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  1. #1501
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    Apologies if this has already been posted, but spotted a book by a former Air Corps HEMS pilot on the web. "Medevac: Flying the Irish Air Corps HEMS Mission" by Declan Daly, available on Amazon, not sure about regular bookshops

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Medevac-Fly.../dp/1671808177

    Haven't gotten a copy yet, but well done to the author on writing his story on the service.

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  3. #1502
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  5. #1503
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Ropebag has a point, though. If the DF aren’t careful, if one does materialise it will be seen as being a branch of Irish Aid that happens to be manned by the Air Corps.

    That’s what happened to the helicopters, the public perceives them as being Air Ambulance first, bad weather delivery service for animal fodder and polling boxes second, and a military asset way down the line.
    Wasn't like that when we first got the new Helis.Military support was their primary focus. Somehow we got dragged back into providing a service that Civi assets should provide and the Military training support dwindled. Between 2006-2010 I was in and out of Helis all the time doing Infantry training with them. Now? Forget about it.And it was such a good start too. A massive pity.
    "105,000 dead. 40,000,000 unemployed. Police murdering African-Americans. You’ve completed you’re mission. You’ve made America great. Now get the f**k out."

    - Rob Reiner.

    "Yes he's an idiot with zero common sense,and no social skills,but he IS my son.I just hope he never goes into politics.He'd be a disaster.

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  7. #1504
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Wasn't like that when we first got the new Helis.Military support was their primary focus. Somehow we got dragged back into providing a service that Civi assets should provide and the Military training support dwindled. Between 2006-2010 I was in and out of Helis all the time doing Infantry training with them. Now? Forget about it.And it was such a good start too. A massive pity.
    From the outside it certainly looked as if the AC pimped itself for the Air Ambulance role and embraced it with the gusto of a service pining for the SAR days.

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  9. #1505
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingo View Post
    Ropebag has a point, though. If the DF aren’t careful, if one does materialise it will be seen as being a branch of Irish Aid that happens to be manned by the Air Corps.

    That’s what happened to the helicopters, the public perceives them as being Air Ambulance first, bad weather delivery service for animal fodder and polling boxes second, and a military asset way down the line.
    If the assets aren’t otherwise employed I mean.... it’s a capability that can be sold easier. We have a C130 that can do small drop and equipment rotations, HADR, CASEVAC, support for Irish Aid etc

    Remember when Niamh went to Asia?


    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Wasn't like that when we first got the new Helis.Military support was their primary focus. Somehow we got dragged back into providing a service that Civi assets should provide and the Military training support dwindled. Between 2006-2010 I was in and out of Helis all the time doing Infantry training with them. Now? Forget about it.And it was such a good start too. A massive pity.
    Remember where the whole EAS came from?

    The closure of Roscommon A&E it was that simple

    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Networking.
    There was quite a loud group think that said the AIII should have been retained on the strength for pure training purposes. There was nothing wrong with them, AFAIK from an airframe or avionics point of view, they were single engine, analog cockpit kludge, but the French are only just getting rid of theirs, and India still have their variants working frontline in the Himalayas.
    New pilots learn the joys of heli flying the old fashioned way, without FADEC to mind them, meanwhile the PBI get to learn about junping in and out of helis, Dropshorts get to learn about underslinging a 105 or its ammo, and a spare capacity for when the snow falls or the rain gets too wet.
    Afaik an AIII can’t lift a 105mm (AW139 can but not very far), I think I saw pics of it lifting a Brandt 120mm (of it could have been the Puma)

  10. #1506
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetjock View Post
    From the outside it certainly looked as if the AC pimped itself for the Air Ambulance role and embraced it with the gusto of a service pining for the SAR days.
    thats certainly the impression i got - one metric is the social media posts the AC produce: anything air ambulance related gets the full treatment - even if all it was was was a 30 minute hop - but military exercises barely got a mention...

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  12. #1507
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    thats certainly the impression i got - one metric is the social media posts the AC produce: anything air ambulance related gets the full treatment - even if all it was was was a 30 minute hop - but military exercises barely got a mention...
    And when the AC Air Ambulance was unavailable due to crew shortages, and the charity funded Cork based aircraft had to slot in to cover the shortfall.....
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
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    German 1: That is the bad news.

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  14. #1508
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    thats certainly the impression i got - one metric is the social media posts the AC produce: anything air ambulance related gets the full treatment - even if all it was was was a 30 minute hop - but military exercises barely got a mention...
    As I said

    EAS became a thing because the Government downgrade the A&E in Roscommon and the only way to pacify the local TDs was to offer an air ambulance service. Remember also EAS was a trial only at first.

