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Old 21st Apr 2017, 09:06   #1381 (permalink)
 
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Sonas, This is a website forum for Professional pilots to discuss whatever issues they see fit. No-one wants to upset relatives but we do a serious job of work and some, not all, of this forum is provided by pilots and crew who never want this kind of accident to happen again. Sure the official reports and investigations run their course but that should not inhibit us from talking about the issues and provoking each others thoughts with one aim in mind. To help us not to make the same mistakes as others, no mater if they are perceived or not.

You have you opinion and it is right and proper you should air it freely.

Gods forbid If I am ever a subject of one of these threads feel free to tear my performance apart. If it helps someone else then maybe some good comes of it!
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 09:26   #1382 (permalink)
 
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Having flown stuff that now sits in museums, I was slowly introduced to increasing levels of automation. So far, the automation is still "dumb" in that it does everything you tell it to, very smoothly but with a profound lack of SA. You as the pilot will have to provide the SA.
Which is why I hardly ever use NAV mode. The AP will happily fly me into a rock of a thunderstorm blindly following the signals it is designed to follow. Whenever there might be a need to adjust track for avoidance purpuses, HDG is my preferred mode as it only takes a simple turn of the knob or a flick to the coolie hat to move into the desired direction, usually away from potential trouble. Especially low level I want to have full and immediate control over where we are going. And when there is doubt, there is no doubt: Go around and try again. Better to arrive a bit late in this life than much too early in the next one..
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 10:38   #1383 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
PIC is PM, CO-pilot is PF. Absolutley agree. Geoffers, I take your point for an AC with the AP mode selection panel on the inter console. Ergonomically that may make sense for PF to call for and PM to push the button. On AC where the PF has the AP controls in front of him. The situation is changed, for the better in my view.

However I see no merit in the PM changing the trajectory, i.e. Turning an active heading bug. This is PFs role 100 % with PM monitoring.

On an AC where the RADAR image can be displayed on an MFD in front of PF, with no loss of primary flight display, it's the quickest reaction to target avoidance.

Bear in mind, in these modern AC the AP is doing the actual flying. The PF ideally controlling the AP in response to his SA, whether visual IMC or negotiating a RADAR target.

Sunnywa, you state as PIC you should not be monitoring 90% absolutley agree with you. YOU SHOULD BE MONITORING 100% and another 50% capacity in addition for constant contingency planning. If the PIC cannot cope with this workload he's in the wrong job.
I generally agree... but IMHO both pilots (PIC/COP) should be able to fly (act as a PF) an ARA to a minima and initiate a go-around if needed... same applies with cruise/low level flight... It is not that difficult to fly a modern SAR helicopter if you have got a proper training and you are "current" (you have practised ARA's / SAR missions recently)... I mean, most of the SAR operators have "all the bells and whistles" in the helicopters and the pilots usually
fly 3 cue / 4 axis coupled with the SAR modes when the visibility is poor... they can reduce the groundspeed e.g. to10 kts, if downwind is less than 10 kts if needed in order to change the course and avoid the obstacle. I consider an ARA as a quite simple/basic task... You just follow the SOP's and respect your minima!
Btw. our company SAR ARA minima is 0,2 nm/100ft AGL (day/night).

Last edited by Search&Rescue; 21st Apr 2017 at 16:43.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 11:05   #1384 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by louisnewmark View Post

...For what it's worth (and of course I may be wrong), I think it's probable that the accident radar was set up and being operated correctly for the conditions, and that overflight of the radar return at BLKMO was deliberate in the belief that it represented low-lying rocks that were not a threat..
This aspect is absolutely critical to unravel. Does the Primus radar system store information in non-volatile memory that can be downloaded for review, particularly the tilt and gain settings, and maybe the images that were being rendered? Whilst the radar may have been set up correctly, or not, I doubt the images were being interpreted correctly. With appropriate tweaking of the gain/tilt, low lying rocks will be surrounded by sea clutter returns, whereas a big cliff in-front of you may have sea clutter in-front of it, but will have no sea clutter behind it. You should never fly into a big black void behind a red (weather) or magenta (ground map) return because that area is potentially very hazardous.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 11:23   #1385 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Nigel Osborn View Post
Unless it's changed in the last few years, the RAAF SAR helicopter has a co-pilot.
The RAAF SAR aircraft are single pilot capable, right? As far as I know they are fitted with the Honeywell SPZ-7600 autopilot system with SAR option, which is certified for single pilot MOT operation, right? I suspect the co-pilot is required by the client, not by the configuration and equipment in the helicopter? Unless on NVG at night. I'm trying to contemplate the step up from that simple installation to that which was fitted to the accident aircraft, which I'm to understand is considerably more capable. The difficulty I'm grappling with is capability, how it is that increasingly capable aircraft are showing up in accidents more than less capable aircraft. Or so it seems. As capability increases it seems that life for the pilots is being made more difficult, not less. Or is automation making life too easy for the pilots and they aren't remaining alert enough to keep up with situational awareness?

