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Three killed in South Australia Helicopter crash

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Three killed in South Australia Helicopter crash

Old 19th Sep 2011, 03:22
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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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.
I don't mean should they have been there at all. I've been there, along with a host of other pilots/crews before me. What I meant was should they have been there doing what they were doing (still to be determined) at that particular point in time (pitch black)?

Who can say, you know a crystal ball gazer?
Nope can't say that I do know one. I'm certainly not one either, I can't even see that far into the future of what I'm having for dinner tonight.

I think I've said enough now anyway. Hopefully a few more people can answer my questions without simply thinking that I'm bashing the deceased. That was never my intention, and I hope other people like Oxi don't interpret it that way.
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Old 19th Sep 2011, 03:43
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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What I meant was should they have been there doing what they were doing (still to be determined) at that particular point in time (pitch black)?
We have no idea of what they planned enroute to their known destination - a cattle station for dinner. The fact that it was a black, black night has no bearing on their right to be there doing what ever it was they were doing.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 06:28
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Gary's ashes to be scattered from Wild Oats

Gary's ashes are being scattered from 'Wild Oats' starting today, during this week's Sydney to Hobart, Courier-Mail article

THEY have been rushing round all week preparing their boats and crews for the rigours of a tough Sydney to Hobart but sailors have stopped in their tracks to pay an emotional tribute to one of their own.


Skippers, navigators, crews and officials all undertook a minutes silence at the compulsory race briefing at the home of the race south, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, for helicopter pilot Gary Ticehurst ysterday.

Described as the "Guardian Angel'' of the Sydney to Hobart fleet, Ticehurst died this year in a horrifc crash involving ABC colleagues Paul Lockyer and John Bean in the outback.

The popular pilot, who knew the majority of sailors heading south this year, will have his ashes scattered during the race off the Sydney to Hobart favourite Wild Oats.

Ticehurst played a vital role in the deadly 1998 race, helping with the rescue of numerous sailors and was a well know sight flying over the fleet for two decade.

"He was so loved by everyone. It is quite overwhelming,'' said Ticehurst's wife Therese.

The high-tech supermaxis Wild Oats and Loyal remain on track to vie for the line honours in the 67th Rolex Sydney to Hobart which starts Boxing Day it is boats half their size who could steal their thunder in the chase for the coverted overall win.
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Old 26th Dec 2011, 09:45
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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As a veteran of of many Sydney to Hobart races, I can assure you all that Gary was a comfort to all whose horizon he darkened at any time of day. You felt safe when Gary flew over.

As a student pilot I can only hope that I can ever have one tenth of Gary's skill and experience.

Thoughts to Teresa and family.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 05:44
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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A recently made video tribute:

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Old 26th Nov 2012, 07:10
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Update from the ATSB,
Update 26 November 2012
The Global Positioning System (GPS) data that was recovered from the accident site indicates that the helicopter took off normally, before being established on a heading of 035 °M at 1,500 ft above mean sea level (AMSL). After maintaining 1,500 ft for 17 seconds, the helicopter commenced a gradual turn to the right and started to descend. The descending right turn continued for about 35 seconds until the last GPS plot at an altitude of about 728 ft, or about 725 ft above the elevation of the accident site. The location of the accident site was consistent with a continuation of the recorded flight path.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is examining various scenarios to explain the helicopter’s flight path, including spatial disorientation and pilot incapacitation. As part of these activities, the ATSB has arranged for simulations to be conducted of the flight by external agencies. Given the time required to conduct and analyse these simulations, the final report is now not expected to be released until the first quarter of 2013.
Although the reasons for the flight path have not yet been determined, the ATSB is concerned about the conduct of visual flight rules (VFR) flights in dark night conditions – that is, conditions with minimal celestial illumination, terrestrial lighting cues or visible horizon. The ATSB is reviewing the regulatory requirements and guidance for the conduct of night VFR flights, and the training and ongoing assessment of pilot skills to conduct such flights. The ATSB is also preparing an ‘Avoidable Accidents’ educational report focussing on night VFR accidents.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 11:04
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Given that VFR implies the ability to orient the aircraft's attitude and height by means of visual references, it's really not possible to call any night flying VFR unless you're over a well lit area (like a city).
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 13:53
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Shawn,

That's the quandary of NVFR in Australia.

