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Irish Air Corp HEMS accident

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Irish Air Corp HEMS accident

Old 19th Jun 2012, 14:41
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Irish Air Corp HEMS accident

Report of possible Irish Air Corp EC135 wire strike incident while on HEMS tasking. No report of injuries or aircraft damage. Aircraft still at the scene. Incident occured while on approach to the L/Z north of Limerick.

Hopefully everyone ok.
 
Old 19th Jun 2012, 15:04
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Just heard that too. No other info yet. Hopefully no casualties.

I'm sorry to say that many people predicted just such an accident when this air ambulance service was set up. Sadly they were right.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 15:15
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Early news reports. The type is incorrect in the report, should be an EC135

Three Air Corps crew injured as helicopter crashes | BreakingNews.ie

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Old 19th Jun 2012, 15:38
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Sad news. Hopefully the crew will be OK and make speedy recoveries.

Corsair wrote " I'm sorry to say that many people predicted just such an accident when this air ambulance service was set up. Sadly they were right."

Who exactly are the "many people" and what was their assessment based on? Is this just Irish Cynicism raising it's head?

I have just watched the latest news on TV here as I write this. The incident is being described as a "hard landing" and occurred on take-off. The injuries suffered are being described as "not serious". That at least is good news.

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Last edited by 500 Fan; 19th Jun 2012 at 15:39.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 16:03
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Good to hear no serious injuries. That's a relief.

500 fan, there was considerable debate on other forums and elsewhere in relation to this service. First off it's not a HEMS service, not intended to be. Secondly this accident was entirely predictable and in fact predicted. This service was a political compromise in order to avoid paying for a full HEMS service. Roadside air ambulance services are known to be high risk. The use of relatively inexperienced Air Corps pilots in this role was always a gamble and so it proved.

The only surprise is that this incident happened so early. But it WAS inevitable. It's a relief that no one was killed this time.

Maybe some common sense will prevail and a true HEMS service is put in place with a civilian operator.

Last edited by corsair; 19th Jun 2012 at 16:04.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 16:13
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The use of relatively inexperienced Air Corps pilots in this role was always a gamble and so it proved.
Corsair do you know the crew, as that seems quite a sweeping statement?

Hope they are all OK.

Last edited by timex; 19th Jun 2012 at 16:14.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 16:15
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I know the Air Corps!
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 17:44
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The 6 O'Clock news now reports NO injuries, so that is excellent news.

The footage shown in the news report shows severed electrical cables nearby. The helicopter is sitting in a field very near a roadway. The helicopter looks to be in good condition. It is sitting upright with the main rotor intact as, it appears, is the tail boom. The footage was shot from a roadway which is below the level of the helicopter so it is not possible to see what condition the skids are in but looking at how the ship is sitting fairly level, it is possible there is limited damage to the undercarriage. Hopefully damage to the aircraft is minor and it can be returned to service at some point in the future.

Perhaps the current economic troubles here have impacted adversely on currency levels amongst air corps pilots but I would imagine their training is up to scratch. Accidents can befall the best pilots just as quickly as those less gifted. Hopefully the incident report will be published quickly.

500 Fan.

Last edited by 500 Fan; 19th Jun 2012 at 17:49.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 18:13
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I hate quoting myself but when this idea was first announced, I said this on the subject:

Worse still, it's run by the military whose record is far from exemplerary. There is a big danger that the single pilot will be under pressure to fly into dangerous situations.

It's an accident waiting to happen.
The only good thing about it is that it will highlight exactly what's wrong with the idea. Perhaps it will take the deaths of the crew of a helicopter to wake people up. Not the first time that happened.
At least no one died this time. I take no pleasure in saying I told you so. Let's hope this service is now suspended and a full investigation into the safety culture of the Air Corps is put in place.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 18:55
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The incident is being described as a "hard landing" and occurred on take-off.
The luck of the Irish never fails to impress.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 21:05
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damage?

from watching the news footage it looks as if the wire wasn't even broken....

Last edited by baby spanner; 19th Jun 2012 at 21:06.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 21:55
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That newslink in post 3 has already been pulled. Is it likely that the Irish military have been able to "pull" the news item?? (I don't know enough about the Irish scene).

Further searching shows that there seems to be a new link now:

Air Corps helicopter in 'hard landing' in Co Tipperary - RT News

Last edited by Helinut; 19th Jun 2012 at 22:02.
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Old 19th Jun 2012, 22:47
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I guess the link in post #3 was pulled because it contained more holes than a block of Jarlsberg - they said it was an EC145 for a start.... Go figure.

They replaced it with this one Air ambulance makes 'heavy' landing in Tipperary | Irish Examiner

Air ambulance makes 'heavy' landing in Tipperary
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 04:53 PM

It has emerged that none of the crew on board an Aer Corps air ambulance were injured after the helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in County Tipperary.

The aircraft came down near Borrisoleigh in County Tipperary at around 3pm.

