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R22 down near Ely, Cambs: Jan 2012

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R22 down near Ely, Cambs: Jan 2012

Old 6th Jan 2012, 12:57
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R22 down near Ely, Cambs: Jan 2012

From a 'tweet' from Cambs Police, this article is up from the Cambridge Evening News...

Cambridge News | Latest News Headlines From Cambridge City & Cambridgeshire | National News By Cambridge News | Emergency services rush to 'fatal' helicopter crash

Emergency services rush to 'fatal' helicopter crash

Helicopter crash at Witchford
Emergency services were today called to a helicopter crash. It is thought there has been one fatality in the crash. The fire service said they had been called to Lancaster Way in Witchford. A single, light helicopter crashed at the former airfield. Two crews from Ely are there and a rescue vehicle from Cambridge is on its way.

They were called at 11.33am to reports of an accident close to a business park. A police spokeswoman said:

"Police and emergency services are currently at the scene of a helicopter crash in Witchford near Ely. The force control room was called by a member of the public at just before 11.30am today (January 6). They reported seeing a helicopter go down in a field behind Lancaster Way Business Park. At least one person is known to have been in the aircraft, however, I have no details of injuries at this time. "A corden has been set up around the crash site but no roads have been closed."

A Marshall Airport spokesman said the aircraft did not fly from the Cambridge area. He said it was thought to have been flying from Manston Airport in Kent to Fenland Airfield near Spalding. The helicopter was, he added, said to be a Robinson R22 two seater.

Clare Blair, of Evergreens, Chesterton, said her daughter's partner Pat Masterson had been walking his dog on the airfield when the helicopter crashed.

Mr Masterson and Mrs Blair's daughter Alexandra run the vilage stores in Stretham. She said: "Pat had been walking the dog on the airfield and the helicopter crashed right in front of them."
Mrs Blair said Mr Masterson had called the emergency services from a nearby house and had tried to get the pilot out of the helicopter.
If accurate, sad news indeed...

Last edited by RJC; 6th Jan 2012 at 16:00.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 13:41
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 14:29
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BBC News - Man dies as helicopter crashes in Cambridgeshire
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 14:42
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Very sad indeed, and it's gorgeous flying weather here today for the first time this year.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 14:53
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Photograph of Aircraft G-CHZN
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 16:12
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Sad news indeed RIP.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 16:48
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RIP poor guy. Do tend to drive past that area quite frequently albeit at weekends however not today.

Haven't check TAFs today but wondering what conditions like however down in Cambridge to the naked eye generally was blue sky sunny morning onwards to afternoon.

Condolences to family and friends.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 16:54
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sad indeed

Looks like quite an impact...

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Old 6th Jan 2012, 18:09
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What a dreadful start to the year...

Doesn't look as though there was much forward speed on impact.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 18:23
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Eye witness said it appeared to break in two and drop. His words, not mine.
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 18:28
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I wonder if that's the same witness who said it was black?

Re. '...the 'break in two...', the fuselage looks largely intact but I can't see the MR blades?
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Old 6th Jan 2012, 21:40
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doesn't look like there is any info on identity of the pilot yet, as the official reports say this will come only at least tomorrow
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Old 7th Jan 2012, 18:39
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My sincere condolences to family and colleagues.

A dreadful start to 2012. R.I.P.
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 01:44
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Very sad alright a god awful heavy impact and one in which a more than normal curiosity is raised,
to wit;

Richard Dunk, from the Stockshop warehouse at Lancaster Way Business Park, said he was having lunch with a colleague when they "heard a bit of a bang".
"I turned around and saw the helicopter coming down with a lot of smoke coming out of the back."
I wonder if a radar trace is available to help with investigations?

The helicopter pilot had been talking as a matter of routine to our air traffic control as it passed Cambridge Airport."
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 09:01
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As always, a large pinch of salt is required until official reports are available - BBC Ceefax is currently quoting an "eye witness" as saying it was a black helicopter he saw crash!

A bad start to the year.
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 09:57
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Many helicopters, even white ones, appear 'black', when in flight at a reasonable distance, especially if the prominent light is behind it.
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 11:14
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Thanks for saving me the bother of pointing this out. Just because the observer saw it as a black helicopter does not negate the rest of what they saw.
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 11:19
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That's exactly why details should be taken with a pinch of salt until the official report is out...
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Old 8th Jan 2012, 11:35
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Waiting for reports....

In this case, it may be appropriate to wait for the official report, but I am very familiar with one crash where the report was forwarded to the authorities in a small Pacific nation over two years ago, and it has not been released yet. The frustration is that the report addresses an (at least superficially) similar crash. (Loud bang, parts seen to depart the aircraft, fire, blade located away from crash site.)

The significance is that the report advanced a novel explanation for why the blade failed and caused the crash, and IMHO it should be available for the investigators for this case, even if only to discount that cause for this event.


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Old 8th Jan 2012, 15:50
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Darn it..another Robbo

IMHO I believe most Ppruners viewing this thread (well those with Robbo experience/knowledge) will already have a pretty clear idea of what happened here... and I doubt that the AAIB will need assistance from afar to determine the cause. Another tragic loss nevertheless... RIP buddy
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