G-CIAS Channel Islands Air Search operate this 1982 Islander aircraft …

G-CIAS Channel Islands Air Search operate this 1982 Islander aircraft for Search and Rescue work (with personalised registration). CIAS is a 24/7 charity that assists in saving lives at sea and is supported entirely by volunteers. The Channel Islands are a distance away from government-funded French and English rescue helicopters and so created their own service in 1980.
The aircraft in its purpose built hanger on Guernsey. It was built in 1982 and came to the service in 1992 with many modifications made. These include extended nose housing for radar, extended wing tips and long range fuel tanks.
Another view of G-CIAS ready for action. With callsign ‘Airsearch One’, it can travel at up to 140 knots and can stay in the air for up to 4 hours 30 minutes. It carries out sea and land searches, including mainland France and England.
The rear view of the aircraft called Lions’ Pride. It can take off with just 100m visibility and the time from call to airborne is about 25 minutes. This includes the time taken for the volunteers to drive to the hanger – a journey that is helped by the use of green flashing lights on their private cars.
The Forward Looking Infa Red (FLIR) pod shown cost £200,000 to purchase and was a massive sum to pay out for a small charitable organisation. However the benefits of having this save lives.
The underside of the aircraft as seen from the sea. The charity use the tag line ‘The Lifeboats’ Eyes in the Sky’.
A close look at the four speakers used as a public address system or siren.
Inside the aircraft. This compact space is for five team members: a pilot, a search director and observers. There is no capability to rescue or transport casualties.
The rear observer seats. The windows are bulged outwards to allow the observers to look straight down. A small chute at the bottom of the photograph allows sea flares to be placed on the sea as markers. Behind the rear seats is an inflatable life raft that can the pushed out of the aircraft to be used by up to 11 people in the sea.
In this staged photograph, G-CIAS is in flight, joined by the Channel Islands’ other rescue services.
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