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Helicopter crash off the coast of Newfoundland - 18 aboard, March 2009

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Helicopter crash off the coast of Newfoundland - 18 aboard, March 2009

Old 17th Mar 2009, 10:12
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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The final seven vicitims of this tragedy were brought ashore in the wee hours. There were concerns yesterday that they would not be able to remove some of them prior to raising the fuselage, so it's a small blessing that they were in fact able to.

Rest in peace.
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 21:24
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The Transportation Safety Board says a data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder have been recovered from the wreckage of a helicopter that crashed in the North Atlantic last Thursday.
The two recorders were brought in early Tuesday aboard the Atlantic Osprey when the offshore supply vessel brought back the bodies of the final seven victims in last week's crash. They're on their way to Ottawa for analysis.
"I believe they're in very good condition," Transportation Safety Board lead investigator Mike Cunningham said in an interview.
"They're pretty important, that's just because of the amount of information that they contain."
The Atlantic Osprey left the St. John's harbour just before noon Tuesday, on its way back to the crash site.
It will help pull up the fuselage, which Cunningham said was scattered in hundreds of pieces. The wreckage is sitting on the Atlantic Ocean floor, 178 metres below sea level.
The crash site is about 65 kilometres southeast of St. John's.
Seventeen people died after the chopper went down, and one survivor remains in a St. John's hospital.
By The Canadian Press
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 22:27
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Sikorsky letter

Interesting Flight Global article related to an all operators letter sent out by Sikorsky on March 14th.

EASA cautions S-92A operators over Sikorsky letter
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Old 17th Mar 2009, 22:30
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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As more official information on the tragedy is released, it emphasizes how remarkable it is that there is a survivor, quite miraculous!
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 01:24
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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Sincere condolences to all involved in this tragic accident. NL as a whole is in mourning this week and for a long time to come.

I am wondering as an airliner pilot, we see cockpit indications all the time and all pending on the warning we proceed. Obviously heli's are completely different but I am wondering, according to the threads on here with the indication of a gearbox problem being land Immediatley. Is that really what everyone on here would have done? I mean I am just thinking if that were me with that problem I think I would have pressed on as well. Can someone in the know give a run down on what the whole scenario would have went like out there?

Thanks
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 02:54
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chris28
I am wondering as an airliner pilot, we see cockpit indications all the time and all pending on the warning we proceed. Obviously heli's are completely different but I am wondering, according to the threads on here with the indication of a gearbox problem being land Immediatley. Is that really what everyone on here would have done? I mean I am just thinking if that were me with that problem I think I would have pressed on as well. Can someone in the know give a run down on what the whole scenario would have went like out there?
While not typed on the 92 I do fly other sikorsky products in the offshore market.

Most if not all stand alone MGB problems (ie: temperature too high, pressure too low, chip light etc..) will result in the Emergency Checklist suggesting to descend to minimum safe altitude adjust speed and Land as Soon as Possible. Once a MGB problem develops into mulitple problems (ie: one of the previous problems with a grinding sound, abnormal vibration, torque increase with no increase in collective) the Emergency Checklist will suggest for you to Land/Ditch Immediately.

The Cougar 92 may have had just such a scenario as a low oil pressure problem which made the crew decide to turn back to the nearest suitable landing area. The 92 may have then provided more serious symptoms resulting in the Mayday call and the crews decision to ditch in the ocean. Unfortunately the MGB did not allow enough time for the crew to perform a controlled ditching.

I certainly don't claim to know what happend to that crew and what indications they had in the cockpit.

I've seen or heard nothing that would point any blame at the pilots.

Even with CVRs, FDRs, HUMS, eye witness accounts etc... nothing is accurate to what the crew experienced in real-time on that flight.

Hopefully, the investigators will publish information and the manufacturers will redesign parts in time that will prevent this from ever happening again.

Last edited by bb in ca; 18th Mar 2009 at 03:59.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 03:07
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the info, I also was in absolutle no way blaming the pilots....I have the utmost respect for the cougar team. There is alot of skepticism here now in yyt involving the S-92 and rightfully so. Hears to hoping somthing positive comes from the FDR in which Sikorsky can make a mod to this design for the future. Lets face it ditching off the East Coast of NL would be extremely dangerous on a bright summer day...
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 04:11
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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How does one retrieve the FDR/CVR from an aircraft sitting on the bottom of the Atlantic in 150 metres of water? Are those things not bolted onto some sturdy panel inside the fuselage structure? Did they do it with sub remotes? If divers, what kind of equipment?
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 07:30
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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The depth of 600 ft [approx] is well within the capacity of Saturation Divers using a Mixed Gas System, most likely Hydreliox or similar.

