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PHI Crash in Louisiana Jan 2009 - 8 Dead, 1 Injured

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PHI Crash in Louisiana Jan 2009 - 8 Dead, 1 Injured

Old 2nd Mar 2009, 12:36
  #281 (permalink)  
 
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Sox,

There was no intent to "limit" the companies....as I also asked whether Sikorsky might also have some data gleaned from reports from Operators.

I broke out Bristow and Air Log as though they are all part of one big happy family they are quite distinctly different in the locales they operate in and the regulations and SOP's they adhere to are quite different despite their being in the same "family".

It does make one wonder why an engine found at the bottom of a fast flowing river that had hit the water at a high rate of knots could have bird feathers and other residue and the 76 that hit on muddy ground and had not been submerged in moving water did not.

I wonder what the explanation for that might be?

I too have heard of a previous incident of a bird strike at PHI where an engine lever got knocked back.

I wonder what kind of wind screen was installed on that one? (....and what it was replaced by!)
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 14:38
  #282 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Birds and SSLs

I have an old buddy who's a bit of a short-arse but by crikey he's proven to be an agile chap around his S61/Sea King cockpit. The first occasion was when his CoP shut the No1 Fuel Valve instead of the cross-feed sitting in hover at 40 feet with the dangly bits listening for Russian subs. With lightning reactions he got to the Fuel Valve before the donkey stopped. By all accounts his arms were'nt quite long enough to beat the sh** out of his (now cowering) cojo. I think they changed the design of the crossfeed switch after that one.

A more relevent occasion was when a duck came through the centre pane of the windshield and took both SSLs back, his agility and speedy reactions saved the day again. You know what they say,,,, if it can happen then one day it will!!

G


Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 2nd Mar 2009 at 14:51.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 20:12
  #283 (permalink)  
 
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SASless, the reason may be that the birds entered the engine of the airliner, while they apparently didn't enter the engine of the S76. They were producing power at impact, according to the NTSB. Those on the airliner weren't, which is why it went into the Hudson River. It's much harder for something to get into an S76 engine than a pure jet engine, because of the design differences. Not impossible, but harder.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 20:51
  #284 (permalink)  
 
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I'm quite sure that SAS did not refer to the engines in his comment, rather to the cockpit environment, just for clarity.
The A-320 entered the water at a very smooth 150kts GS (great airmanship), friction with water being quite higher than with air, yet the NTSB/SNECMA/CFM were able to find consistent "organic" remains inside the engines and nacelles.
The S-76 apparently impacted the shallow water from 700' (?) with almost no forward velocity vector and was not even completely submerged.
99% of bird strikes involving windshield/chin bubbles failures have a considerable amount of gory/bloody/feathery stuff in the cockpit and do not require a CSI style investigation (of the type so visible on TV these days) to determine there was such an impact.
Just recently there was a bird strike reported on a 139 radome, and even though the bird did not actually penetrate the internal liner there were very visible remains, aircraft was @ cruise speed.

Last edited by tottigol; 2nd Mar 2009 at 21:05.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 21:03
  #285 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps, but that's the way I read it. If I'm wrong, I apologize.

I think it's entirely possible for a large bird to hit the windshield at or near the center post, knock in the windshields, and bounce off without entering the cockpit. The windshields can do a lot of damage inside by themselves. I have zero personal knowledge of what happened, but I see no reason to believe that the bird could not have possibly bounced off instead of coming in. Just because something usually happens, it's not proof that it always happens.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 21:22
  #286 (permalink)  
 
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A second photograph of the accident scene...very similar to that released by the USCG shortly after the crash.

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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 03:04
  #287 (permalink)  
 
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Gomer, Having reviewed literally hundreds of films and photos of bird strike tests, I think your "bounce" theory is for the birds. Seriously, the damage is created when the object forces itself in, and in doing so, deforms the structure. The penetration is not performed by force particles once the object has bounced off the structure.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 08:45
  #288 (permalink)  
 
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The incident I had a couple weeks ago was nearly identical the the PHI incident with the exception that I saw the hawk and, after a quick pull, hit it just forward of the windshield.

They don't bounce, they disintegrate, just like a big beetle.

The liquid bird was spread from the skytrac antenna, up the windshield, and all over the head. Only the bony bits stuck in windshield wiper (broken) were recognizable as bird.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 16:13
  #289 (permalink)  
 
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With reference to the limitations of cast and stretched acrylic windshields as opposed to the glass ones, an internal memo is limiting VNEs on those '76s with stretched acrylic windshields to 123 KTAS, and 109 KTAS for those with cast acrylic windshields.
No speed limitations are imposed to those aircraft with glass windshields.
Following Sikorsky's bulletin regarding impact resistance speed limitations, was this bulletin just a recent afterthought or were those widely known limitations?
And if so who elected to take a shortcut on safety by not accordingly imposing airspeed limitations when replacing windshields?

