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Old 20th Mar 2017, 23:58   #341 (permalink)
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 00:22   #342 (permalink)
 
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Any thoughts on how one crew member was recovered outside the helicopter and the expectation that three more crew members may remain inside the helicopter ?
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 01:03   #343 (permalink)
 
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Recovered crew member

I know Captain Fitzpatrick had completed dunk test two weeks ago, so procedure was very familiar to her, what I am asking is why her personal locater did not alert rescue services to her location
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 01:39   #344 (permalink)
 
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Sure, as a thought. One crew member was successfully able to extricate themselves from the aircraft using taught escape techniques (whether the aircraft remained on the surface briefly, or whilst submerged). The others, through physical incapacity due to injury, or through misfortune being caught up in wreckage, regrettably were unable to do so.

Given reports that the tail was found on land, it would have been a very short and wildly disorientating ride in the dark from the point of impact to the flights conclusion with absolutely nothing a crew can do to recover the situation, short of shutting down the engines prior to impact. And I'd be surprised if there was time to even do that.

Regarding activation of the personal locator, as far as I know this requires manual activation. Injuries sustained during egress from submerged helicopter may have rendered the survivor unconscious (and this is exactly what happened to the Australian Army Blackhawk pilot that was killed in the HMAS Kanimbla accident off Fiji - by the time he arrived at the surface after deep water escape he was unconscious and subsequently died from salt water inspiration).

Last edited by gulliBell; 21st Mar 2017 at 02:36.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 03:16   #345 (permalink)
 
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Cpt. Fitzpatrick Condition

Apologies if I'm breaching etiquette, but has anyone seen reports that indicate the pilot was responsive at the time of rescue? I only ask because a few military veteran coworkers' general response to the reports of "critical condition" was that this was SOP if SAR crews did not have someone licensed to pronounce at the point of rescue, and so the condition is not changed to "deceased" until reaching the hospital and the attention of full MDs. Is this generally correct?

I realise there is also a desire to keep some level of details away from the press out of respect for the families, but I ask because this might be a relevant detail distinguishing between an aircraft with enough left to go into the water under some control, allowing for egress; and a completely uncontrolled descent, where crew are ejected during impact.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 04:08   #346 (permalink)
 
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If the tail rotor and presumably a chunk of tail cone was missing from the helicopter, which departed the scene suddenly and unexpectedly, at night, and at low level, I think it's a fair assumption that the helicopter was completely out of control from that point until it impacted the water. I don't think a cockpit crew would be ejected from an S92 during a crash sequence. To be released from the seat would require a conscious action from the crew member to unbuckle the seat harness. If they were ejected from the aircraft whilst still attached to the seat, I think the impact forces required to do that would not be survivable in any event, and if ejected whilst still attached to the seat they'd probably sink and not float to the surface.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 04:30   #347 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
.However this scenario does seem difficult to believe with such a highly experienced and capable crew used to far more challenging operations
Unfortunately, you're only as good as your last flight. No matter your experience, you're human, and subject to all the foibles thereto. An oft quoted phrase is "There but for the grace of God". If people are honest with themselves they will admit to peering into that dark chasm, and having lady luck draw them back to salvation.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 06:03   #348 (permalink)
 
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From somebody who teaches highly experienced and capable crews in their annual simulator re-currency checks, I can vouch for the fact they can sometimes make surprising simple mistakes that result in dire consequences. Fortunately the simulator has a reset button and no harm done. Real life operational flying is far less forgiving. Making mistakes is an inherent limitation of being human.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 06:59   #349 (permalink)
 
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On a 225/175, if the aircraft is in a landing configuration and approaching a suitably designated site (airfield, heliport etc), the EGPWS is inhibited as the system assumes that you are trying to land. I am unfamiliar with the S-92 but assume it is at least similar. Would Blackrock have been designated as a landing site? If so, might that explain why presumably the crew got no warning from it?
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 07:23   #350 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by obnoxio f*ckwit View Post
On a 225/175, if the aircraft is in a landing configuration and approaching a suitably designated site (airfield, heliport etc), the EGPWS is inhibited as the system assumes that you are trying to land. I am unfamiliar with the S-92 but assume it is at least similar. Would Blackrock have been designated as a landing site? If so, might that explain why presumably the crew got no warning from it?
The alerts are inhibited, but surely on such an approach the TAWS screen is still being displayed?

I'm not sure if this has been covered,

Consider that the 'landing Blacksod' was a mistake in the call by whoever made it, and the intention was to always land at Blackrock, although I think someone has pointed out there is no fuel there,

On approach, less than 9kts at committal, maybe prior to as power comes in, TRPCS rears its ugly head again? We all know what happens next?
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 07:33   #351 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Mitchaa View Post
Some pictures of the Helipad at Blackrock.

Where has the 9kts come from? Surely this would indicate it was coming in very close to the Helipad for landing?

Wondering why the tail would strike the rock first and not the cabin? Discovering the aircraft was too low, pulling up and the tail clipping the edge sending it into a spin?

We have another Tail related incident then, be that from collision or component failure, it's still unclear. I'd hope that this wasn't anything to do with the bearing.

