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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 27th Nov 2010, 20:23
  #341 (permalink)  
 
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In the three years the JHSAT looked at there were over 500 helicopter accidents in the NTSB database.

If you look at the actual ICAO Annex 13 reports the NTSB has published there are just nine, between Aug 2001 and August 2009 (so only 0.6% of helicopter accidents get a full report in the US):

Title: Aircraft Accident Report: Midair Collision Over Hudson River, Piper PA-32R-300, N71MC, and Eurocopter AS350BA, N401LH, Near Hoboken, New Jersey, August 8, 2009
NTSB Report Number: AAR-10-05, adopted on 9/14/2010

Title: Aircraft Accident Report: Crash During Approach to Landing of Maryland State Police Aerospatiale SA365N1, N92MD, District Heights, Maryland, September 27, 2008
NTSB Report Number: AAR-09-07, adopted on 10/27/2009

Title: Aircraft Accident Report: Midair Collision of Electronic News Gathering Helicopters KTVK-TV, Eurocopter AS350B2, N613TV, and U.S. Helicopters, Inc., Eurocopter AS350B2, N215TV Phoenix, Arizona July 27, 2007
NTSB Report Number: AAR-09-02, adopted on 1/28/2009

Title: Aviation Accident Brief: Crash into Potomac River, LifeNet, Inc., Eurocopter EC-135 P2, N136LN, Oxon Hill, Maryland, January 10, 2005
NTSB Report Number: AAB-07-04, adopted on 12/4/2007

Title: Aircraft Accident Brief: Crash of Sundance Helicopters, Inc., Aerospatiale AS350BA, N270SH, Near Grand Canyon West Airport, Arizona, September 20, 2003
NTSB Report Number: AAB-07-03, adopted on 10/30/2007

Title: Aviation Accident Report: Weather Encounter and Subsequent Collision into Terrain, Bali Hai Helicopter Tours, Inc., Bell 206B, N16849, Kalaheo, Hawaii, September 24, 2004
NTSB Report Number: AAR-07-03, adopted on 2/13/2007

Title: Aircraft Accident Brief: Weather Encounter and Subsequent Crash into the Pacific Ocean, Heli-USA Airways, Inc., Aerospatiale AS350BA, N355NT, Haena, Hawaii, September 23, 2005
NTSB Report Number: AAB-07-01, adopted on 3/5/2007

Title: Aircraft Accident Report: Controlled Flight into Terrain, Era Aviation, Sikorsky S-76A++, N579EH, Gulf of Mexico About 70 Nautical Miles South-Southeast of Scholes International Airport, Galveston, Texas, March 23, 2004
NTSB Report Number: AAR-06-02, adopted on 3/7/2006

Title: Aircraft Accident Brief: Uncontrolled Descent and Impact with Terrain, Eurocopter AS350-B2 Helicopter, N169PA, Meadview, Arizona, August 10, 2001 NTSB Report Number: AAB-04-02, adopted on 6/3/2004


The JHSAT approach has pulled some common themes together, but apart from highlighting the failings of the NTSB, the JHSAT conclusions have very little credibility.
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Old 28th Nov 2010, 13:34
  #342 (permalink)  
 
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Agree that NTSB reports can be a mixed bag. I've seen some very good reports based on thorough research, and others that jumped to the wrong conclusion completely.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 23:07
  #343 (permalink)  
 
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It seems that offshore workers are not as inportant as firefighters.

http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/338...ml#post6098206

I hear the USCG/USAF ARCC underperformed in a major way after the S-76 accident.
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Old 3rd Nov 2011, 22:10
  #344 (permalink)  
 
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Sikorsky have settles some of the claims but are still in dispute with PHI.

The manufacturer of a helicopter that crashed in Louisiana in 2009, killing eight people, has agreed to settlements with families of several crash victims who sued the company and had a trial set for next month, plaintiffs' attorneys said Thursday.

Stratford, Conn.-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has reached agreements with relatives of six victims who died and with the crash's lone survivor, according to the plaintiffs' lawyers. Many of those cases were resolved during a settlement conference Monday.

Paul Sterbcow, a lawyer for crash survivor Steven Yelton, said financial terms are confidential. Yelton suffered a serious brain injury in the crash and lives at a rehabilitation facility in Covington.

"We settled for an amount that will ensure Steven is fully taken care of, in terms of his custodial needs, for the rest of his life," Sterbcow said. "It's highly unlikely that he will ever live on his own again."

