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Sundance heli down / Nevada

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Sundance heli down / Nevada

Old 17th Dec 2011, 05:16
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Australia.
Posts: 274
Just a tad of thread creep going on?
the coyote is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2011, 10:20
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,958
Just a tad of thread creep going on?
Perhaps, but most surprising to hear SM labled as an expert, wonder if the labler is using the oz vernicular, as in Ex as a has been and a Spirt as a drip under pressure??

Heard someone labled as a 'has been' the other day, but a mate of mine disputed that strongly by saying that he was never a 'has been' but always a 'never been' that useless B.

chgeers tet
topendtorque is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2011, 15:27
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,431
As a human factors expert well versed in the art and science of error I can assure you that is not the case. For example there is no evidence that more errors happen to operators of unmanned(unpeopled?) aircraft than piloted vehcles. In fact, the ability to do effective compliance monitoring on the ground means errors are less likely.

Without being personally insulting here.....being considered an expert should rely upon others making that decision and that it be based upon great familiarity with the "Expert's" work, education, training, professional acumen, and demonstrated abilities.

Pard' you ain't there yet by a long shot in this forum.

An Engineering Ride Along program is no guarantee against mistakes being made, discovered, or prevented.....but at least it does leverage the result in a beneficial direction. The instant a Wrench refuses to ride in an aircraft he works on....his professional reputation is damaged beyond repair with the Pilots whose lives they put in his hands.

What human relationship can prosper without "Trust"?
SASless is online now  
Old 17th Dec 2011, 15:38
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: around and about
Age: 67
Posts: 280
Spot on SAS - tell him like it is
I teach HF amongst other technical things, and I would never be so pompous as to call myself expert. Competent, I would like to think so, bit the definition of expert is not something accords one's self.

Oh and BTW, I ALWAYS go on check rides - to ensure no-one screws up my labours-of-love - VFR

PS Happy Christmas to one and all
vfr440 is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2011, 19:46
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,431
The best Engineers/Mechanics I know....merely lend their aircraft to a Pilot and take huge pride in their work.

One account....walked into the hangar just past 0400...with the sole intent of making a pot of coffee and reading the morning paper before starting the shift at 0600. Scared heck out of the Engineer who was touching up wee tiny scratches in the paint.

That is dedication....not merely doing the touch up work...but doing it in the middle of the night when he was on Salary and not a time clock. To say his aircraft was pretty...neat...spic and span...was an understatement. In return for him providing us with a gorgeous helicopter to fly....we took care of it for him by keeping it clean and polishing the thing like it our new car.

No oil leaks, seeps, or drips on that bird....one could eat off the engine deck...(it was cleaner than my kitchen table!)
SASless is online now  
Old 18th Dec 2011, 00:56
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sale, Australia
Age: 76
Posts: 3,829
As a human factors expert well versed in the art and science of error
Brian Abraham is offline  
Old 20th Dec 2011, 21:34
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Long Island, NY
Age: 59
Posts: 7
Landon - I'll miss you

For those of us who flew with him (me included) – consider yourselves ‘cyber-hugged’.
I’m sure he’s in all our prayers.

My first instructor Mike Conti – back in 2009 – had organized a lesson for me with Landon. Landon had organized the lesson, _not_ at KISP (Islip, Long Island) but, rather, out at Republic airport! (KFRG). Some friend of his had a brand new R-22 and I was to meet ‘them’ at some funky hangar. So I drove there, arrived at the parking lot and waited. Landon showed up in a pickup-truck and we then drove to the funky hangar. The pickup truck looked like it had gone over every mountain in the state of Utah.

I think I had about 15 hours at the time, and was very much a space-cadet at the controls. Landon didn’t mind and after he maneuvered it clear of the hangars, let me fly it out and away from KFRG – to the south shore for some airwork and some confined area ops.
This being a brand new R22 – jeebus – it was like driving a brand new car. It was tight, pleasant to fly, didn’t shake or rattle or groan – in comparison to the R-22's I was taking lessons in. As is always the case when you are flying with a new CFI -- and esp. in the narrow confines of an R-22 cockpit! -- I was very tense, but HE was so relaxed (yet plainly very expert) that the lesson was an absolute pleasure. He even showed me how to hold the cyclic so that the back of my hand wouldn't go numb (which it often did.)

I remember THAT lesson like it was yesterday, and, yesterday, as I revisited the page in my logbook where that flight was recorded, when I looked at his signature – I just took a long pause, and sighed.

I have no doubt this 'event' was 'unexpected' and I've no doubt he did his effing best - right to the last second - to save the lives of his passengers.


oibal60 is offline  
Old 3rd Jan 2012, 19:26
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: retirementland
Age: 75
Posts: 767
It seems the lawyers are doing an All the Presidents Men:
Sundance Tour Helicopter Crash at Las Vegas and the AStar Hydraulic System : Aviation Law Monitor
Shell Management is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2013, 16:56
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In the desert southwest
Posts: 179
Report on AS350 fatal near Hoover Dam

According to the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), fatigue-related maintenance error was the probable cause of a Sundance Helicopters crash that killed five people in 2011.

