can already do it from Heli's, and if the Danger Wing want to play soldiers once a year they can use the CASA.
    I have never fired my Steyr in anger does that mean I should not do my PWT?
    You train for what you might have to do.Simple as and unless you or anybody else has a crystal ball how can anybody say what will or will not happen in the future?
    I am pretty sure the people in the "Danger wing" as you so nicely put it see a need for their various insertion skills in line with their mission and roles.
    Also they "play soldiers" more in one day than you or I will do in a year.
    Last edited by apod; 28th December 2017 at 11:19.
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  12. #1234
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    @chuck, helicopters are not always the right asset for ARW-type para drops and not even for the DF para team. Every SF force uses Fixed Wing and /or rotary as required....wind deflectors were always fitted to the AC 172s for jumping; I fitted the parachuting kit to the 172s myself, several times and they would not conduct para ops without the deflectors; civilian para aircraft also have them, even on turbine aircraft.....carrying cargo in the current Casas has always been limited because of the Mission fit, which was very difficult to strip out, so the ultimate lifting ability of the blue Casas was never truly used.....roller floors on cargo aircraft make life a lot easier but you do need to own or hire the ULD containers and you need a lifting machine to load/unload but you need less manpower and less sweat than unloading a cargo aircraft by hand. An example would be the French in Africa. When they go on tour, they use the C130 and C160 for ramp offloads on rough airstrips and airfields with no lifters; if they can operate out of a suitable equipped airport, such as N'Djamena in Chad , they they will fly in heavy kit in roller floored Airbuses (or whatever big jet they can hire in ) and use lifters and conveyor belts and so on. They even have their own lifters and belts, if need be.

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  14. #1235
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    I have never fired my Steyr in anger does that mean I should not do my PWT?
    You train for what you might have to do.Simple as and unless you or anybody else has a crystal ball how can anybody say what will or will not happen in the future?
    I am pretty sure the people in the "Danger wing" as you so nicely put it see a need for their various insertion skills in line with their mission and roles.
    Also they "play soldiers" more in one day than you or I will do in a year.
    I see the Air Corps frequently referred to as the "bluffwaffe" here by certain posters which goes unnoticed. If the "Danger Wing" is considered an undesirable term then the "bluffwaffe" should be considered the same.

    Train like you fight - agreed. Thats all well and good. Out of all the capabilities of the DF, parachuting is one of the most least likely to be used in anger, up there with Air Firing.

    My point is that it shouldn't be a critical consideration for selecting an aircraft as others have commented on before. It wasn't mentioned in the White Paper and it wasn't in the tender either so its a moot point. Those in the DF who occasionally partake in parachuting can make do with the assets that are already available to them, they don't need or require a 3rd platform. HALO jumps can be completed out of a CASA so im not sure why another aircraft type is required.


    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    @chuck, helicopters are not always the right asset for ARW-type para drops and not even for the DF para team. Every SF force uses Fixed Wing and /or rotary as required....wind deflectors were always fitted to the AC 172s for jumping; I fitted the parachuting kit to the 172s myself, several times and they would not conduct para ops without the deflectors; civilian para aircraft also have them, even on turbine aircraft.....carrying cargo in the current Casas has always been limited because of the Mission fit, which was very difficult to strip out, so the ultimate lifting ability of the blue Casas was never truly used.....roller floors on cargo aircraft make life a lot easier but you do need to own or hire the ULD containers and you need a lifting machine to load/unload but you need less manpower and less sweat than unloading a cargo aircraft by hand. An example would be the French in Africa. When they go on tour, they use the C130 and C160 for ramp offloads on rough airstrips and airfields with no lifters; if they can operate out of a suitable equipped airport, such as N'Djamena in Chad , they they will fly in heavy kit in roller floored Airbuses (or whatever big jet they can hire in ) and use lifters and conveyor belts and so on. They even have their own lifters and belts, if need be.
    With respect, comparing the practice's of a nation who's defence budget is €30+ billion isn't comparing like for like. How do other non NATO members with a more comparable budget perform these functions and what assets are available to them?

    The WP talks of a enhanced logistical capability in the CASA replacement but it will likely be more of the same. The DF in its current guise cannot justify heavy lift or strategic lift and again it shouldn't be to the detriment of a MPA asset.

