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DHC Beaver down in Hawkesbury

Old 21st Dec 2018, 02:34
  #301 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,493
Some months ago there was a prominent member of an aviation organization getting around sprouting that there was a photo on the front passengersí camera that showed the pilot slumped over the controls. I canít help but think that the new shareholder got wind of this. Said photo doesnít appear in the ATSB report. I wonder how on earth this rumour got started!

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Old 21st Dec 2018, 06:22
  #302 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 60
It also depends if the right side rudder pedals were operational.
When I was last in VH-NOO they were.
In fact I cannot remember a Beaver that had them removed, disabled or stowed.

A little amusing segue, if that's okay. This Beaver was once with Seaplane Safaris. Chief pilot was S.A. He was walking down the pontoon at Rose Bay, about to do a check on a new recruit. Reaching the end of the deck he suddenly pushed the unsuspecting bugger in. Then threw him a life jacket, saying put that on if you can. Well the near drowned rat clambered straight out in a fury, saying WTF did you do that? Answer - Because CAsA did it to me last week.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 10:04
  #303 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sunshine Coast
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by lucille View Post
It will be interesting to see what they can infer from all of this. There are many plausible yet unprovable scenarios that this will have to remain an open finding.
Yes, I suspect that will be the case. The 'pax ko's pilot' hypothesis has never held water to my mind. We know that the accident aircraft executed a normal take-off to the north-east from the Cottage Point end of Cowan Creek and then made a what appears to be controlled right turn into Jerusalem Bay, then flew in a controlled fashion for about one kilometre before commencing a steep right turn. The aircraft's nose dropped in the course of that turn and it crashed nearly vertically into the water.

So at what point was the pilot incapacitated? Before the aircraft made the turn into Jerusalem Bay? If so, it is astounding that the aircraft turned right and then flew for a further kilometre before banking steeply into a right turn. And how exactly was this knock out blow accidentally delivered? An elbow to pilot's head? While the Beaver is not a particular spacious aircraft there is a good 30-40 centimetres shoulder-to-shoulder separation between the two front occupants. The maximum extension of someone's elbow from their shoulder is about one sixth of their height. Importantly, the maximum extension occurs when the elbow is extended horizontally; in other words, when it is oriented towards the other occupant's shoulder. Raising the elbow to orient it towards the other occupants head shortens the horizontal extension by about 15 per cent (it varies depending on the height difference between the two occupants). While both Cousins and his eldest son were stocky fellows they weren't particularly tall. I just can't see how one of them could have elbowed the pilot's head.

Could someone have biffed the pilot with the camera? The Canon EOS 40D is not a particularly bulky camera (the body weighs in at around 750g). Based on the photo in the interim report it looks like it's fitted with the bog standard 50mm EF lens. It's hard to see how a passenger could have inadvertently clocked the pilot with that. When it comes to the myriad ways in which an aircraft can accidentally come to grief, it's best to never say never, however, that theory just doesn't appear to be plausible.

What I'm more interested in is:

1. Why was the track offset to the left rather than down the middle of Cowan Creek per Sydney Seaplanes' recommended flight paths from the Authorised Landing Area register?

2. Why did the sequence of photographs stop shortly after the right turn over Little Shark Rock Point started?

I'm wondering if the left offset was to accommodate the pax's photography out the right hand side? Was the 'plan' to execute an orbit over Little Shark Rock Point to further accommodate photography?

This is pure speculation but I'm wondering if the pax inadvertently dropped the camera shortly after that turn started. A dropped camera, a bit of shuffling around to retrieve it, pilot temporarily distracted and head down for a moment and then head up and temporarily disoriented and he's rolled out of the turn into the wrong bay. I'd argue that is a more likely sequence than the knock out. And it certainly wouldn't be the first time something like that has caused some grief on a flight.

Any old how, absent a CVR I suspect that we'll never get to the bottom of this one, as lucille has opined, the findings will be largely speculative I think.

Last edited by MickG0105; 21st Dec 2018 at 10:06. Reason: Format tidy up
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 18:09
  #304 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 24
[Seems like this site does not respect BB Codes so I'll revert to posting an image]

For what it is worth I have done some calculations on the data given in the interim report, Table 1. These give the ground speed and track between the Lat/Long positions over time. There are a number of wind estimates given in the report, I have used a wind of 15kt/025 to calculate the airspeed and heading from the ground speed and track.
The error terms are based on the photo time resolution of one second. So a gap of, say, 10 seconds between photographs will actually be somewhere between 9 and 11 seconds. There will be other uncertainties as well, not accounted for here.

The first column is the photograph number pairs given in the interim report, Table 1. Numbers 409 and 411 are missing from the sequence.

Image as [code] is not rendered properly on this site.

I don't know anything about DHC-2 operations but perhaps someone here could elaborate on whether these speeds and
rates of climb are typical, and at what power settings, given the aircraft was at, or very close to, MTOW.
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Old 21st Dec 2018, 18:54
  #305 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: OZ
Posts: 1

After take off it looks like the pilot planned to stay to the left of Cowan Creek to facilitate a turn back towards Cottage Point. Why, to shorten his track miles back to Long Reef and Rose Bay climbing out down Coal and Candle Creek and or to allow the front seat passenger with the camera to take some overhead photos of Cottage Point the place they just had a very nice lunch.
In the turn the pilot miss identified Jerusalem Bay for the main river. Even after spending a lot of time in the area this is still possible to do, as at low level the forks in the river at different spots can look similar. The very experienced pilot has then found himself in the middle of a boxed bay somewhat heavy at low level with a 10 to 15 knot tail wind and simply stalled in the turn with no chance of recovery.

A fact the ATSB has not mentioned is that this very experienced and comportant pilot
had an unfortunate and serious landing accident at Rose Bay in the company C-208 just a few days before the accident in question. (Four months to repair) Why mention this, maybe it was playing on his mind at the time rather than the job in hand.

We will most likely never know.

Last edited by Wandering giant; 21st Dec 2018 at 22:02.
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Old 22nd Dec 2018, 05:56
  #306 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: australia
Posts: 1,297
Sunny jest?
Actually you DO need an AOC to take photographs from an aircraft. Reg 206 re commercial activities .....Photography
CAsA Prosecutor, not under oath..." NO person can take a photograph from an Aircraft in Australia with out a CPL and an AOC"
Too bad if your profession and income happened to be derived from photography
Thats CAsA for ya...any old BS will do.!

Expect a new reg to be promulgated soon...
' No person sitting next to the pilot in command may use a camera / iPhone/ iPad or any image making device in the cockpit of an Australian registered aircraft.' This is an offence of strict liability 50 pp ($10K)

Most folk wont buy the camera KO scenario... but CAsA probably will.. There might just be a teeny weeny possibility so we/casa will need to eliminate that "risk"
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 06:24
  #307 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,493
I was near Cottage Point today heading north and witnessed a Beaver taking off. My god the climb rate is so low, be it due to normal performance or reduced power takeoffs! The terrain all starts to look the same from the lower levels and it comes as absolutely no surprise that the pilot may have kept going straight ahead by accident into Jerusalem Bay and not veered left back towards Cottage Point, particularly if you hadnít done that maneuver a few times before. Itís all very deceiving and all the bays start to look the same.
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