Of course all this stands based on the validity of the bird strike theory.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 23:10
  #290 (permalink)  
 
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S76 and Jar ops, configuring aircraft for sale, glass windshields and the bird

Hey there JimL,
Jim is right about eye off the ball, but it didnít have anything to do with how the operator specíd the aircraft. The 76s does not have all the digital outputs to provide input to the FDR that JAR OPS 3 requires in the 2004 rule. As for dropping the ball well yes my recollection is that it was finally brought to the Sikorsky sales team attention by a very astute manager in Red Hill trying to convince a customer to use the 76 in the Southern North Sea.

As for the Bristow aircraft yes they were specíd in the USA, mostly in my office and in New Iberia. Bristow/Air log, (it was actually OLOG at the time as this was 2002), specíd the 76s with the intent that they would cross both Atlantic and Pacific. I note again it was 2002 before the JAR OPS 3 rule, but in the middle of the ruling discussion, still no excuse. Sikorsky and the customer did put a lot of thought on the proper kit to add/delete so the aircraft could go to different business units. Hence Iíll answer part of another question posed on this site, the Bristow C+ and ++s delivered since 2002 were delivered with glass windshields. Canít comment on what as occurred since but I understand they do remain that way.

Jim is also right about working to a solution and (I will say I am completely out of the loop with Sikorsky now) that is how the camera solution came about. Due to lack of digital outputs required, donít know which ones though.

I understand the D model with a new cockpit and flight control system will fix this issue.

And since this is a rumor network I will say one rumor I heard from reliable sources: the team sent in for the initial recovery did not have bio hazard suits so they sanitized the accident site. Only a rumor but does explain the delay in identifying the birdís remains.
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Old 4th Mar 2009, 01:19
  #291 (permalink)  
 
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Why would having Bio Suits not be a standard procedure?

One would assume contamination of the scene as well as protecting investigators would necessitate the use of such garb.

Boudreaux...get that hose and pump going....wash'er down good now ya hear!
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 00:54
  #292 (permalink)  
 
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I have followed this discussion with great interest and I'm in awe of the technical expertise of many here on PPRuNe. However, when it comes to SASless' depiction of PHI's corporate culture:

A collateral issue for PHI if examined closely by an attorney for the plaintiffs is the hard nosed...take it or leave management attitude that prevailed/prevails at PHI. Common talk amongst the pilots has long been the quickest way to find yourself looking for a job is to make any kind of noise that challenges the way business is done. No matter what PHI management wants to say about that, it is bound to carry over to the safety program and safety environment within the operation.
I'm going to have to call shenanigans. Maybe you're describing PHI circa 1985 there, not the company as it is now. PHI pilots challenge the way business is done -and loudly- every day of the week. Just like any pilot group anywhere they are by nature not inclined to remain quiet when their lives or livelihood are at stake. And while the safety department sometimes seems somewhat removed from the daily goings-on on the work floor they are pretty easy to find when needed. We have as good a safety culture as any company, that is to say, far from perfect but pretty decent nonetheless.
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 03:53
  #293 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry Rev, but I've spent quite sometime @ PHI Amelia and Boothville in the last four or so weeks (different color aircraft) and I can confirm SAS interpretation.
I also have several friends and colleagues working for PHI and their opinions coincide.
Perhaps is different in HEMS (I believe that's where you are flying).

The safety concept has always been very strong in the Pilots' group but somehow teeters on the way up.
Of course the official position differs.
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 13:44
  #294 (permalink)  
 
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Truck Vs Bird

We even have issues with birds hitting cars over here.

Eagle survives crash through truck windshield
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 15:39
  #295 (permalink)  
 
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In another life while taking a break from flying helicopters....I had invested some money in a Sawmill Plant in Washington State. Rather than take shares in the business I opted for rights of first refusal on all of their trucking with a thought I might wind up running six to eight big rigs hauling wood chips and sawdust. With that concept in mind and knowing how much truckers are like helicopter pilots I felt the need to be able to drive a big rig and went to work for an outfit driving one of theirs. (Shows how smart I can be when I am doing my "best" thinking!)

One afternoon heading south into California with a 40,000 pounds of Bog Rolls, I encountered a flock of large birds on the side of the highway....in an area known for the large number of wild turkeys that were prospering there.

The flock took off from the right side of the roadway and flew up diagonally across the front of the truck....all but the last one. He did a beautiful face plant square in the center of the radiator grill of the truck and hit with a heck of a wallop.

I pulled over at the first chance to check the damage....and it was considerable...lots of chrome missing, bent, and twisted about. I managed to recover one big feather amongst the other debris.

When I reported by SatCom to maintenance my need for a shop visit and the parts I would need...I got a return message that accused me of hunting turkey out of season. I assured them it was not a turkey.