    The CASA has done ad-hoc cargo movements around Europe for some time and while you cannot get pajeros or containers on board its still a relatively useful asset, if you need to send weapons or ammunition, it'll do the job. Anything that isn't a Dangerous Good can be shipped quite quickly at short notice if required. Im pretty sure DHL won't ship ammunition or ordnance.

    A PC-12 should be able to deliver nearly 1000kgs of kit and equipment to Leb/Syria with one stop in a comparable time to the CASA but for a significantly cheaper cost and doesn't take the CASA away from its primary function. Fair enough it cant take large cargo like a C27/C130 but unless policy directs that a heavy-er lift requirement is required that's what will be used in conjunction with a CASA/Replacement.

    I think the PC-12 will turn out to be a great purchase in the long run and I expect it wil be involved heavily with the army and rightly so. It is a significantly better aircraft than a Caravan for its proposed roles.

    As an aside, Im still curious to know what another poster thought was a "lost opportunity" in regard to the selection of the PC-12. What would be a better aircraft all things considered?

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  16. #1236
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    a couple of quick points here, to Chuck; we depended heavily on the French for many things in Chad and airlift was one of them and they taught the DF a lot, especially about local knowledge in Chad. Collectively, the Df has a great deal of knowledge about airlift and sealift and long range road lift, some of which was learnt from cooperating with our friends abroad. Some of it was learnt the hard way in Baldonnel, when it was discovered about 25 years ago (events like the Pope's visit in 77 and Ronald Reagan's visit tended to highlight what was lacking) that we didn't have a set of mobile steps suitable for anything bigger than a 737 and a set had to be hastily borrowed from Aer Lingus. (We also didn't have compatible hydraulic rigs, cockpit ladders, sufficient chocks, stands for drop tanks, tow bars, spare tyres for tow bars, mobile Houchin generators and a host of other things that were considered normal by other air forces and by airlines including Aer Lingus---most of which was going a-begging at Dublin Airport, if someone thought to ask). It got so bad that visiting air forces were warned to bring their own kit when visiting for air shows!) The Air Corps didn't talk to anyone and tended to find out the hard way))........ I agree with you about the Casa, which was why we should have kept the original Casa in the first place. Regarding any future aircraft, I wouldn't be surprised if a PC-24 appeared as a replacement for the Learjet, in due course.

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  18. #1237
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    @GTTC, it should come as no great surprise that the DF learned a great deal from the French given their infinitely superior combat ability and budget. Perhaps they learned somehthing off the Irish, but I suspect the learning was a one way street.

    The last time I checked, overseas operations were the responsibility of the Army. Pretty sure J3/5 is stocked with green uniforms, not navy or blue. That is their speciality and it's not a surprise when you look at the token number of Navy/AC personnel who serve overseas. Any shortcomings from the Chad mission only lie at the door of one branch, and it isnt the Navy or AC. Not sure what relevance any of this has to a Cessna replacement really.

    Again, with respect, much of what you refer to and post about baldonnel refers back to quite some time ago. While I don't have any reason to doubt your experiences, it maybe time to accept that the AC when you were being taught your trade is different to the one today in many ways. I'm sure you have many contacts that are still there and while everyone had their individual cribs and gripes, the AC is a very different organisation than it was 10-15 years ago. It's easy to sit on the other side of the fence and poke holes.

    The AC have hosted numerous and various types of aircraft in the last decade with various troop rotations and air shows/displays with no difficulty.

    Highlighting the papal visit from 40 years ago to prove a point? Really? What about the Queens visit which was arguably one of the largest security operations in the history of the state for all branches. I don't recall hearing about any colossal issues.

    As for the PC24. I would be very surprised if the Government opted to replace the Learjet with something similar to a PC24. Despite what Claire Daly and her ilk think, the state needs an aircraft with intercontinental range. A second hand G450/G550 can be got for circa $20m. Hardly a fortune compared to circa $9m for a PC24. Bigger operating costs yes but that's the trade off for a infinitely more capable aircraft.

    This thread is drifting off topic. In an effort to steer it back on track, I'll ask the question a 3rd time. What opportunity was lost in the selection of thre PC-12 considering the aircraft it is replacing and what was outlined in the WP2015?
    Last edited by Chuck; 30th December 2017 at 01:46.

