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Three killed in South Australia Helicopter crash

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Three killed in South Australia Helicopter crash

Old 12th Sep 2011, 08:44
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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A most moving service - as depicted on that link.

He was in at least some respects another Les Mikey ('Duke Elegant'). His passion for his work, his compassion for those less fortunate, his ready ease with youngsters, his delight in showing them how things work - these were some of his trademarks.

Maybe the Helicopter Association in conjunction with the ABC will inaugurate an annual day of remembrance for Gary, Paul and John.

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Old 16th Sep 2011, 07:18
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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ATSB Preliminary report released today:

On 18 August 2011, an Aérospatiale Industries AS355F2 helicopter, registered VH-NTV, was operating in an area east of Lake Eyre, South Australia (SA). On board were the pilot and two passengers. The helicopter landed on an island in the Cooper Creek inlet, about 145 km north of Marree, SA, at about 1715 Central Standard Time.
At about 1900, the helicopter departed the island, and soon after takeoff it collided with terrain. The pilot and the two passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was destroyed by the impact forces and a fuel-fed fire.
The investigation is continuing.
Also the ABC News have this report:

A month-long investigation by transport safety staff has not found a cause for an outback helicopter crash that killed three ABC staff.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its preliminary report but it could be up to 11 months before the final report is ready.

Paul Lockyer, John Bean and Gary Ticehurst died in the crash after sunset near Lake Eyre in South Australia on August 18.

The ATSB has checked the helicopter's major components and investigators have spoken with witnesses.

The bureau says an examination of the artificial horizon instrument has confirmed its internal gyro was working at the time.

The report says no cause for the crash has been identified at this stage.

It says the helicopter had been maintained in accordance with air frame and engine manufacturer's requirements and was allowed to fly at night.

Routine service

Both engines of the 23-year-old chopper had been removed nine days before the crash for a routine service but the craft had then flown for 15 hours with no reported problems.

A witness had reported seeing a glow coming from the helicopter before it hit the ground, but the report has ruled that out.

It concludes there is evidence a fire at the crash site happened after impact.

The chopper had been properly fuelled and the weather was fine that evening.

The helicopter hit the ground on its right side at about 90 degrees.

A GPS and other instruments from the aircraft are being examined further, as are drums the chopper had last been refuelled from.

The report says the pilot had been checked for proficiency and had a medical examination in line with aviation requirements and had no record of any problems.

ATSB Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan said it was possible the cause might never been accurately determined.

"We're not 100 per cent confident, partly because of the damage caused by the fire after the crash," he said.

"Certainly we'll be giving it our best effort. We hope we'll be able to come to a final conclusion in the report within the year."
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 08:27
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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It would have been as black as it gets in the outback, no ground or moon light. what's the landing/spot light like on the 355?
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Old 16th Sep 2011, 10:01
  #44 (permalink)  
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Is it legal to be taking off and landing at unprepared sites at night in a news chopper?

(I'm assuming they had no nitesun or NVGs)

Last edited by Heliringer; 16th Sep 2011 at 11:30.
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Old 17th Sep 2011, 07:34
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Heliringer..

http://www.casa.gov.au/wcmswr/_asset...s/ops/92_2.pdf

scroll down and read page 5,6 and 7.

in a nutshell, there's two types of helicopter landing sites;
- Basic HLS
- Standard HLS

Basic HLS's cannot be used for night operations.

Standard HLS has a host of req's for night operations, the thing that stares me in the face with regard to this accident is did the area VH-NTV was departing from at night conform to the requirements of a standard HLS (read; lighting).

There are dispensations given to operators operate outside the bounds of the caap, usually EMS/SAR. But even then, the aircraft is equipped accordingly as well as other fuel/lighting requirements regarding to the destination etc (standard alternate minima).

