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Merged: Pel-Air Westwind Ditching off NLK

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Merged: Pel-Air Westwind Ditching off NLK

Old 22nd Nov 2009, 10:49
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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In any case,the facts indicate that the "water landing" was inadvertent anyway.
Zeebee,

And what 'facts' are you referring to? Those reported on Today Tonight or ACA? Or those from PPRuNe or Crickey??

You seem to know the facts so why dont you share them.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 11:21
  #262 (permalink)  
 
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  1. Three people ended up in the water without life jackets
  2. The Airport Manager who launched to rescue them stated that he didn't know when the aircraft hit the water, or where it was when he launched the boat to find them (first hand radio interview)
  3. The husband in the back stated that there was no advanced warning of the aircraft hitting the water. (First hand radio interview)
  4. No Mayday was either received or acknowledged (multiple sources).


If there was any "decision" to ditch, and it wasn't just a case of striking the water while low and slow, stooging around looking for a hole in the weather, it was the worst "planned" ditching in history!

Last edited by Checkboard; 22nd Nov 2009 at 11:45.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 11:44
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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Sounds like the airport Manager was the real hero out of all of this! Where was the FO when all these bad decisions where being made...
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 11:45
  #264 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not an atorney but wouldn't section 2 of CAO 82.0 simply set out the 'interpretation' in so far as the CAO is concerned - a little like definitions and therefore only regulatory when applied to conditions. After all it does specify 'Interpretation" in the heading. The conditions for Charter are as stated under 3A headed "Conditions for passenger ...". There is a gulf between the term 'interpretation' and 'condition' in my opinion.

Obviously RPT would be specified in a more formal and specific document appended to the AOC or your operations manual. Same may be applicable to airwork, also referenced to the operations manual.

I would imagine that any regulator would cover his butt by requiring a charter operator to also deal with fuel issues under the operations manual but rely on 3A as a safety net pending operational surveillance and development of such manual.

Surely the operator and the managing or chief pilot would have an obligation to oversee any such operation and perhaps intervene if the mission is running outside the gambit of probability.

Little bit premature to hang the crew without fully considering the procedures they were attempting to comply with. You guys are hip shooters.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 11:46
  #265 (permalink)  
sru
 
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Two things,

1. They did a good job of ditching at the end ( intentional or not : all survived)

2. How did they get into that situation?

In today's "regulated sterile environment How does one learn? " Airman ship is a change in attitude brought about by Experience" .

Unfortunately the system now caters for the lowest common denominator. and as such "learning" or thinking outside the "box" is discouraged.

What ever happened to common sense and self preservation.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 12:02
  #266 (permalink)  
 
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Norfolk Hawk
as a person that lives here on Norfolk Island who watched all 3 missed approaches and listened to all the coms, and pretty well everything else
Can you shed some light on how events unfolded that night? I've heard reference to 3 approaches, but I've also seen a mention of 6 - can you confirm? Were comms difficult that night?

No doubt about it, putting the SAR boat through 3m waves through the gap in the reef is no mean feet in itself and should be recognised. As always though, it's the humble volunteers that save the day who go unrecognised by the media.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 12:06
  #267 (permalink)  
 
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Get Real People - accidents are not accidental!!

The Westwind 1124A is a 2200nm aircraft. It ditched after a 1440nm sector................why..............well I can assure you the good people at ATSB will get to to the bottom of this one (if they are properly funded)

Why did this happen to this jet and never before to other aircraft going to Norfolk Island or Christmas Island or Cocos Island or for matter of fact any other bloody place on the planet!!!!!

Globally, EMS aircraft, both FW and RW are experiencing many tragic accidents..........WHY?????

Was this a classic CFIT, was this poor judgement and decision making by the crew or was this poor safety oversight by the company or was this faulty weather reporting.......... or all the the above??

There is no such thing as an "accident"

Let us encourage the Federal Government to fund the investigation properly and eventually read a report that will educate people in the aviation industry and even others.

No proper investigation results in no proper findings!!!

We all know that accidents....expose huge deficiencies in what was considered a perfectly normal operation. Thats what the investigators are there for.................

