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Old 14th Feb 2017, 02:05   #1 (permalink)
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Fire Fighting Helo Crash in NZ

An AS350 has crashed killing the pilot while fighting the fires on Christchurch's Port Hills.

Thoughts are with everyone there.


One person dead in helicopter crash during Port Hills fires | Stuff.co.nz
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Old 14th Feb 2017, 02:46   #2 (permalink)
 
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Rest in Peace Brother, another sad day for the Rotory World
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Old 14th Feb 2017, 10:19   #3 (permalink)
 
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It appears that the registration is shown in the news photograph. ZK-HKW.


Flight aware are reporting that registration also.


Pictured here in better days
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Old 14th Feb 2017, 19:16   #4 (permalink)
 
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So sad, RIP. ;-(

Helicopter pilot who died fighting Christchurch fires ex-SAS member David Steven Askin | Stuff.co.nz
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Old 17th Feb 2017, 02:42   #5 (permalink)
 
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Any facts out yet ??........hit wires ??. sad day, sad day.
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Old 11th May 2017, 19:17   #6 (permalink)
 
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Update on the accident - Port Hills helicopter crash caused by a cable striking the tail rotor

Strangely the local NZ CAA Vector "safety" magazine Jan/Feb issue carried an article about exactly this potential problem in the month prior to the accident.

Even worse - nowhere in the article does it say that the pictures in the article depict an incorrectly rigged/operated Bambi bucket!!! Who knew?

Vector Magazine Jan/Feb 2017 - Page 7 - External Loads How Much Do You Really Know?

In the case of quite a few operators and the NZ CAA apparently - not enough?

From the Bambi Operators Manual -

Quote:
WARNING
Using a Bambi bucket with a greater overall length than the distance from the cargo hook to the front tip of the tail rotor on your helicopter could result in a tail rotor strike and possible loss of control of the helicopter which could result in injury or death.
Quote:
Important Note
It is recommended that operators, who choose to use the Bambi bucket with a longline, ensure that the longline is at least 50 long.
If all else fails - RTFM.
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Old 12th May 2017, 09:50   #7 (permalink)


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From the report "It was attached to a strop of approximately six metres in length, making a total length for the underslung load of approximately 10 metres."
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Old 12th May 2017, 12:33   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv View Post
From the report "It was attached to a strop of approximately six metres in length, making a total length for the underslung load of approximately 10 metres."
i.e. slightly longer than the distance between the cargo hook and the tail rotor, which that OM warning warns about.
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Old 13th May 2017, 00:16   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv View Post
From the report "It was attached to a strop of approximately six metres in length, making a total length for the underslung load of approximately 10 metres."
Not knowing anything about the pilot at all here, I'm curious whether it was a case of pilot couldn't longline or client didn't want longlines on scene, but the operator/owner wanted the aircraft to stay out of the water spray (i.e. No belly hook) hence the short strop?

It's not the first time a bucket has ended up in a tail rotor by attaching it with a short strop rather than either direct belly hook or longline hence why the OEM manual requires at least a 50' strop or longer if not belly hooking directly to the hook.

Last edited by havick; 14th May 2017 at 03:55.
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Old 13th May 2017, 10:27   #10 (permalink)


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Some clients require the load, i.e. water bucket in this case, to be attached directly to the cargo (belly) hook or a minimum length of longline must be used, e.g. 25 m.
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Old 13th May 2017, 13:54   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
i.e. slightly longer than the distance between the cargo hook and the tail rotor, which that OM warning warns about.
Slightly!?? The distance between the hook and t/r tips is about 5 meter on the 350, and the manual calls for a clearance of 6 inches when the dump valve is fully extended between the t/r tip's and the dump valve. Procedures for checking this is all very well described in the manual.
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Old 14th May 2017, 03:29   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubian View Post
Slightly!??
Yep. Nose to tail the AS350 is 10m long. So 10m of strop and empty bambi bucket hardware hanging off the hook exposes the tail rotor to impact, which regrettably, brought about the demise here. Had it been 50' of line, the empty bucket would just fly below and aft of the tail rotor zone. Or belly hooked and it's not long enough to reach the tail rotor.
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Old 14th May 2017, 11:22   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Yep. Nose to tail the AS350 is 10m long.
Nose to tail length is irrelevant, cargo-hook to closest point of t/r is not, which is about half the overall length...

If your displayed understanding is reflecting the common knowledge of the matter in your neck of the woods, it is unfortunately not surprising that this accident occurred...
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Old 14th May 2017, 11:51   #14 (permalink)
 
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I think we all knew what he meant Nubian !! ( and in case of misunderstanding he did say it had to stop 6" short of t/r tip !!). Maybe you have just had a bad day ..
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Old 14th May 2017, 14:08   #15 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by nigelh View Post
I think we all knew what he meant Nubian !! ( and in case of misunderstanding he did say it had to stop 6" short of t/r tip !!). Maybe you have just had a bad day ..
Not sure about who's bad day it is, Nigel!?
Read the previous posts again and see if you understand my point.
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Old 15th May 2017, 09:19   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubian View Post
Nose to tail length is irrelevant, cargo-hook to closest point of t/r is not, which is about half the overall length...
Of course it's relevant. If you've got a load hanging off the hook that is about as long as the helicopter is, if it goes aerodynamic and swings back it's about the right length to put it in the tail rotor. 10m long AS350, 10m long load = danger, it can swing back and hit the tail rotor. Which is what happened in this instance. If you don't understand that I don't know of a simpler way to explain it.
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Old 15th May 2017, 12:46   #17 (permalink)
 
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Well you will have to explain that to me then ! If distance from hook to tail rotor is 6 m then doesn't really matter how long the helicopter is nose to tail. If load less than 6 m then doesn't hit tail rotor anything else is capable of hitting so I don't quite see what the total length of the machine has to do with it ????
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Old 15th May 2017, 14:23   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
Of course it's relevant. If you've got a load hanging off the hook that is about as long as the helicopter is, if it goes aerodynamic and swings back it's about the right length to put it in the tail rotor. 10m long AS350, 10m long load = danger, it can swing back and hit the tail rotor. Which is what happened in this instance. If you don't understand that I don't know of a simpler way to explain it.
You do realize the hook is under the middle of the helicopter and not the nose of the helicopter?
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Old 15th May 2017, 14:27   #19 (permalink)
 
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I think the only time the overall length of helicopter is relevant is when the hook is on the nose !!
Obviously the only important length is hook to t/r tip when pointing at the hook ......
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Old 15th May 2017, 20:27   #20 (permalink)
 
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Perhaps the important thing is what speed you choose to fly with an empty bucket and how you handle the aircraft in that configuration.
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