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Bell ditching off Newcastle

Old 9th Sep 2019, 07:51
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Dick Iím still a tad confused if they were going to NTL or not. The flight info I saw at the time of posting which was not long after the event, was it was stopping in NTL, this info appears to be gone from online sites. Others are saying it wasnít stopping. Some are saying it was. Then came reports that they were speaking to the Tower about ditching. This information is somewhat vague and unconfirmed. I understand the media are not getting answers to these basic communication questions out of the Air Force.

The tracking somewhat navigating away from the dunes for a planned ditching lined up with that ditching statement but it appears more likely a loss of control in gusty, wet and miserable IFR conditions I think. Pilot inexperience in such conditions? Well it certainly has not flown much this year.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 10:28
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I don't believe for a second there would have been any intention to turn away from land and ditch the helicopter at sea at night in bad weather, especially a helicopter not fitted with emergency flotation, nor probably equipped with life rafts or life jackets. The survivability of that scenario is zero.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 11:35
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How far off-shore was it found?

Seems amazing that a SAR aircraft spotted the tail-rotor sinking!

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Old 9th Sep 2019, 11:50
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Actually, if the tail rotor had separated from the drive train, they tend to float for quite some time.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 15:28
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post
How far off-shore was it found?


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Old 10th Sep 2019, 00:14
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Surprise surprise that a certain someone is here with a torch and pitchfork to blame the RAAF.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 00:31
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BOM data from Nobbys Head showed 91kmh (49kt) gusts at 2022 EST - just 2 hours after the aircraft disappeared.

What was the wind at 1815?
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 00:46
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Originally Posted by junior.VH-LFA View Post
Surprise surprise that a certain someone is here with a torch and pitchfork to blame the RAAF.
He's not the only one, have you been through willy much in a GA aircraft Junior?
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 01:37
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Junior. No surprise. Just commonsense.

It is is well known that the RAAF Willy ATCs are often forced to keep VFR aircraft holding at Anna Bay.

This is primarily caused by 1950s procedures that have never been updated!

I wonder why the secrecy about the radio calls?
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 02:28
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I'm sure Willy ATC wouldn't hold any civil aircraft that had declared an emergency, especially if reports of discussing ditching are true.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 04:08
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
Junior. No surprise. Just commonsense.

It is is well known that the RAAF Willy ATCs are often forced to keep VFR aircraft holding at Anna Bay.

This is primarily caused by 1950s procedures that have never been updated!

I wonder why the secrecy about the radio calls?
Hypothetically, lets assume that the aircraft was required to hold due ATC, please Dick enlighten me, how that could cause an aircraft to crash or how that would even relate to the aircraft's loss. You know as well as anyone that had an emergency been declared, there would have been ZERO requirement to hold. Is it not a reasonable expectation that if you're flying and haven't declared that you're anything other than operations normal that you should be able to comply with ATC restrictions/requirements? If you'd been asked to hold and had an abnormal situation, what would you have done? Comply with the clearance, or do the A part of ANCA?

For interests sake, at 1815L at Willy there would have been zero fast jet movements. If there was a delay it would likely have been caused by RPT traffic.

Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

Thoughts are with the pilot and pax, whatever it was it sounds like it wasn't a lot of fun.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 05:07
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The delay is not ‘caused’ by aircraft inbound to or outbound from Willy, military or otherwise.

The delay is caused by 1950s procedures that still treat an aircraft miles away from the extended centreline of the Willy runway, at 500’ AGL, as being a material risk to aircraft inbound to or outbound from Willy (military or otherwise).

Someone give me the probabilities of an aircraft inbound or outbound from Willy colliding with an aircraft at 500’ over Stockton Beach.

Hopefully someone will pipe up and say: “Even if it’s a vanishingly remote risk, it can be mitigated by making people hold over 10 nautical miles away”, thus proving the point.

Last edited by Lead Balloon; 10th Sep 2019 at 05:44.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 05:26
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I think some people might be reluctant to declare an emergency for fear of the wrath of CASA and the inevitable following non compliance and enforcement action.
Sad but just look at the Glen Buckley thread to see what people fear.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 08:40
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If the clearance limit was Anna Bay the pilot would have most likely had the lights of Newcastle ahead when flying south.
A left turn out over the ocean to hold would result in no visible horizon while in the turn!
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 09:38
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
If the clearance limit was Anna Bay the pilot would have most likely had the lights of Newcastle ahead when flying south.
A left turn out over the ocean to hold would result in no visible horizon while in the turn!




Then declare a pan or declare those intentions due to WX. Don't inadvertently fly into IMC for the sake of not breaching a clearance. ATC, even the RAAF ones, exist to facilitate you and keep you safe. If that was a concern the pilot had, why not say that? ATC is not responsible for knowing when you've reached your limit to operate the aircraft in the category you're flying under. That's your job as the pilot. All they can do is apply the rules they have with the category you've agreed to fly under.

None of this is to say the way the airspace is managed is perfect, I don't think anyone thinks it is, I note the current AIC SUP reference WLM's airspace (https://www.airservicesaustralia.com...up/a19-h40.pdf). But what you're doing right now is drawing a massive bow, and pre emptively laying blame at people who likely had nothing to do with the tragedy that took place here.

And I have flown through WLM in a GA single, it was a total pain in the ass. I agree itís not done well, I just donít think itís relevant to whatís occurred here.

Last edited by junior.VH-LFA; 10th Sep 2019 at 10:05.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 10:03
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It’s not about the people implementing 1950s procedures.

It’s about the people in this Galapagos who insist that the 1950s procedures are justified.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 13:13
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I heard and saw this aircraft fly over my house early Friday, heading south. It was so noisy I went outside for a look. I remember thinking "Who still flies an olive drab Huey?" Sadly, now I know.
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Old 10th Sep 2019, 13:28
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No mistaking that beautiful sound, on a good day you'll hear him coming 10 miles out. But once he's past overhead the beautiful sound won't last long.
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 00:39
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
Junior. No surprise. Just commonsense.

It is is well known that the RAAF Willy ATCs are often forced to keep VFR aircraft holding at Anna Bay.
If Willy ATC had required UVC to hold at Anna Bay why was he turning left? I was taught that right turns were standard for holding patterns unless directed otherwise. Common sense would dictate that if he was required to hold he would have been turning right, wouldn't it?
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Old 11th Sep 2019, 00:50
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At low level he wouldn’t have necessarily had time to broadcast anything. My guess anyway is that no tapes will be forthcoming, given the craven behaviour of ATSB.
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