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Hong Kong GFS Superpuma ditches in Reservoir after engine failure

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Hong Kong GFS Superpuma ditches in Reservoir after engine failure

Old 27th Dec 2010, 03:47
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Hong Kong GFS Superpuma ditches in Reservoir after engine failure

News at 7:30 TVB Pearl:



From RTHK:

A Government Flying Services helicopter has come down in the Shing Mun Reservoir after one of its engines failed.

All three crew members managed to swim ashore. They are reportedly in good condition and have been taken to Yan Chai hospital for a check-up.

The helicopter was participating in the aftermath of a wildfire when police say one of its engines failed and the machine went down.

An R-T-H-K reporter at the scene says an inflatable device kept the chopper afloat while the crew clambered out and swam to safety.

Last edited by Runway101; 27th Dec 2010 at 12:07. Reason: added video
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 06:01
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Not the worst place for a controlled dichting...

skadi
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 09:44
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Well done to the crew!

...but now how will they get the aircraft out? A possibility of water pollution issues here!
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 09:55
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Well done for breaking the news, R101 : the local media has been very hush-hush about this one. Any landing from which you can swim away from must be a good landing.

To our friends at GFS : Get off your high horse and admit your crew and aircraft are not infallible. Isnít the stringent cadet recruitment and training supposed to eliminate this sort of thing ? And did it surprise you that twin engines did not provide you with the redundancy when most needed ? Go back to flight school and start all over again. Or just stick to what you do best Ė VIP harbour scenic flights Ė in fact itís the only thing you can manage with any degree of success.

To our friends at HKCAD : Remind yourselves that GFS is not above the law (i.e. you). Donít sweep it under the carpet and run for cover to avoid personal early retirement. You as regulator should review their HOGE procedures or, better still, direct them to subcontract what they are incapable of doing to those who know how to do it properly. Jack of all trades, master of none.

To our friends at SkyShuttle : You will be too aware of what happens during OEI, despite official statements about twin engines to put the public at ease. Donít try and make a run for it because you know you will end up in the drink whatever the manufacturers say. Keep your wits, and keep your job.

To our friends at HKAC : Stop playing expert at this game. What you know is less than one-tenth of the knowledge required to fly a single-engined helicopter (never mind twins). Donít criticize or belittle othersí flying techniques, as yours is totally inept and it will bite you hard one day. Stay humble and learn elsewhere, as your local instructor knows even less than you do.

Enough rant from my soapbox.

Last edited by ReverseFlight; 31st Dec 2010 at 18:26.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 10:16
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Isnít the stringent cadet recruitment and training supposed to eliminate this sort of thing ?
Eliminate what?
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 10:37
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Sounds to me as if Miss Reverse Flight's job application was rejected by GFS but the hefty chip is still in place. Get over it.

Sky Shuttle operate AW139's as far as I am aware and fly CAT A procedures - which if flown correctly will eliminate ditching. GFS do not operate CAT A because of the nature of the job and the aircraft that they use.

GFS are one of the most capable and professional helicopter operators around. Seems to me that the training the crews receive paid off in this incident.

Well done to the crew.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 10:51
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According to the PR it happened during firefighting op while picking up water. This would put them not very high over the reservoir...

Last edited by Runway101; 27th Dec 2010 at 11:50. Reason: removed reference to hose or bucket
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 11:09
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Looks like Santa didnt get to the Reverseflight household this year!
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 11:26
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Eliminate what?

Eliminated Reverse Flight for a start!
Engine wound down in the hover according to my sources.Well done boys, on the positive side you can tick off a ditching drill and a swim test!
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 11:37
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Eliminated Reverse Flight for a start!
Nice one!

GFS definitely operate well outside Cat A, especially when fire bucketing.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 11:52
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GFS are one of the most capable and professional helicopter operators around. Seems to me that the training the crews receive paid off in this incident
I had a few close calls with their capable and professional procedures

one in particular was in a Lama at the end of a 200' line about to lift a load off a barge while they circled around 200' above in a Super Puma ,

... another occasion reporting us for our rotor disk being over CLK south road when picking up from our CAD appoved pick up location adjacent the waterfront in the hover again at the end of a 200' line , which was dismissed I might add

numerous times broadcasting intentions or positions which were totally wrong

, busting controlled airspace without clearances , or not complying with ATC directions....

...ignoring radio calls from other helicopters directed at them to advise of a potential conflict in flight....

they have the attitude they are a law unto themselves and had complete rights to HK airspace above anyone else.

...and ask the ATC controllers at CLK what they think of the GFS if you want a second opinion

their fire fighting capability's are limited to nothing more than psychological reassurance for HK residents

(I'm not saying I'm without fault , I've made some poor operational decisions in my time, got caught and paid my dues)

Last edited by R.OCKAPE; 27th Dec 2010 at 12:21.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 12:11
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I just added this youtube video to the first post. Seems a photographer was actually taking pictures when they popped the floats...
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 12:14
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R. OCKAPE,

I totally agreed with you. The GFS crew should learn from the crew of Skyshuttle and Heliservices of how to fly in a controlled airspace. Very poor airmanship indeed!

The accident over Tung Chung Pass was forgotten.

I really missed the crew of the RAF before 1997. They were real professionals.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 12:20
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Since we seem to have the local helicopter community here, is it true that the current president of the HKAC is a former GFS pilot?

(In case this is too off topic, feel free to use the PM function)
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 13:33
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King Air, RHS.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 13:52
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GFS are one of the most capable and professional helicopter operators around. Seems to me that the training the crews receive paid off in this incident.

???:
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 14:52
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Get turned down as well eh?

Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from you '20 minuters'. Must be a difficult job flying between HK and Macau.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 14:57
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So much negativity here.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 15:06
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I totally agreed with you. The GFS crew should learn from the crew of Skyshuttle and Heliservices of how to fly in a controlled airspace. Very poor airmanship indeed!
What on earth have comments like that have to do with this incident?

Looks like a text book ditching to me. Thankfully the crew safely jettisoned the firebucket and minimised further loss or damage.

Is this the second time that same bucket has gone to the bottom of that reservoir I wonder?

btw, for the less informed; GFS has its foundations in the British Military crewfolk who were there at its inception.

Get turned down as well eh?

Perhaps they could learn a thing or two from you '20 minuters'. Must be a difficult job flying between HK and Macau.
So does the organisation here disrespectfully know here as "20 minuters". Perhaps those affected by the green eyed monster have forgotten the airmanship and skill shown by the crew of the A139 that lost its tail rotor and also successfully ditched not too long back.
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Old 27th Dec 2010, 15:44
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OK I am not a helicopter pilot but is it possible that having filled the water bucket they had the engine failure at close to max weight (assumption) which I guess means that they cannot hold the hover on one engine. The release handle is pulled and nothing happens. Now they settle into a low hover above the bucket which is visible on the surface and no longer affecting the weight of the aircraft. They can hold the hover but not go anywhere so surely the least risky option is to pop the floats out and land on, swim to shore and recover the un broken helicopter later.

Pure speculation of course, unacceptable to many I know and I shall now duck under the keyboard
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