I couldn't see the ABC ops manual having these dispensations, nor would the VH-NTV be fitted with the equipment required to depart from a basic HLS at night. Feel free to correct me here someone that has flown for ABC before.
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Old 18th Sep 2011, 02:12
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Unfortunately a CAAP is only advisory, as the preamble says (bolding mine),
The information contained in this publication is advisory only. There is no legal requirement to observe the details as set out. The Civil Aviation Regulations detail the legal requirements that must be complied with in relation to use of areas for take-off and landing by a helicopter. While there may be a number of methods of ensuring that the requirements of the Civil Aviation Regulations are met, this CAAP sets out criteria which ensures compliance with the Regulations. The CAAP must be read in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Regulations.
Have not bothered to chase down AIP, CAR or any other regulatory/legal angle as to what landing sites require.
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Old 18th Sep 2011, 03:31
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Brian Abraham.

Yes, CAAPs are advisory. But they're what fuel requirements are based off etc whilst the regs just say that you must carry enough fuel for the flight as just one example.

Try explaining to the judge that you didn't follow the recommendations in the CAAP in a compensation/negligence case.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 00:39
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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havick, I was just picking up on your statements
Basic HLS's cannot be used for night operations
and
There are dispensations given to operators operate outside the bounds of the caap
A CAAP is only advisory and you don't need a dispensation to not follow its advice.

AIP ENR 1.1.81.3.6 is the only "legal" reference I can find addressing this issue and it states
At night a helicopter should not take off from other than a site which conforms with the requirements specified in CAAP 92-2
Once again it is a recommendation, not a must do.

In any event, the site of the take off not conforming with the CAAP recommendations had nothing to do with the subsequent accident. The take off Gary made under the conditions prevailing is a lot less demanding than one made from an oil rig at night.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 00:50
  #49 (permalink)  
oxi
 
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You blokes are wankers, it's not for you to comment on this in such a way.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:09
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So lets just do whatever we like then when we like because everything is just advisory. Without the CAAP giving further guidance for helicopter HLS's then we would largely be restricted to the same operating surfaces as that of a fixed wing. As you mentioned yourself, the AIP references the CAAP.

I would like to see an explanation in a civil suit (not necessarily this one) if not following the CAAP was a contributing factor to an accident.

I would also be interested to know what's in the ops manual of the AOC that NTV was operating under at the time.

Brian Abraham, one point I do agree with you on is that the lack of lighting may or may not have been a contributing factor to the cause of the accident. The point I am trying to make, was should they have been there in the first place? Would the result have been different if they had just overnighted with the tour group?

A further note, the dispensations I were referring to was the ability to operate below LSALT at night. There have been numerous accounts that they intended to film the campsite as they left.

** By the way, I mean no malice whatsoever. I am genuinely interested to find answers to these questions.

You blokes are wankers, it's not for you to comment on this in such a way.
Oxi Why not? Do you not chat about such things in your crew room following an accident or incident? Would you not call this website a 'virtual crewroom' for lack of a better term? Besides, can you come up with something more creative? I've been called worse than that many times.

Last edited by havick; 19th Sep 2011 at 03:52.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:22
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For a night take off having pad lighting serves little to no purpose. Once you rotate any pad lighting is behind you ie out of sight.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:27
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For a night take off having pad lighting serves little to no purpose. Once you rotate any pad lighting is behind you ie out of sight.
I don't dispute that for one second, that being said it does give you somewhere known to go back to should something go wrong. That being said the AIP references the CAAP. Also who knows what they were doing/planning to do after they were established airborne. I don't pretend that I have read the ops manual that they were operating to, because I haven't.

Really, there's just a lot of un-answered questions that I have.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:35
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Originally Posted by havick
squeaks, a mix of SA and QLD.

each operation had different requirements that could legally allow you to achieve the same outcome depending on what was in your ops manual.

The inference of CHTR is that if it was in fact a commercial operation (ie AWK as you suggest), then if they weren't filming for the leg home then I would consider that particular sector as CHTR. The crew journo/cammo are really only essential crew when that sector is an AWK sector (ie engaged in aerial filming).

I'll give you an example of a CH7 operation I have flown at where the the pilot and aircraft are on a long term contract to help explain where I'm coming from.

