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What are Air Corps Aircraft used for on day to day basis?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by knocker View Post
    Why not base one casa at cork and one at knock ?
    Yes, but unfortunately both of those airports were built in stupid places, on top of hills, so they have a lot of crap weather - low cloud, low vis, fog...

    But apart from that it seems to make a lot of sense (i) to give operational control of the CASAs to the Naval Service, which is the principal 'customer', and (ii) to base the aircraft closer to their AO.

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    • #32
      If Sligo get its extended runway - will the CASA be able to land and take off from there
      Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
      Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
      The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
      The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
      The best lack all conviction, while the worst
      Are full of passionate intensity.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by easyrider View Post
        Yes, but unfortunately both of those airports were built in stupid places, on top of hills, so they have a lot of crap weather - low cloud, low vis, fog...
        That is called hitting the nail on the head.

        Two of the worst locations for an airport. Kind of like Bristol, except Bristol was actually built where it is for a reason-as an RAF bad weather training base.

        Unless the CASA is equipped for CAT II minima operations it would spend many winter nights in Shannon anyway. Plus when the wind really blows at Cork, it tends to favour the cross field secondary Rwy 25-to which there is no ILS only a VOR approach, with the associated higher required landing minima.

        Hedge, I would imagine if an ATR-42 can get in and out of Sligo twice a day at it's current length, the CASA which is similarly sized should have no problem with it.

        Comment


        • #34
          SAR should never have been taken from the Aer Corps.

          Wrong. Outsource. It can be done cheaper by a civilian contractor, without the outlay required to buy the right machines for the job-therby safeguarding the Defence budget for military equipment.
          If its cheaper to outsource SAR- which for some reason I didnt think it was ( but your obviously more knowledgeable than I am on this point- ask me about Mortars)

          then why


          Is it not cheaper to contract out the initial flight training
          If you contracted in a civilian organisation to train pilots, the taxpayer would still foot the bill. Wo
          after all it would be a saving on the Military Budget.

          would it be feasible to simply have a rotary air corps- no fixed wings whatso ever
          this would mean that instead of having facilities for numerous aircraft we now only have
          one main type of Helicopter- this would mean that mechanics could switch around more easy-
          same with Pilots- they would be fighting to get hours up-
          one type of fuel only-

          NO long haul runs to America with the Ministers- No MATS terminal because there is no Mats-

          to overcome Ministers using the helos, the AC could do saftey things such as all personnel in a Helo would have to either be in DPMS or a flight suit- NO Louis Copeland suits-

          etc etc

          site the CASA in Shannon and or Sligo- there are lads from the west who want to live in the west-
          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
          The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
          The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
          The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity.

          Comment


          • #35
            Hi Hedge,

            It's about the economics of owning and operating these types of aircraft. To buy the right type of aircraft requires a massive initial outlay. There are currently 6 aircraft at 4 bases around the country. The purchase of 6 medium lift helicopters, suitably equipped and with maintenance/spares/training packages would run at well over €150 million. You then also need to permanently base three of the aircraft at different locations around the country, and set up the infrastructure for same. These aircraft operate on a 24 hour callout so you also need to permanently base enough crews/techies at these locations to operate on a 24/7 basis.

            Would you like to see this coming out of the Defence budget with say the NS vessel replacement program or the LTAV acquisitions suffering as a result? All for an aircraft that has most likely no military role at all.

            Yes it is saving lives and it is always worthwhile, but at the moment the cost of paying civilian contractors is coming from the budget of another government department, so the DF budget is unaffected by it.



            The economics of contracting out to a civilian contractor comes down to this: You usually see global helicopter companies bidding, such as Bond or CHC. They already own these aircraft. They aleady have the skill sets and infrastructure in place to operate and maintain these aircraft. They basically have the economies of scale to do it at a lower cost.

            As regards flight training, it is definitely cheaper to outsource basic training, but the situation here is very unusual. Every step of the pilots training is done on the PC-9 from the tentative first flight to firing rockets at targets and simulated aerial combat. It is the norm to outsource only basic training in other countries, and when it comes to the more advanced stuff they return to the air arm's training program, on Tucanos etc. Most air forces have gotten rid of their basic training assets and now pay civilian companies to do it. It is quite strange here in that everything is done on the PC-9 and they do not perform basic training on a more simple aircraft.

            The point I was making re training is that even if the training is outsourced it would not stop pilots leaving for an airline job and would still come out of the Defence budget.

            Another point to note is that a lot of the basic military capability of the Air Corps is based around training aircraft and removing a role for these aircraft leaves the very real potential of removing any military capability, albeit token, the Air Corps has.

            As regards MATS, yes it has been abused but sometimes the real value of the service is lost in the controversy of numerous jollies. The ability of the military of the State to provide a secure transport for state officials is a massively useful capability and something that only really becomes obvious in times of emergency. The Dept of an Taoiseach controls all requests for the use of State arcraft, not the Air Corps. Other Depts apply to the Dept of an Taoiseach for use of an aircraft. They either approve or deny and a request is issued.

