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Old 10th Jan 2017, 13:25   #81 (permalink)
 
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It's not a long inspection, 2 completed and serviceable.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 13:58   #82 (permalink)
 
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BBC news today Sikorsky grounds S92 helicopters for safety checks after incident as a "precautionary measure".
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 14:00   #83 (permalink)
 
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Just shows how far behind the curve our news services are
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 14:26   #84 (permalink)
 
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I would say there is a decision process to be made. It is a given that on oil and gas these aircraft will be grounded. However a number of aircraft are engaged SAR and as bulletins are not mandatory even if given Alert staus I suspect that in a real emergency they will launch. At time of writing I cannot find an Emergency AD from either the FAA or EASA which would be mandatory.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 16:39   #85 (permalink)
 
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as bulletins are not mandatory even if given Alert staus I suspect that in a real emergency they will launch. At time of writing I cannot find an Emergency AD from either the FAA or EASA which would be mandatory.
Depends on the maintenance statement and the AMM.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 16:48   #86 (permalink)
 
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Well, considering the microscope helicopters operate under nowadays and sensationalistic headlines in some media outlets, perhaps it was a wise idea to immediately cease 92 ops until the check had been completed.
Were any aircraft turned around and RTB while enroute offshore or did they complete their trips?
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 16:58   #87 (permalink)
 
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If it was a 225 in the frame, everyone would be clamouring "Grounding"!
I suppose some would argue the 225 is not grounded currently....despite reality.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 17:23   #88 (permalink)
 
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I suppose some would argue the 225 is not grounded currently....despite reality.
Stop hitting your head, it hurts.

Around 100 AH225 are fliyng every day.
.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 17:39   #89 (permalink)
 
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A very simplistic question from someone who has many pax hours in helicopters. Is it fair to say that mechanical failures are happening more on helicopters? If so, is this because of modern design - i.e. Lighter components to save weight/increase payload, etc, etc.

All my hours in Sea Kings, Pumas, I never remember a Main gearbox, bearing, or tail issues, ever - certainly not 'accident' or grounding issues.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 18:23   #90 (permalink)
 
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JOKE. Well..for one thing...everytime we had a chip light..or a gen failure or any other minor issue it did not get immediately reported in the media as "Helicopter Emergency Landing barely misses local Orphanage, Hospital and house with cute puppy inside! 100s traumatized!" Film at 1100. END JOKE

Nowadays any issue gets reported in the media and, unfortunately "Perception is reality".
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 18:35   #91 (permalink)
 
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C52304, I think its fair to say that we are now entering a time when helicopters are going straight into civil use. Both the types you mentioned had many hours (and problems) with the military.When problems were found and corrected.

Last edited by Sevarg; 10th Jan 2017 at 18:39. Reason: To add corrected
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 18:45   #92 (permalink)
 
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c53204, if you have never seen a problem with those older types then you have been a whole lot luckier than some of us.

Can I sit beside you next time?
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 19:57   #93 (permalink)
 
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I seem to remember two S61 gearboxes burning out. One on the North Sea and the other an SAR machine. Engine run down and settling onto the back of a supply boat. A calm sea state was regarded as a good 61 ditching day.

The S76 threw a blade at Aberdeen and we flew next day with tie wraps holding the blade bearings in. When the turbines started bursting a ring of armour plate was placed around them to stop them damaging the luggage.

The old Puma 330 had problems with pitch horn bearings, inclined shaft hinges and a fatal at Aberdeen where an engine run down when the other was pulled back for training.

For the inaugural flight of the 234 they placed tea and biccies for the passengers, there being a cabin attendant. At the appointed time the locker was opened and there was a sea of writhing crumbs. Again a calm sea was 234 water taxiing time to get to the Shetland basin. A 234 was also responsible for the greatest loss of life.

The 332 started going through gearboxes like a lottery winner. There must have been three in the air at the same time in the hanger. Rotor heads cracking offshore, innumerable spurious fire warnings and again an inclined shaft hinge pin coming out. It took about two years to solve all the problems.

Alan Bristow, an ex test pilot, used to create at the helicopters companies because he did not know why the users had to do all the advanced test flying for them; this covered all companies.

It happened so often in those days that it didn't make the papers.
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 21:58   #94 (permalink)
 
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C53204,

The types you have mentioned were no doubt during military time. As a passenger you are very much kept out of the loop of problems going on. You would never subsequently be informed not was there any intention to. It's a different game in the civilian world when someone's paying for the flying.

Morale of the story being you got away with a lot more in the military.

LZ
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Old 10th Jan 2017, 22:08   #95 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by rrekn View Post
And HUMS close monitoring of the Tail Rotor Pitch Change Bearing is now required.

Sikorsky taking the lead from Airbus?

Anyway: Thumbs up!
That is the right approach to be rather cautious than sorry! It won't have too much impact to do these inspections and it makes sure a potentially preventable accident does not occur. That is exactly the pro- active approaching of a known issue that Airbus/EC should have done after the first occurance of each - the Rotor separation and the bevel gear shaft. Would have saved a number of Lives and them an economic disaster.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 02:12   #96 (permalink)
 
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...and to add to the SA330J story, the same inclined drive shaft cover issue as the AS332L but with less spectacular results, it only opened out to within 1" (metric) of the tail rotor in SUM. Lesson learned not adapted on subsequent variant.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 07:19   #97 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by c53204 View Post
A very simplistic question from someone who has many pax hours in helicopters. Is it fair to say that mechanical failures are happening more on helicopters? If so, is this because of modern design - i.e. Lighter components to save weight/increase payload, etc, etc.

All my hours in Sea Kings, Pumas, I never remember a Main gearbox, bearing, or tail issues, ever - certainly not 'accident' or grounding issues.
Mostly the advent of social media and the 24 hours news culture that demands instant answers. The 70s, 80s and 90 are littered with serious incidents/accidents - many involving that old favourite, the S61! Some UK AAIB examples here: https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports?keyw...rence%5Bto%5D=
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 12:19   #98 (permalink)
 
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However a number of aircraft are engaged SAR and as bulletins are not mandatory even if given Alert staus I suspect that in a real emergency they will launch. At time of writing I cannot find an Emergency AD from either the FAA or EASA which would be mandatory.
...yet the SAR aircraft were grounded (no doubt briefly) as well as the O&G ones.
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 13:04   #99 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by henra View Post
Anyway: Thumbs up!
That is the right approach to be rather cautious than sorry! It won't have too much impact to do these inspections and it makes sure a potentially preventable accident does not occur. That is exactly the pro- active approaching of a known issue that Airbus/EC should have done after the first occurance of each - the Rotor separation and the bevel gear shaft. Would have saved a number of Lives and them an economic disaster.

Agreed, but again we seem to be relying on HUMS as an airworthiness assurance tool, rather than the reliability tool is was designed as. If you can't say that the bearing will last for 3 hours, it shouldn't be flying.


HUMS didn't find the EC225 Epicyclic failure...
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Old 11th Jan 2017, 13:04   #100 (permalink)
 
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No doubt also using the option of a 6 hours HUMS download interval that SIK are offering...
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