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  20. #1238
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    ok....they dumped the G.IV on the notion that it was corroded and needed new undercarriage, none of which was in anyway beyond their budget. The corrosion was not critical to the point that it needed selling the aircraft and the undercarriage change was a routine event that was probably already budgeted for, as it would have been planned for in the maintenance schedule anyway, but it was used a s a tool to beat the Govt with so they took the option and ran away...Bertie even wanted an Airbus and I agree that they should have a larger executive jet than a Learjet. My point on the Learjet is that they, Learjets, are getting long in the tooth and their new bezzies, Pilatus, would love to sell them a PC-24.....I agree also that the AC has come on in leaps and bounds, but it did take several severe boots up the corporate arse for it to do so, such as that report of the mid90s, that highlighted dozens of deficiencies, some of which I pointed out previously. The AC had to be forcibly told to clean up it's act regarding the Army and it's attitude to giving them access to airlift. Regarding prime events like State visits, the DF had to do some severe learning when it came to providing world-class security and in some of the events that I personally saw, the AC was sidelined deliberately to allow the grown-ups to provide a level of security that the UK and US were prepared to accept. It's rather embarrassing for an air arm to be told to stay out of the way in it's own base ........In the case of airshows and transit visits, the actual experience varied from the sublime to the ridiculous. Personally, the jury is still out on airshows because some of them were wonderful to serve at or attend and others were a circus.......handling transit visits got better because it simply had to. Starting from a base of being shit, they could only improve. One visiting pilot told me that three things really stood out on a visit to Baldonnel and Ireland; they could pretty much fly as they pleased (whereas many home airshows were tame affairs), they always got a hearty welcome form all ranks and enjoyed the informality and they could drink as much as they dared.

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  22. #1239
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    ok....they dumped the G.IV on the notion that it was corroded and needed new undercarriage, none of which was in anyway beyond their budget. The corrosion was not critical to the point that it needed selling the aircraft and the undercarriage change was a routine event that was probably already budgeted for, as it would have been planned for in the maintenance schedule anyway, but it was used a s a tool to beat the Govt with so they took the option and ran away...Bertie even wanted an Airbus and I agree that they should have a larger executive jet than a Learjet. My point on the Learjet is that they, Learjets, are getting long in the tooth and their new bezzies, Pilatus, would love to sell them a PC-24.....I agree also that the AC has come on in leaps and bounds, but it did take several severe boots up the corporate arse for it to do so, such as that report of the mid90s, that highlighted dozens of deficiencies, some of which I pointed out previously. The AC had to be forcibly told to clean up it's act regarding the Army and it's attitude to giving them access to airlift. Regarding prime events like State visits, the DF had to do some severe learning when it came to providing world-class security and in some of the events that I personally saw, the AC was sidelined deliberately to allow the grown-ups to provide a level of security that the UK and US were prepared to accept. It's rather embarrassing for an air arm to be told to stay out of the way in it's own base ........In the case of airshows and transit visits, the actual experience varied from the sublime to the ridiculous. Personally, the jury is still out on airshows because some of them were wonderful to serve at or attend and others were a circus.......handling transit visits got better because it simply had to. Starting from a base of being shit, they could only improve. One visiting pilot told me that three things really stood out on a visit to Baldonnel and Ireland; they could pretty much fly as they pleased (whereas many home airshows were tame affairs), they always got a hearty welcome form all ranks and enjoyed the informality and they could drink as much as they dared.
    Who are "they" exactly? Could you be (very) specific as to who "they" were as they could include quite alot of people.

    The decision to dispose of the G4 as it happened was completely and entirely down to the DOD. Absolutely nothing to do with the AC. Like the rest of the DF, the AC is required to "swing up the arms" when it's told to. The DOD control the budget and as was reported in the media, the maintenance cost involved in bringing it back to service was deemed (by the DOD) to be excessive. So it was sold for a pittance. The Sec Gen is the account holder, not the COS or GOCAC.

    The published media reports and what was discussed at the PAC confirm that this was the case. The G4 disposal lays entirely at the hands of the Dept. This isn't conjecture or anecdotal "I was told" evidence which you rely upon so heavily, this is a cold hard fact.

    Your posts convey a lot of bitterness toward the AC and that's fine, you are of course entitled to your opinion. I've read plenty of your stories about "the don" and how many problems it had. I don't recall too many stories about how you helped to rectify problems, unless of course it was someone else's problem/responsibility. As I said previously, using the papal visit as a stick to beat the AC with, which happened 40 years ago, really? The G4 has absolutely nothing to do with the Cessna replacement either for what it is worth.

