View Full Version : Don't Leave a Crash Site!

The Guvnor
9th Aug 2001, 10:49
In the same way that it's mad to leave your car (which is big and noticeable) if it breaks down in the outback/bush; so it is crazy to leave your aircraft in the event that it goes down.

Here's one reason why, from today's Scotsman:

Air crash survivors deserted their best chance of rescue

Frank Urquhart

FOUR mountain air crash survivors were walking away from their best chance of being saved when rescuers spotted them by chance, a report reveals.

Emergency signals from three possible crash sites - more than 30 miles apart - had been picked up after the pilot of a Cessna 172 crash landed into a mountainside near Braemar as a build-up of ice threatened to stall the aircraft.

It is believed deep snow saved the occupants’ lives by cushioning the impact when their crippled aircraft flew into the side of the 3,400ft peak of Carn an Tuirc.

But the survivors were walking away from the wreckage and the aircraft’s radio distress beacon - their sole location aid - when they were sighted by the crew of an RAF search and
rescue helicopter, according to a report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch.

The report states: "Without this location aid it is unlikely that the survivors would have been found since they had no other means of location, such as flares or bright clothing.

"The weather conditions were harsh and the survivors had no warm or protective clothing, nor were there any emergency rations available.

"They were first sighted at 3:10pm as they attempted to walk off the hills into a snow gully; they were thus walking away from the beacon, which was their sole location aid."

The report reveals: "When rescued they were already suffering from mild hypothermia. Sunset that evening was at 4:26pm, after which the chance of locating the survivors would have been remote. They would then have been forced to spend the night on the hills in extreme conditions without appropriate clothing, protection or any location aids."

The pilot, Stephen Broughton, 53, from Ipswich, escaped with head and hand injuries, while his 38-year-old co-pilot, who has
never been named, suffered facial injuries.

One of the passengers, Mark Peacock, 22, from Peterborough, suffered suspected rib fractures, and his girlfriend, Judy Laidler, 20, also from Peterborough, had mild hypothermia.

The accident happened on 25 January, 90 minutes after the Cessna had taken off from Peterborough for Inverness.

Fifty miles south of the Highland capital the pilot noticed ice accumulating at an "extremely rapid" rate on the leading edges
of the wings of the Cessna 172, which had no de-icing capability and is not approved for flights in icy conditions.

The pilot tried to ascend over cloud, but accumulation of ice increased and the Cessna was unable to maintain its climb. He then descended, but the aircraft encountered severe turbulence . The report continued: "The pilot then briefly saw snow-capped hills below and decided that he should attempt
to land before the aircraft stalled. The aircraft struck the ground at an altitude of 2,690ft.

"On contact with the ground the aircraft broke up, but all on board managed to extricate themselves from the wreckage."

The report, however, reveals confusion over the source of the aircraft’s emergency locator transmission (ELT) initially hampered rescue services in their search for the plane.

Three ELTs were reported to the emergency services - one by the crew of an RAF Nimrod to the south of Lochnagar, where the aircraft had crashed, one 30 miles to the west at Dalwhinnie and third another 30 miles away at Ben Rinnes.

The signal from Ben Rinnes was quickly discarded but two helicopters were scrambled to go to the two other possible search areas. A third was scrambled to head to Lochnagar,
where the survivors were found walking along gully.

The report states: "The position of the ELT provided by the aircraft in transit, and apparently confirmed by two Tornadoes, confused the unfolding scenario since none of these aircraft was suitably equipped to precisely locate the ELT."

9th Aug 2001, 11:49
They were bloody lucky that they could "walk away" from it!