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Sikorsky S-92: Operations

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Sikorsky S-92: Operations

Old 22nd Dec 2010, 08:15
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Lightbulb Sikorsky S-92: Operations

Helicopter Aborts Flight at N.L. Offshore Rig

ST. JOHN'S — A helicopter transporting offshore workers from the Henry Goodrich safely returned to the drill rig when the aircraft experienced "higher than normal vibration" shortly after takeoff Monday.

The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, bound for St. John's, was about 150 metres in the air when the unusual vibration was noticed by the pilots at about 9:25 a.m. They aborted the flight.

"The helicopter landed without incident. All the passengers disembarked," said Nancy Wicks, spokeswoman for Suncor Energy, operator of the Terra Nova oilfield.

The Henry Goodrich, which is drilling an exploration well for Suncor, is located on the Grand Banks about 350 kilometres east of St. John's.

It's not certain how or when they'll return to St. John's — that will depend on the weather, which has been bad this week throughout Atlantic Canada.

More: Helicopter aborts flights at N.L. offshore rig

The original thread, Sikorsky S-92: from Design to Operations has been closed and is available via the link for reference.

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Old 23rd Dec 2010, 00:49
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The aircraft was flown back later that night demonstrating that things are still pretty messed up in Newfoundland and safety remains a poor second.

Last winter night flights (except for medical emergencies) were banned when it was realised that the 24/7 SAR capability Cougar claimed they operated was false (they did not have autohover for night hoisting over the sea).

Because this aircraft blocked the rig's helideck they needed to hoist engineers down - but they couldn't use the SAR aircraft and continue to deliver normal passenger flights.

The result?

The arcraft is standed through the day, then a night hoist flight is mounted (4-axis AP not necessary when winching over an illuminated deck), the SAR aircraft makes a night landing nearby to wait, the engineers do a quick 30 minute inspection (no doubt including the MGB mounts) and both aircraft fly back at night.

Are Cougar personnel considered more expendable then passengers who can't be flown offshore at night without autohover SAR available? Not really, because partial (return) passenger night flights have already started to crop up daylight has become more scarce and commercial pressures creep in.

Autohover remains unavailable for use on the S-92 in Canada for at least 2 months more.

Also: No CADORS report yet. Perhaps Cougar now really think that CNLOPB is now regulating them rather than TCCA as CNLOPB has formed an aviation team under a former commanding officer of 424 Squadron.
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 22:33
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Thanks for the info. Can not wait to see what the fault is. Surprised the Sikorsky HUMS center could not clear the aircraft for continued flight without the need for hoisting mechanics.

The Sultan
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Old 24th Dec 2010, 23:00
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AVC are generally required for high speed cruise to reduce vibration levels. They are generally poor for tranistory activities due to lag times. On takeoff there should be little vibratory forces coming down from the rotor between takeoff and climb out that would require an AVC. Also AVC's only handle one frequency (n/rev where n is the number of blades). These kind of aborts are generally 1/rev where something let go in the main or tail rotor.

Now if the AVC went ape-s**t which they can do would be an issue, but I do not see why that would happen as going to forward speed. It should show up in hover.
I would suggest that if they were at 150m (500') they would be already at 120KIAS and at this speed AVC is certainly in effect. Having flown a few trips completely without AVC as it is an MEL release item, I can tell you that whilst in theory it is only noticeable in the cruise, in reality it is noticeable in all phases of flight but particularly from about 70KIAS and up. The last flight I did without AVC we checked the vibe analysis at various phases and confirmed this, although you don't need a vibe analysis to tell you this as you teeth are working their way loose. The problem does not necessarily need to have been a full AVC fail. If the AVC computer had some kind of mismatch causing a temporary mismatch between demand and output, this will cause an increase. I do not know how many FG's they use there, but if they use 6 and one drops out temporarily they may not get an immediate indication.
If it was not an AVC fault they experienced and was indeed a 1R, then another common cause has been a RIPS harness working its way loose. Not a serious problem at all, but will cause an alarming increase in vibe, and this I also know from first hand, having RTB'd with such an incident. Either way my point remains the same. No point in getting all worked up until we know the cause, and I strongly suspect it will not be as serious as some would like to suppose. The fact they flew back the same day is a good indicator. The crew still did the right thing, and safety was an absolute first, but the cause was probably found to be insignificant and a non threat to safety, so they flew home - end of story.
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Old 25th Dec 2010, 00:20
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The Sikorsky FMOC can only give advice and there is nothing better than actually inspecting the aircraft.


Tonight my thoughts are with the familes of the 17 people lost on board Cougar 491 who died in a totally preventable accident.
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Old 31st Dec 2010, 12:10
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Also: No CADORS report yet. Perhaps Cougar now really think that CNLOPB is now regulating them rather than TCCA as CNLOPB has formed an aviation team under a former commanding officer of 424 Squadron.