There were three staff, but no patients, on board at the time of the accident.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces has confirmed that the helicopter was involved in a "heavy but controlled landing".

It is understood the chopper had clipped and ESB power line.

The Athlone based Air Corps ambulance had only begun operations 15 days ago.

baby spanner - check 40 seconds in to the video in helinut's news link and you will see "downed wires"

So did the wire strike system save the day? Certainly some manufacturers are making these mandatory fitment now - why not all of them?
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Old 20th Jun 2012, 01:37
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The "layout" of overhead wires in some Irish farms and villages couldnt be better designed to snare a helicopter.


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Old 20th Jun 2012, 09:13
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Seems a damning response from several others about the safety ethos of the IAC. I remember once when they were escorting Hilary Clinton during a visit to Ireland about X yrs ago, one of the squirrels went IIMC and pulled like hell spiralling out into VMC on top at 5000' completely lost???
I did a differences course on the EC135 glass cockpit and on that course were two "Captains" from the IAC who were 'converting' to police ops. Between them, they had 200hrs FW and 10hrs helo
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Old 20th Jun 2012, 09:19
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Accident inquiry as State air ambulance hits power lines two weeks into service - The Irish Times - Wed, Jun 20, 2012

Pic of damage here.



THE AIR Accident Investigation Unit has begun an investigation into a “heavy landing” by an Air Corps Eurocopter in Co Tipperary after it came into contact with power lines while on an air ambulance mission.

Two Air Corps crew and one Health Service Executive paramedic escaped without injury. But the Eurocopter 135 was substantially damaged in the incident.

The aircraft, which had been assigned to the pilot emergency aeromedical service, has been taken out of service.

The new air ambulance had been in operation for a fortnight and had flown 10 missions to date.

It had left Custume Barracks in Athlone, Co Westmeath, at 1.50pm and was en route to Templemore, Co Tipperary, to airlift a seriously ill patient to hospital when it came in contact with overhead cables at 2.10pm.

The helicopter made a “heavy but controlled” landing in a field at Currabaha Cross, close to the R498 road, about six kilometres northwest of Borrisoleigh in north Tipperary. Emergency crews responded within 20 minutes.

The helicopter’s skid bars were embedded in the field, while the aircraft’s tail section was damaged.

The patient who was the subject of the call-out was taken to hospital by road.

The Department of Transport said the accident investigation unit had been asked by the Air Corps to investigate the incident and its team was en route to the site last night. In addition, the location would be inspected and surveyed and the damaged aircraft would then be moved to a secure site, said a department spokeswoman.

ESB crews were last night working to repair damaged power lines and an Air Corps recovery unit had travelled to the incident. Senior HSE ambulance staff also visited the scene.

“Contingency plans are being put in place to resume the emergency aeromedical service as soon as possible,” said the Department of Defence.

The pilot service is run by the Air Corps for the HSE under an interdepartmental memorandum of understanding. It is understood the Department of Health received submissions warning of the risks of a short lead-in time and this factor may be examined by the investigators.

Helicopter emergency medical services are regarded as being as risky as offshore search and rescue, due to the nature of taskings. In North America, the greatest number of helicopter accidents involve emergency medical services aircraft.

The Irish service had responded to, on average, one call-out daily since it became operational on June 4th.
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Old 20th Jun 2012, 09:56
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From the Irish Times article:
“Contingency plans are being put in place to resume the emergency aeromedical service as soon as possible,” said the Department of Defence.
I seriously hope not. They got away with it this time. Next time people could die. This accident happened on a fairly benign summer's day. Imagine the potential for disaster when more typical Irish weather is in place?

I did a differences course on the EC135 glass cockpit and on that course were two "Captains" from the IAC who were 'converting' to police ops. Between them, they had 200hrs FW and 10hrs helo
I was going to say 'unbelievable' but believable is more apt.

The recent accident report on the PC9 crash in Galway highlighted flaws in the safety ethos of the Air Corps. As a result there was attempt by the Air Corps to suppress the report or those parts which they didn't like.

The IACs farcebook page likes to play up it's air ambulance missions but it's notably blank on this incident this morning.
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Old 20th Jun 2012, 10:30
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IAC

I believe the Crews do get good training but good ADM comes with experience and flight time. low time pilots should not be flying these missions,

How many hours to you think the Pilots of the GASU have?

Very happy they are all ok,

someone mentioned this contract began 15 days ago? Wow.
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Old 20th Jun 2012, 10:39
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Must have been a real hard landing, the mainframe isnt in a good condition...
real big wrinkles !

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Old 20th Jun 2012, 14:44
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Given the damage visible in the photo, is the airframe likely to be a write-off? The news article also mentions damage to the tail boom so it doesn't sound good. Can this helicopter go back to Eurocopter for re-manufacture or is a brand new EC135 a better option? I'm not sure we can afford either option at the moment!

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