My opinion on which pilot should be monitoring and which should be flying during any particular stage of flight should entirely be the prerogative of the PIC, and not enshrined in SOP in any way. There's no way to sugar-coat it, but the PIC is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft, and the final disposition of it.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 11:44   #1386 (permalink)
 
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My opinion on which pilot should be monitoring and which should be flying during any particular stage of flight should entirely be the prerogative of the PIC, and not enshrined in SOP in any way. There's no way to sugar-coat it, but the PIC is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft, and the final disposition of it.
Beat me to it. It's staggering that Captains in civilian SAR are paid what they are yet seem to be hamstrung by procedures (often driven by the level/capability of modern automation and commercial pressures).

Surely the responsibility for safety of the aircraft/crew is that of the Captain? They should be empowered with the flexibility to achieve that in the most appropriate manner. The entire crew should be trained to a standard that best supports that.

Its called captaincy, airmanship and crew resource management.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 11:51   #1387 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post

My opinion on which pilot should be monitoring and which should be flying during any particular stage of flight should entirely be the prerogative of the PIC, and not enshrined in SOP in any way. There's no way to sugar-coat it, but the PIC is ultimately responsible for the safe operation of the aircraft, and the final disposition of it.
Well said gulliBell!
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 12:19   #1388 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by sonas View Post
Have any of you thought about the family reading this forum? Yes fully understand the technical aspect of it and learning points that have arisen. However, who should have done this and who should have done that doesn't help the relatives and friends.Think it's time to put a sock in it.
My ex-squadron left two helicopters between 2014 and 2015. Seven crewmembers died in the two accidents. I knew all of them. When I read the investigation report of the first one, I couldn't believe it. Some relevant information regarding the pilots was not in the report. I guess nobody told to the investigators in order not to hurt the families. The outcome of this is a "wrong" and not conclusive report. And families still claiming for an answer and in an spiral of conspiracy theories and self-destruction.

Putting shocks doesn't help at the long term. This is my opinion. And sorry for my English.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 17:25   #1389 (permalink)
 
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No sign of missing R116 crew men after detailed search of Blackrock Island
https://www.rte.ie/news/connacht/201...ue-116-search/
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 19:21   #1390 (permalink)
 
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Pilot's prerogative.....why not?

Just remember there needs to be some SOP's that grant flexibility but also provide some structure so everyone is on the same page and each knows what the other is supposed to be doing with the idea of making sure nothing gets overlooked or there be confusion as to who is supposed to be doing a particular task.

Anyone remember that infamous BA Memorandum about Change of Duties during a Missed Approach.....the one written Tongue in Cheek but very clearly pointed out how confusing some things can be?

You 92 Drivers out there....two FMS control Pads....one for each Pilot...one by the Left Knee of the Right Seat Pilot and the other by the Right Knee of the Left Seat Pilot?

Is there not a Collective Switch that affords either pilot the ability to change Heading settings?

What about a Cyclic Button (Coolie Hat)....is there one of those?

Just how many ways are there of altering the "Heading" or "Course Flown" by a Pilot flying a 92?
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 20:50   #1391 (permalink)
 
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gullibell/llamaman

Good to see a bit of common sense amidst all this esoteric stuff on radar operation and crew responsibilities.