Evidently it's called the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Who knew?
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 23:09
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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That's the quandary of NVFR in Australia.

Evidently it's called the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. Who knew?
Every thing old is new again RVDT.

http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/167...atalities.html

A Bell 407 which crashed in Queensland near Mackay in October 2003, killing 3.

FACTUAL INFORMATION

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


On the evening of 17 October 2003, an air ambulance Bell 407 helicopter, registered VH-HTD (HTD), being operated under the ‘Aerial Work’ category, was tasked with a patient transfer from Hamilton Island to Mackay, Queensland. The crew consisted of a pilot, a paramedic and a crewman. Approximately 35 minutes after the departure of the helicopter from Mackay, the personnel waiting for the helicopter on the island contacted the Ambulance Coordination Centre (ACC) to ask about its status. ACC personnel then made repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact the helicopter before notifying Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR), who initiated a search for the helicopter. AusSAR dispatched a BK117 helicopter from Hamilton Island to investigate. The crew of the BK117 located floating wreckage, that was later confirmed to be from HTD, at a location approximately 3.2 nautical miles (NM) east of Cape Hillsborough, Queensland. There were no survivors.

Following 12 days of side scan array sonar searches, underwater diving and trawling, the main impact point and location of heavy items of wreckage were located. The wreckage was recovered and examined at a secure on-shore location.

Although the forecast weather conditions did not necessarily preclude flight under the night Visual Flight Rules (VFR), the circumstances of the accident were consistent with pilot disorientation and loss of control during flight in dark night conditions. The effect of cloud on any available celestial lighting, lack of a visible horizon and surface/ground-based lighting, and the pilot’s limited instrument flying experience, may have contributed to this accident. Although not able to determine with certainty what factors led to the helicopter departing controlled flight, the investigation determined that mechanical failure was unlikely.

The circumstances of the accident combined most of the risk factors known for many years to be associated with helicopter Emergency Medical Services (EMS) accidents, such as:

Pilot factors

the pilot was inexperienced with regards to long distance over water night operations out of sight of land and in the helicopter type

the pilot did not hold an instrument rating and had limited instrument flying experience

the pilot was new to the organisation and EMS operations.

Operating environment factors

the accident occurred on a dark night with no celestial or surface/ground-based lighting

the flight path was over water with no fixed surface lit features

forecast weather in the area of the helicopter flight path included the possibility of cloud at the altitude flown

Organisational factors


a number of different organisations were involved in providing the service

the operation was from a base remote from the operator’s main base

actual or perceived pressures may have existed to not reject missions due to weather or other reasons

an apparent lack of awareness of helicopter EMS safety issues and helicopter night VFR limitations

divided and diminished oversight for ensuring safety

no single organisation with expertise in aviation having overall oversight for operational safety

As a result of the investigation, safety recommendations were issued to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority recommending: a review of the night VFR requirements, an assessment of the benefits of additional flight equipment for helicopters operating under night VFR and a review of the operator classification and/or minimum safety standards for helicopter EMS operations.

Following the accident, the Queensland Department of Emergency Services took initiatives to implement:

increased safety standards in the Generic Service Agreements to Community Helicopter Providers (CHP) to include increased pilot recency and training requirements, a pilot requirement for a Command Instrument Rating, crew resource management training, a Safety Management System and a Safety Officer

the recommendations of the reviews associated with the aeromedical system/network

the establishment of a centralised clinical coordination and tasking of aeromedical aircraft and helicopters for Southern Queensland1, including all CHP state-wide through a centre in Brisbane, with a parallel system planned for all Northern Queensland by July 2005

the establishment of a requirement for a safe arrival broadcast for flights of less than 30 minutes duration and the nomination of a SARTIME for all flights

the revision of the standard operating procedures for helicopter emergencies to attempt to establish communication with an aircraft when lost for a maximum 5 minute period, then immediately contacting AusSAR

the establishment of a requirement for CHP to provide updated contact/aircraft details on a bi-annual basis and amend the standard operating procedures containing this information accordingly

a requirement for CHP operations to ensure sufficient celestial lighting exists for night VFR flights to maintain reference to the horizon
no single organisation with expertise in aviation having overall oversight for operational safety
I wonder if that comment from the ATSB is directed at CASA.

