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Sundance heli down / Nevada

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Sundance heli down / Nevada

Old 8th Dec 2011, 03:26
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Sundance heli down / Nevada

5 dead in Lake Mead helicopter crash - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU :

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Update: The National Park Service says every person who was on board the helicopter that crashed near Lake Mead, four passengers and a pilot, has perished.

A spokesperson with Sundance Helicopters tells FOX5 the helicopter was taking a tour of Hoover Dam and heading back.

A spokesperson from the FAA, Ian Gregor, tells FOX5 the downed helicopter is believed to be an Aerospatiale AS350 and that the crash occurred around 5 p.m. It's still unknown what brought the aircraft down. The FAA and NTSB will investigate.

Link: Picture of the helicopter that crashed.

Police say a number of people reported seeing smoke in an area south of Callville Marina. Pilots reported seeing smoke and what appears to be wreckage in the area. The crash site is in a ravine, making access by emergency crews difficult.

FOX5 has a crew en on the scene and will have updated information as it becomes available.
Very sad to hear.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 06:08
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Thoughts go to the families. Hopefully we will learn more tomorrow.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 06:15
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I'm in Vegas right now and was over Mead yesterday, perfect weather for the last few days, must have been something catastrophic. Shocking place to go down within a few miles of the wall.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 07:27
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Sundance flew me out to the canyon in September. Lovely people and a professional outfit.

Thoughts and condolences to all.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 14:55
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Sundance Helicopter Accident

JetPhotos.Net Photo N37SH (CN: 2300) Private Eurocopter AS 350B2 Ecureuil by DNA
Photos: Eurocopter AS-350B-2 Ecureuil Aircraft Pictures | Airliners.net


If the FOX report is correct this is the AS 350 B2 that was involved.
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Old 8th Dec 2011, 17:15
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5 killed in AS350 helicopter tour crash in Las Vegas

Teams to recover bodies of 5 killed in Las Vegas tour helicopter crash near Lake Mead - The Washington Post
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Old 11th Dec 2011, 16:06
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Crash Helicopter had Engine, main, & tail servo work done the day before.

Crash Helicopter had Engine, main, & tail servo work done the day before.

Obviously, that may not have anything to do with the accident, but something tells me, it's going to be a rough number of months for the A&P(s) who done the work to that machine, while they wait for the NTSB report.

On another note, I worked with Landon for a while back about 4 years ago. He was a great guy, and funny too. He went out of his way to help me out a lot when I started the job. RIP buddy.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 13:44
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NTSB Identification: DCA12MA020
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 07, 2011 in Las Vegas, NV
Aircraft: EUROCOPTER FRANCE AS350B2, registration: N37SH
Injuries: 5 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On December 7, 2011 at 1630 Pacific Standard Time, a Eurocopter AS350-B2, registration N37SH, operated by Sundance Helicopters as flight Landmark 57, crashed in mountainous terrain approximately 14 miles east of Las Vegas, Nevada. The 14 CFR Part 135 flight was a tourist sightseeing flight, which departed from Las Vegas McCarren International Airport (LAS), Las Vegas, NV, intending to fly to the Hoover Dam area and return to LAS, operating under visual flight rules. The helicopter impacted in a narrow ravine in mountainous terrain between the city of Henderson and Lake Mead. The pilot and four passengers were fatally injured, and the helicopter was substantially damaged by impact forces and post-crash fire. Weather was reported as clear with good visibility and dusk light conditions.

Radar data obtained from the FAA show that the helicopter departed LAS and followed a normal route of flight easterly out of the LAS airport traffic area, then turned to the southeast toward Hoover Dam. Tour routings are standardized for all the area tour operators. The helicopter was level at 3,500 feet mean sea level (MSL) at approximately 120 knots. About one minute prior to the accident, the radar indicated the helicopter climbed to 4,100 feet MSL and turned about 90 degrees to the left. The left turn and climb are not part of the normal route. Radar then indicated the helicopter descended to 3,300 feet MSL and tracked a northeasterly course for about 20 seconds, until entering a left turn then a descent. The last radar target received was about 1/8 miles from the accident site.
DCA12MA020

Rip
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 15:42
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As usual, some are too impatient to wait for the NTSB to do their job: Engine Problems Likely In Lake Mead Helicopter Cash That Took Five Lives.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 17:32
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Does not sound like engine to me....

