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Fire Fighting 737 Crashed in WA

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Fire Fighting 737 Crashed in WA

Old 7th Feb 2023, 06:22
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According to a report published on The West Australian (yeah, I know...) website this afternoon:

The first-ever Boeing 737 crash in Australia appears to have unfolded after the converted passenger jet clipped a hill and came down horizontally, allowing the pilots to miraculously escape with their lives.The water bomber operated by Canada-headquartered contractor Coulson Aviation crashed in the Fitzgerald River National Park at about 4.13pm on Monday while battling an out-of-control blaze in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun.
​​​​​​​The jet had just completed the second half of a “split drop” load of retardant and hit the ground about 20 seconds later, Department of Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm told reporters.
https://thewest.com.au/news/disaster...aled-c-9678967
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 06:30
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullOppositeRudder View Post
The question is asked in respect of this WA accident: "What is the mission here?" It's a good question .

How about fighting a large out of control bushfire where lives and property were deemed to be at risk by the DFES? Is that not a good enough reason to bring out the big toys?
Yes certainly - but that wasn't the case here according to the reports we've seen. It was in open bushland - albeit a national park. So far I've not seen anything which suggest lives and property were at risk here.

I wasn't the first one to ask the question BTW. Please refer post #53 earlier in the thread.

FOR
(53 years as a volunteer firefighter)

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Old 7th Feb 2023, 06:38
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom
Whilst doing similar activities... Like fire fighting? That's what they do!
That wasn't my point. My point was that 2 of Coulson's airtankers have crashed within a few years of each other, whilst trying to put out fires. My question is why have 2 crashed? What are they doing wrong?
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 06:45
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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More images of the crash site






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Old 7th Feb 2023, 06:45
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It couldn't be that ATSB's decisions to investigate are affected by the extent of media interest in accidents, could it?
Seems to be the only reasonable explanation for what they choose to investigate and what not. Apparently if it doesn't make the news it probably didn't happen is the tag line now.

Why is the ATSB not transparent like the NTSB, you can search every submitted accident/incident report here;

https://data.ntsb.gov/Docket/Forms/searchdocket

PS just enter Aviation into the 'mode' field and push submit, it will come up with all the latest.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:03
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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I'm sorry to say, Hoskins, that that will not buff out.

According to Google Earth, the terrain is pretty flat, so why would they be doing "dive-bombing" approaches (albeit fairly shallow), going pretty slow?

Last edited by Capn Bloggs; 7th Feb 2023 at 07:37.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:06
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An "official" in WA has said in the media "it appears they hit a ridge line before crashing and it is a testament to the pilots skills that they were able to survive this."

Sorry, but am I callous to suggest, despite the nature of the operation, hitting a ridge line is not indicative of pilot skill, and anything after that hit just happened. They were there for the ride.

It can be too early to lay blame just after an accident, same can be said for apportioning praise to the crashers.

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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:21
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Originally Posted by Lookleft
Careful LB your bias is showing. You know very well that a hull loss of a transport category aircraft is going to be investigated.
There are many reasons. Among them:
1. LAT operate over cities and towns.
2. Development of the investigative staff. These opportunities are rare.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:23
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Originally Posted by VR-HFX
Cool heads and more than a few ounces of luck. So glad to see they live to fight another day.Certainly that airframe is scrap.

The only civilian jet airliner I can recall living to fly again was a Japan Airlines DC8-62 that ditched in fog 2.5 miles short in SFO in1968. It was rebuilt and flew on for another 33 years.
There was the qantas 747 that ended up in the golf course in Bangkok, they repaired few once and retired it
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:25
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What is clear is that survival chances in transport category off airport landings are good if you can get out quickly before it burns. The main thing is to try to land upright at reasonable speed, just like in any other aircraft and you will give most everyone a fighting chance.