The official report has been pulled from the ATSB web site.

Last edited by Brian Abraham; 27th Nov 2012 at 23:10.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 01:37
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Given that VFR implies the ability to orient the aircraft's attitude and height by means of visual references, it's really not possible to call any night flying VFR unless you're over a well lit area (like a city).
True. The thing is, with our rules, you can fly night VFR without a visual horizon as long as you're in VMC (eg clear of cloud with the required visibility), use appropriate safety heights and can navigate with reference to ground lighting or features, using attitude indicator or AH for attitude info.

The implication is that you can fly on a no moon night with no discernable horizon, and therefore not even know you're about to go into cloud if it's dark enough!

The potential for stuff-ups is high to say the least. There aren't any mandatory instrument flying recency requirements for NVFR.

I trained in the military before goggles were commonly available, and consequently was used to dark night departures, transits and approaches to fairly basic light sources, so I know it can be done safely with the right planning and training. However, we had a strong IFR background too, which I always considered to be the ace up my sleeve if everything went pear shaped, something that many of our civilian counterparts don't have.

I'm not commenting on any of these accidents in particular, just pointing out that after relatively little training, you can legally go and do some extremely demanding flying at night in this country. By all means, have the capability, but we need to back it up with appropriately rigorous training, and I'd personally like to see all night pilots instrument rated.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 02:32
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Hey AOTW,
Not sure whether you already knew it but one of those people you used to do the night VFR military stuff with is now GM of Aviation Accident Investigation at the ATSB. Knowing the person involved I'd expect well informed and sensible recommendations to come out of the investigation.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 03:59
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Hey M6, good to hear from you. Hope you're doing well!

I did know that he's there, hopefully what he recommends will be acted on.

I've always felt there should be more emphasis on IF skills in the civvy syllabus even for non-instrument or night rated pilots. Obviously money's a factor and the aircraft you're in might not be appropriately equipped, but it's time well spent I reckon.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 05:03
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Confirms the old adage about there being nothing new in aviation.

Sound familiar? http://www.aaib.gov.uk/cms_resources...7%20G-CFLT.pdf
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 09:53
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Apologise for the thread drift but wasn't it Lake Eyre where Donald Campbell broke the land speed record? If so was the crash site anywhere near where he set up his camp or stored Bluebird between runs?
Just visited his grave at Coniston & started reading Tonia's book about her life in the fast lane.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 16:42
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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ATSB have a long way to go to restore suitable cred me thinks, although the preliminary report write up of the recent crash in the Kimberley was a good start.

I'll not comment on this accident at all other than to not discount anything and remark that we once very - very nearly bought the farm operating in search mode in a baron, dark night, full stratus cloud cover and a couple of hundred below minimas to keep under under the fog to maintain ground motor car light visibility The only other light was a small fire lit by the downed pilot and we were using the aircraft lights to direct the motor car through extremely dense middle story vegetation in a racetrack fashion, yep boring after a while, read - complacency. A very simple thing happened. The Flight director locked up on the heading bug on a routine turn and oh boy, was it close before the pilot was onto it and then recovered. I can just imagine the comments of negativity that may have ensued.

This excerpt is a good statement as well.
Although the reasons for the flight path have not yet been determined, the ATSB is concerned about the conduct of visual flight rules (VFR) flights in dark night conditions – that is, conditions with minimal celestial illumination, terrestrial lighting cues or visible horizon.
For my money the visible horizon is the most critical. It is strangely illogical that engagement in NVMC requires further instrumentation than that which is required for the same activity during daylight.It may not at all be a good idea to discuss on an open forum, what may have been taught to others or the techniques engaged to ensure safety of flight at night, with bugger all instruments, if you get the drift, but all of those considerations shrink violently into the deepest, darkest most terrifying corners of the mind when one contemplates attempting the same activity over a mirror still, massive lake on a starry night.


