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Helicopter a joke, claims navy sailor

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Helicopter a joke, claims navy sailor

Old 11th Apr 2005, 04:05
  #1 (permalink)  
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Helicopter a joke, claims navy sailor

Helicopter a joke, claims navy sailor
By NICK BUTTERLY in Canberra
CREW of the HMAS Kanimbla regarded the Sea King that crashed on Nias killing nine people a joke because its flights were repeatedly cancelled, a navy sailor has claimed.

The unidentified male sailor told a television station yesterday morning that five out of every seven flights by the helicopter based on the ship were scrubbed because of mechanical problems. "A normal rate, if they had scheduled flights, one a day, five out of those seven would be cancelled," he said.

"It was a bit of a joke throughout the ship regarding when they were going to fly, if they were going to fly."

The Sea King crashed during an earthquake mercy mission on the island of Nias on April 2, killing nine Australian Defence Force personnel – one the military's biggest losses of life since the Vietnam war. The navy has grounded all its Sea King helicopters until investigations into the cause of the disaster are complete.

Prime Minister John Howard, Chief of Defence General Peter Cosgrove and Labor opposition leader Kim Beazley have defended the helicopters' airworthiness, saying that as long as it was properly maintained, the Sea King was a reliable aircraft.

Senior Defence officials have also dismissed suggestions the Sea King had fallen behind in safety checks.

The ADF refused to respond to the anonymous sailor's comments, saying only that anyone with information about the incident should submit it to the official crash inquiry board, not leak it to the press.

Just got this from The Advertiser.... which part of "“There is a fine line between speculation and apportioning blame before the investigation is completed. Suggestions of pilot error, maintenance error or other organisation failures, such as supervision or fatigue are in very bad taste. This distresses the Next of Kin awaiting the return of the bodies of their loved ones. It also causes distress with all those involved with the helicopter’s operation. I have seen first hand what poor reporting in the media and malicious rumour mongering can do to those left behind in other accidents. We must await the official findings and then say what has to be said (if anything) – this is only fair to all.” (quote taken from Rob Rich) do these people not understand!!!!!!

Please leave it alone until the facts are brought to light.
redrotorhead is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2005, 11:16
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The ADF refused to respond to the anonymous sailor's comments, saying only that anyone with information about the incident should submit it to the official crash inquiry board, not leak it to the press.

Perhaps this particular "anonymous" sailor neglected to read the following from CN.

OBLIGATIONS FROM REFERENCE B (the sailor in question will understand this reference)
Bzulu is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2005, 13:01
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Sea King's Flight Data Recorder Parameters

But would they be able to recognize that it was VRS from the Sea King's flight data recorder?

30 to 35 year old flight data recorder.

Maybe not enough recorded parameters.
OVERTALK is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2005, 15:54
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Overtalk, What?? Does none of the above in any way not result in inhibition in speculating? Apt name.
212man is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2005, 16:38
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When we read of an accident/incident/crash..don't we all ask ourselves..."wonder what happened....why did they do that....what was the weather...how many passengers....where was his fuel....all sorts of questions like that. I do...I know any self respecting helicopter pilot does...we are afterall most importantly human and thus have that innate curiousity within us. That is part of our learning....and should be.

Done the right way, with due care and consideration for other's sensitivities, can we not ask these kinds of questions on a public forum?

At some point...as credible information is developed...speculation will be acceptable...at what point is it permissible to ask questions?

We feel free to quiz others about the S-92 MGB oil pumps....and very darn few of us have even seen a 92 much less will ever fly one thus why is that much different than talking about the crash of a 40 year old helicopter.

We can mourn our lost friends and fellow aircrew but at the same time maintain a professional decorum about our natural curiousity as to the causes of the tragedy.

Until you know the facts it would follow making statements as to the cause would be quite premature and thus out of line.

If I should leave here because of an accident....I surely hope one person learns something out of it that prevents him from making the same mistake I did or suffering the same mechanical failure that got me. The only way for that to happen is for all those kinds of questions to be asked. Sometimes accident reports do not tell the whole story....and it takes someone asking the right questions to bring the full truth out on a crash.

One man's opinion.
SASless is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2005, 21:49
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FDR is a (relatively) recent addition, certainly not 30 years old. Maybe a read of the opening post about "speculation" would be in order before posting?

This press release from the Department of Defence was issued yesterday:


In relation to media speculation over the weekend regarding Navy Sea Kings, Defence would like to advise the following:

The two Sea King aircraft embarked on-board HMAS KANIMBLA had a mission availability of about 90 percent during the ship's employment in Indonesian waters on Operation Sumatra Assist I and II. This is an exceptionally good performance rate for marine-based helicopters.