    EAS social media leads to universal praise. That 30 min hop could be the saving of a life

    Tac Ops social media leads to a lot of why do we need an army, PESCO, EU Army bla bla

    Also importantly all the resources are put into EAS and if any is left available and there is a serviceable aircraft the Tac oPs get done
    Last edited by DeV; 9th June 2020 at 10:33.

  15. #1509
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    thats certainly the impression i got - one metric is the social media posts the AC produce: anything air ambulance related gets the full treatment - even if all it was was was a 30 minute hop - but military exercises barely got a mention...
    Why are we surprised? The AC was never sized to do all the jobs it is being called to do now. In some ways it is like the old days when Charlie and co would use the Dauphins to open a supermarket in the back of beyond. The helicopter fleet was sized to provide basic lift capacity for the army and to cover pilot training. Today to cover the lack of planning by various government departments over years the solution of last resort is called into action, the DFs Thus we have almost constant fire fighting tasks and the summer is only starting in addition to the EAS, which not only blocks an aircraft but 4-5 air crews. Thats means the capacity to support military exercises and then post about them is extremely limited.

    But is it that bad, providing EAS, doing medical transfers, doing fire fighting these are all positives for the image of the defence forces in the wider public. In western countries where the military is close to the wider public you find it is better funded and recruitment is less an issue as members feel the respect of the public.

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  17. #1510
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    As I said

    EAS became a thing because the Government downgrade the A&E in Roscommon and the only way to pacify the local TDs was to offer an air ambulance service. Remember also EAS was a trial only at first.

    EAS social media leads to universal praise. That 30 min hop could be the saving of a life

    Tac Ops social media leads to a lot of why do we need an army, PESCO, EU Army bla bla

    Also importantly all the resources are put into EAS and if any is left available and there is a serviceable aircraft the Tac oPs get done
    i'm not just talking about now, i'm talking historically - go back to @apod's post about the availability of helicopters for military exerises before the air ambulance service was set up: when 'green stuff' was the AC 139's bread and butter you barely heard a peep out of them, but as soon as something that didn't look like sitting in a wet field and lugging dirty soldiers about the place heaved into view, the twitter account lit up...

    its pretty easy to tell which is the task thats more to their tastes.

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  19. #1511
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Wasn't like that when we first got the new Helis.Military support was their primary focus. Somehow we got dragged back into providing a service that Civi assets should provide and the Military training support dwindled. Between 2006-2010 I was in and out of Helis all the time doing Infantry training with them. Now? Forget about it.And it was such a good start too. A massive pity.
    Should the civil defence be running choppers?

  20. #1512
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graylion View Post
    Should the civil defence be running choppers?
    As a volunteer force?
    What are you cackling at, fatty? Too much pie, that's your problem.

  21. #1513
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graylion View Post
    Should the civil defence be running choppers?
    Civil defence is paid out of the same budget. ´
    The main issue is that the "civvy" missions had not been planned for in the force size thus leaving a major shortfall for military operations. Plenty of air forces provide EAS in other countries without issue, but the mission had been planned for.

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  23. #1514
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    Plenty of air forces provide EAS in other countries without issue, but the mission had been planned for.
    Honestly I am struggling to think of one other than Ireland that provides an air ambulance service for civilians other than on a very specialist and very rare occasion. Air ambulances both fixed wing and rotary are kind of regarded as a separate institution / service that is for civilians by civilians.

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  25. #1515
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzac View Post
    Honestly I am struggling to think of one other than Ireland that provides an air ambulance service for civilians other than on a very specialist and very rare occasion. Air ambulances both fixed wing and rotary are kind of regarded as a separate institution / service that is for civilians by civilians.
    An example is Germany, although it has many civilian air ambulance providers ADAC & DRF, cover is also provided by helicopters from federal police and the army.

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  27. #1516
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    An example is Germany, although it has many civilian air ambulance providers ADAC & DRF, cover is also provided by helicopters from federal police and the army.
    It is far from the norm and far from as widespread as you alluded to.

    There is no comparing the spare capacity in Germany's various state aviation arms Vs our very limited and already thinly spread resources. This was a Dept of Health requirement fulfilled with Dept of Defence assets. The second highest budgeted state department pinching from one the lowest funded. At least the Justice Dept provides the aircraft if not the crew.

    Previously there was a definite move towards more military oriented taskings under a previous GOCAC. It seems the ethos has reverted to more corporate than military under subsequent leadership. This is not a military role. It is predominantly provided by civilian operators worldwide. It should be a nuisance to the IAC. Something to be offloaded at the earliest opportunity. Yet it is embraced, publicised and glorified. Fake military helicopters (the 139's themselves being a wasted opportunity) playing a fake military role. A cynic would wonder what experience is more transferrable to civilian jobs for crew, HEMS(EAS is solely an Irish abbreviation) or troop transport.

