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Bell ditching off Newcastle

Old 14th Sep 2019, 00:53
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it"s also the current "practice" not to fly under the influence of mind altering medication Old chap, which after reading your last post you seem to be over using
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 02:45
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As someone else has pointed out UVC's fuel situation probably wasn't all that flash
Fuel load in a UH-1H is 1,400 lbs, fuel burn 550 lbs/hr, 100 knot cruise, if you wish to play with numbers.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 03:27
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Fuel load in a UH-1H is 1,400 lbs, fuel burn 550 lbs/hr, 100 knot cruise, if you wish to play with numbers.
Coffs to Bankstown direct is 242 nm. Nil wind point to point at say 4,000 ft would be around 2:45 hrs so you're not pulling that off on a tank. They had to have been heading into Williamtown for fuel.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 07:04
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Originally Posted by MickG0105 View Post
Coffs to Bankstown direct is 242 nm. Nil wind point to point at say 4,000 ft would be around 2:45 hrs so you're not pulling that off on a tank. They had to have been heading into Williamtown for fuel.
Or the Newcastle Regional Heliport
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 06:28
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It seems strange that this thread has gone rather quiet. Here is an image of the track down the coast. As you can see, it basically follows the VFR lane, then suddenly turns left, out to sea, at Anna Bay – the typical holding point. Surely someone on this site must know if it was being held. ? How about posting it?
Attached Files
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Huey helicopter2.pdf (289.8 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by Dick Smith; 24th Sep 2019 at 07:35.
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 07:00
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Whats it like downwind of the ranges there? Was a pretty wild day.
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 11:22
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Not logical

The pilot clearly negotiated the high headlands and resultant turbulence of Port Stephens without a problem. Anna bay is the start of the beach with lower terrain along The Stockton Bight

Holding at that location normally has to be over water making a left hand turn to start,

Good horizon ahead when going south because the Newcastle City lights.

Zero lights and horizon when turning out to sea!

Is this what killed them? 1930s ATC procedures and a refusal to follow the CASA instructions to put in Class D airspace?
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Old 24th Sep 2019, 13:01
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"Not logical"

Why?

"The pilot clearly negotiated the high headlands and resultant turbulence of Port Stephens without a problem."

Yes. Not talking about localised turbulence. Talking about mountain waves with rotors.(nb not helicopter rotors)

Great Dividing Range, not high headlands.

If you ever encounter one you will know what I am driving at.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...ve_turbulence/
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 04:51
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The VFR coastal lane is clearly for daylight use at 500’

Why wasn’t the pilot be given a clearance overhead Willy?

How do you visually track down the coast twisting and turning in total darkness?

Why would ATC give such a clearance?
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 05:04
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
The VFR coastal lane is clearly for daylight use at 500’

Why wasn’t the pilot be given a clearance overhead Willy?

How do you visually track down the coast twisting and turning in total darkness?

Why would ATC give such a clearance?
Refer post #1

"Reports of a Bell down off Newcastle.

Was on Base for 30 at Williamstown but appeared to have positioned for a ditching just off the sand dunes.

The weather is quite poor gusting 30 to 40."
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 05:44
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Others on this thread have queried where the helicopter was actually going, considering the fuel range. For those who think it could have been heading for Williamtown, here is a direct quote from the Newcastle Airport web page under “Itinerant Aircraft”
“Requests for private flights and General Aviation flights will not be considered in accordance with our operating agreement with RAAF Williamtown.”
So it is unlikely he was heading for Williamtown.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 05:55
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
The VFR coastal lane is clearly for daylight use at 500’

Why wasn’t the pilot be given a clearance overhead Willy?

How do you visually track down the coast twisting and turning in total darkness?

Why would ATC give such a clearance?
Dick, why would you accuse ATC of giving such a clearance without an iota of evidence to support your claim? Oh yes, to further your agenda.

You were one of my heroes when I was a kid - how time changes one's perception of people...
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 06:36
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
Others on this thread have queried where the helicopter was actually going, considering the fuel range. For those who think it could have been heading for Williamtown, here is a direct quote from the Newcastle Airport web page under “Itinerant Aircraft” So it is unlikely he was heading for Williamtown.
If UVC had indicated it was under any form of distress (not saying they did), or simply unable to proceed VFR etc - NAPL and ATC wouldve had no problem with the aircraft landing there.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 07:00
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"Good horizon ahead when going south because the Newcastle City lights.

Zero lights and horizon when turning out to sea!"



More than one window to look out of too.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 07:55
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Darwin. I am glad I am no longer your hero!

I am just a normal person.

I am am not blaming an individual ATC.

My numerous comments about the 1950s procedures they use at Willy are directed to those in charge.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 07:58
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Currawong. Why would a helicopter be flying a fixed wing circuit way out over a dark ocean at night?
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 08:17
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
Currawong. Why would a helicopter be flying a fixed wing circuit way out over a dark ocean at night?
Why would any aircraft be flying in the coastal route (a route thats only available by day as you said) after LL?

The level, tracking and reported intentions of the aircraft all suggest that UVC was not operating under a coastal clearance and its various requirements.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 08:38
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
Currawong. Why would a helicopter be flying a fixed wing circuit way out over a dark ocean at night?
Not sure it is that.

But a turn away from terrain in less than ideal wx might mean something. Did you read the link I provided?

Full credit to you, Mr Smith, for trying to do something positive for the industry. Not sure this is the thread for it.

But there is plenty of room for improvement.

While you are about it maybe look into these ridiculous A4 paper licenses and why WAC charts don't have airspace marked.

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Old 25th Sep 2019, 08:51
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Maggie. I agree with you. It is all very strange.

Lets hope there here will be lessons learnt to help prevent similar accidents.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 13:22
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Well it seems that the national media has lost interest in Australia's worst civilian helicopter crash in nearly three decades. Turns out that after being deployed to assist with the search Navy mine hunter HMAS Huon found submerged wreckage four days ago, very soon after arriving on site. Coverage by the local TV station NBN here.
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