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Bell ditching off Newcastle

Old 25th Sep 2019, 20:25
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The aircraft was stuck out there for a reason, and that reason is ATC. My guess is that the tapes will be unintelligible or disappear.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 22:10
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
The aircraft was stuck out there for a reason, and that reason is ATC. My guess is that the tapes will be unintelligible or disappear.
I’m glad you aren’t a cop or Magistrate Sunfish. You don’t even need evidence to close a case and convict!
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 23:13
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
The aircraft was stuck out there for a reason, and that reason is ATC. My guess is that the tapes will be unintelligible or disappear.
Day VFR helicopter in potential IMC after last light and it’s all ATC’s fault because you THINK they were asked to enter a hold?

Yep, can’t argue with that.
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 23:55
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......Then let’s ask the question: what was the helicopter doing offshore? Fishing? Why would anyone put an aircraft over water without a compelling reason? The aircraft ditched into water, unless I am totally mistaken, solid land would be more attractive.

If that is true then unless the pilot was stupid then he was over water because he had been directed to fly over water by ATC or I grant you, if he was following the official VFR Corridor on the VTC which shouldn’t be over water anyway. In either case AsA bears responsibility for both this and the Mooney crash.

I am sick to death of this practice of forcing light aircraft to accept unnecessary risk for the convenience of AsA and RAAF and perhaps coastal nimby scum. U.S. experience has been that much closer separation standards are allowable with minimal risk increase.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 00:28
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
I am sick to death of this practice of forcing light aircraft to accept unnecessary risk for the convenience of AsA and RAAF and perhaps coastal nimby scum. U.S. experience has been that much closer separation standards are allowable with minimal risk increase.
Sunfish, please name us two, or possibly just start with one instance where you have been personally forced to accept necessary risk for the convenience of ASA and or the RAAF. Then name all the other instances of the other occurrences that you are “sick to death of.” Include anything other than MDX.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 01:38
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
......Then let’s ask the question: what was the helicopter doing offshore? Fishing? Why would anyone put an aircraft over water without a compelling reason? The aircraft ditched into water, unless I am totally mistaken, solid land would be more attractive.
The reason for the crash and the result (loss of all on board) might not in any way shape or form be related to whether it was over water or land, and whether or not it was pilot choice or ATC instruction to be over one or the other.

There’s nothing inherently dangerous about “being over water”. Different outcome if things go wrong maybe, but not always.
Serious question, as I don’t know the answer- how many people have been killed in aircraft/heli crashes into the water compared to into land?
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 01:56
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Sunny, ultimately it is the pilot that must take responsibility for unnecessary risk. This guy could well have refused the direction if indeed such a direction was issued. The more poignant question is: Was what the hell was he thinking of; piloting an ancient piece of dung only suited to day VFR on good days, after last light, in shitty weather, with 5 innocent passengers on board? I mean WTF. I know they did all this stuff in Hueys "back in Nam" but that was 50 odd years ago. The machine was a relic from a bygone era.
There is no blame whatsoever on Willy Tower that I can see no matter what they said.

The issue of an over regulated piece of airspace is a seperate issue from this prang. I am so sad it happened.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 02:27
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Originally Posted by Squawk7700 View Post


Sunfish, please name us two, or possibly just start with one instance where you have been personally forced to accept necessary risk for the convenience of ASA and or the RAAF. Then name all the other instances of the other occurrences that you are “sick to death of.” Include anything other than MDX.
Try using the northern VFR corridor out of Melbourne with a cloud cap at 2000ft or less and traffic of necessity head on at the same altitude. You can’t go further “right” if you are traveling north because of terrain. ....and thanks to GPS and waypoints, the traffic is right on your nose. As for the rest, ask Dick Smith.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 03:02
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Originally Posted by Car RAMROD View Post
Serious question, as I don’t know the answer- how many people have been killed in aircraft/heli crashes into the water compared to into land?
A quick and dirty scan of helicopter accidents in Australia over the past 20 years shows a total 58 fatal flying accidents (I excluded an on the ground rotor strike accident) for a total of 100 fatalities. 52 of those accidents (87 fatalities) were over land, six (13 fatalities) were over water. That's just the base data, no analysis, no conclusions.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 04:30
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Latest NSW Police report - underwater wreckage positively identified, some human remains and debris recovered yesterday aftenoon. Very sad for all concerned.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 12:58
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From news.com.au today:

The 1966 Bell UH1 left Archerfield and stopped at Coffs Harbour Airport about 4pm to refuel before heading for Bankstown Airport.