Much of the other 10 per cent was scheduled, routine maintenance.

The Sea Kings are maintained exceptionally well by Navy under the management of the 817 Squadron at Nowra by highly trained and certified technicians.

As recently as 9th March 2005, an independent Airworthiness Board found that the aircraft were being operated, maintained and supported appropriately.

Navy urges anyone who believes they have relevant information regarding Sea Kings to present it for consideration to Defence Airworthiness authorities."
John Eacott is offline  
Old 11th Apr 2005, 23:01
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It is important to ask questions!!

SASless I completely agree with your thoughts on asking questions about accidents but surely these questions must be asked only after sufficient information is available?!?!?!?

If a repeat of this accident is preventable then every possible avenue of the cause must be explored and questions asked about every possible aspect......however it should be done after the initial report into the accident (or similar, etc.) is released and the cold, hard facts are put into the public arena.

The NOK are going through enough right now without the seeds of doubt being sown about the safety of the aircraft and this "navy sailor"is obviously trying to make this incident about them and attract attention which I certainly would not label "professional"!

As for the comments made I am positive that if this particular aircraft was as unreliable as this "navy sailor"is making out it surely would not have been assigned to carry our head of state in January of this year.

I will of course be interested in the report when it does shed some light on this incident so that we can all learn from it, whatever it contains.
redrotorhead is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2005, 01:03
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All the comments seem to be about the age of the 61, namely 30 years or so. Some comment about the maintainance.
However I haven't seen any comment about how many hours the 61 had; surely this matters.
There are plenty of low & high time old machines around, but which performs better? Low or high time?
Nigel Osborn is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2005, 01:18
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Nigel me old son....ye knowst that we old dogs perform the best...the maintenance workload might be a bit more than the young fire breathing youngun's but old age and treachery surely win out every time, eh?
SASless is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2005, 07:25
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Don't really see that asking a simple question about the capabilities of an apparently aged FDR is being speculative.... particularly not on a non-condolences thread.

I've been, as a pilot, to two wars matey and seens lots of death. I tend not to get all tied up in knots over asking why people die in non-combat related scenarios. But that's not what I've done above. Just asked a simple question. I couldn't care less about the entreaties in Navy or Air Force press releases or the annoying continuous squawks by the pontificaters here about "not speculating".

I've been a Flight Safety Officer and investigated accidents. I have a strongly developed sense of inquiry that contrasts with the ostrich-like head-in-sand: "Let's wait" brigade. Discussion about technical and flight-safety aspects of accidents is healthy. I'm sure that there are many young and not so young "once were tyros" that wouldn't be around now but for some of the collective wisdom they've gleaned by reading PPRuNe.

Reminds me of when GF072 went down and I suggested, as soon as the scenario was out, that it was the "pitch-up illusion". I had all sorts of people totally perplexed, including Chief pilots who'd never heard of it. Guess what it turned out to be?

So there is virtue in asking questions - although I agree that there's also an indefinable line between that and uninformed speculation.
OVERTALK is offline  
Old 12th Apr 2005, 19:35
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Surely no properly maintained helicopter is 'an old helicopter'? Every vital (and not so vital) component is lifed, so apart from main fuselage structures (and they are inspected/repaired) the rest of it will only be a few hundred or thousand hours old??
oldbeefer is offline  
Old 13th Apr 2005, 01:06
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With the amount of these threads in the past, I always expect the "speculation" discussioin to rear it's head...again and again....and this thread will do nought to stop it in the future.

Personally, I believe there should always be two threads for these sort of incidents, and the moderators could help be ensure that they are named clearly. One for the expressions of sorrow and support because many of us wish to add condolences and express kinship and sorrow to those left behind. The other is for specualtion, and there are two reasons for that:

1. Someone will always want to speculate. It is a given, so lets remove those comments from any thread that expresses condolences so that the families and those emotionally close to the incident do not have to look at them if they do not want to upset themselves.

2. Objective Speculation can be healthy and can bring about a whole raft of issues to explore and learn from, not just those dry issues that turn up in the final report, which are sometimes controversial and innaccurate anyway. Also, I think we tend to foget about the incident well beforte the final report, and thus rarely discuss and learn from the official outcome anyway. Think the Black Hawk engine failure in the mountains, the 412 Vs the photographer, the B105 Vs the bridge, or the A109 and the engine overspeed during live long line rescue training.

So heliport and pedal stop: how about naming this thread "Speculation discussion", and dividing the future threads up so we can avoid this endless should we or shouldnt we after each incident?
helmet fire is offline  
Old 13th Apr 2005, 03:20
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Further speculation and rumour suggests that
"Capton Wiring"might have had something to do with this accident.
Max Dover is offline  

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