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Yikes! That was close....

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Yikes! That was close....

Old 5th Nov 2019, 13:47
  #1 (permalink)  
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Location: Galway, Ireland
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Yikes! That was close....

What was the closest you ever came to meeting you maker while at work?
My background is marine electronics and while wiring a compass sensor to the binnacle up on the monkey island ( Long time ago) I had just stepped back to pick up a wire strippers when the crew operating the loading derrick had a little accident and the steel boom landed directly on the binnacle. This was on a large tank trawler
5 second earlier and I would be writing this from another dimension
Needless to say my conversation with the deck crew was somewhat flowery.
With a lot of aviation veterans here there must be some close call stories out there
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 17:03
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Flying power line patrol last year, hit a three phase 75KV line, cut all three, started a wild fire and lived to tell the tale:

I had a troubleman up front with me directing which way the line want, and a "vegetation person in the back marking all the areas that needed trimming. I was following a residential distribution line that was on standard wood poles. We typically patrol those lines at about 175 feet agl. I turned up a small valley following my "distribution" line, the trouble man identified the dead end of the line, pointed it out to me, (we normally turn 90 to a dead end and hover so the veg guy can look back along the line), I spotted the dead end and looked back up and saw the 3 lines at eye level in front of me, too close to turn, so I pulled power and sped up and watched each line in slow motion hit the wire cutters. Luckily the tension on them was higher than normal at 450 lbs which pulled the two ends away from the helicopter--we had no scorch marks or anything.

The ones I hit were perpendicular to thee ones I was patrolling. The power company made a training video, as it is so rare to not crash and die, and I had to re-fly the patrol on film, hence the pics.

Here was my view 5-10 seconds before impact, from the re-creation, look close you will see the wires:



Here is an overhead shot from the re-creation, again, look close you will see the wires:


The lines on the ground, (left side of poles), with the fire:



Me on the ground after hitting the wires talking to "her indoors" or maybe the NTSB:


Last edited by Gordy; 5th Nov 2019 at 20:44.
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 17:12
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No point in either of you guys buying lottery tickets cos you've used up this year's bag of luck already!
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 17:36
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Ouch! , hard to top those two.
​​​​​​
But discounting the time I had an near engine failure in a single and the time I was just getting airborne in a heavily laden skydive aeroplane only to find a murder of crows in the next field decided to do the same. In avoiding them I also managed to clear some powerlines lying in wait.

No my closest near death experience in work was rather more prosaic, almost funny. Working in a warehouse. I was standing talking to the forklift driver who was lifting a pallet of chocolate chip cookies onto the high rack. There was a crack as the pallet broke and all the biscuits toppled towards me. I dived away but one box caught me on the head. I saw stars.
Looking back there was pile of boxes exactly where I'd stood. My reward for this near death experience was the opportunity to stack the boxes on another pallet.
Never liked chocolate chip cookies after that.
​​​​​
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 17:52
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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Once had a bank ceiling land on me
About 7 years old at the time with mum in the local bank, remember them? Loud cracking sound and looked up to see the plaster and steel come down. The re bar formed a tent over us and we were dug out by the fire brigade
Turned out the flats above had a slow leak of water over several years and this rusted some beams.
Got me a week off school
Flying nothing dangerous....
so the moral is never go in a bank, more dangerous than flying
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 17:53
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I worked in instrumentation in a steel factory for a few years, firstly as an apprentice, so I certainly had a few opportunities for injury. Numerous electric shocks, including one from a 200V DC source that gave me an instant hangover. Got badly burned through the gaps between flameproof goves and overalls. Almost fell through a false ceiling while running cables, when the tiles gave way and I barely hung on. Sliced my hand open with a knife I had made myself. Around the hot & heavy stuff, we knew to be careful for obvious reasons: it was the little things that could get you killed.

I was transferred to a satellite factory a few miles from the main factory: had I started there a week earlier, I could have been involved in an incident that killed three people and injured several more. A massive transformer had been properly isolated on the high voltage side, so they thought it was safe to work on. It was, until a welder started welding something on the low voltage side, and that voltage from the welder was stepped up by the transformer with tragic consequences. A welder can deliver more than enough power to kill, but the low voltage usually means it's safe.
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 18:15
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For a second or so I thought my life had ended; (fixed wing ag ops.)
Flew straight into a bundle of wires, huge number of wires, dense and deep. The wires stretched, wrapping themselves around the front and side windows; A very dense bundle and I was in cockpit darkness for about a second. For that period of time I thought that I had died. Then the cutter performed to spec and I was free and flying again, looking at blue sky. I am by nature a dull phlegmatic personality and I was strangely untroubled. The contract continued....
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 18:35
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Back in Autank's restless youth, he worked in Theatre for a time amongst other things, behind the scenes; building sets and productions in the West-End of London.
One day, he was "footing" a tallescope (think vertical ladder with cradle for worker at top) whilst a technician adjusted lamps on bars above the stage.
Auxtank went to light a ciggy, dropped the lighter and quickly left the footing platform and stepped back two feet to pick up said lighter.
No sooner had he done so that a podger (think ring-spanner at one end with marlin spike at other) impaled itself on the footing platform in front of him precisely where he had been standing, having been dropped by the technician aloft.
One lousy second earlier, and it would have impaled itself in Auxtank's skull.