            As regards fixed versus rotary wing..there are pros and cons to both arguments. Both are suited to their individual roles. Yes I believe we should concentrate on rotary wing expansion for now, but there are roles that fixed wing aircraft can complete more efficiently so they should not be abandoned completely.
            Jetjock
            Commandant
            Last edited by Jetjock; 25 August 2009, 13:34.

            Comment


            • #36
              I am in agreement with you ref the SAR role-
              thats not part of a Military function though our lads have done it excellently
              when required.

              The CASA should be based in SHannon and or Sligo
              we have enough lads from the west dying to move home to their mammy's and their Fedelmas

              The AC should concentrate on troop carrying provisions such as helis

              the need to train pilots to fire rockets from the Pilatus is a waste of time and money as
              this will never happen in real life.

              How many hours does a pilot have to have on fixed wing before he can convert to Heli
              or does he even need to learn how to fly fixed wing first.

              and seeing as your on the speakers mound- do you know how much it costs to train a pilot to heli standard
              Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
              Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
              The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
              The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
              The best lack all conviction, while the worst
              Are full of passionate intensity.

              Comment


              • #37
                As it stands, helicopter training should and could be farmed out to contractors. The Air Corps do not have proper training helicopters. It is an enormous waste of money completing basic helicopter training on a twin engine highly complex machine like the EC135. There are absolutely no parallels for this worldwide. Something like an EC-120 would more than suffice.

                Also as you mention above, all Air Corps heli pilots undergo training on the PC-9. There is no requiremnent, either civil or military for a pilot to be fixed wing rated first. A simple aptitude test/ familiarisation flight would be sufficient to see which role a pliot is most suited to and all their subsequent training should be either solely fixed wing, or solely helicopter.

                Helicopter training is expensive, when compared to fixed wing. All basic training up to and including something along the lines of a standard commercial pilot licence can be done on a single engine type, such as a Bell 206.To operate the EC135's thy would also have to complete a Multi Engine Instrument Rating They tend to do this on a twin turbine helicopter-and actually the EC135 is a popular choice for this. I reckon a single helicopter pilot could be trained to this standard for €100,000-€125,000.

                Any specifically military training would of course be completed on return to the Air Corps.

                This method of doing things would also guarantee that the EC135's are freed up from the training role.
                Jetjock
                Commandant
                Last edited by Jetjock; 25 August 2009, 21:30.

                Comment


                • #38
                  that makes a hell of a lot of sense

                  does a lad get extra % for interview purposes if they have a PPL

                  and the AC is as bad as the Army for looking internally

                  I have heard that one lad in the AC who owns his own commerical plane

                  where as a lad in either the fire service or the control tower is a heli pilot
                  Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
                  Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
                  The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
                  The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
                  The best lack all conviction, while the worst
                  Are full of passionate intensity.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    In light of the news about a company from the north working at finner, are there companies at home who could take the contract for training pilots ?
                    Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier - Samuel Johnson

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Unless you want your heli pilots only certified on the R44.


                      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        So just as the gunners go to Sweden to carry out their training with their missiles, would it still be cost effective for the Air Corps to send their pilots to train on fixed wing & rotary ? Would the savings be big enough to purchase more aircraft ?
                        Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier - Samuel Johnson

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          You could argue that lots of other armies let NCO's and warrant officers fly helicopters and light planes, so why does the aircorps insist that all its pilots be officers, (note not officer bashing).

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Very true the army air corps here have senior nco pilots
                            Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier - Samuel Johnson

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              AD don't regularly go to Sweden, the vast majority of gunners will only conduct training in the simulator. Incidentally, the Australians very rarely conduct live fire so it's not just an Irish thing.
                              "Attack your attic with a Steyr....as seen on the Late Late Show..."

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Hedge,

                                Sometimes having previous training can actually go against you, as you wont have been trained the "Air Corps way" from the start and may have developed different habits.

                                You could also argue that you have already shown an aptitude for flying and it may help you.

                                It could be viewed either way. Hard to call.

                                In reference to Knocker and Goldie Fish there are a couple of candidates.

                                Executive Helicopters are based at Galway Airport. They operate a big fleet including the EC120, which is a much more suitable training aircraft for a military pilot than a Hughes or a Robinson. Pilots could easily be accomodated at nearby Renmore.

                                They do not train past PPL level at the moment but I reckon they have a great infrastructure in place to do so. I have dealt with them in the past on a professional level and they are top class. They have a huge hangar and are a highly professional operation.

                                There are a couple of schools operating out of Weston but I am not sure of their status or whether they would be capable of operating at such a level as I have never dealt with them.
                                Jetjock
                                Commandant
                                Last edited by Jetjock; 25 August 2009, 21:47.

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