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Helicopters and Volcanic Ash?

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Helicopters and Volcanic Ash?

Old 19th Apr 2010, 07:24
  #161 (permalink)  
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Meanwhile Gordon Brown has recalled cabinet ministers from the campaign to deal with the air crisis
- they will hold a Cobra emergency planning meeting at 0830 BST.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 07:43
  #162 (permalink)  
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Vee Any

thanks for that but I have seen that, was hopeing that I could actualy speak to someone as the Notam for closure takes a bit of time to get into the system.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 08:16
  #163 (permalink)  

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Still no health risk!

Europe Under Health Warning Due to Volcanic Ash
Europe Under Health Warning Due to Volcanic Ash

Best part of the article has to be;

Health officials are certain that the ash will not cause any ill health effects in the United States, except, however, for the acute stress travelers might feel from not being able to fly into or out of European airports because the ash is too dangerous for aircraft to fly through.
Loads of work coming up for the therapists
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 08:20
  #164 (permalink)  
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What I find frustrating and remarkable is that there appears to be no objective measure of the low level ash particulates that are a threat to VFR aircraft. If you have asthma for example, the pollen count provides a measure of threat that sufferers can consider and potentially avoid.

It is ridiculous that it is considered that there is no risk to anything at ground level in the UK yet as soon as you get a few 100 ft up the world is apparently quite different.

I'm not flying not because of any real safety concerns but because I don't want to risk accelerating insidious erosion etc damage to my turbine engines. What is really required though is an objective numerical value that can be measured across affected areas and engine/airframe manufacturers then recommend what they think is an acceptable level of contaminants for flying to take place.

Surely it can't be hard to measure, given the huge impact on peoples lives? It seems just all to subjective at the moment.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 08:41
  #165 (permalink)  

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Volcanic ash grounds Britain for days to come -Times Online

Scientists had thought that the volcano was abating, but yesterday saw some of the strongest eruptions yet as it blasted plumes of ash more than 30,000ft high.

Geologists have no idea when it will stop. An eruption in Iceland in 1973 lasted more than five months.

VAAS/Met Office Cimate change. Has my car tax gone down yet or are they still advising the Govt that my car is destroying the Planet?

It's as if card playing Mother Nature is saying to the Prius drivers out there, "I'll see your 89g/kg, just cop a load of this".
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 09:42
  #166 (permalink)  
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Volcanic debris affect to helicopters

I've read this thread from start to here. I am not a doom-monger.

The references to physical damage to helicopters seem to be almost entirely focussed on engines, some reference to m/r blades and a passing reference to windscreens.

On Friday, my car had a liberal coating of fine, talc-like dust which felt quite abrasive. On Saturday, after washing the screen there was a different deposit that looked like glass crystals.

My point here is that any moving parts of any machine are likely to be subject to accelerated wear if they are operated in these conditions of contamination. Not just the well-publicised engine problems.

I'm thinking:
Swashplate bearings
M/R feathering, teetering, flap and drag bearings
T/R bearings
Rod end bearings

Just my ha'pennies worth.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 09:43
  #167 (permalink)  
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@ Wizzard.

When was the last time you saw the Beryl Bravo flying along at 3000 ft?
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 10:00
  #168 (permalink)  
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An eruption in Iceland in 1973 lasted more than five months.
And what effect did that to the airtraffic then ??
I guess: NONE!

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Old 19th Apr 2010, 10:49
  #169 (permalink)  
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This is a simple dilemma to address. In order of priority:
(a) Ask your insurance company will they cover you for flying during this advisory period.
(b) If the answer to (a) is yes - ask yourself: do you feel lucky today??
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 11:00
  #170 (permalink)  
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Sid you make some very good points there, if in fact your car and mine are killing the climate, then surely the Icelandic folk who seem to have the highest emissions competition sewn up will pay my increasing car tax
I found healthy deposits of ash all down the side of my car today...fag ash I think...
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 11:18
  #171 (permalink)  
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Is this Risk management's 1st real testing?

Theory?....Safety is paramount!!!! P.C. and will be stance from NAA'a

Reality.... Profit is paramount.. prolonged grounding of operators will bankrupt the same companies that provide the NAA's with their profits.
No Operators = No need for NAA's

I wonder will it end up as an a** covering exercise?

NAA's "safety is responsibility of operators"
Operators "Enviroment Safety is responsibility of NAA"
Manufacturer " we're staying the hell out of this one"

Fasinating to watch real case unfold. I time this will become a great case study.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 14:24
  #172 (permalink)  
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I'm thinking:
Swashplate bearings
M/R feathering, teetering, flap and drag bearings
T/R bearings
Rod end bearings
And yet these components are operating in various types of sand and salt all the time, allthough sometimes with shorter component-life, (ie. you change them when they have reached the tolerance limit, instead of acc. hours/years in service) But this happens all the time regardless operations.

TT-straps, elastomeric dampeners, seals etc. etc. etc. list is long.

