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Old 18th May 2017, 23:27   #101 (permalink)
 
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No-one denies that returning into a crashed, semi submerged helicopter was a brave move, but the implication that it was in any way a controlled ditching and logical set of moves is bulltish.

If the Squirrel was landed under control then the first action would/should have been to inflate the floats and prevent it rolling: that's what they are for. The video indicates that after the impact with the cover the pilot and pax were along for the ride. I'd be very doubtful that there was even a conscious decision to fly away from the deck, but no doubt Q can come along in one of his posts here and tell us first hand.

Hopefully without the self promotion.

G-SASY, no doubt you will support your friend/relative but ditching instructions for a Robinson should not be seen as relevant to ditching a Squirrel with flotation gear.
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Old 19th May 2017, 10:14   #102 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by EddieHeli View Post
Yet if you read about ditching a helicopter it does say to do exactly that.

A normal flare is performed, and then as the helicopter settles into the water the pilot decreases rotor RPM to minimum and uses lateral cyclic to roll the aircraft on its side. This causes the blades to strike the water and immediately stop turning, so that people are not hit by turning blades while evacuating from the aircraft. Most helicopters will sink fairly quickly since there are not normally large spaces to trap air in a helicopter. This makes it critical that everyone is briefed in how to get clear of the helicopter and get to the surface of the water.
EddieHeli and G-SASY,

A controlled ditching of a helicopter in dead calm conditions, equipped with pop-out floats does not look like this...
What you are referring to is ditching a helicopter without floats, which was not the case here. The out of control helicopter could very well have ended up back onto the boat, but luckily it didn't.

They were extremely lucky, but for Q to go into the sinking helicopter 2-3 times after the crash is regardless what happened commendable!
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Old 19th May 2017, 12:57   #103 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Nubian View Post
EddieHeli and G-SASY,

A controlled ditching of a helicopter in dead calm conditions, equipped with pop-out floats does not look like this...
What you are referring to is ditching a helicopter without floats, which was not the case here. The out of control helicopter could very well have ended up back onto the boat, but luckily it didn't.

They were extremely lucky, but for Q to go into the sinking helicopter 2-3 times after the crash is regardless what happened commendable!
I take your point Nubian and agree with your conclusion. I just make the point that causing the rotors to impact the water first to reduce risk to those attempting to leave the helicopter is not without precedent or logic. I own/fly a B4 equipped with similar pop-out floats. If you have the luxury of a gentle landing, flaring and settling on the surface upright with floats deployed, fine. But Q does not seem to have had this option. The video shows a controlled crash away from the ship into the sea tail first and on its side, which may have been the best outcome possible in the circumstances. The floats are held by just one bolt front and back, and are fragile. I holed one float just by it abrading against the step when stowed in the hangar. If the floats had been deployed before the heli hit the water at speed, they would probably have ruptured. See the size of the splash in the video? So the best achievable outcome may have been landing on its side away from the ship without the floats deployed, then deploying the floats to prevent it sinking. This is when the aircraft became fully inverted of course. I haven't spoken to Q since the crash and so like everybody, is trying to make the best from the available information, and hopefully learn from it.
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Old 19th May 2017, 14:23   #104 (permalink)
 
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The video shows a controlled crash
Where's that other video?!
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Old 19th May 2017, 15:05   #105 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Nubian View Post
They were extremely lucky, but for Q to go into the sinking helicopter 2-3 times after the crash is regardless what happened commendable!
Certainly, specifically if considering the water temperature in Bergen. According to this website, the seawater temperature there today is around 9 deg C. Everywhere else we are told that exposure to frigid water below 10 deg C will cause immediate cold water shock, preventing even good swimmers to reach the near shore.

Regarding the floats deployment, the pilot stated here Quentin Smith - The Hero of the Norway Helicopter Crash | Heliweb Magazine that he did not deploy the floats before the impact:

Quote:
Smith risked his own life getting back in the helicopter to activate the emergency floats on the upturned helicopter
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Old 19th May 2017, 15:24   #106 (permalink)
 
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The video shows a controlled crash away from the ship into the sea tail first and on its side, which may have been the best outcome possible in the circumstances.
Surely the whole reason for ditching here is due to the fact that the rotors were damaged to the point that the aircraft was becoming rapidly uncontrollable?

The reason "Q does not seem to have had this option" is due to not being able to control it to do so. If he was able to put it in the water at any angle or speed of his choice, I'm sure he would've popped the floats and sat nicely on the flat calm water.

All adds up to an UNcontrolled crash I would say.
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Old 19th May 2017, 15:24   #107 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
According to this website, the seawater temperature there today is around 9 deg C. Everywhere else we are told that exposure to frigid water below 10 deg C will cause immediate cold water shock, preventing even good swimmers to reach the near shore.
But not with immersion suits! I had no problems in waters of about 2C, made that experience in seasurvival courses more than one time ...

