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Old 13th May 2017, 19:47   #41 (permalink)
 
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A very unfortunate incident but not the PIC's fault. Best wishes for speedy recovery.

in the military, one gets used to assuming that the non-aviation guys on the ground won't have made sure the area is safe but the captain of a vessel should be much more aware of such threats.
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Old 13th May 2017, 20:00   #42 (permalink)
 
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Seem to recall a similar incident in the early 90s with an S76 delivering papers to the QE2 in the Solent. Loose sunbed matress got sucked into the TR and they ended up on the deck - fortunately.
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Old 14th May 2017, 11:34   #43 (permalink)
 
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Spoke to a pilot many years ago at a HUET-course, that got his first job in the GOM flying Jetrangers. On his very first day at work, a cover for a fire extinguisher on deck flew up into his MR just like in this accident and he ended up ditching next to the platform. All on board exited safely from pure luck, as this was before HUET was common.

Last edited by Nubian; 14th May 2017 at 13:31.
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Old 14th May 2017, 13:20   #44 (permalink)
 
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When approaching landing sites, I do wonder what effect my (R44) downwash will have on items/debris near where intend to set down. I try to stay away from things like sticks, chopped wood and items that look like they don't weigh much and the most that usually happens is a bit of dry cut grass is kicked up, which I don't worry about too much.

When asking instructors, etc about the risks of objects flying up, I've generally been told that I wouldn't be creating enough downwash for anything serious to lift up and cause a problem.

Does anyone have any further thoughts or experience they can share on this?
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Old 14th May 2017, 19:49   #45 (permalink)
 
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PIC a Hero

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Originally Posted by Heliplane View Post
When approaching landing sites, I do wonder what effect my (R44) downwash will have on items/debris near where intend to set down. I try to stay away from things like sticks, chopped wood and items that look like they don't weigh much and the most that usually happens is a bit of dry cut grass is kicked up, which I don't worry about too much.

When asking instructors, etc about the risks of objects flying up, I've generally been told that I wouldn't be creating enough downwash for anything serious to lift up and cause a problem.

Does anyone have any further thoughts or experience they can share on this?
One of the videos online shows the cover going straight UP the back wall of the superstructure, arcing over, and coming down on TOP of the rotor disk. A loud bang and seven or eight pieces flying in all directions. Looked like recirculation of the downwash ie along the deck, up the wall and back down through the rotor. We've all felt the turbulance recirculation causes when hovering close to a hanger wall. Just my speculation, but such an UPDRAFT from a heavy B3 (just refueled, 3 POB, luggage), feet from the aft wall of the superstructure, would be very powerful - clearly enough to lift the metal cover in this instance.

PIC is a hero, getting heli off the deck into the drink, on its back. If he hadn't, a dynamic rollover on deck next to a full Jet A1 storage tank and full heli tank would have caused a fire ball. He probably saved the ship and everybody in it. Amazing presence of mind to trigger the floats when already submerged and inverted.
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Old 14th May 2017, 19:54   #46 (permalink)
 
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I wish I had the money where I could rent a chopper to fly me for thirteen hours, and pay for it to fly back again, instead of getting a taxi to Heathrow, first class to Bergan and then a taxi to the docks.
Luckily there are some people who see the value in hiring helicopters and pilots to transport them. If there weren't, many people posting on this forum would be out of a job.
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Old 14th May 2017, 20:30   #47 (permalink)
 
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but such an UPDRAFT from a heavy B3 (just refueled , 3 POB, luggage),
It was landing having flown 200nm from Sumburgh, so not just refuelled.
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Old 14th May 2017, 20:52   #48 (permalink)
 
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The reports suggest he refueled at Bergan airport. In any case you cannot just fly into another country and land on a ship in the harbour without clearing customs and immigration first.
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Old 15th May 2017, 00:46   #49 (permalink)
 
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most that usually happens is a bit of dry cut grass is kicked up, which I don't worry about too much
Don't know a piston would fare, but would assume it could be sucked in and clog the filter. Squadron had it happen on a Huey hovering over fresh mown grass and found the problem when investigating the far higher than normal EGT. Hovering down the line of revetments when a full sheet of plywood attacked the rotor and left the Huey with an enormous vertical. Maintenance reckoned the mast was twisted.
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Old 15th May 2017, 09:38   #50 (permalink)
 
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Right man for the job

I hope Q and the rest of the POB are making speedy recoveries. Totally agree that Q's quick thinking averted something considerably more catastrophic, and his presence of mind in massive adversity has probably saved a number of lives.