    While you may have been a jnr technician and spent only a short time in the AC (in the grand scheme of things) I am sure you are/were not naive enough to take everything you are told at face value. Maybe you were, I don't know. I can only imagine what was shared in the canner. Group think and the absence of any reasoned debate results in only one thing. And it isn't an informed opinion.

    I rarely see you mention the long "duties" that technicians availed of in Savannah or Seville while aircraft were on maintenance. Plenty of sub availed of, but the narrative would suggest that its all for the benefit of general staff / politicians / officers etc as your reference to Pilatus confirms.

    There are two sides to every story as you well know and just because you were told one side doesn't make it the truth.

    I don't wish to engage any further with you unless you wish to discuss the Cessna replacement, as this is going off topic *once again*. If you want to discuss the advantages/disadvantages of the PC-12, I am all ears, but lets leave "the don" hearsay out of it for the sake of factual discussion.

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  24. #1240
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    I meant "they" the DoD, as you have successfully guessed; we, in Baldonnel, and outside, knew perfectly well what the actual state of the aircraft was and knew and understood that it was to be sacrificed as a political pawn and the rope, if you will, used to hang it was the cost of an undercarriage swap. This was widely viewed with derision in the Don, because the aircraft was in excellent condition and the undercarriage change had long since been planned for, budget-wise, and the person(s) who made the decision couldn't tell an undercarriage from a hole in the ground......that same kind of interference from DoD occurred when the hangars were being rebuilt and it led directly to the situation where the G.IV and Casas had to have their tails poking out of the hangars over "barn-doors". In the case of the Casas, having the tail poking out like that cost at least one rudder gust lock in my time. The solution, whereby the Casa was jacked up by it's nose and then towed into the hangar, to avoid the roof trusses, was scarcely any better, as it barely made it past the roof trusses (and I mean, by bare inches. I only ever did the process once and we universally hated it) and left the aircraft at constant risk of damage, all because someone decided that it was better to risk aircraft damage than (a) keep the taller walls offered by the builders (b) jack up the roof a metre and raise the walls a metre which would give adequate clearance. So, you need not lecture me on the DoD and who carries the can; I've seen it first hand in there.....as for duties, foreign and domestic and "sub", those rates were decided by higher-ups and while it benefitted a lot of people, "sub", especially at home was regarded with derision because it was so low. I used to "crew-chief" the Beechcraft, K240 and spent many evenings and nights in Baldonnel and certainly did not get Sub nor any shift pay or unsocial hours allowance. I got lieu days and they were essentially on granted at the whim of the CO of the Unit, so getting them wasn't guaranteed. When it came to airshows and State visits, we were often rostered for duty on those days and had to fight to get "duty money", which always took a fight to get. It got so bad that when events were announced, lads (of all ranks) would put in leave applications to avoids those dates and manpower levels at events reached crisis point, until the Officers made enough noise to reach DoD ears and we finally started to get paid for losing a weekend to an airshow. As for overseas rates on Seville or Savannah trips, what you are forgetting is that the techs who went were also signing for work done on the aircraft and spent many hours in hangars alongside the local staff; it might have been well paid and essentially cushy but it wasn't for free and so few staff were available to go, that they had to be formally rostered to go, which had a knock-on effect on family lives. That sub-run lost it's alleged glamour quickly. I didn't get it (Seville) because I was "merely" a Corporal, as one CO put it to me and it was confined to Sergeants or favoured sons. As for expenses on overseas trips, they were pitched at Lt Col's rates, which were very tasty at the time and I did get one four day trip in K240; a Corporal on a Lt Col's rates. I'd have been a fool to refuse. In the same breath, would you begrudge any soldier who goes to the Lebanon and comes back with six months wages on top of his home wages? Finally, as for what I personally did to affect change (or attempt to), I could fill pages...and it wasn't just me. Everyone with a pulse and a brain (no shortage of talent in the place, at all ranks. Some truly great people) tried their best but it was always an uphill battle to get things done and what exists now is because of the grind put in by people back then.

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  26. #1241
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    MOD: Gentlemen.A little advice before things escalate.Play the ball not the man.Keep it civil and impersonal.Deviate from that and accept the consequences.
    Also GTTC for the sake of the eyesight of your fellow board members could you PLEASE use paragraphs when posting.The long continuous post are very hard to read.
    Now.Carry on.
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    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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    @gttc, I am glad that you and others were able to influence positive change during your time. With enough changes, the culture of an organisation changes over time and this was a point I was trying to address. The AC is a very different organisation now than it was 15/20 years never mind 40. There hasn't been a proper airshow in Baldonnel since 2000/2001, and the real hay day you refer to was in the 1990's, again events which happened 20/25 years ago.