There was the qantas 747 that ended up in the golf course in Bangkok, they repaired few once and retired it
At least the JAL 2 DC-8 flew for 32 years post accident and succumbed to the wreckers claw when it developed cracks, so I'd say the repair was worth it.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:27
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I just saw an ATSB guy interviewed .
he said the 737 may have clipped a ridge before crashing .
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:31
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I thought GT, would have been seated in a simulator running through the scenario with the media.

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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:34
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Originally Posted by rattman
There was the qantas 747 that ended up in the golf course in Bangkok, they repaired few once and retired it
Rubbish. It was retired in 2012, 13 years after it’s Bangkok excursion.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:42
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Originally Posted by givemewings
Given they're based in BQB, any largish fire would surely be used as an opportunity to keep up the skills, even if it wasn't necessarily 'warranted' by life/property? I mean you don't want them sitting there until the 'Big One' comes with no recent 'in the field(air)' runs? IIRC this aircraft was here last year and help stopped a large fire in the Perth hills being much much worse... sister's place was in the danger zone, they were minutes away from having to leave when the call came through the LAT had changed the severity of the situation
I do know that the fire B139 was working on was given a Watch and Act warning.

Last year it wouldn’t have been B139, it was being modified at that time and this was its first season here.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:45
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Originally Posted by VHOED191006
That wasn't my point. My point was that 2 of Coulson's airtankers have crashed within a few years of each other, whilst trying to put out fires. My question is why have 2 crashed? What are they doing wrong?
No argument that aerial firefighting is challenging, but I'm inclined to agree with the point being made. Imagine Qld Fire & Rescue or FRNSW writing off two uber-expensive 'traditional' fire appliances in what would be 'normal' operations for them, and similar questions would, hopefully be asked.

This is what they do, and to lose two LAT's, in one country in 3 years is unusual by any standard.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:51
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Flightaware has a better record of the tracking; there is a hole in the Flightradar info.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/N619SW
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:55
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Originally Posted by FullOppositeRudder
Yes certainly - but that wasn't the case here according to the reports we've seen. It was in open bushland - albeit a national park. So far I've not seen anything which suggest lives and property were at risk here.
There were several "Bushfire Watch and Act" alerts in force for the area which stated: "There is a possible threat to lives and homes as a fire is in the area and conditions are changing." Some of those alerts have since been upgraded to a "Bushfire Emergency Warning", which state: "You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive. There is a threat to lives and homes." The bushfire is out of control and despite the fact it's within the national park, there are people who live nearby and the fire is headed in their direction.

The state government spent a truckload of $$$ to have LAT available during the bushfire season. Why wouldn't they use such assets to help control a large, out-of-control bushfire that's a potential threat to lives and property?
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 07:58
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What is the slowest airspeed that aircraft could have been travelling at in controlled flight, if it had ditched all it's retardant?
I'm trying to understand how fast they may have been travelling if it was a forced landing - so to speak.
​​​​​​​Full flap empty stall speed would have been about 90 knots, I’m guessing. Normal approach speed is in the 130s, and that’s 1.3 Vs
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 08:27
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Obviously the recency introduced CASA Part 91 and 138 regulations aren’t effective if accidents like this are occurring on our turf, with fully government funded contracts going to foreign operators.

No disrespect to the foreign operator, however the federal and state governments who are funding these high risk aerial work activities are directly accountable for the management and oversight of these contractors, no matter if they are foreign or locally sourced.

Obviously inefficient new regulations, drafted by the experts in Canberra….

So what now, another few million $$$$ of taxpayers money to get another replacement machine onsite, or they just let the fires kill people and devastate taxpayers properties as the aerial firefighting asset is no longer available because it crashed?

Last edited by Duck Pilot; 7th Feb 2023 at 09:01.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 08:50
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Originally Posted by givemewings
Bit of ahead scratcher, this one from Perth Now:



One was a man, and the other... a hamster???

Speaking of bent fuselages, does a golf course in BKK count as "off airport"? If so, then there was a 747 that flew again after a round or two...
Nah, that was a total financial loss, QF spent about as much as a new 747 400 to repair the wreck just so they could perpetuate the myth
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