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US EMS Crashes-2013

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US EMS Crashes-2013

Old 2nd Jan 2013, 20:32
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US EMS Crashes-2013

News of a crash in Oklahoma....no fatalities.

Aircraft is up right in an open field....Fenstron lying in front of the aircraft and rotor head showing signs of damage. Initial video gives the impression the aircraft hit the ground, spun 180 degrees before coming to rest. Weather appears NOT an issue.


4 hurt in medical helicopter crash near Seminole - Oklahoma City - OKC - KOCO.com

Last edited by SASless; 2nd Jan 2013 at 20:33.
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Old 2nd Jan 2013, 20:51
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An early start this year.

Just goes to show though, two engines aren't the answer to everything.
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Old 2nd Jan 2013, 21:13
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Just goes to show though, two engines aren't the answer to everything.
Don't quite understand, this looks like an EC130?
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Old 2nd Jan 2013, 21:22
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"this looks like an EC130? "

Three blades and a Fenestron...I think that narrows it down to two types, none of which are twins.

Last edited by eivissa; 2nd Jan 2013 at 21:23.
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Old 2nd Jan 2013, 21:31
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Sure looks like a EC130.
Glad there are no fatalities at this time.



Gotta love the commentary - the parts haven't stopped bouncing and he wants to know the cause, ID of all aboard, ect. ect.
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Old 2nd Jan 2013, 22:07
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The retrograde to Singles does mean some more risk when the last functioning engine ceases to function.....now don't it?

The Industry moved to Twins.....then after the payment rules changed....back to Singles they went. Progress....ain't it great!

For those who will want to argue the single versus multi thing again....don't bother....as we know the progression to two engines, two pilots, fully IFR capable aircraft and crews is safer than a light single VFR only machine with a single pilot....and for many more reasons than just the number of engines.
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Old 2nd Jan 2013, 22:52
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as we know the progression to two engines, two pilots, fully IFR capable aircraft and crews is safer than a light single VFR only machine with a single pilot
Only when those VFR aircraft operate in non-VFR conditions.

The amount of analysis conducted by insurance companies, national aviation authorities and engine producers such as Pratt & Whitney, Detroit Diesel Allison and CFM in the 80's & 90's clearly showed us that single turbine failure rate, as a percentage, was negligible.

Single engine helicopter operations within the proper constraints of their limitations, and with the exception of specialist aerial work operations, remains in the top band of helicopter safety performance (according to statistics) per flying hour overall.
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Old 2nd Jan 2013, 23:02
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N334AM Aircraft Registration | FlightAware

Just goes to show though, two engines aren't the answer to everything.
Best nomination for 'Engage brain before typing - 2013' ... so far!
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 02:22
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Only when those VFR aircraft operate in non-VFR conditions.
There is the rub for EMS operators....especially at night and for those who think using Part 91 Weather standards is safe.

As to the stats.....how many Engine failures occurred last year in the EMS business alone?

Someone got the Stats handy?

Last edited by SASless; 3rd Jan 2013 at 02:23.
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 04:07
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Add another one in the last couple of hours Mercy Med-Air in Iowa. Looks like this one is a fatal.

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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 04:45
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ASN Aircraft accident 02-JAN-2013 Eurocopter EC 130 B4 N334AM

ASN Aircraft accident 02-JAN-2013 Bell 407 N445MT

02-Jan-13 N445MT Bell 407 Ventura, US-Iowa (3F) | Helihub - the Helicopter Industry Data Source

Last edited by 206Fan; 3rd Jan 2013 at 13:48. Reason: Added links related to this thread!
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 05:21
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Originally Posted by 206Fan View Post
And this one. Not EMS!
Let's please keep the thread on topic: only United States EMS incidents/accidents
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 08:02
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The Ventura, Iowa crash looks to be a Bell 407 [N445MT], at night and into snow covered field with a fire. All three fatal and nothing much yet on weather conditions at the time of the flight.

The registration is an assumption by the media as that is the assigned airframe, delivered to Mercy Air-Med North out of Mason City, Iowa in 2011. Occupants as given by one source were a nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau; a paramedic, Russell "Russ" Piehl; and an unnamed Med-Trans pilot. The helicopter had been en-route to Emmetsburg to pick up a patient.
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 09:19
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PA News - thanks for adding some detail to the previously vague 'crash in Iowa' statement.
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 10:00
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I heard on the news it was engine failure.

It's scary when an experienced EMS pilot can't do an autorotation to an empty field durng daylight without totaling the copter.
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 10:07
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It's scary when an experienced EMS pilot can't do an autorotation to an empty field durng daylight without totaling the copter.
He who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones...

Let's see how well you do when your number comes up.

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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 10:27
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Perhaps single engine failures may be negligible, but the percentage of single engine FATAL failures is far higher than single engine failures in a twin.
Generally speaking OEI performance in a single sucks, no matter how powerful that single pony is.
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 10:41
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It goes back to the question from SAS, what is the SE failure rate?
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 12:50
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No....it is not the engine failure rate....but the Fatality Rate post engine failure in Singles that matters. That rate needs to be studied to see if NVG's were in use, whether the Operator trains Pilots during Check Rides by doing EOL's (day and night), and what kind of terrain do the Singles fly over particularly at night., what kind of lighting the aircraft has to light up the landing area, does the aircraft have a Night Sun type light that is operable on Battery power alone, and does the Operator have an SOP that requires Pilots to set the Night Sun to a mode that would assist during an engine off landing at night.

This is not a simple exercise of putting fingers to thumbs and simply counting.


I assume this was an Air Methods aircraft judging by the information on the Registration and Tail Number.

Perhaps one of the other ways of tracking these crashes is by Conpany as well as type of aircraft. Does someone in the industry track Operators by Accident Rates....Fatal and Non-Fatal?

Does the FAA do any of this analysis and make it public? They should.

The comment about the outcome of the daylight, open field, autorotation has merit....as that event would appear to be one that happened under "good" circumstances. How would it have turned out if it had been a very dark night?

Last edited by SASless; 3rd Jan 2013 at 12:56.
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Old 3rd Jan 2013, 13:41
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Not all Autorotations are Equal

To add to SASless’ concerns there needs to be a discussion of the auto rotational flying qualities of the newer generation of single engine helicopters and present training standards. In the not too distant past, full touchdown autorotations were a significant part of helicopter training curricula. The training helicopters during this period exhibited very benign auto rotational flying qualities including a significant amount of rotor system inertia. This combination permitted safe repeatable full touchdown autrotations. This was a requirement during this era of helicopter operations do to engine reliability of the times. As engine reliability improved and the requirements for helicopter performance improvements grew, the requirements for full touchdown autorotation training and helicopter auto rotational capabilities were relaxed. My experience come from many hours of experience flying the entire line of Bell machines from the B-206A to the AH-1T. In all cases, I was provided with the opportunity to perfume full touchdown autorotations in all the machines including the twin engine model T, all without mishap. On the flip side my limited experience in the AS-350 leaves me believing that my experience in the Bells did not directly transfer to the A-Stars. The higher disk loading and lower rotor inertia in the A-Star makes a full touchdown autorotation a more precise, less forgiving maneuver. I hope that others here on PPRuNe will be able to relate to this discussion with experiences from other helicopters past and present.
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