Based upon the "reported" information....Sounds like a hydraulic failure, or some form of TR failure that got away from him.

About one minute prior to the accident, the radar indicated the helicopter climbed to 4,100 feet MSL and turned about 90 degrees to the left. The left turn and climb are not part of the normal route. Radar then indicated the helicopter descended to 3,300 feet MSL and tracked a northeasterly course for about 20 seconds, until entering a left turn then a descent.
Initial examination of the engine at the scene showed the engine was producing power at the time of the crash. All the servo-actuators, were removed from the wreckage on Friday and will be examined by the FAA and NTSB.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 18:13
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This report Vegas tour helicopter climbed, turned before crashing, NTSB says - latimes.com states that significant maintenance was performed on the helicopter the day before the flight. Draw what conclusions you wish. I regard myself as a test pilot on the first few flights after any significant maintenance and do not carry pax until I have at least an hour or two on the helo following maintenance.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 20:07
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I regard myself as a test pilot on the first few flights after any significant maintenance and do not carry pax until I have at least an hour or two on the helo following maintenance.
There's not too many passenger carrying companies that'll let you fly around without paying pax for an hour or 2 after maintenance is completed. Once round the pattern or a repo to pick up pax is all I've ever been approved to do on Ops check flights.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 20:28
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Once round the pattern or a repo to pick up pax is all I've ever been approved to do on Ops check flights.
IMHO, someone up the line is making an economic tradeoff. Perhaps an occasional accident/fatality is considered to be a cost of doing business.

The amount of test flying after maintenence should, of course, be related to the nature/extent of the work performed. In this case, reports state an engine change and control systems components replaced. In human terms, a heart transplant equivalent. More than once around the patch would seem to be in order.

In 45 years of flying, only a few anxious moments due to mechanical issues, but most of these on an early flight after maintenance, so I am motivated to see that its been done right.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 02:48
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There's not too many passenger carrying companies that'll let you fly around without paying pax for an hour or 2 after maintenance is completed. Once round the pattern or a repo to pick up pax is all I've ever been approved to do on Ops check flights.
Agree 100% Unless there is a minimum amount of time specified in the MX manual, at which point I will fly that amount of time. With a decent SMS program and quality maintenance department I see no reason to do any more.

My mechanics always fly with me for the mx test flight also----if they refuse to go, (which has never happened btw), then I will not fly it.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 06:00
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My mechanics always fly with me for the mx test flight also----if they refuse to go, (which has never happened btw), then I will not fly it.
I've done that one also, mainly after major work had been done. Just an added piece of mind.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 13:34
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Gordy is absolutely correct on this......turn the wrench and ride the ride!

That has been my rule since 1968....when all of our maintenance teams doing major inspections on Chinooks in Vietnam rode the wagon upon returning the aircraft to service. On more than one occasion I have seen one of them decide to take a second look at something before climbing into the passenger seat.

As my least favorite President of all time frequently states...."One must have some skin in the game!"
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 14:18
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......turn the wrench and ride the ride!
I too agree with this approach but it may be more of a quaint, symbolic gesture rather than an effective means of preventing maintenance errors. The guys turning the wrenches are human and make mistakes too (although perhaps not as many as pilots). Ridng along on the first flight is no guarantee of error free maintenance work. And, if one reads enough accident reports, it becomes evident that some maintenence errors do not manifest themselves in the first short flight or two.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 16:52
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It may not guarantee less mistakes but it will make them more cautios while they work if they know that they'll probably be riding along on the first flight after the work is done. This would imply less mistakes.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 17:18
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It may not guarantee less mistakes but it will make them more cautios while they work if they know that they'll probably be riding along on the first flight after the work is done. This would imply less mistakes.
So that would mean that pilots hardly make any mistakes? What utter tosh!

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.
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Old 16th Dec 2011, 20:28
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What utter tosh!
Nice!

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!
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