Various ROVís maybe able to undertake some work, however as the FDR/CVR devices may have required leverage, cutting or other manipulation to free them, itís more likely that Sat Divers were used.

Saturation Divers would also make the relocation of the badly damaged airframe onto/into the retrieval framework more easy, together with the more sensitive handling of our colleagues and passengers.

Just my private view.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 09:14
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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I'm not sure but isn't the FDR/CVR in the tail section? If so, wasn't it stated the tail was separated from the fuselage on the sea bed? Maybe they retireved the tail section?

Possible? As I say, I have absolutely no knowledge of a '92 except to know that it's bloody huge compared to what I fly!
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 10:31
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Chris,

I am wondering as an airliner pilot, we see cockpit indications all the time and all pending on the warning we proceed. Obviously heli's are completely different but I am wondering, according to the threads on here with the indication of a gearbox problem being land Immediatley. Is that really what everyone on here would have done? I mean I am just thinking if that were me with that problem I think I would have pressed on as well
Forgive me if I have misunderstood your question, and please understand I am in no way referring to this particular dreadful accident, but trying to compare actions in an airliner to actions in a helicopter are like chalk and cheese.

If you suffer a serious malfunction overwater in an airliner that requires you to get it on the ground asap I have no doubt your training is to look to the nearest suitable divert. A landing in the water is generally accepted by the large fixed wing world as one with a low suvivability chance.....hudson river exempt! If you suffer a similar problem in a heli, particularly one that is designed and regularly operated overwater and so is fitted with floats etc and possibly even passengers dressed in survival suits then a controlled water landing even in high sea states may well lead to a more survivable situation than trying to continue flight to reach land only to suffer some catastrophic failure and the water landing being anything but controlled. The flexibiliy of a heli not requiring runways means that generally land immediately emergencies mean just that.

SW
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 11:54
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding AD 2005-12-03 for the S-92A, that references replacement of the MGB lubrication/scavange pump vespel spline adapters at 50 hours intervals, to prevent loss of oil pressure. How did this particular problem eventually get resolved? Is it still required to replace these parts every 50 hours?

Thanks.

Sorry, I see this has recently been discussed in the S-92 Design thread.

Last edited by Flight Safety; 18th Mar 2009 at 12:01. Reason: To add a comment
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 12:06
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Recovery of the victims, flight recorders, and parts of the victims has all been accomplished with use of ROVs.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 12:16
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Is there news of the sole survivor and has any statement from him been released?
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 12:49
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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To the best of my knowledge he is still on a ventilator because of lung damage from sea water, however the RCMP are hopeful that by week's end he will be able to provide a statement.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 13:37
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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There are two FDR/CVR's in the S-92, one at the tail boom transition and one in the left avionics bay. I would like to know how the salvage crew was able to remove one of them with an ROV.

The 50 hour AD is for aircraft with -101 oil pumps installed, there are none of those in service anymore. The initial problem was that the machined surface of the pump drive spline was rougher than drawings called for. The rough surface would abrade the vespel spline adaptor, which lead to one failure. The maintenance manual now calls for the spline adaptors to be replaced 100 hours after installation of a new, repaired or overhauled pump and every 250 hours after the 100 hour replacement. There has been a new part number spline adaptor introduced in the last few weeks that is longer that the original adaptor. The adaptor was made longer due to a failure that occurred due to an adaptor not fully installed resulting in only a portion of the drive spline engaging the adaptor and caused very rapid wear.
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 15:01
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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S92mech, the requirement for two CVR/FDR is a hangup from the FAA regs. The FAA for some reason do not accept a combined CVR/FDR. The rest of the world do, so I would be surprised if the Cougar machine has two boxes as you imply!
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 17:22
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed VL, the FAA probably wanted to have two boxes in the hope ONE of them would survive a crash and some data could be recovered. Just a typical FAA corner cutting move for you.

How many "black boxes" do fixed wing tote around these days?
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 18:03
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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The Canadian TSB has announced that the CVR discussions will not be released, though a Supreme Court decision, previously stated that CVR information is part of the public domain. Regardless of the morbid aspect of these tapes, the questions surrounding the S92 MGB oil supply system and the reports to the public that the aircraft started a return to base based on MGB oil pressure problems, it would seem that there is some reason to keep the lid on at the moment.

With all information seeming to indicate the drastic nature of the problem encountered by the flight crew, one hopes that this information is not supressed for long.

carholme
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Old 18th Mar 2009, 20:17
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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The Osprey arrived in St. John's with helicopter wreckage:

Ship carrying helicopter wreckage arrives in St. John's

Also saw on TV news that Cougar has grounded all S-92s and suspended offshore operations until it has determined it's safe to use the 92s - a very tough time for all.
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