A federal trial in New Orleans was scheduled to start Nov. 7 for relatives' claims against Sikorsky, but Sterbcow said the trial won't be necessary if the company settles remaining claims. Other relatives' claims against Sikorsky are pending in Alabama and Texas and would be tried separately from the cases before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans.

"We've settled the majority of cases and expect to settle the few remainders prior to the next scheduled court date," Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson said in a statement Thursday.

Investigators concluded a bird struck the Sikorsky S-76 before it crashed about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans on Jan. 4, 2009, killing both pilots and six passengers. The helicopter had been carrying workers to a Shell Oil Co. platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Investigators found the remains of a Red-tailed hawk on the remnants of the pilot's side windshield. They also found bird feathers under a windscreen seal and in an engine.

Victims' relatives also sued helicopter owner PHI Inc. and windshield maker Aeronautical Accessories Inc. in New Orleans, but those claims already have been settled.

In August, PHI asked a federal magistrate to sanction Sikorsky for allegedly hiding a damning internal report to conceal its liability. PHI claims Sikorsky withheld the report by one of its lead engineers because his analysis concluded Sikorsky's faulty design caused its helicopter to crash near Morgan City.

PHI said it wouldn't have paid as much last year to settle plaintiffs' claims if it had seen the report beforehand. The magistrate hasn't ruled on PHI's request for a court order requiring Sikorsky to reimburse PHI for 80 percent of its settlement payments to plaintiffs.

According to plaintiffs' attorneys, Sikorsky has settled with Yelton, who lived in Floresville, Texas, at the time of the crash, and with relatives of one pilot and five passengers who died: Andrew Mauricio, of Morgan City, La.; Allen Boudreaux Jr., of Amelia, La.; Jorey A. Rivero, of Bridge City, La.; Randy Tarpley, of Jonesville, La.; Charles W. Nelson, of Pensacola, Fla.; and Vyarl Martin, of Hurst, Texas.

"It's been a long process, but I think all the parties are satisfied that this has come to a just and reasonable resolution," said John Denenea, a lawyer for Rivero's widow.

Martin and Thomas Ballenger, of Eufaula, Ala.; were the PHI pilots who died. The other passenger killed was Ezequiel Cantu, of Morgan City.

A lawsuit over Cantu's death is pending in a Texas state court. Chris Glover, a lawyer for Ballenger's family, said a lawsuit over his death is scheduled to be tried in December in an Alabama federal court. Glover said he has had settlement talks with Sikorsky, but not recently.
Sikorsky Corp. settles several claims over 2009 helicopter crash in Louisiana that killed 8 | The Republic


From August:
Helicopter maker accused of hiding report on crash

MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press
Updated 08:42 a.m., Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The owner of a helicopter that crashed in Louisiana in 2009, killing eight people, is asking a federal court to sanction the aircraft's manufacturer for allegedly hiding a damning internal report to conceal its liability.

In a court filing last Friday, PHI Inc. claims Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. withheld a report by one of its lead engineers because his analysis concluded Sikorsky's faulty design caused its helicopter to crash near Morgan City.

PHI is seeking court-ordered monetary sanctions against Sikorsky, which faces a federal trial in November for a batch of consolidated lawsuits filed by relatives of crash victims.

PHI says it wouldn't have paid as much last year to settle plaintiffs' claims if it had seen Wonsub Kim's report beforehand.

"Sikorsky hid the existence of Dr. Kim's analysis because it was not helpful to Sikorsky. In fact, Dr. Kim's analysis undermines Sikorsky's entire defense," PHI attorneys wrote.

Sikorsky spokesman Paul Jackson said in an email that the company "strongly" denies PHI's allegation and is prepared to "defend against it strenuously." Jackson wouldn't comment beyond that statement.

Investigators concluded a bird struck the Sikorsky S-76 before it crashed about 100 miles southwest of New Orleans on Jan. 4, 2009, killing both pilots and six passengers and injuring a lone survivor. The helicopter had been carrying workers to a Shell Oil Co. platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Investigators found the remains of a Red-tailed hawk on the remnants of the pilot's side windshield. They also found bird feathers under a windscreen seal and in an engine.

PHI says Sikorsky has claimed PHI was responsible for the crash because it replaced the helicopter's original glass windshield with a plastic one that allowed the bird to penetrate the windshield and disable its throttle controls.
PHI, however, says Kim's November 2009 report shows Sikorsky's faulty design of the helicopter's canopy and throttle quadrant caused the crash. Kim concluded the windshield doesn't fail when a bird strikes a Sikorsky S-76 exactly where it did in this case, PHI says.