Everybody, including the crew should be thankfull that all survived.

let the TRUTH prevail
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 12:26
  #268 (permalink)  
 
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mattgitau -
I wonder how many of you, put in the same situation, would have had the courage to make the ultimate command decision and ditch the aircraft
Aren't you missing the point here? The guy PUT himself, his aircraft and his pax, IN this position of needing to ditch, because of poor planning and a gung-ho atttitude. He never had a mechanical failure, the aircraft was airworthy at all times, as I understand, until the minute it hit the water.
IMO, he looks like Tom Cruise, and he thought he was playing Tom Cruise - but with pax aboard.
He's a BOLD pilot - and bold pilots make good fighter pilots, but don't often make good civvy pilots. His responsibility as a civvy pilot with pax, at all times, is to ensure that he takes no risks. He took a risk and lost. Luckily, it was only a jet he lost; next time, it might be a jet + pax.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 12:27
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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1. They did a good job of ditching at the end ( intentional or not : all survived)
There are two ways for them to "all survive" :
  1. A good ditching
  2. being very lucky.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 12:52
  #270 (permalink)  
sru
 
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Checkboard,

Agree, but what can we LEARN from this ? God forbid it happening to us, what then?



PS not talking about the act of ditching. r m p past point 2
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 12:57
  #271 (permalink)  
 
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A good ditching does always have an element of luck doesn't it? The fact that they all are alive is a great thing and the Cpt has obviously done a great job getting the aircraft on the water in one piece. The odds were significantly stacked against him. Night, poor wx, significant swell, maybe aircraft type too.

However lets hope at the end of this enquiry that the fuel regulations especially with regard to remote island opeartions are made far clearer!
Instigation of proper ditching training, not the fluffy box ticking crap that gets passed as training.

Great work to the locals who responded quickly at fetched them from the sea!!
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 14:03
  #272 (permalink)  
 
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I too have flown the Westwind, and done the leg from Apia to Norfolk, I have also done Apia to Noumea when the weather was bad.

The way I look at it weather the ditching was well done or good luck it is irrelevant, its like judging an entire flight on the landing.

lets look at the decision making.

1. choice of aerodrome - - on a day with alternate requirements on YSNF, and none on NWWW why use YSNF which has a VOR, and NDB or RNAV which none of the westwind crews are trained for (unless things have changed), instead of NWWW which has an ILS, VOR, NDB and no alternate requirements for the sake of an extra 100nm (not to mention air traffic control services and closer alternates)

2. Fuel - - I have seen on here reports of not taking full fuel, and have heard the same rumors from some friends linked to this. Why would you not take full fuel? we always used full fuel for flights in the pacific unless there was an operational reason not to.

3. Pre-flight briefing - - once again I have seen on here a report the CREW departed without weather or notams, and have heard from my friends they had difficulty getting weather and notams, no one can confirm whether they did or didnt have it but there is doubt over whether they had it, if this is true, Poor Command decision making, and lets not forget the FO who keeps being left out of this, They are a crew she should have also ensured they had everything before departing (this point may not be relevant if they did get weather and notams, being Apia he had better have signed for it or there is no record and ATSB will probably assume he didn't have it, and the met guys in Apia will say no signature he didn't get it to keep the spot light off them)

4. Situational Awareness during the flight - - The CREW either didnt get Metars on the way to YSNF, or didn't act on them - Why would any captain continue to a remote airfield that is showing metars with OVC cloud below the lowest Approach minimum if they knew they wouldnt have the fuel to miss out and divert?

5. As you go charts - - as mentioned by an earlier post pelair us to have as you go graphs which we always ran for flights in the pacific, or to other destinations with PNR, CP's and PSD's - - obviously one of these wasnt being done or the CREW would have noticed that the winds were stronger than forecast (as is being reported in the media now) and would have know a good estimate of how much fuel they would have on arrival as opposed to how much they needed, and would have given a good idea for a diversion.
( I have been in the same situation where winds have been substantially stronger than forecast and I diverted instead of swimming, and the weather wasnt below approach minimum, only alternate min but I still diverted to my alternate, but then again I am not a hero either)

6. the most worrying part of all, the ditching -- -- -- How the hell do you ditch an aircraft on purpose without first MAKING A MAYDAY CALL so search and rescue are launched before you hit the water, briefing the passengers, preparing the cabin (ie securing loose objects, fastening seatbelts for an impact and ensuring the rafts are in a position that is secure and will allow easy deployment) ensuring the passengers are wearing life jackets and know how and when to inflate them.

As with most people I am hearing all this info second hand but if any of the above points are true, I would not want to get in an aircraft with either of these pilots in control.

I am glad I am not a hero, I prefer being a Captain, or even a Crew member for that matter.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 18:36
  #273 (permalink)  
 
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A good ditching does always have an element of luck doesn't it? The fact that they all are alive is a great thing and the Cpt has obviously done a great job getting the aircraft on the water in one piece. The odds were significantly stacked against him. Night, poor wx, significant swell, maybe aircraft type too.
Luck???? Depends on the pilots skill and experience. If these are sadly lacking, then yes, luck plays a big part.
I would have thought that a Westwind fuselage would probably be the best one could have for ditching. I mean to say there is just a fairly round and smooth single hull to put onto the water. It is not impaired by, wings, engines, undercarriage. To me it would be the (near) perfect platform to conduct a "water landing".
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 19:37
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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YSNF Approaches

VH-NGA did 3 approaches to YSNF last Wednesday night.
2 x 11 VOR/DME approaches each followed by a Missed Approach,
then a 29 VOR/DME approach followed by a Missed Approach
After that nothing further was heard - No Mayday, No Pan.