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Old 19th May 2017, 15:36   #108 (permalink)
 
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Immersion Suits

Oh, does is say anywhere that any or all pax were wearing immersion suits?
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Old 19th May 2017, 17:12   #109 (permalink)
 
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"Q..... in control"? Let me just ponder that.
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Old 19th May 2017, 17:12   #110 (permalink)
 
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Hot and Hi....Looking at the picture on the first page, it does look like that some kind of protection suite has been worn by all on board.
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Old 20th May 2017, 04:29   #111 (permalink)
 
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Q v press conference - surprised?
Come on everyone - he's a self-made 'Legend' - in his own lunchtime etc etc and he'll produce a 'training' video to show it.
Come on folks - the yacht messed up, Q messed up - i.e. had to go back to activate the floats rather than activate them prior - assuming no immersion switch on brand new 350.
Fantastic getting pax out but too much spin here at the moment.
The reference to the Chile incident probably refers to the fact that engines 'fail' when they run out of go juice.
Great news that all ok but if you run a straw poll on here as to whether or not the Heli Industry is better or worse off with Q's contribution - you might be surprised at the result.
Q courts publicity - you live by it and you die by it - figuratively speaking of course.
I like 'characters' but some people try just to hard to be one......

Last edited by EESDL; 20th May 2017 at 06:58.
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Old 20th May 2017, 09:38   #112 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by G-SASY View Post
I take your point Nubian and agree with your conclusion. I just make the point that causing the rotors to impact the water first to reduce risk to those attempting to leave the helicopter is not without precedent or logic. I own/fly a B4 equipped with similar pop-out floats. If you have the luxury of a gentle landing, flaring and settling on the surface upright with floats deployed, fine. But Q does not seem to have had this option. The video shows a controlled crash away from the ship into the sea tail first and on its side, which may have been the best outcome possible in the circumstances. The floats are held by just one bolt front and back, and are fragile. I holed one float just by it abrading against the step when stowed in the hangar. If the floats had been deployed before the heli hit the water at speed, they would probably have ruptured. See the size of the splash in the video? So the best achievable outcome may have been landing on its side away from the ship without the floats deployed, then deploying the floats to prevent it sinking. This is when the aircraft became fully inverted of course. I haven't spoken to Q since the crash and so like everybody, is trying to make the best from the available information, and hopefully learn from it.
As an owner and operator of a Squirrel variant with floats, you should be more familiar with the Flight Manual Supplement for Emergency Flotation Gear. All Squirrels and the EC-130 have a similar set of limitations and emergency procedures, which include a max IAS of 135kts inflated, a maximum altitude of 6,600ft, a mandatory requirement for the floats to be armed when overwater below 400ft and recommended maximum inflation speed of 80kts in an emergency. Your B4 emergency procedures are on 9-17-3, to help you check. (Most of us with experience would recommend ignoring the instruction on 9-17-4 to apply the rotor brake after touch down, however!)

Nothing whatsoever in the AS350/EC-130 manuals about rolling into the water after ditching, nothing at all about gentle landings on the water, just a note to 'avoid ramming of the nose of the floats on touch-down'.

I still believe that there was little or no control of this accident after the cover impacted the blades and an opportunity to inflate the floats was missed. Crash, yes; controlled, no. To hold a press conference tending to self promotion is not what most helicopter pilots would be comfortable with.
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Old 20th May 2017, 11:02   #113 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
Oh, does is say anywhere that any or all pax were wearing immersion suits?

Post #10 , look at the picture!

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Old 20th May 2017, 12:05   #114 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by skadi View Post
Post #10 , look at the picture!

skadi
Showed what was being worn on that particular leg, but we don't know what was being worn on the accident leg.
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Old 20th May 2017, 12:35   #115 (permalink)
 
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a mandatory requirement for the floats to be armed when overwater below 400ft and recommended maximum inflation speed of 80kts in an emergency. Your B4 emergency procedures are on 9-17-3, to help you check. (Most of us with experience would recommend ignoring the instruction on 9-17-4 to apply the rotor brake after touch down, however!)
On the B4 there is an SB for the screws being too long in the belly panel. Interferes with the harness of the floats and can fire them in the cruise. Definitely a bodice ripper and can bring a tear to a glass eye!! The MR blades on the unfortunate specimen touched the tail boom as it stood on its face!
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Old 21st May 2017, 15:44   #116 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by heli View Post
As an owner and operator of a Squirrel variant with floats, you should be more familiar with the Flight Manual Supplement for Emergency Flotation Gear. All Squirrels and the EC-130 have a similar set of limitations and emergency procedures, which include a max IAS of 135kts inflated, a maximum altitude of 6,600ft, a mandatory requirement for the floats to be armed when overwater below 400ft and recommended maximum inflation speed of 80kts in an emergency. Your B4 emergency procedures are on 9-17-3, to help you check. (Most of us with experience would recommend ignoring the instruction on 9-17-4 to apply the rotor brake after touch down, however!)

Nothing whatsoever in the AS350/EC-130 manuals about rolling into the water after ditching, nothing at all about gentle landings on the water, just a note to 'avoid ramming of the nose of the floats on touch-down'.