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  29. #1517
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    An example is Germany, although it has many civilian air ambulance providers ADAC & DRF, cover is also provided by helicopters from federal police and the army.
    The operative word there is "cover" for the civilian providers. All militaries with rotary provide that to a lesser degree. But it is not core business and certainly not as a first responder for carting Mrs Jones off the farm to hospital after rolling her Quad Bike whilst rounding up the cows for milking.

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  31. #1518
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    So EAS can’t be linked to military flying

    Flying to some previously unrecc’ed austere HLZ‘s (some are pre recced)
    Being on extremely short NTM
    MEDEVAC of extremely ill persons

    The HSE I believe now pays for the service but at the start they didn’t.

    Flying hours were cut by at least 10% around 2008

    Wages had a huge cut among the biggest cut was to AC pilots (ie the pilot retention scheme)

    When resources are lacking what does priority go to real world ops (GASU and EAS). It is a Government tasking and an order.

    The major issue is that the AC wasn’t given additional resources to complete the additional taskings
    Last edited by DeV; 10th June 2020 at 16:10.

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  33. #1519
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    So EAS can’t be linked to military flying

    Flying to some previously unrecc’ed austere HLZ‘s (some are pre recced)
    Being on extremely short NTM
    MEDEVAC of extremely ill persons...
    yeah, they are - but they are 10% of military flying, not 95% of military flying. it also fails to note that it deprives the rest of the DF of RW airlift, ISTAR, resupply...

    how many times have 105mm battery's have done shoot and scoot in the last year?

    how many OP or JTAC teams have been able to practice helicopter insertion in the last year?

    how many of your Inf Bn CO's have never been involved in deploying, and then resupplying even one Coy by air, whether as Captains, Commandants or Lt Colonels? how many have done it three times in their careers?

    how many gun and missile battery's have got senior teams who haven't done more than two shoot and scoots in the last 5 years?

    claiming all this shit is compatible with military flying is like claiming that doing footdrill is akin with spending 6 months at one of the US Army's NTC's - wildly, and massively missing the big picture...

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  35. #1520
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    yeah, they are - but they are 10% of military flying, not 95% of military flying. it also fails to note that it deprives the rest of the DF of RW airlift, ISTAR, resupply...

    how many times have 105mm battery's have done shoot and scoot in the last year?

    how many OP or JTAC teams have been able to practice helicopter insertion in the last year?

    how many of your Inf Bn CO's have never been involved in deploying, and then resupplying even one Coy by air, whether as Captains, Commandants or Lt Colonels? how many have done it three times in their careers?

    how many gun and missile battery's have got senior teams who haven't done more than two shoot and scoots in the last 5 years?

    claiming all this shit is compatible with military flying is like claiming that doing footdrill is akin with spending 6 months at one of the US Army's NTC's - wildly, and massively missing the big picture...
    EAS provides training and probably more importantly currency in those areas which are critical to military ops.

    EAS is 1 heli out of 6 of the type in the inventory, I believe that there is a 2nd on standby if it goes U/S (which I don’t necessarily agree with). That realistically means that there should be 3 available on a daily basis for other taskings (allowing for 1 in maintenance).

    The major issue is lack of aircrew (which is a big drain of EAS as well and the backup a/c)

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  37. #1521
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    EAS provides training and probably more importantly currency in those areas which are critical to military ops.
    Military ops provide training and currency in military ops. I have yet to see a HEMS/EAS mission land under fire. Even in Leitrim.

    EAS is HEMS. HEMS is essentially landing off-airport. Landing off-airport is what helicopters do. There is no military specific experience gained.

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  39. #1522
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    EAS provides training and probably more importantly currency in those areas which are critical to military ops.
    Military rotary taskings are about operating a flight team which includes the all important crewman in a tactical and potentially hostile environment and embraces training and proficiency profiles like steep descent, low ground track, evasive manouver, high altitude pinnacle hover and confined area operations all involving the aircraft at higher payload capacities that are way beyond what is involved in a standard safe Medevac flight situation.

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  41. #1523
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    I'll just put this here

    20 minute air ambulance by graylion, on Flickr
    Last edited by Graylion; 14th June 2020 at 02:16.

  42. #1524
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    Pics not showing..

  43. #1525
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
    Pics not showing..
    Dayum. I even tested after upload, but now it is gone :(. Bear with me.

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