Lets use S.A. as an example and paint three scenarios;

Scenario 1; (boat on fire beyond Auto distance from the beach).
Scenario 2; Interview at Kangaroo island with a local.
Scenario 3; Car smash on KI (requiring aerial shots and then a stand up at the scene)

Scenario 1; no floats required (although I would put them on if they were serviceable and not being maintained)
Scenario 2; Floats definately required (as there was no aerial filming then the whole flight was considered CHTR as per that particular ops manual)
Scenario 3; no floats required for the leg there + aerial filming, but once you have landed and shutdown for the standup then floats would be required for the return leg overwater (with pax) or you could re-position the aircraft back to base so long as you were the only one on board. realistically you would throw the floats on to save the hassle.

In QLD, there's no floats fitted to the aircraft at all.

I hope that helps you understand where I'm coming from. I don't know what's in Gary's ops manual, that's why I was asking. However all 'contracted' aircraft by the networks all had a similar reference to what is AWK and what is CHTR

**I'd like to re-iterate that I'm not speculating on the actual cause of the accident (I have my own opinion which I'm keeping to myself). I still think that there wouldn't have been enough lighting for a legal departure. I also wonder if if were legal for the two pax to be on board at night in that scenario (ie not filming as you suggest, and if they were filming how could they do it below LSALT at night without a gyro cam anyway).
I've taken the lliberty of copying havick's post from D&G, as the fixed wing lack of comprehension is doing my head no good whatsoever!

havick:

I think that your Aerial Work/Charter issue is a distraction. I recall a big kerfuffle about Ambo patients negating Air Ambulance classifying themselves as Aerial Work, and endless crewroom discussions about Aerial Work continuing as AW after the filming/photography/fire fighting 'action' had finished. The aircraft still has to transit to and from the location, and IMO it remains Aerial Work until the job is finished and the aircraft tucked up for the night. Your scenarios 2 & 3 are taking interpretation of the CAR's just too far to be practical: and is it relevant to this accident?

As Brian said, even the issue of helipad lighting is a furphy: once you're airborne it is all behind you. As I said in D&G, the ATSB preliminary report indicates impact on the pilot's side at an extreme angle of bank: maybe Gary disturbed a flock of waterbirds which flew up into the helicopter, incapacitated him (no helmet) and that was all she wrote
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:39
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squeaks, thanks.

The above scenarios were not an interpretation of the CAR's, its precisely as what was written in that ops manual at the time. I don't know what's in Gary's ops manual so as you mentioned it could well be irrelevant anyway. It's just some food for thought that not all media operations are the same and consider AWK, CHTR, PVT etc differently and is usually reflected as such in the ops manual
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 01:42
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Oxi,
The only [email protected] here is you. I know that a number of those corresponding here have a vast amount of experience. Spatial disorientation is a very real possibility. If you don't like what you read don't open the thread.
GAGS
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 02:22
  #56 (permalink)  
oxi
 
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You don't say I would imagine alot of us are aware of the issues associated with flying at night particulary with no clear horizon.

But this is a case of blowing your trumpet I watched as one of you guys commented on another friends accident earlier this year, "talk around the coffee pot" I think was mentioned, give me a break.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 02:28
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There have been numerous accounts that they intended to film the campsite as they left.
I've seen the references in the report stating a witness overhearing them say they wanted to "have a look" at the lake.

Are there other accounts?


Mickjoebill
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 02:54
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Oxi,
Don't see much on your profile that shows you know what you are talking about.
GAGS
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 03:18
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should they have been there in the first place
Why not? Last time I checked we still lived in a free country - of course Julia may have changed the rules since then. Interested to hear any case you might make why they should not have been.
Would the result have been different if they had just overnighted with the tour group
Who can say, you know a crystal ball gazer?
it does give you somewhere known to go back to should something go wrong
While true, however there is no reason that in the normal course of events you need to plan for such. Operations are regularly conducted from locations where a return to land at the departure point may be impossible due to the nature of the problem you have at hand.

Last edited by Brian Abraham; 19th Sep 2011 at 03:28.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 03:20
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Oxi. I fail to understand how trying to decipher the legalities behind something being considered as 'blowing ones own trumpet'?

I take no joy in the fact that accidents have occurred, in fact the opposite.

However operating in similar environments from time to time, makes me think am I being too cautious or interpreting the regs incorrectly (at the detriment of efficiency/outcome to the client).

That's why I question the the facts around an accident offering no explanation to the cause of the accident of my own (I'm not an accident investigator).
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