It taught me to always look up - as well as down, and make sure "Bed Wetters"; West-End slang for Lighting Technicians - always have tools connected to a lanyard.
Someone walks over my grave whenever I recollect the incident.
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 19:59
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This guy

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...hes-jetty.html

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Old 5th Nov 2019, 20:16
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Originally Posted by taxydual View Post
According to the Daily Mail the boat had problems with its brakes. Rrrrright.
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 21:26
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Originally Posted by Gordy View Post
Flying power line patrol last year, hit a three phase 75KV line, cut all three, started a wild fire and lived to tell the tale:
Jeez Gordy, you're supposed to put them out.....
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 22:24
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When I was about nine my dear old mum thought I was feigning being ill to avoid school, it was only when I stopped eating did she realise something was really amiss and called the Doctor, he diagnosed a ruptured appendix and I was rushed by ambulance to hospital, I apparently died on the table but was brought back.. I then got lots of lovely toys from a remorseful mum...

I was was sure they were trying to get rid of me lol, years earlier my big sister and her friend took me in my pram to the village shop and when they returned home my mum asked where I was, they had forgotten me and I was still lying in my pram outside the shop.

.

Last edited by NutLoose; 5th Nov 2019 at 22:39.
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 22:35
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
When I was about nine my dear old mum thought I was feigning being ill to avoid school, it was only when I stopped eating did she realise something was really amiss and called the Doctor, he diagnosed a ruptured appendix and I was rushed by ambulance to hospital, I apparently died on the table but was brought back.. I then got lots of lovely toys from a remorseful mum...

I was was sure they were trying to get rid of me lol, years earlier my big sister and her friend took me in my pram to the village shop and when they returned home my mum asked where I was, they had forgotton me and I was still lying in my pram outside the shop.
That is strange NL,

As a young child my mother once left me outside a butchers shop ( in my pram) she had been home an hour - she always maintains - before she realised something was wrong (lack of noise, perhaps?) and then came to retrieve me.

Her excuse? married to an RN Officer - they'd been to a party at HMS Dryad the night before and as a result were blurry of responsibilities.
Apparently I was quite happy looking at the tiles cladding the outside of the butchers shop that depicted various animals, etc.

No damge done and a nice family story to tell the grand-children at Christmas. :-)
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 22:38
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Not just me, but several others too. It was during the Cuba crisis. All the YS2s had been loaded so now onto the conventional stuff. Imagine a fuzing shed with a full Vulcan load waiting to be armed, three 7 store carriers, that's 21000lb of bombs. I was ordered to gauge the detonator pockets prior to inserting the dets and fitting the fuze. The gauge was simply a calibrated brass rod to check the pocket was clear. Fresh out of training, I'd not done this before, so when the gauge didn't reach the proper depth I gave it an extra push. You are probably ahead of me now. And yes indeed, the dets were already installed and I had been pushing against the cap. A harder shove and the bomb would have gone off and most likely the other 20 would have joined in. I didn't find out how it came to be the dets were already in, I was too shaken at the realization of what I had nearly done.
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 22:55
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Originally Posted by Slow Biker View Post
Not just me, but several others too. It was during the Cuba crisis. All the YS2s had been loaded so now onto the conventional stuff. Imagine a fuzing shed with a full Vulcan load waiting to be armed, three 7 store carriers, that's 21000lb of bombs. I was ordered to gauge the detonator pockets prior to inserting the dets and fitting the fuze. The gauge was simply a calibrated brass rod to check the pocket was clear. Fresh out of training, I'd not done this before, so when the gauge didn't reach the proper depth I gave it an extra push. You are probably ahead of me now. And yes indeed, the dets were already installed and I had been pushing against the cap. A harder shove and the bomb would have gone off and most likely the other 20 would have joined in. I didn't find out how it came to be the dets were already in, I was too shaken at the realization of what I had nearly done.
Another almost mirror, one of the guys on our Squadron was getting ready for our detachment to Deci and was prepping the pack up, he was carrying a cardboard box full of practice bombs across the apron when the bottom fell out of it resulting in practice bombs bouncing nose first off the apron around his feet... Shell shocked comes to mind.


Auxtank
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Old 5th Nov 2019, 23:29
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Years ago, working on the roof of a house, three storeys up, assisting with the installation of a large solar panel. The roof tiles were covered with lot of moss/lichen. The moss/lichen crumbled as I put my foot on it and I slid all the way down on my hands and knees until I was stopped by the cast iron guttering (thankfully not plastic). Nervous laughs all round.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 00:38
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Not at work - but 6,000 feet ASL at Mt Hutt in NZ in late 20s.
Brother and myself foolishly skied past closed signs - and rapidly discovered why the signs were there.
Slope would have been the upper end of 40 degrees - cold, hard and icy, falling away steeply to the snowline and then the Rakaia River over a mile below.
Screaming north west wind, with minute airborne particles of ice sandpapering your face.
I was sh!tting myself - one fall or slip and we would have been history - and thought "this is where we die."
We got down - god knows how.
Stupidity of youth.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 02:48
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Originally Posted by 11Fan View Post
Jeez Gordy, you're supposed to put them out.....
That was the irony of the whole thing---I called the Cal Fire station and told them right as they were "toned out". Flew the aircraft over to their base and spoke to the 2 tanker and 1 helicopter pilot before I flew it back to my base. (I had worked with all of them many times---it cost me beers...).

Incidentally, I was grounded by PG & E for 3 days in order to do 2 hours re-current training on powerline patrols and then the huge investigation etc....Some of their procedures are being changed moving forward.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 02:58
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When I was 12, I accompanied my friend into a train tunnel.

He assured me that there were alcoves in the tunnel walls where we could brace ourselves if a train came through. Then we heard the tracks transmitting the clicking sounds of an approaching train. Then we saw the train appear at the far end of the tunnel and felt the air pressure increase.

We just made it to an alcove in time before the train roared past. Luckily, neither of us tripped over.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 08:13
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Made News at Ten one night (it was a while ago) when we went head to head with one of our company Boeings over Dean Cross (DCS). We took avoiding action.
When I asked the other guy what he did when we flashed past, he said “ I ducked”.

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