    I wouldn't begrudge any solider (of any rank) the opportunity to earn extra cash from an overseas trip, that's not even in question. My point was that I've read many posts here and elsewhere claiming sub or duty money is the preserve of officers and civil servants. This isn't the case and there are plenty of NCOs receiving both which they are completely entitled to. You didn't receive sub for late nights because you weren't entitled to it. You can thank DPER for that, and subsequently S3.

    Again, none of this has any relevance to the Cessna Replacement so perhaps discussion about issues from 20 years ago are best kept for a separate thread.

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    ok, I'll take a punt at your question: the PC-12, assuming it will arrive with a decent sensor fit, will supplant the Cessnas and Defender and possibly even some of the Garda heli roles, of overt and covert surveillance, as a Garda function. I doubt if they will ever be used as a para platform and i doubt if they will ever be used to count fish or bird populations or spot turf cutters, although you never know. I really can't see them doing low 'n' slow like a 172 can. For the Army, covert surveillance. A PC-12 up at ten thousand feet is virtually invisible. If they take them on tour, who knows what they can get out of them. If they have a clutter free interior, then they will get coopted onto MATS and air ambulance or even basic ass 'n' trash haulage. I'm sure of one thing; they will serve until they fall apart.

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  32. #1244
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    ok, I'll take a punt at your question: the PC-12, assuming it will arrive with a decent sensor fit, will supplant the Cessnas and Defender and possibly even some of the Garda heli roles, of overt and covert surveillance, as a Garda function. I doubt if they will ever be used as a para platform and i doubt if they will ever be used to count fish or bird populations or spot turf cutters, although you never know. I really can't see them doing low 'n' slow like a 172 can. For the Army, covert surveillance. A PC-12 up at ten thousand feet is virtually invisible. If they take them on tour, who knows what they can get out of them. If they have a clutter free interior, then they will get coopted onto MATS and air ambulance or even basic ass 'n' trash haulage. I'm sure of one thing; they will serve until they fall apart.
    I personally think that given the €32m figure that was mentioned, allowing circa €15m for airframes leaves a substantial amount for everything else including a comprehensive sensor suite. The tender spec was very specific and you can see from it that there was a considerable amount of thought to ensure seamless operation with the Army and NS.

    Overseas use is a fair bit off I'd say but a very real possibility. Master it's capabilities and establish the doctrine and SOPs in the domestic setting and you can potentially have an extremely valuable asset to a Coy/Bn Comdr in an overseas environment.

    If the Dept of Justice don't take the option for the fourth aircraft, that will be a real missed opportunity imo. In terms of availability, dispatch reliability and supply chain, Pilatus are streets ahead of BN.
    Last edited by Chuck; 1st January 2018 at 17:21.

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  34. #1245
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    Looking at the brochure specs, this aircraft has very long legs for a single.
    I wouldn't stop at four airframes though. The type has great potential.
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    The AC has at least 20 years of Garda surveillance under it's belt plus whatever else it has done that is not public knowledge so generating a set of SOPs and doctrine for overseas use wouldn't be hard, especially given the amount of cross training with foreign armies that has occurred. You could realistically imagine, for example, an Irish unit on African UN duty with their own surveillance aircraft, considerably expanding a CO's overview and the ability to call up and use heavy hitting assets. It could get very interesting.

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    ...@ msg. No. 1237 questioning a ‘...missed opportunity’...

    A fair summary of above sentiment might be, that some posters considered, that compared to the PC-12:

    - Other comparable aircraft had somewhat superior capabilities and/or more established ISR pedigree e.g. King Air ERs, with twin-prop’ aircraft unwisely discounted.
    - Other (cheaper) aircraft had more transport utility, and ISR pedigree, e.g. Caravan.
    - Cheaper aircraft would have left more funds for primary role ISR equipment e.g. Caravan or Defender.
    - That any twin-prop’ would have offered a better safety margin, and better allowed for a closely aligned MPA (ancillary) use (and nose-mounted sensors/equipment).
    - Conversely, that PC-12 capital (and running) costs would be over-kill for more mundane ISR use on a not-hard border, surveys for govt. departments, as run-abouts, and parachuting.