I still believe that there was little or no control of this accident after the cover impacted the blades and an opportunity to inflate the floats was missed. Crash, yes; controlled, no. To hold a press conference tending to self promotion is not what most helicopter pilots would be comfortable with.
Heli thank you so much for the reminder of what is in my Flight Manual, but I'm not sure what your point really is? The video on BBC web site gives a pretty good view of the accident if you play it full screen and freeze frame. I've just timed the incident from impacting the cover to hitting the water- 5.5 seconds. You and very few others seem to suggest that Q should have been able to control the aircraft more, and "missed the opportunity" to inflate the floats in that 5.5 seconds. From the interview and videos it seems clear that Q had a hell of a battle controlling (you say not controlling) the aircraft just to avoid hitting the ship, which was a clear priority. In the interview he referred to "large amplitude oscillations of the cyclic at about 6hz" (presume due to severely out of balance main rotor following impact damage?) I understand his legs are badly bruised from impacting the cyclic repeatedly, such was the battle for control. Perhaps your reactions would have been even faster and you would found the time to activate the floats before hitting the water? Q did however activate the floats post impact, and this prevented the aircraft sinking.

My belief is (and I have no idea if this was Q's thinking or not) if the floats HAD been inflated when the aircraft hit the water at high speed they would have ruptured and the aircraft would have gone to the bottom with two people in it. The maximum IAS of 80kts you quote is for inflation when flying, not the speed at which the water can be impacted with floats deployed. The floats are quite fragile fabric bags, not in the least bit hydrodynamically shaped, and I suggest anything faster than a flare and gentle settling onto the water would destroy the floats, and flip the helicopter. The video suggests that gently landing upright on the water was never an option, nor was "applying the rotor brake after touchdown".

Research by EASA and Eurocopter http://www.easa.europa.eu/system/fil...inalreport.pdf shows that damage to the Emergency Floatation System following impact with water is very likely, and also that the best chance of escape is when the helicopter is lying on its side. I did not suggest that the AS350 or EC130 Flight manual recommended rolling into the water after ditching. I did make the point however, that there is some logic to ditching on its side (if you are unable to do a controlled level landing with floats deployed), in order to dissipate the energy of the rotor and facilitate escape from the aircraft. Such a recommendation has made its way into at least one Type Flight Manual.

You and the other posters have now had 10 days to think through what you might have done, and what Q should have done, in what was a violent, unplanned accident. Q had just 5.5 seconds to react and I believe he did an extraordinarily good job in the adverse circumstances.

I find it incredible that any "experienced" fellow pilot would do anything but congratulate Q on his bravery and skilled handling of the situation, and hope to never be tested in that way themselves. Whatever you feel you might have been able to do better in the same situation, Q actually did save two peoples lives, and they and their families opinions are what should count most.

Last edited by G-SASY; 21st May 2017 at 19:22.
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Old 21st May 2017, 16:01   #117 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EESDL View Post
Q v press conference - surprised?
Come on everyone - he's a self-made 'Legend' - in his own lunchtime etc etc and he'll produce a 'training' video to show it.
Come on folks - the yacht messed up, Q messed up - i.e. had to go back to activate the floats rather than activate them prior - assuming no immersion switch on brand new 350.
Fantastic getting pax out but too much spin here at the moment.
The reference to the Chile incident probably refers to the fact that engines 'fail' when they run out of go juice.
Great news that all ok but if you run a straw poll on here as to whether or not the Heli Industry is better or worse off with Q's contribution - you might be surprised at the result.
Q courts publicity - you live by it and you die by it - figuratively speaking of course.
I like 'characters' but some people try just to hard to be one......
EESL sorry to see you are feeling so insecure about your own contribution, and lack of "character". Clearly not shy of public exposure yourself, having made 1,353 (negative) posts on PPRuNe alone, but hiding your real name of course!
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Old 21st May 2017, 17:12   #118 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-SASSY
You and very few others seem to suggest that Q should have been able to control the aircraft more, and "missed the opportunity" to inflate the floats in that 5.5 seconds. From the interview and videos it seems clear that Q had a hell of a battle controlling (you say not controlling) the aircraft just to avoid hitting the ship, which was a clear priority.
Where's that other video?!
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Old 21st May 2017, 17:50   #119 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by 311kph View Post
Where's that other video?!
Try watching on full screen, frame by frame. Cover explodes into pieces at about 00:09.5s and Heli impacts water at about 00:15s. There is another video somewhere that is clearer but the heli picks up and turns out of frame immediately after impacting the cover.

Bergen helicopter crash: Three Britons injured - BBC News

Norwegian investigator said they had seen footage from the ship's helideck camera but I have not been able to find this online.

www.aibn.no/Aviation/Investigations/17-378

There are two more rather poor videos on the Sun page http://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3540283...three-injured/
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Old 21st May 2017, 19:03   #120 (permalink)
 
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Sasy ... I completely agree . I do think there was a little bit of control from Q,s efforts but I don't think it made much difference . He was pretty much a passenger , but don't forget his main move to safety ( away from the ship ) was what saved them . If he had just lifted they would have landed back on deck .
EESL ... Don't know who you are and don't care . You are self righteous and decidedly chippy which makes me think you are probably not as successful as Q and definitely not as much fun !!
Ps . Actually the helicopter world needs MORE people who are as passionate about flying like Q , but possibly we don't need many more as adventurous !
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