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Mount Disappointment helicopter crash 31/3/2022

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Mount Disappointment helicopter crash 31/3/2022

Old 2nd Apr 2022, 22:40
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I’d like to know why they “decided” to fly across the biggest hill in the worst weather? Asking for trouble.
Can’t a Helicopter slow to a crawl and heavens forbid hover and turn around if they can’t see forward to avoid the hard stuff?
It's hardly ever that simple, unfortunately. Depending on weight and DA you may not even be able to hover out of ground effect sometimes, in which case forward airspeed needs to be maintained.

You also need to be able to see to hover (unless the machine is fitted with sophisticated equipment), so if you're trying to pick a way around low cloud in the hills and valleys, even at a slow crawl, it's a terrible situation to be in. Inadvertent IMC would be bad enough at low level over flat terrain in terms of maintaining control, but among the hills, even a max angle climb on instruments (assuming the helicopter was equipped and the pilot trained and ready for it) would be a lottery to miss the ground until you were above LSALT.

Even if you did happen to have a state of the art aircraft with autohover as per the modern EMS machines, it might be able to hold you in one spot, but I very much doubt it could get you safely out of a clagged in valley with high terrain all around (although I stand to be corrected, haven't flown these types).
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 10:52
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Old 3rd Apr 2022, 23:05
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Well the saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. The "What Happened" section of the report is on that video. This accident would have to be unique in that two helicopters on the same charter, in the same weather and on the same flight path (most of the way) end up with two very different outcomes.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 01:30
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lookleft View Post
Well the saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. The "What Happened" section of the report is on that video. This accident would have to be unique in that two helicopters on the same charter, in the same weather and on the same flight path (most of the way) end up with two very different outcomes.
If the radar information is correct, the final 16 seconds of the flight give a descent rate of slightly over 4,000 feet per minute. Iím not familiar with the descent rate of said machine in an auto-rotation event, however Iím led to believe it should be around 2,000fpm, which puts things into perspective.
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Old 4th Apr 2022, 04:23
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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I fail to understand why the aircraft was anywhere near Mt Disappointment in what appears may have been marginal weather at best. Newspaper reports allege that Batman Park was the pickup point and Ulupna was the destination.

A direct track between those points runs parallel to the Hume Freeway leaving Wallan and Wandong about a mile to the West and Mt Disappointment about four miles East when abeam. Such a track avoids the high forested parts of the Divide but it does traverse Melbourne controlled Airspace out to about Kalkallo.

One way the track might have intersected the Mt Disappointment area is if the helicopters planned to avoid controlled airspace or didn't receive a clearance through it and tracked East to say, Viewbank before turning North and tracking direct to Ulupna for reasons of time and economy instead of following the VFR corridor, which they must have crossed. that would have taken them to the Kilmore gap and relatively safer terrain afterwards.

However this is just speculation.
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Old 5th Apr 2022, 13:18
  #46 (permalink)  
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Can you please elaborate, I’m not sure what you mean? Are they harder to see?
The white tree trunks become invisible against low cloud.
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Old 5th Apr 2022, 22:01
  #47 (permalink)  
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Old 16th Apr 2022, 23:36
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arm out the window View Post
It's hardly ever that simple, unfortunately. Depending on weight and DA you may not even be able to hover out of ground effect sometimes, in which case forward airspeed needs to be maintained.

You also need to be able to see to hover (unless the machine is fitted with sophisticated equipment), so if you're trying to pick a way around low cloud in the hills and valleys, even at a slow crawl, it's a terrible situation to be in. Inadvertent IMC would be bad enough at low level over flat terrain in terms of maintaining control, but among the hills, even a max angle climb on instruments (assuming the helicopter was equipped and the pilot trained and ready for it) would be a lottery to miss the ground until you were above LSALT.

Even if you did happen to have a state of the art aircraft with autohover as per the modern EMS machines, it might be able to hold you in one spot, but I very much doubt it could get you safely out of a clagged in valley with high terrain all around (although I stand to be corrected, haven't flown these types).
Indeed.
Quite similar to the Kobe Bryant accident scenario it seems.
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Old 22nd Apr 2022, 09:28
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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I always thought the scud running route was to follow the highway until you get through the Kilmore gap and get to the flat farming terrain. I wonder if they were following the GPS route which would have had them to the east of that track? Very sad.
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Old 22nd Apr 2022, 09:59
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Scud running is unacceptable and extremely dangerous for all the obvious reasons, even with the best equiped aircraft and the most experienced pilots. Who gives a shit about the regulations, this kind of flying will kill you.