Couple of questions

Is it mandatory for this incedent be reported to CADORS ?
Is there a timeline, does the report have to filed within a certain time period.

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Old 31st Dec 2010, 17:14
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fjr It is only mandated for NavCanada, full blown accidents and for airlines who have incidents.

Cougar has routinely submitted CADORS in the past, but seem to have stopped after a couple of S-92A incidents (engine shut downs and MGB mount cracks).

It is a pity, because open reporting is a fundamental part of a
good safety culture.
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Old 31st Dec 2010, 20:41
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If they have stopped reporting incedents and issues, this sends a clear message to me
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Old 2nd Jan 2011, 00:43
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Cougar management made themselved look really stupid in Oct 2009 when they dismissed the MGB foot cracks as a 'North Sea' problem (whatever that is supposed to technically mean) when the press asked and then had one in Nova Scotia a week later.
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Old 3rd Jan 2011, 10:26
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Do BSP still sacrifice one passenger for a cabin attendant? If so, why?
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 07:14
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Layperson - I'm not sure you looked very hardhttp://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/365...18-aboard.html
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 09:43
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Big story in Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet on the S-92 H&S issue.Sorry,Norwegian only, but I`m sure Norwegian pilots will chime in. References and link to PPRuNe and this thread.
- Sjokkbølge slår inn på kapteinens side - nyheter - Dagbladet.no
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 10:01
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I am just happy to see that the problem is being taken up now,even though it should have been taken up by the Norwegian CAA an not the newspapers.
The worst thing is that there are noise regulations for pilots as well in Norway since last year,BUT they are being ignored since the CAA does not have a clue how to implement them,because that would mean we would mean we effectively have to stop flying the 92,

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Old 12th Feb 2011, 11:36
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What is the union postion?
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Old 12th Feb 2011, 13:04
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Hearing problems and back problems have always plagued helicopter pilots and it is sad this has not been improved with new generation designs. What I find a little alarming though, is the increased incidence of heart problems and indeed this is mentioned in the norwegian article. Heart palpitations being caused possibly by the S92 is a new one to me, and if true, very worrying indeed. Anyone care to comment further or have any experience that sheds light on where these incidents are appearing?
It is certainly true to say that there is a marked increase in the levels of vibration and noise, especially the very heavy bass type on the right hand side, and it does not really surprise me that the levels are a cause for concern. I find the left hand side quite comfortable and no problem with the noise. Unfortunately most of my time is in the right hand side and this is a very different experience. 6 hours in the cockpit per day for a couple of weeks certainly tires me out and I feel effects in my ears, but it usually subsides after a couple of days out of the cockpit when I start my free period. As for the long term effects - well time will tell.
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 11:47
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Flight Global: Happy ending, but no way to land a Sikorsky S-92 helibus

I'm amazed that this has been missed:

Posted by John Croft on February 15, 2011 8:21 PM of Flight Global Blogs:

A preliminary incident report, filed yesterday, reveals a hairy landing for the pilots of a Bistrow Sikorsky S-92A oil rig transport helicopter in Louisiana on 19 January.

A mechanical issue presented itself to the crew of three onboard N920L [actually N920AL] as it returned its 15 passengers to the Air Logistics Galliano heliport (2LS0) in Galliano, Louisiana from the Green Canyon 858 off-shore helipad in the Gulf of Mexico.

"During the initial approach into 2LS0, as airspeed reduced through approximately 70 knots, the helicopter began a right yaw of more than 100 degrees that could not be stopped by application of left pedal," the NTSB writes in the report.

"The crew immediately lowered the nose to regain airspeed and streamline the aircraft. They diverted to the South Lafourche Airport (GAO), Galliano, Louisiana and performed a successful roll on landing, touching down at approximately 72 knots, utilizing differential braking to maintain runway heading"

Wow - now that's some Chuck Yeager-type piloting under duress.
The problem doesn't appear to be linked to transmission troubles that have plagued the S-92A, as emphasized in last week's final report on the 2009 Cougar Helicopters crash off of Newfoundland.

Instead, this one appears to be a case of maintenance error.

"An after landing inspection showed that the tail rotor pitch change beam retaining nut was missing. Recent maintenance had been performed," say the NTSB.
Is this not similar to the loss of TR control incident in Norway in 2007?
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 13:35
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Hasn´t been missed is why ASB 92-64-007 came out with a 30 day 10 hour compliance to make sure the tail rotor pitch change shaft nut has been installed correctly.
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 14:11
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Is there an AD?
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 14:16
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No AD required. If you start a task ..........finish it! Maybe a dupe or two to assist......
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 14:34
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100 degrees of yaw (sideslip?) at 70 kts!? That's Commanche terrtory. Is there any FDR or HUMS data to back this up?
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