Under such circumstances and a myriad of other scenarios, just a small amount of bushfire smoke for example, AOTW's suggestion of being fulls IR capable is the only way that such flight should be contemplated after legal last light. If the light available at destination is suitable for transitioning to NVMC, so be it.

There is an example from a few years ago of a mustering pilot in western Queensland, who according to his log book engaged in dark night flights and at altitude. (I.E. well away from where he might establish and lock onto a horizon)

On his last flight he reported by radio that he had the lights of homestead outstation X in sight. After his crash and body was discovered it was also found that there was no one at homestead X and no lights on. That is, he confused an assumption of lights with the stars and had by that stage gone inverted. A terrifying ride down for him from around a couple of thousand feet for sure

. I am with all those who say full IR or not at all. At least during daylight hours one can see enough to establish your visual range.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 16:57
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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It is strangely illogical that engagement in NVMC requires further instrumentation than that which is required for the same activity during daylight.
Exactly.

Another "unique" Australian idea. The bit that is missing amongst others is "adequate celestial and/or terrestrial lighting"
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 20:09
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That is, he confused an assumption of lights with the stars and had by that stage gone inverted.
Scary tale, TET.

For me, that's one of the key points with the IF training - if you're under the grip of a visual illusion at night, or anywhere for that matter, if you've developed that ingrained response to get on the AI (or whatever you've got available) and get your scan going, plus you've done unusual attitude recovery training, you've got a good chance, not least because you'll probably pick errors up before they have a chance to develop into bad situations.

The fundamental thing in the NVFR training we did was that it was an IF/visual combo - all attitudes set and maintained on the AI, good instrument scan for altitudes and headings, plus a diligent lookout for traffic and your ground lights for approaches or whatever you were doing.

The natural habit pattern to set up a turn, for example, might be to look out in the direction you want to go and make control inputs while you're still looking that way, so at first it might seem unnatural to have to drag your eyes inside to the AI to make a specific attitude change. It's a whole different scan to either day VFR or full IF, and probably harder work I reckon.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 04:17
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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The ABC has temporarily banned night flights in choppers until it has absorbed the findings of this report.

ABC to ban night chopper flights
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 08:22
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Finally some light is shed on the problem.

Australian NVFR is totally flawed and has been for years.

All that is required is to look at what others are doing or have done in the past on the planet.

Nah nah yeah nah - lets reinvent the wheel mate.

As it stood if you had "flight instruments" and radio nav to take you where you wanted to go, you were good.

Nowhere did it state that you required adequate celestial or terrestrial lighting to establish your orientation.

So therefore because it sez Civil Aviation SAFETY Authority the assumption was it was safe.

After just 5 hours of training you could launch in an unstable aircraft, single pilot, IMC. It must be IMC because you cant see enough to tell if it's not by default.

I always asked the question - If its VFR why do you need "flight instruments"?

The knee jerk reaction proposed is kind of strange as well.

Two pilots? Does the aircraft need to be configured 2 pilot. i.e. duplicated flight instruments and dual controls and certified as such?

Autopilot? IFR, SPIFR, VFR, certified? Or just any old autopilot?

Why not just say IFR capable?

NGT VFR should be like anywhere else. Basic flight instruments and a wet compass. As it says on most type certified aircraft in the world on the placard in the cockpit except Australia if it does not have flight instruments. The onus is on the pilot to operate at night in visual conditions by looking out the window, not some myth that because it has "flight instruments" everything is good.

THere are numerous times when there is adequate lighting to fly at night without flight instruments and of course the opposite applies.

The Bell 206 night flight kit used to have a placard stating that with the kit flight by sole reference to instruments was prohibited but apparently not in Australia. Who knew?

If you look at it from another angle if this aircraft did not have "flight instruments" and the supposedly safe legal framework to allow the segment of flight to be conducted it possibly wouldn't have happened. The other indiscretions well.................

Flight by reference to "flight instruments" is not VFR. Flight at night in visual conditions to orientate yourself can be conducted quite adequately without "flight instruments". You just don't fly in the black bits the same as you don't fly into cloud.

If anyone is to lay blame 50% should be on CASA's shoulders and the stats are there to prove it. They are listed in the report.

The myth persists that if it is legal it must be safe. CASA once again are suffering from their own delusion.
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