Seems we could be thinking along the same lines,

The 9kts was on an AIS trace a few pages back, posted with a picture.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 08:44   #352 (permalink)
 
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To be released from the seat would require a conscious action from the crew member to unbuckle the seat harness. If they were ejected from the aircraft whilst still attached to the seat, I think the impact forces required to do that would not be survivable in any event, and if ejected whilst still attached to the seat they'd probably sink and not float to the surface
I don't think that's completely true - think of the two survivors off the BAH BV234. They had no idea how they arrived on the surface.

Quote:
Apologies if I'm breaching etiquette, but has anyone seen reports that indicate the pilot was responsive at the time of rescue? I only ask because a few military veteran coworkers' general response to the reports of "critical condition" was that this was SOP if SAR crews did not have someone licensed to pronounce at the point of rescue, and so the condition is not changed to "deceased" until reaching the hospital and the attention of full MDs. Is this generally correct?
I suspect you are correct as I was quite surprised to see the initial news briefings saying so openly that "things weren't hopeful".
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 10:38   #353 (permalink)
 
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The BV234 survivors may well have instinctively released their own seat belts, and following the stress of the moment, completely forgotten about it when they arrived on the surface. I'd be very surprised if an S92 pilot could get free of their seat, even in a very violent arrival, without manually releasing their seat harness.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 10:53   #354 (permalink)
 
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What the crew’s plan was will become apparent soon enough and hopefully the missing will soon be returned.

Without altitude information it is not possible to conclude whether this was an approach to Blackrock or not.

A change of plan due to developing a tail rotor control issue after the turn inbound to Blackrock is unlikely. The procedures for this would suggest that it be better taken to a runway.

All in the 92 world would have been aware of the recent issues regarding the tail rotor. Low pitch or high pitch situations would be a challenge at 80 knots, low altitude, partial IMC at night but any tail control anomalies once encountered would likely not be misidentified as recently happened.

I lack SAR insight but I would expect such letdowns to start from the overhead. The profile flown inbound Blackrock is more like an ARA, albeit with something like a go around followed by an arcing turn. A SAR mode/procedure or simply gradual commanded heading change? I would go with this profile for an approach to Blackrock low level but am unable to see why is would be the profile of choice if they thought as the radio call implies they were at Blacksod. There is certainly scope for a mix up given the similarity of name and basic elements .i.e Lighthouse and landing site.

If deprived of EGPWS active warnings due to approach speed, a crew finding terrain in very close proximity would have been poorly placed to go around as from the photos, Blackrock presents a crescent shape to the west.

If the tail came into significant contact with part of the terrain during avoiding action, the fuselage would have made heavy contact with the rock strewn surface of the sea. Such hard contact could be borne out by the recovery of a fuel tank sponson which are designed to detach at high G loading commensurate wth impact.

As we know, aviation is unforgiving and can be very cruel but a tail rotor problem and a navigation error would, for me, be a scenario too far.

Last edited by Loquatious; 21st Mar 2017 at 10:56. Reason: grammer...
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:00   #355 (permalink)


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It seems a weather window has been identified at 05.00 tomorrow (Wednesday):

Speaking to Independent.ie, Irish Coast Guard officer Declan Geoghegan said that favourable weather conditions had been identified at 5am on Wednesday morning and that plans were being put in place to commence operations shortly thereafter.
"A window has been identified at 5am in the morning, where weather conditions are hoped to improve and swells will have gone down. More surveying will be carried out today to gather extra information, which will then be brought onto the Graunaile," Mr Geoghegan said.

"Everything will be put in place and if the weather remains favourable we will be ready to go at 6am tomorrow morning," he added.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:17   #356 (permalink)
 
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The recovery of the detached sponson isn't that telling, as the sponsons are designed to shear, seal and break away during an impact.

The far more telling item is the recovery of the largely intact internal aux fuel tank, and the SAR door with the door track still attached.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:28   #357 (permalink)
 
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I don't think their intention was to land at Black Rock for the following reason. The radio message "Landing Blacksod" would have been noticed by another crew member, pointed out, and corrected.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:35   #358 (permalink)
 
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I don't think their intention was to land at Black Rock for the following reason. The radio message "Landing Blacksod" would have been noticed by another crew member, pointed out, and corrected.
Not in high workload with things going wrong. Capacity is very much reduced.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:37   #359 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by rrekn View Post
The recovery of the detached sponson isn't that telling, as the sponsons are designed to shear, seal and break away during an impact.

The far more telling item is the recovery of the largely intact internal aux fuel tank, and the SAR door with the door track still attached.
Where did you get a list of the recovered items?
Did I miss some post?
Thanks.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:41   #360 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
I don't think their intention was to land at Black Rock for the following reason. The radio message "Landing Blacksod" would have been noticed by another crew member, pointed out, and corrected.
Plus it makes no sense they would land at Blackrock. It's uninhabited and there's no fuel. the lighthouse is solar powered.

There's a contract in place between Irish lights who operate the lighthouses and the coast guard to provide helipad and refuelling services on the western seaboard at the manned lighthouses at Blacksod and Castletownbere. i.e. they would not choose Blackrock.


Edit: Annex 12A of this document includes a site plan for Blacksod helipad. http://www.dttas.ie/sites/default/fi...010-signed.pdf

Last edited by pfm1000; 21st Mar 2017 at 11:55. Reason: Added link
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