HC Deb 02 July 1996 vol 280 cc400-1W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what is the declared maximum transmission range of the S61N; and if he will make a statement; [33611]

(2) what is the declared maximum operation range, without refuelling, of search and rescue helicopters; and if he will make a statement. [33610]

Mr. Norris

I have asked the chief executive of the Coastguard agency to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from C. J. Harris to Mr. Graham Allen, dated 2 July 1996: The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about search and rescue helicopters. Pending the formal adoption of the criteria proposed by the SAR Helicopter Review Group there is no "declared maximum operating range" of search and rescue helicopters. The range at which helicopters can operate depends on the weather and the nature of the task, as well as on aircraft characteristics. As an example the range at which existing UK SAR helicopters could complete a stretcher recovery of a person from a vessel and return with them to base, in still air would be (in nautical miles):

  • RAF Sea King: 265
  • RN Sea King: 240
  • Coastguard S61: 200
Maximum transmission range" is an unfamiliar term in the flying world, both civilian and military. It has therefore been assumed that the term means the maximum distance an aircraft can cover between two points, assuming no fuel used on SAR tasks. For the Coastguard SAR S61 the distance is 420 nautical miles.