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Pasadena Police - two OH-58s make contact

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Pasadena Police - two OH-58s make contact

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Old 9th Mar 2018, 18:10
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Landing on the same spot, in the same way day after day for years, then one day things are slightly off and visibility is poor,...?

Sometimes shit just happens, and the scary truth is this could easily happen to any of us! Complacency's a bitch, and the only real way to avoid it, is to change jobs/aircraft/location every couple years or so.

,...or watch a video like this and remember in time.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 19:07
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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The first complacency and lack of professionalism was from the doughheads that pushed the helicopter out and didnít put it on the spot. Spots that are there to assure a safe distance. Iíve operated from a tight Apron with 8 pads, and if you were even a few inches off your ears got boxed. Chief needs his boxed for failing to promote a professional operation - as seen from the miscreantís comments on positioning.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 23:21
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I think the report states that initially the second aircraft was intended to be tasked as well as the first one, so presumably the expectation was that ship #2 would be airborne long before ship#1 returned - that makes the positioning less vital if you are under pressure to get the aircraft airborne.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 00:16
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Among the other failings mentioned, the report notes there was no established UNICOM or uniform procedure for a helicopter on approach. Incoming aircraft were apparently detected only by hearing them, which nobody on the tarmac apparently did prior to this incident due to the bird running on the ground.

To their credit, the report states that after the fact, PFD did add monitored UNICOM and approach procedures to their toolbox. I Googled PFD air support section to see how/if they replaced these two ships, but the only reference I could find was one dated 2010 which still mentioned the OH-58s lost in the 2012 prang. Does anyone know the current state of affairs there?
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 00:35
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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There is the root cause, which is that the pilot of the moving helicopter hit a stationary machine. No getting around that fact (blades turning or not, that part is kind of like saying "I didn't know if it was loaded and it just went off"). Guns are always loaded and things are always in your way until you know they are not. Then there is the list of mitigating factors, the incorrect parking, the rain, hard to see turning rotors (the strobe should have been a giveaway, cant miss that), the intended departure prior to return of second aircraft all made it so that by being complacent and assuming clearance the pilot guided the aircraft into the other. What if it had been real gusty....still the pilot's fault. Pitch black and power failure of helipad lights....still pilot's fault. There are always safer but perhaps less convenient options that we simply ignore because we are basically sort of lazy. This happened because someone was complacent. That needs to be accepted. It is a real shame they parked the stationary ship where they did and I could see splitting the root cause and blame but one ship was moving and one was not.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 04:06
  #26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by roscoe1 View Post
There is the root cause, which is that the pilot of the moving helicopter hit a stationary machine. No getting around that fact (blades turning or not, that part is kind of like saying "I didn't know if it was loaded and it just went off"). Guns are always loaded and things are always in your way until you know they are not. Then there is the list of mitigating factors, the incorrect parking, the rain, hard to see turning rotors (the strobe should have been a giveaway, cant miss that), the intended departure prior to return of second aircraft all made it so that by being complacent and assuming clearance the pilot guided the aircraft into the other. What if it had been real gusty....still the pilot's fault. Pitch black and power failure of helipad lights....still pilot's fault. There are always safer but perhaps less convenient options that we simply ignore because we are basically sort of lazy. This happened because someone was complacent. That needs to be accepted. It is a real shame they parked the stationary ship where they did and I could see splitting the root cause and blame but one ship was moving and one was not.
As we used to say, "there it is".
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 04:45
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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"she also stated she was unsure if the other helicopters rotor was rotating" Isn't it a fact that sometimes a rotating blade simply cannot be seen on reasonably quick examination--because it is moving! If so, are pilots trained to know that fact? How then could she safely rely on "the absence of a visible blade"?
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 04:52
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Or she could have just landed outside the other aircrafts estimated rotor disc like she should of, regardless of where it was parked...
There is only one person to blame for this accident.

The crew in the parked machine were bloody lucky...
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 05:01
  #29 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by roscoe1 View Post
There is the root cause, which is that the pilot of the moving helicopter hit a stationary machine. No getting around that fact (blades turning or not, that part is kind of like saying "I didn't know if it was loaded and it just went off"). Guns are always loaded and things are always in your way until you know they are not. Then there is the list of mitigating factors, the incorrect parking, the rain, hard to see turning rotors (the strobe should have been a giveaway, cant miss that), the intended departure prior to return of second aircraft all made it so that by being complacent and assuming clearance the pilot guided the aircraft into the other. What if it had been real gusty....still the pilot's fault. Pitch black and power failure of helipad lights....still pilot's fault. There are always safer but perhaps less convenient options that we simply ignore because we are basically sort of lazy. This happened because someone was complacent. That needs to be accepted. It is a real shame they parked the stationary ship where they did and I could see splitting the root cause and blame but one ship was moving and one was not.
That's not a root cause
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 05:25
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 2016parks View Post
"she also stated she was unsure if the other helicopters rotor was rotating" Isn't it a fact that sometimes a rotating blade simply cannot be seen on reasonably quick examination--because it is moving! If so, are pilots trained to know that fact? How then could she safely rely on "the absence of a visible blade"?
Say the other chopper's blades weren't spinning and she parks in her spot without incident,...they're still too close.

