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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 12th Nov 2013, 08:32
  #2161 (permalink)  
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The dilemma....

I sat there today admiring the shear technical marvel that our simulator represents. Why am I being so negative about them when they truly are magnificent pieces of technology.

Then I thought of the analogy with the heart surgeon. He comes to you as you lay in bed, awaiting his attention. You are confident that this guy has the skills to deliver the huge improvement in your condition that the procedure promises but then he arrives to prepare you for the 'operation'. "Mr Geoffrey I am so very pleased to tell you that I have assembled all of the vital equipment needed for your procedure and I can guarantee that 99% of it is functioning perfectly."

You are reassured by the fact that the odds must surely be in your favour with only 1% of the essential equipment being dysfunctional. Your wife is not so sure. "If the dysfunctional equipment is essential surely that means that you will not be able to achieve the standard you aspire to?"

"Perfectly true Mrs Geoffrey but what can I do, perfection is very difficult because each day the dysfunctionality appears in a different area because the technology is software-driven and it would cost a lot more to have reliable software. Our service is cost driven so we must use generic equipment made in the more economic industrial areas."

Just as well the surgeons don't run their surgical lists like we run or flight simulators.

Can you imagine having a pacemaker that ran on Windows! ??

The 'Blue Screen of Death" then takes on a whole different meaning.


Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 12th Nov 2013 at 08:57.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 08:55
  #2162 (permalink)  
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A bit of light reading that may be of use - David Allerton
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 09:05
  #2163 (permalink)  
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Unquestionably, one must pursue the development and refinement of ever-improving systems and the technology to consistently and capably deliver these but, in considering Geoffrey's 1% dilemma, I recognise that to mitigate all risk, all of the time (by whichever means) is quite simply an unattainable goal in any given arena.

Let's say one was able to eliminate Geoffrey's 1%. This in itself is still no assurance of guaranteed performance on the day a live emergency presents itself. Factors as varied as the personal disposition of a particular crew on a particular day and as random as localised weather, may conspire in an attempt to defeat successful responses to both normal operations as well as emergency scenarios.

For me, the Sumburgh accident throws-up as many questions about the implementation of specific elements of CRM (such as the monitoring of primary flight information and crew communication) as it does about the parity of crew and technology.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 09:06
  #2164 (permalink)  
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Geoffers: the same can't be said for military sims. Money is really no object and the fidelity is second to none.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 10:04
  #2165 (permalink)  
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In my experience it is less about huge amounts of money, and more about being bothered to get it right. In the case of the Bristow sims, individuals with deep technical knowledge of each type (Subject Matter Experts, to use the in-vogue term) each put a lot of time and effort into perfecting the details of the systems etc post-delivery, such that we now have pretty good and representative sims. The cost of that was perhaps a man-year's salary or two, a drop in the ocean in the great scheme of things, even as outrageously over-paid North Sea pilots!

But without that input - ie just paying money to a Sim builder and expecting to get perfection back - they would have had as many and probably more issues as Geoffer's sim seems to have. The responsbile and knowlegable individual driving the finishing touches seems to be what was missing when his sims were built. Not that expensive, but you need to have the right person.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 11:46
  #2166 (permalink)  
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we now have pretty good and representative sims
Oh dear HC, we've put those rose tinted glasses on again haven't we?
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 12:11
  #2167 (permalink)  
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This thread has drifted from the Sumburgh accident to a detailed (albeit very valid) discussion about sim technology

Any chance the moderators could separate these threads to keep the 332 thread for Sumburgh and the considerations arising therefrom and let the sim thread stand alone?
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 12:41
  #2168 (permalink)  
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Whilst it is true to say that the attitude of "money is no object" was the way that militaries operated in the past when dealing with simulators, that is no longer the case. They just simply don't have the money. It is now far more task-driven, i.e. what do we want to teach? If we can deliver much of our training on a lower-fidelity device than we previously used, and still achieve the same output standard, why can we not do so? Why should we pay for fidelity that we don't need? Can we not free up capacity on the really expensive simulators & aircraft by doing this? We'd all love to train on Level D FTDs, but it's just not realistic any more.