What stands out from all this is that we have the nonsense of a crew probably thinking they needed to descend to the highly risky height of 200ft at night to nominally be VFR according to SOPs (or maybe just did so because it was normal SAR technique) and then clout a 300ft rock - because of course it was night and they weren't VFR at all. There was full cloud cover and there was poor vis. All this debate about radar technique (which shouldn't have been essential if they were VFR) just proves that the risks of mis-interpretation and misuse were far greater than the risk of hitting anything descending in IMC with a normal profile, navigating with reference to GPS, planned by looking at VFR charts before they departed (which presumably didn't happen) to give maximum clearance to charted and known obstacles. And if they knew they weren't going to be VFR why on earth descend to 200ft? Just do a normal IMC let down profile, to keep as high as possible for as long as possible.

I may turn out to be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this accident need never had happened if the crew had not been hamstrung with SOPs and just used their intelligence to perform a sensible let down procedure for what was after all just a refuel to a well established base. And if regulations didn't allow it they should be changed. They weren't searching for a life raft in the dark ocean for goodness sake.

I feel some posting here can't see the wood for the trees. I'm the first to admit, I've no SAR Experience so welcome any alternative views from those that do.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 00:25   #1392 (permalink)
 
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rotorspeed

Have you ever flown in an operation that can deliver a different copilot every day? If so you will know and understand the value of SOP's. There will always be enough slack in the system to allow some discretion for the PIC, especially in the SAR world.

G
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 01:14   #1393 (permalink)


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More than 100 divers in sub-sea search for helicopter crew
Survey thought to be largest dive exercise of its type in efforts to find R116 winch crew missing for six weeks

More than 100 divers in sub-sea search for helicopter crew
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 05:06   #1394 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Pilot's prerogative.....why not?

Is there not a Collective Switch that affords either pilot the ability to change Heading settings?

What about a Cyclic Button (Coolie Hat)....is there one of those?

Just how many ways are there of altering the "Heading" or "Course Flown" by a Pilot flying a 92?
As long as HDG is coupled to the flight director, heading may be altered by rotating a knob on the RIC - a small panel on the pedestal, and by pressing either cyclic coolie hat. At low speeds in SAR mode, heading is altered by pressing a switch on either collective.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 05:39   #1395 (permalink)
 
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Example of S92 MFD NAV screen.
Radar 10NM range, GMAP2, manual gain, slightly tilted down, a/c height 500 feet, oil rig target at just under 2NM, about 15 degrees offset, active waypoint symbol overlapping the radar return.

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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 05:39   #1396 (permalink)
 
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The RAAF SAR aircraft are single pilot capable, right?
Was always a two pilot affair as far as I'm aware. SOP when you were in that neck of the woods was copilot flew from RHS as PF, PIC in the left as PM conducting the orchestra. Single pilot capable though I think.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 05:41   #1397 (permalink)
 
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Geoffers

No I haven't! Don't get me wrong, I fully recognise the importance of SOPs, but I'm just trying to think of some reason as to why the flight crew opted for a much hazardous approach than necessary. It is obvious the risk of obstacles - and uncharted ones - is always going to be greater the lower you are, and the longer you're there. It's clear you've loads of experience - any ideas on why they did?
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 05:52   #1398 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Pltnorway View Post
Example of S92 MFD NAV screen.
Radar 10NM range, GMAP2, manual gain, slightly tilted down, a/c height 500 feet, oil rig target at just under 2NM, about 15 degrees offset, active waypoint symbol overlapping the radar return.
A good example of correctly tuned radar. The point I was making earlier about interpretation of the radar information is clearly shown, with sea clutter appearing behind the target in-front of you. If the oil rig was instead a 500' cliff there would be a very deep arc absent of sea clutter behind the target, which should flag a big warning in the pilot SA loop.

The radar on the accident aircraft, if correctly operated and interpreted, should have provided a warning sign of what was ahead even if the active waypoint marker sat directly on top of the Blackrock radar return. If they send an S92 out to re-fly the accident mission profile I'd like to see what the radar image looks like.

Last edited by gulliBell; 22nd Apr 2017 at 06:04.
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 05:54   #1399 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Pltnorway View Post
As long as HDG is coupled to the flight director, heading may be altered by rotating a knob on the RIC - a small panel on the pedestal, and by pressing either cyclic coolie hat. At low speeds in SAR mode, heading is altered by pressing a switch on either collective.
What rate does it turn you at, 6 degrees/sec?
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Old 22nd Apr 2017, 06:47   #1400 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by rotorspeed View Post
gullibell/llamaman





I feel some posting here can't see the wood for the trees.
They were flying too low.
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