Local news articles can be found at Norfolk Online
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 20:06
  #275 (permalink)  
 
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Can someone with some time on Westwinds so some sums for me?

Would it be safe to assume, that the aircraft had divert capability (to Noumea?) at or around TOPD, if not a bit later?

How much fuel would that involve? (I'd be guessing, a quite substantial amount, as in a couple of hours endurance?)

Would three approaches and misssed approaches burn that much fuel and his final fixed reserve? (I'd be guessing - no.)

So how much fuel would you be guessing was still in the tanks when the captain decided (that's IF he decided!!!) to put it down in the water?

Can anyone tell me what time passsed between the third missed approach and the time the aircraft alighted on the water?




If the information beginning to come to light now is accurate, (no pre-ditching briefing for the pax, life jackets not worn, no Mayday call or even a request for the boat to launch etc), I'd be guessing that we're looking at a very, VERY lucky outcome to what might have been an unmitigated disaster, and, amazing as it might seem to some, that the ditching might have been almost as much of a surprise to the pilots as it was to the passengers!!!

What did someone say earlier in the thread? Something along the lines that it's uncanny how often when the media hails a pilot as a hero immediately after the event, the final report brings out something very, very different?

For everyone's sake, I hope I'm really, really wrong in harbouring these suspicions.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 20:44
  #276 (permalink)  
 
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Spot on emu787 .

IMO the crew did things well that night and other things not so well - obviously. There was bad luck that night but alot of good luck.
Having worked for Pelair I fear for the two pilots involved. Painted as hero's last week, out in the cold this week, let's see.
IMO I think the pilots are to a degree a reflection of the culture of the company they work for. (some will disagree but it's reality) Legally and all that they arn't. I can't help but think decisions made on the night would'nt be that of a person who wasn't under some other pressure's. Hopefully this will also be investigated.
IMO Pelair do things well, but other things not so well - this I think is where the resulting investigation should eventually focus.
Shall be interesting to read what media statements (if any) are released this week.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 21:11
  #277 (permalink)  
 
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I know some of you guys will take a shot at this comment, but why does an aircraft of this nature in this day not have something like a G430/530? (actually a G495 hand held would be better, as it gives you a G/S and used in conjunction with the 430). Do they have radar altimeters in the W/W?

Few pages back a a couple of us suggested pushing the minima a little in "emergency" situations, well if you look at the offsets for a VOR approach they are far from runway aligned so no chance of pushing below, if they were only doing a DME arrival the minima is around 1200AGL .

Now look at a RNAV RWY11.......runway aligned.....with two pilots, split the worload and follw three degrees all the way......monitor your progress very carefully and chances are they would have been visual well before the runway. Sure beats the odds on ditching or stooging around in the dark and accidental ditching. Sure breaking a few rules, but far safer in my opinion.
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 21:17
  #278 (permalink)  
Silly Old Git
 
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How deep is the water?
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 22:04
  #279 (permalink)  
 
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Try this;
http://www.cmar.csiro.au/e-print/ope...h_Paper_31.pdf
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Old 22nd Nov 2009, 22:10
  #280 (permalink)  
 
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Zeebee,

And what 'facts' are you referring to? Those reported on Today Tonight or ACA? Or those from PPRuNe or Crickey??

You seem to know the facts so why dont you share them.
Thanks CheckerBoard for answering very succinctly in your following post.

Three people ended up in the water without life jackets
The Airport Manager who launched to rescue them stated that he didn't know when the aircraft hit the water, or where it was when he launched the boat to find them (first hand radio interview)
The husband in the back stated that there was no advanced warning of the aircraft hitting the water. (First hand radio interview)
No Mayday was either received or acknowledged (multiple sources).


Jabawocky wrote
Now look at a RNAV RWY11.......runway aligned.....with two pilots, split the worload and follw three degrees all the way......monitor your progress very carefully and chances are they would have been visual well before the runway. Sure beats the odds on ditching or stooging around in the dark and accidental ditching. Sure breaking a few rules, but far safer in my opinion.
Couldn't agree with you more. Even the VOR app would be preferable since the VOR is sited right near the threshold of RW11.
However, it would have been dicey as there is a cliff face not very far behind.
As many have pointed out, the splashdown was always preferable to trying to shift the cliff.

Beggar's choice really.
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