"Instead, the bird strikes causes the canopy to fail 'substantially,' which causes the throttles to disengage, turning off the engines, and leading to the crash just seventeen seconds later," PHI lawyers wrote.

PHI claims Sikorsky intentionally kept Kim and his analysis hidden before it turned over his report on March 14, 2011. A plaintiffs' attorney, Paul Sterbcow, said they learned of the report's existence while questioning a witness in February 2011.

To support its allegations, PHI cited an email exchange between Sikorsky official Phillip Potts, Kim and his boss, Michael Urban, in late 2009. In his email, according to PHI, Potts said the analysis wasn't complete even though Kim had signed his final report.

"Your stated conclusion related to the windscreen cracking is wrong!" Potts wrote.

"I strongly disagree with the reviewer's comments," Urban replied. "The statement that the results are wrong implies that a given result is known or desired. I cannot directly alter the results only the inputs and (accept) the outcome."
Helicopter maker accused of hiding report on crash - Houston Chronicle
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 00:07
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http://www.mscsoftware.com/Submitted...orsky_A4_w.pdf

The same Michael Urban has been working on a project to eliminate 'expensive' bird strike tests.
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 02:12
  #346 (permalink)  
 
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Zalt,

Their next AHS paper should be very interesting. Maybe they can get Linda (don't worry about a hole in the Columiba's wing) Ham to coauthor the section on risk management.

The Sultan
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 02:37
  #347 (permalink)  
 
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One of the other interesting facts about that crash investigation is the wreckage was pressure washed to clean it up for the investigators. I am surprised at there being any bird goo left for them to find. Must be they used a cheap washer!
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 02:55
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What's ECL?

Sorry but I don't know, and didn't find the meaning here.

thanks
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 03:11
  #349 (permalink)  
 
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Apart from the two different spellings of Sikorsky and the referral to the S-92 the "Helibus", a nomenclature which is no longer used in Sikorsky, I would not be at all convinced of the integrity of analysis and modelling over empirical test data.

Didn't MSC Dytran peer review or proof read this before release? I hope the software is better than the the brochure.
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 03:46
  #350 (permalink)  
 
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Soave Pilot - ECL = Engine Control lever. Throttle, or Speed Select lever as Eurocopter call it.


Instead, the bird strikes causes the canopy to fail 'substantially,
Surely that's the point - it DIDN'T fail substantially. that's why it took so long to establish the cause (hindered by most of teh bird remains having been washed off.) the ECLs were displaced by the shock transmittal through the frame and assisted by worn triggers.
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 17:28
  #351 (permalink)  
 
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It is amazing how poor the NTSB's procedures are if they destroyed key evidence by pressure washing. The fact they choose not to reveal that in their report also calls into question their own integrity and commitment to improving.

Surely that's the point - it DIDN'T fail substantially. that's why it took so long to establish the cause
I disagree 212man on two counts. Firstly it is more likely they spent too long looking for other reasons for a dual engine failure first and secondly, the damage was pretty substantial (see the photos in the public docket - and remember these are reconstructed windscreens).

I would not be at all convinced of the integrity of analysis and modelling over empirical test data.
Considering Sikorsky's past, very dubious record, of self-serving analyses (S-92 MGB failure analysis in particular) I also doubt their use of analysis in place of a test.
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Old 4th Nov 2011, 18:22
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I'm not sure about you, but I'm confident that the reference in the title block on page 1 to a "Hellcopter" is completely correct.

I am, however, amused by the testing they brag of conducting cheaply on the "Tall rotor" and "Tall cover".

They seem to have realized that test costs are considerably lower on imaginary parts, and have apparently applied the concept to some effect in their marketing material.

When they did the reverse, in applying imaginary test results to real parts, in this case ballistic armor applied in the vicinity of the pilot and co-pilot seats in the UH-60, the US government has no such amusement. Sikorsky paid $2.9M to settle the matter.
Failure to test armor costs $1.2M - Connecticut Post
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Old 5th Nov 2011, 11:24
  #353 (permalink)  
 
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More marketing BS.
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Old 10th Nov 2011, 19:42
  #354 (permalink)  
 
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This report to EASA argues that the regulators should consider increasing the impact kinetic energy tested for Part 29 large rotorcraft certification to reduce the proportion of bird strikes occurring above the current certification value. This is because 5 to 8% are occurring above the current test criteria.

I wonder if Sikorsky would choose to take a lead in promoting a higher test value in the rule making process.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 20:32
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5 to 8 percent is pretty small considering the rarity of such strikes.
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