I speak from experience and I was lucky enough to survive on many occasions scud running and pushing the limits in rubbish weather, sometimes in VFR aeroplanes. Was I stupid, YES! Itís called experience. However Iíve lost good mates who have done the same and met their final fate! All in PNG.

Food for thought peopleÖ.

Last edited by Duck Pilot; 22nd Apr 2022 at 10:23.
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Old 23rd Apr 2022, 09:18
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Yes very true……..can’t wait for the report.
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Old 24th Apr 2022, 01:38
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I have to agree with Duck Pilot.

I only did scud running over the mountains once and eventually had to divert to an airport (YCWR) in the opposite direction to where I was wanting to go (YSCN).

As the terrain was getting higher the cloud was getting lower, and daylight was fading earlier than expected. I knew I'd wandered off track and wasn't sure where I was.

If there hadn't been an airport nearby with a VOR and PAL I probably wouldn't have survived that very steep learning curve.

Fortunately I had a NVFR rating (but no CIR).
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Old 26th Apr 2022, 13:21
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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I agree but if you are doing one or the other you cannot combine the two. If you are staying VFR always leave a back door to get out and don't be too proud to divert. I was just wondering if this may have been a VFR flight using instruments/GPS. My only reason for thinking this was I laid a ruler onto a map from the departure point to the destination which put him over the higher ground. The article posted in WA did not ring true to me and I just thought that I would throw the the idea out there (with no real knowledge of the event).
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Old 26th Apr 2022, 22:22
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Originally Posted by jmcg22 View Post
I agree but if you are doing one or the other you cannot combine the two. If you are staying VFR always leave a back door to get out and don't be too proud to divert. I was just wondering if this may have been a VFR flight using instruments/GPS. My only reason for thinking this was I laid a ruler onto a map from the departure point to the destination which put him over the higher ground. The article posted in WA did not ring true to me and I just thought that I would throw the the idea out there (with no real knowledge of the event).
You can safely assume it was a VFR flight.
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Old 27th Apr 2022, 00:09
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Pretty sure a few early press report had quotes along the lines of "did not emerge from low cloud, so the preceding turned to search for it" which most likely sums up what happened. While engine failure is still a possibility or other mechanical failure, the early comments all drive at they were dancing around low cloud. Low cloud, flat light, white dead ghost gums, all adds up to a nasty suprise that even if they were visual operating at low level would carry extreme risk. If they were IFR they needed to be another 1500-2000 ft higher to be anywhere near a LSA. The vid from the US where the Bonanza hit a tree in IMC while scudding is testament to how little warning you have, they were lucky to survive, it really should be available for pilots to watch repeatedly as to why you don't go into even the smallest whisp of cloud at low level.

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Old 27th Apr 2022, 00:36
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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The radar clip posted above shows the sequence of events. The first one turns back, the second continues and the first one goes back again via a slightly different route and makes it through.
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Old 27th Apr 2022, 02:03
  #57 (permalink)  
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I frightened the living bejezus out of myself on more than one occasion as a young buck while winter flying west over the mountains from Bankstown/Camden. It's very hard to put older heads on younger shoulders without having the odd fright along the way ....

There will always be some VFR scud running activity. One very simple rule has stood the test of time. This was hammered into my skull during CPL training, especially if you fancy running up a valley. If you can't see the clear on the far side, with whatever depth margin you want, turn around/divert. Right then .... no ifs, buts, maybes.

The daughter of one of my parents' closest family friends lost her son and his mate when they didn't follow that simple rule doing the same sort of flight that I and many others have done in the same area .... The sad thing in that prang was that both of the kids survived, although injured, got out of the wreckage, but died in the following day or two. Flight plans and beacons have a lot to recommend for getting out of strife.
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Old 27th Apr 2022, 03:44
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The sad thing in that prang was that both of the kids survived, although injured, got out of the wreckage, but died in the following day or two
Tragic, and another 4 or 5 people killed in a crash looking for them if I recall?
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Old 27th Apr 2022, 09:44
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Tragic, and another 4 or 5 people killed in a crash looking for them if I recall?

Not that I recall but it was quite a few years ago, now, so the brain cells may be a tad remiss ?
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Old 27th Apr 2022, 12:38
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Originally Posted by tossbag View Post
Tragic, and another 4 or 5 people killed in a crash looking for them if I recall?
youíre thinking of the Cessna 152 / 210 accidents out of Camden. The one referred to here is the Trinidad out of Bankstown.
the Trinidad was fitted with an ELT, it was burnt in the fire following the accident. Both crew managed to escape with some burns, but didnít survive long enough to be rescued.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/24241/ASOR199303121.pdf

Last edited by roundsounds; 27th Apr 2022 at 12:52.
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