In a meeting webcast live on Jan. 29, the NTSB determined that disconnection of the fore-aft servo control rod — most likely due to a missing safety pin and the improper reuse of a degraded self-locking nut — caused the crash of a Eurocopter AS350 B2 near Henderson, Nev. on Dec. 7, 2011. The NTSB also determined that the mechanic and inspector who performed maintenance on the helicopter shortly before the accident were suffering from fatigue at the time, making fatigue a contributing factor to the maintenance errors.

The crash occurred during a twilight scenic tour with four passengers on board: a newlywed couple from India, and a Kansas couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. The helicopter departed McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas shortly before 4:30 p.m. local time, bound for the Hoover Dam.

The helicopter followed an established tour route until it was approximately 14 miles east of Las Vegas, at which point it began an abnormal left turn and climb, followed by a left turn and descent, according to radar data. It impacted the ground in mountainous terrain between Henderson and Lake Mead, killing the pilot and all passengers.

The pilot did not make any intelligible radio calls before the crash, and there was no cockpit voice recorder or flight data recorder on board the helicopter. According to NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman, investigators engaged in “a painstaking, deliberative investigation” that “ultimately led to the hangar floor” with the conclusion that improper maintenance was the cause of the fatal crash.

The NTSB found that, prior to the accident, Sundance Helicopters maintenance had been re-using degraded self-locking nuts that no longer met manufacturer specifications (although Sundance inspected its helicopters and corrected this practice shortly after the 2011 crash). Even so, according to investigator-in-charge Bill English, the disconnection of the control rod might have been prevented had a safety cotter pin been properly installed. However, neither the inspector who signed off on the maintenance, nor the pilot who performed a maintenance check flight of the aircraft before it returned to service, noticed the absence of the pin that investigators concluded had to be missing.

-More on Vertical website-
grumpytroll is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2013, 22:39
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Canada
Age: 48
Posts: 215

So we're all wrong for wanting the mechanics to ride along on those flight ops checks, Mr Expert?

I would argue that a lot of the mistakes you see pilots make are down to falling behind the aircraft due to high work load during particularly busy phases of flight, rather than complacency or not giving a crap.

If a mechanic has to ride along, he's gonna give more of a crap, plain and simple, Mr. Expert!
If think you need to bully him into riding along with you in order to get quality maintenance, then there is a serious problem.
pilot and apprentice is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2013, 00:29
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,431
No Bullying....Simply ask if he is happy with everything that was done, the duplicate inspections done, and the paperwork finished, and the aircraft ready for the Air Test. With an affirmative response to all that.....look them in the eye and say...."Load Up!". Then have them go along with you as you do a real Pre-Flight Check....opening up access panels and shining your flashlight into all the dark cubby holes where things can hide. Looking at every Control Linkage Bolt and Nut....Cotter Pins....as you can after maintenance is a very good habit to get into. If two sets of eyes are good....three are better!

Anything but a cheerful and willing affirmative response and heading off the aircraft.....the aircraft stays parked until Management takes corrective action.

I have found all sorts of surprises on/in aircraft that were "All set to go!". From Torque Wrenches, rolls of locking wire, hand tools, rags, buckets, even a full sized damn Quilt on one.

If you find something on your Pre-Flight....write up an Incident Report....no matter how loud the whining is....and no matter who is doing the whining. You aren't being unfair.....just putting some integrity back into the system.

Engineers can kill you.....a very tiny percentage are dangerous and the vast majority are very darn dedicated Professionals trying to doing the job right....but they are human and thus able to make mistakes even though doing their very best not to. The key is sorting out that small minority that need to be in some other employment and not showing them the least bit of leeway.

I have seen some Engineers do some incredibly good work in arduous conditions and still admire them for their ability and skill. Some I would only carry a loaded gun in my hand if they were near me as they proved themselves quite happy to kill me with their Spanners.
SASless is online now  
Old 31st Jan 2013, 00:55
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: North America
Posts: 20
I believe Air Methods has recently purchased Sundance Helicopters.

IMHO perhaps to use as a feeder of trained turbine pilots for their HEMS operation.
OffshoreHeli-Mgr is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2013, 01:02
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Canada
Age: 48
Posts: 215
No argument with you SAS, all good professional advice. The only exception I would have is those operators who maintain a "less than just" culture where writing up a report would result in actions more punitive than constructive. They are out there.

But the sum of the posts by the author of what I quoted look to me like a poisoned work environment. When he assumes the engineer doesn't "give...a crap" unless forced to ride along.

I've done more than my fair share of post-maintenance flying as a result of some of the jobs I've had and I don't think I've ever felt that the engineer(s) who worked on the aircraft would do his job any differently if he knew he had to ride along (outside of a couple vacation spots in west Africa).

I've also happily gone along whenever asked by a pilot whose aircraft I have worked on. And yes, it can be a pain, because sometimes there are still other jobs that need to be done on the ground. Such is life.

Is this really that indicative of attitudes in those other places??

Perhaps my perspective is a little unique.
pilot and apprentice is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 12:45
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: over here
Posts: 472
From a read of their website you would never think that there had ever been any maintenance issues with this operator.....

Sundance Helicopters
Nopax,thanx is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 14:55
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,431

If one is employed by a "Less than Just" Operator....one needs to seek alternative employment as that LTJ attitude mindset kills Pilots.

Sometimes a phone call to the right place can work miracles.
SASless is online now  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 22:57
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Canada
Age: 48
Posts: 215
I don't work there any more, but that is another story.

There is still more grey out there than black and white.
pilot and apprentice is offline  

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