Reasons for focusing on blades and engine for me, is due to the fact, that if those parts suddenly break, things are more serious than if your pitch-links develop more than the tolerance of play. I really would like to see the pitch change bearings, that fails catastrophically from in good conditions at preflight, in the +-3,5 hours normal endurance that most helicopters have on a full bag of gas without NO other indications of problems! Wind-screens are not really an issue as I normally not fly above 140kts. I usually avoid things coming my way that I don't want to bump into as well, ie; clouds, trees, mountains, towers, etc.

Aircrafts just don't fall out of the sky, without some indications first (if we exclude "certain" helicopters suffering MGB-zeisures, Turbine-runaways, bladeflinging and other mechanical failures etc.) for the ones that do think that. Even the famous BA 747 didn't crash, after it's encounter with the ash.

Do, anyone know of any accidents fatal or not caused by ash at all? I am seriously interessted. Can't google anything besides of how to avoid it (lots of info) but no accident report. (only the known incidents)
I would like to compare that to the amount of accident which is caused by lets see...... weather (windshear, microbursts, rain, snow, Frezzing fog/rain, CB's on final.... eh, in fact ALL weather-related accidents)


Maybe someone in the "system" want to get rid of the rich people with biz-jets and save the A4-family form extinction.... (must be a good one for the conspiracy-teorists)
The decision of the Dutch CAA, is not really surprizing as they told media (pretty much the same story with the Germans) just after the KLM test, that they were not interessted in the findings, and rather rely on computor models!

A tad arrogant or just another CYA situation or maybe both?
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 14:25
  #173 (permalink)  

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Some years ago, on a foreign tour, we used to fly around all summer with the sky bright red or brown from dust thrown up by heavy vehicles, sometimes to the point of IMC. There was never an engine failure in the three years I was there.

It's about time this overcautious nonsense about the safety of helicopters in a tiny bit of fallout over London was stopped and we all went back to work.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 14:49
  #174 (permalink)  
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I did make it clear that I was drawing attention to:
.....moving parts of any machine are likely to be subject to accelerated wear if they are operated in these conditions of contamination
I wasn't suggesting that these components will suddenly fail.

The purpose of my first post was to draw attention to those flying so called 'immune' piston powered helicopters (and everyone else, whatever they fly) that unusual rates of wear to other parts of their helicopters may occur if they fly in alleged contaminated air.

(In the 36 years of my career as a helicopter LAE, I have been involved in crop spraying & desert operations in E. Africa and Morocco. I know a little bit about abrasive operating environments)

Last edited by TRC; 19th Apr 2010 at 15:07. Reason: Had a spare moment so added the last para to justify my post
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 16:51
  #175 (permalink)  

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So it looks like British Airspace will start opening up again tomorrow.
BBC News - Northern UK airspace to reopen after volcanic ash chaos

The problem we have now results from the hoo ha from the insurers, manufacturers et al. jerking their knees and seeing a quick buck come service time. By them stipulating that flight withing the 'red area' invalidates any insurances or warranties, we are still going to be stuck on the ground until the 'red area' moves. I suggest written permissions from the same are needed before ops resume.

Anyone else notice the recent rapid shifting of the red area, despite what the rest of the Met Offices site tells us? (synoptics and high alt winds) I wonder how long it is before the Met Office models move the red line away from the UK.

The competition for Miss Exeter was particularly fierce this year
Met Office Modelling
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 18:46
  #176 (permalink)  
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The NASA report linked through alpine flyers earlier post highlights the problems with high bypass turbofans on airliners being the blocking of the cooling holes and passages in the turbine blades rather than the melting of the ash in the combustion chamber.

The turbine blades are then operating above their design temperature which will affect their life but not their ability to work - it is still a case of accepting engineering penalties and getting flying again rather than not flying because of a safety risk that the engines might flame out.

We have had all sorts of helpful people on the news saying things like 'a double engine failure in say a 767, will mean all on board will die' - talk about scaremongering
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 18:54
  #177 (permalink)  
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CNN Volcano Flight

Saw this on CNN.com

Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 19:01
  #178 (permalink)  
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Seems to be a fair bit of flying in the ash at the moment:
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 19:11
  #179 (permalink)  
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Crab - If a turbine blade/stator vane is allowed to heat up beyond its melting temperature I very much doubt that you will much time to worry about its design life. The thing will eventually fail - probably with catastrophic results.

Thats why the powers that be are soooo cautious. The worst that can happen....is just BAD.

The NASA aircraft flew in the cloud for 7 minutes. A cloud that was not detected by the operating crew, just the boffins in the back.

I think you optimism is commendable but flawed.
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Old 19th Apr 2010, 19:39
  #180 (permalink)  
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I have not read anything where someone has claimed the fan blades will melt; they will overheat, and become brittle, increasing their rate of natural wear.

This is not something that will happen in one flight, and with the right inspection procedures can be monitored with a good degree of reliability.

Your maintenance bills will go up, and you will be down for more service periods; I don't believe anyone claims this is something that will happen in the midst of a single flight in 8/8 skies.
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