PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013
Old 30th Jan 2014, 09:08
  #2432 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Aberdeenshire
Age: 58
Posts: 37
However, if I were a pax, I would prefer that max effort went into keeping the helicopters airborne, rather than spending too much effort on what happens after an uncontrolled ditching, only a small spectrum of which would entail any benefit by reducing pax numbers.

ie a controlled ditching - everyone gets out OK.
A completely uncontrolled ditching (crash) - chances are everyone dies on impact.
A slightly uncontrolled ditching such as the Shetland one, yes for that case certainly the chances of successful evacuation is improved with fewer pax. But it is the only one out of all the recent arrivals in the water, where that is the case.
I agree with this - edited to add apart from the thrid scenario which I consider a crash - not a slightly uncontrolled ditching - offshore pax have to accept there is some risk - I always have, and I have the following points.

1. Comfort - yes it has to be improved, the post above is exactly accurate. But I don't think it should be improved to the point where we have 10 pax in a 225, requiring double the aircraft and double the pilots. I think this increases risk - the last two fatal crashes seem to be due to maintenance, and the pilots flew an airworthy aircraft into the sea. It is already hard finding pilots and maint crew - don't want to dilute the existing pool with rushing in newly trained people.
2. Escapabilitly - has improved over the years from days of chinook, bell 212/214, s76, dauphin. 225 has best escape windows but most cramped cabin. S92 has spacious cabin - windows are too small.
3. Rebreather - really needs to be reviewed - this accident probably will show it's totally ineffective if you have not advance warning to deploy. There appear to be better systems out there.
4. Pax size - needs to be looked at - offshore pax must realise their size (getting bigger and I include myself) does not help in comfort or safety terms - so perhaps we should put stricter limits in place - if I had to be lighter and less bulkier to keep my job I am sure I would achieve that goal.

and to be clear - a ditching is a concious decision on the part of the pilots to land on water - anything else is a crash.
thelearner is offline