Now the other chopper starts to spin up and WHACK they hit!

Who's to blame now?
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 09:47
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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This incident reminds me of a similar helipad collision on an offshore pad on the Great Barrier Reef, IIRC out of Cairns, back in the early 90s. The pilot of the shut down helicopter (Bell 222?) had shut down with the blades fore and aft but unable to be tied down as the tail was out over the water. The landing helicopter (LongRanger?) collided with a blade and there was a fatality as a result. The 222 pilot was nowhere near the machine, yet ultimately was blamed for the accident which turned nasty with charges laid against him. IIRC his defence against accusations that he should have secured the blades with the rotor brake was that such an application was specifically prohibited in the Flight Manual.

I've searched for a reference without luck, someone else out there may remember the accident and have more accurate details but it never ceases to amaze me the unexpected outcomes of an accident. The pilot was well known and lost a significant amount of money on legal expenses which were unrecoverable as charges were ultimately withdrawn.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 11:13
  #32 (permalink)  

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Seems there is lots of real estate behind those helicopter landing points. The sensible thing to do, in case of any doubt of tip clearance, would be to have landed on the grass and sorted out the parking issue later, using a marshaller if necessary.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 11:43
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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According to Google Maps, looks like the two parking spots have now been replaced by one.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 12:20
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyting View Post
According to Google Maps, looks like the two parking spots have now been replaced by one.
Yucca Ln
Altadena, Kalifornien 91001, USA

https://goo.gl/maps/EkE1fdja3NA2
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 13:00
  #35 (permalink)  
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that makes the positioning less vital if you are under pressure to get the aircraft airborne.
No

That is why the bl00dy things are painted on the tarmac, to prevent this kind of accident.

Same as guidance lines and parking bays for fixed wing aircraft. They are there for a reason.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 13:14
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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"Say the other chopper's blades weren't spinning and she parks in her spot without incident,...they're still too close. Now the other chopper starts to spin up and WHACK they hit! Who's to blame now"

I would think that regardless of what markings are painted on the ground, the arriving machine has a duty to stay far enough away from the parked machine so that both can be safely operated. But: in addition, the parked machine should not , thereafter, spool up unless it knows that it can do so safely. It's like driving your car--"who has the right of way" becomes secondary when one has the opportunity to avoid an accident. The doctrine is called "last clear chance".
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 15:55
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 2016parks View Post
"Say the other chopper's blades weren't spinning and she parks in her spot without incident,...they're still too close. Now the other chopper starts to spin up and WHACK they hit! Who's to blame now"

I would think that regardless of what markings are painted on the ground, the arriving machine has a duty to stay far enough away from the parked machine so that both can be safely operated. But: in addition, the parked machine should not , thereafter, spool up unless it knows that it can do so safely. It's like driving your car--"who has the right of way" becomes secondary when one has the opportunity to avoid an accident. The doctrine is called "last clear chance".
Seems to me that the reason those markings are there on the ground are to ensure the aircraft are parked a safe distance from each other in the event someone may be landing with less than ideal visibility and therefore cannot judge accurately their distance from the other parked aircraft?

Is that why those markings are there? Anyone know for sure, 'cause I'm just guessing?
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 16:11
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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If the first one had been pulled out of the shed and positioned on to the waiting square this accident wouldn't have happened.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 16:31
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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No

That is why the bl00dy things are painted on the tarmac, to prevent this kind of accident.

Same as guidance lines and parking bays for fixed wing aircraft. They are there for a reason.
Regardless of what is painted on the tarmac (the area could be contaminated with oil/fuel etc) the accident was still very preventable if you don't land too close to the other aircraft.

This is a little 2-pad heliport not an international airport.

If you are expecting to launch immediately and the other aircraft isn't expected back until later then why be pedantic and take more time over exact positioning of the aircraft?

The failure to leave enough clearance by the pilot of the landing aircraft is the overriding cause of this accident - the other bits are additional holes in the swiss cheese.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 18:29
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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We trust that the painted markers are correct. We trust that the other machines will stay away from us. We trust that the landing instructions are correct. We trust that ATC is doing its job correctly. We trust that the other pilots are as smart as us. The entire scenario is built on trust. If we cannot trust, what do we do?
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