But strong westerly winds were reported to have swept it across the east coast with a cold front, and aviation experts said the lack of a mayday call in the extreme conditions might have made Mr Kerr become disorientated.

The pilot’s last communication was a request to travel higher because of a strong tailwind.

In a heartbreaking text to his daughter, Mr Ogden sent her a photo saying, “halfway there, look at the beautiful red sun” while they were refuelling.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 13:57
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Aviation reporting...

Usual standard.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 14:52
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Originally Posted by Aussie Bob View Post
Sunny, ultimately it is the pilot that must take responsibility for unnecessary risk. This guy could well have refused the direction if indeed such a direction was issued. The more poignant question is: Was what the hell was he thinking of; piloting an ancient piece of dung only suited to day VFR on good days, after last light, in shitty weather, with 5 innocent passengers on board? I mean WTF. I know they did all this stuff in Hueys "back in Nam" but that was 50 odd years ago. The machine was a relic from a bygone era.
There is no blame whatsoever on Willy Tower that I can see no matter what they said.

The issue of an over regulated piece of airspace is a seperate issue from this prang. I am so sad it happened.
Aussie Bob, I couldn’t agree with you more.

Some are blaming Willy for holding him at Anna Bay, maybe one of the issues here?. As I keep alluding to the weather was atrocious, blowing dust,gusting 48kts at night with a front approaching, in a old aircraft with seemingly basic instruments.

If he was “planning “ a NVFR flight do you think he would be flying coastal or tracking via Taree on the airway at lowest safe ?

Re fuel at Coffs, punching into a headwind could also be a factor.

Ive transited Willy day and night for 20 years and never had any issues.





Last edited by belly tank; 27th Sep 2019 at 22:58.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 20:48
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Originally Posted by MickG0105 View Post
..... That's just the base data, no analysis, no conclusions.
Thanks Mick. I know the numbers don’t mean much, but I just didn’t like the inference that just because they were over water (“because ATC put them there”, an agenda) is inherently dangerous.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 22:35
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I’ve transited Willy day and night for 20 years and never had any issues.
Commercial ops or private?
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 22:50
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon View Post
Commercial ops or private?
All commercial.
Its been 6 years since however as I’m flying offshore these days.

I used to be based in the Willy region and had a good working relationship with them so that may have helped.
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 21:22
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Originally Posted by belly tank View Post


All commercial.
Its been 6 years since however as I’m flying offshore these days.

I used to be based in the Willy region and had a good working relationship with them so that may have helped.
Thank you.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 09:05
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Originally Posted by belly tank View Post


Aussie Bob, I couldn’t agree with you more.

Some are blaming Willy for holding him at Anna Bay, maybe one of the issues here?. As I keep alluding to the weather was atrocious, blowing dust,gusting 48kts at night with a front approaching, in a old aircraft with seemingly basic instruments.

If he was “planning “ a NVFR flight do you think he would be flying coastal or tracking via Taree on the airway at lowest safe ?

Re fuel at Coffs, punching into a headwind could also be a factor.

Ive transited Willy day and night for 20 years and never had any issues.
The wind hammering from the SW would seem to indicate the front had already passed. Don't think IMC was an issue either. Windy and rough? Extremely.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 23:13
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IMC? The smoke coming from SW dropped vis , plenty of sea spray as well. Bad time to be airborne after sunset in those conditions.
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 06:43
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
IMC? The smoke coming from SW dropped vis , plenty of sea spray as well. Bad time to be airborne after sunset in those conditions.
With all due respect.

1/ There was a sunset, so not really IMC - “halfway there, look at the beautiful red sun”

2/ Strong SW. Sea spray heading? Out to sea, obscuring what? The sea after dark.

3/ Smoke and dust? Yes. However temper that with the fact that piece of coast is also one of the most lit up areas in the country.

Maybe the investigation will shed more light. The information available at this time does not quite stack up for me.
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