When he's fully recovered, I hope he can find me another brand new Squirrel for the reported 1.2m!
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Old 15th May 2017, 12:22   #51 (permalink)
 
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Would the flot gear not have an auto-inflation capability via an immersion switch?
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Old 15th May 2017, 14:44   #52 (permalink)
 
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According to local newspapers the pilot swam back into the sinking helicopter, released the flotation devices as well as a trapped passenger.
Well done him.
Per
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Old 15th May 2017, 15:14   #53 (permalink)
 
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Auto-inflate is something I've only seen in recent years on medium and up helicopters. Stymied by everyone except Leonardo insisting on some arbitrary low "arm" speed. All singles I've flown have an electric switch on the collective or mechanical switch, sometime both.

Tough call by the pilot - he could have alternatively just plunked it on the pad a-la-S92. Might have got away with nothing catastrophic either way. You pays your money and takes your chances. First hint of heroism is swimming back to the sinking helicopter, nothing before.

Last edited by malabo; 15th May 2017 at 22:41.
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Old 15th May 2017, 18:15   #54 (permalink)
 
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Press conference by mr Smith.
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Old 15th May 2017, 18:55   #55 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by crab@SAAvn.co.uk View Post
Would the flot gear not have an auto-inflation capability via an immersion switch?
You have to arm the floats with a button on the pedestal, and shoot them with a guarded switch on the collective in a machine as new as this.
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Old 15th May 2017, 20:41   #56 (permalink)
 
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According to local newspapers the pilot swam back into the sinking helicopter, released the flotation devices as well as a trapped passenger.
Well done him.
was that the Norwegian equivalent of the Daily Mail?

He says in the interview the flot gear was fired very soon after water entry (or implies that) If he had escaped then gone back in he would have been very foolish and the aircraft would have probably been well underwater by then so not very likely.

Getting an 'uncontrollable' helicopter into the water without dying is due to a great deal of luck rather than skill I would suggest - the PIC suddenly became a passenger when they were hit by the tarpaulin.
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Old 15th May 2017, 20:57   #57 (permalink)
 
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I think we should wait until the accident report before claiming anyone to be a "hero". did he have deck clearance? was he in contact with the boat beforehand etc etc
Seriously? You think they just wandered up to a stray boat and tried to land? The boat owner was onboard the helicopter. Swimming back to a sinking helicopter three times to save others is definitely the act of a hero.
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Old 15th May 2017, 21:02   #58 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by crab@SAAvn.co.uk View Post
was that the Norwegian equivalent of the Daily Mail?

He says in the interview the flot gear was fired very soon after water entry (or implies that) If he had escaped then gone back in he would have been very foolish and the aircraft would have probably been well underwater by then so not very likely.

Getting an 'uncontrollable' helicopter into the water without dying is due to a great deal of luck rather than skill I would suggest - the PIC suddenly became a passenger when they were hit by the tarpaulin.
So you wouldn't have risked your life going back to save others? Understood.
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Old 15th May 2017, 21:42   #59 (permalink)
 
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As the pilot I would say you have a definite duty of care to your pax . You put them in the water then it's up to you to get them out of the aircraft whatever the risk to you . Knowing Q I would have no doubt in what his actions would be if it was necessary. That doesn't however make you a " hero " !!
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Old 15th May 2017, 21:51   #60 (permalink)
 
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The Oscars

Christ, it was like watching the scene of someone getting their first oscar. Is he after a Norgy residency or does he always blow sunshine up everyone's arse?
Agree with Nigelh that the pax are your responsibility so I would be doing the same thing. Look what happens when you don't - Capt Shettino, Costa Concordia.

Like many accidents it could have gone a few ways. Staying put may have been the better option but with a helicopter out of control like that then you really are relying on luck to get you out.
It would be interesting to hear a press release from the ships captain!
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