    The intended primary role is ISR, and I think what piqued people’s interest/annoyance, was the apparent potential for a PC-12 to be more suited to the secondary (transport) roles, but specifically of Air Ambulance and MATS.

    As for the White Paper 2015, government policies can change.

    Also, some posters thought (including myself) that if few and expensive surveillance planes are to be purchased, and if convention appears to be that maritime patrol aircraft be twin-engine, that any ISR aircraft purchased be twin-engine, to allow for supplementary, mini-me casa (MPA) use. Most of above was outlined in the original discussion post # 1 (e.g. option 4), and page 1 (of April, 2007!!!).

    In any event, for the cost, hopefully they would get some overseas (UN/similar) use sooner rather than later. Happy New Year!

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    @Whingenot, finally - Some semblance of debate. I had specifically asked the question as a result of a statement of another user. This is a discussion forum.

    There are two important words that need to be considered for context - Single Engine. No doubt chosen by the bean counters to reduce costs. We can talk twin engine all day long but it wasn't a consideration.

    I am quite sure that if you were to ask anyone with an interest in aviation would they rather a PC-12 or a King Air 350ER, the majority would choose the latter, if for nothing else other than it has two engines. Do you think somehow that a king air wouldn't be used for MATS/transport or air ambulances. Unfortunately everything procured now has to be multi role, and while its not ideal, the DF do not have the budget or resources to buy single mission equipment. Examples of such are few and far between.

    Government policy can change of course but you cant cover every eventuality or every possibility with finite and limited resources. You can't be all men to all people.

    I think its a considerable stretch to suggest the caravan is a better ISTAR platform, based on what? A caravan may well be certified for flight in icing but it has a chequered past. Given the Irish climate and its affinity with icing, would you be happy circling for hours accumulating ice or would you rather the ability to loiter above the weather.

    Similarly, how do you transfer a patient to the UK that is required to remain at sea level pressure? Fly VFR at low level? We could argue til the cows come home about whether air ambulance is something the AC should be doing but Id argue that it is one of the most important functions of the AC, if you can get an aircraft that can do its primary function and air ambulance, then its a no brainer. Why limit yourself? And of course, in the background you have the long standing MOU with the Dept of Health to provide the service. You can't just ignore the obligation.

    There was never any policy or direction to support your opinion that the FWUA back up CASA ops offshore. Again, maritime surveillance is not a stated function of the FWUA. The tender spec did include the ability to read AIS information if I remember correctly so nothing to say it can't sit 10 miles offshore at 20,000ft and track targets a considerable distance into the EEZ. Well within gliding distance of shore and land if need be.

    I fail to see a single area where a Caravan is significantly better in any one area, parachuting maybe but we have discussed that already.. I can see plenty where the PC-12 is superior however.

    Regardless of opinion, replacing 5 45 year old piston engine aircraft with 3 much larger, much more capable aircraft is a positive step in the right direction no matter what way you look at it. The original budget was circa €15m also. I doubt 5-10 years ago they would've gota €30m contract over the line.
    Last edited by Chuck; 1st January 2018 at 23:38.

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  40. #1249
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    Transferring patients to the UK, that require a low altitude flight, has been done by helicopters and more than once in the Casas, plodding along at sub-15000 feet....the ability to read AIS suggests shipping surveillance, with a side order of keeping an eye on drug smugglers, who won't be running anything that will light them up on AIS, so your logic of orbiting within gliding distance does work....I'd be interested to read the opinions of the aircrew who were involved in the process.

  41. #1250
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Transferring patients to the UK, that require a low altitude flight, has been done by helicopters and more than once in the Casas, plodding along at sub-15000 feet....the ability to read AIS suggests shipping surveillance, with a side order of keeping an eye on drug smugglers, who won't be running anything that will light them up on AIS, so your logic of orbiting within gliding distance does work....I'd be interested to read the opinions of the aircrew who were involved in the process.
    There is always an inherent risk of engine failure when operating an aircraft with a single engine regardless of whether you operate over land or water.

    That statistics for a PC-12 engine failure speak for themselves. I am sure that the appropriate risk assessments will be made if it came to fruition.

    Re air ambulance, if there's no casa available or there is icing conditions, helicopters cant do it.

    Nice to have the option of a pressurised aircraft for crew and patient comfort rather than getting hockeyed by the weather at low level.

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