When I pulled into the shop a few hours later....I was still being ragged about turkey hunting out of season, killing one of my relatives, and when I insisted it was not a turkey I was told I did not know Jack about identifying wild fowl indigenous to the locale. I continued to insist it was not a Turkey.

They continued to impugn my mental compentency and lack of truthfulness and described their evaluation of my general worth in view of my refusal to accept the truth of the matter at hand.

That is until I pulled out about a four foot long Peacock tail plume!
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 16:21
  #296 (permalink)  
 
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tottigol, I know you and SAS are talking to your friends at PHI and I know there's lots of grumbling and griping about the company going on at sessions like that (heck I spent all of last evening talking trash about Company X, one of our competitors here in the GOM, with a friend of mine who is one of their employees -their Chief Pilot!).

But there's a difference between people grumbling about how their suggestions are never heeded and how the company only pays lip service to safety (stuff almost any pilot can say about their employer) and SAS's assertion that people within PHI are afraid to speak up about issues (the implication being safety issues) for fear of losing their job. That characterization is patently false. Period.
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 16:41
  #297 (permalink)  
 
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Rev,

If during these "discussions" we have with our PHI brethren....mine with a guy I have known since 1968, and who went to work for PHI upon leaving the Army and who has been there from day one of his commercial flying career, holds that view.....how can you say his perception based upon thirty years with the company is wrong...does not exist....and is without merit?

I posed the question.....if you recall my post.

I suggested the risk to an effective safety environment, caused by what we know in the industry as the "Bob Suggs School of Helicopter Management", had to be considered when asking how some safety related decisions are affected by management philosophy.

PHI has hollered about their amazing standards but I can assure you the way to failure in any endeavour is falling for the trap of believing your own propaganda.

I will give you a for instance to think about.

You remember the PHI method of moving the 206 Start Switch to the Cyclic stick.....so the pilot could always have his hands on the flight controls? Did you modify all of the other helicopters in the fleet as well?

My outfit purchased a used PHI 206 and discovered that interesting bit thinking....and kept it until the first maintenance in the shop and reverted to the Bell Standard layout. We found knees worked just as well as the PHI mod....and allowed two hands to control the start button and throttle vice a single hand. The worry on 206's was burning up engines on starts not having the rotor system flopping about the place.

You guys still fly around the GOM just before dark over cold water long distances off shore in single engine aircraft in the Winter and do not provide exposure suits to the crews.

I will bet you still not equip the pilot flotation vests with EPIRBS or Emergency Radio's....which is common kit for UK crews and has been since day one.

Excuse me if I sound like I think little of the PHI safety environment but it is based upon exposure to the UK system that for its faults is light years ahead of the GOM.
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 17:51
  #298 (permalink)  
 
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Bob Suggs has been gone for a long time. We just had our 60th anniversity.

I logged over 2,000 hours with the start switch on the cyclic switch and was very glad that it was there many days. Never had a hot start and Never scratched a tailboom it was in the correct place for operations in the Gulf.

How many hours offshore in the GOM do you have in a 206?

Glad your "outfit" was good enough to buy our Old retired aircraft nice to see our old aircraft go to secondary cut rate "outfits" that you flew for.

No-One uses exposure suits here in the GOM the water is quite warm even in winter and if it is not flying is restricted.

Most of the divers here under 100' rarely wear more than just basic gear for barnacles protection only.

I wished you would have bet money. We all have Epirbs, most customers vest all have epirbs, Aircraft have Sat tracking, and Aircraft Epirbs. but I am sure your slandrous remarks will continue.

On my job down here in the GOM I wear helmets,nomex,epirb,spare air and Anvis-9 goggles at night.

Glad your view of PHI is second hand as your flying is in second hand PHI aircraft.
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 17:54
  #299 (permalink)  
 
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My vest came standard with an EPIRB registered to me. It also included an exposure bag, the kind you would get into if you were in the water to heat up the trapped water next to your body. Not as good as an exposure suit, however is a full suit necessary in this environment?
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Old 5th Mar 2009, 18:09
  #300 (permalink)  
 
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Oh do you?
What customer other than MMS or the USCG requires helmets, not to mention NOMEX and NVGs?
I take it back, PHI apparently just started experimenting with the use of NVGs for night operations offshore by multicrew aircraft, that's why you wear the helmet, probably the nomex and personal air (we know you got plenty of that), but standard operations are not conducted like that.

And who said the water never gets cold below 57 or 50, we lost customers last year (to PHI of all companies, so much for their safety mentality) just because we stopped our single engines from operating in exactly those conditions.

Almost 1500 hours off shore in the GOM in the scooter (@ PHI), and I can tell you I hated every single one of them.

But we do get the EPIRBs and the "exposure bags" (even though nobody knows for sure how much of a surrogate they are for exposure suits).
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