Member states from within the European Defence Agency send large numbers of students to the UK for training each year to teach them how to operate in a tactical environment.


You don't need a Level D FTD to teach how to operate tactically in a pair or to introduce EW. Or to teach an introduction to SAR procedures, for that matter, to put it in a civilian context.

Apologies to FFF for adding to the thread drift.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 13:28
  #2169 (permalink)  
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As part of the discussion, we have included all sorts of topics that pertain to this latest Crash on the North Sea.

Most have taken the view that limiting the discussion to exactly what might have caused the crash is part of the mindset that "traps" us in adequately responding to the various factors that come into play when these tragedies happen.

Most have embraced the concept of examining every facet of the crash, its causes, the environment within which it occurred and wish to have an open, wide ranging review of the Offshore Helicopter Industry and its policies, procedures, and regulations.

I submit we can not separate the crash from that review as it is part and parcel of why we need the review.

We have at hand a situation where a well maintained aircraft, operated by a well known professionally run business, overseen by the Oil Company and the Authority, using a very professional and well trained Crew.....flew into the Water after the Crew lost control.

There is a nexus there that links the crash to the discussion at hand.....don't you think?
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 13:47
  #2170 (permalink)  
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SARboy: Where I come from the mil aren't blinking at the cost of sim fidelity. It costs what it costs - what matters is that the sim mimics the real McCoy exactly. And the reason for this: MAA Welcome (military) to the world of the CAA!
In the 2010 SDSR it was advertised by the Government that 15% of all mil trng would be synthetic by 2015 and by 2025: 50% of ALL trng would be synthetic.
Currently more and more Typhoon trng is going synthetic and the F35 will have 90% of its basic training course in the sim
95% of ab initio S92 training for SAR will be on the sim and only 2hrs will take place in the real a/c.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 13:55
  #2171 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Variable Load View Post
Oh dear HC, we've put those rose tinted glasses on again haven't we?
That's not a very helpful post if you give no reasons at all. I suppose I will have to put it with all the other VL sniping posts.

Anyway I did say "pretty good and representative" not "perfect". My point was that they are far better than they would have been without the substantial and dedicated customer input. From the way Geoffers has described his Sims both on and off line, I suspect our's are much better, and my suspicion is that his lacked that customer input that I mentioned.

Meanwhile, your company's contribution was to sell off its sims, and judging by your behaviour, its CRM trainers as well.

So snipe that.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 14:29
  #2172 (permalink)  
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I do get the link. I'm all in favour of more and better quality simulator time - but I'm not sure a more gucci simulator would do much to fix some of the basics that seem to have been in play at Sumburgh.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 14:50
  #2173 (permalink)  
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FFF - the problem is that whilst you are right in a simplistic way - the issues at Sumburgh were probably not directly related to the fidelity of the L2 Sim - the reality is that when faced with a simulator which has a lot of faults in the way it behaves, and/or crashes (software wise) fairly often, the instuctor's job becomes very difficult and the faults / discrepancies create a barrier to learning even when the subject being taught doesn't specifically relate to them.

On the relevance of this thread, you are right however as the latest in the sequence of N Sea accidents we are taking the opportunity to look beyond the specifics of this accident.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 17:24
  #2174 (permalink)  
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I'm just wondering whether anyone has taken into account the topography and location of the crash regarding the weather?

I lost the will to live reading up to page 80 odd by the 'I'm prettier than you!' posts.
It doesn't take a genius to work out that Sumburgh Head is right in the way of their planned approach and the wind will be doing all sorts even if it's only 140/17K at AD level. those of you who have flown Shetland and flown SAR must know what occurs to a non IAS coupled AC when entering turbulent or dead air.

My theory, and I'm just a co-jo...is as they approached they set the holds (VOR localiser+V/S) and as they were above Sumburgh head everything seemed settled (ie:correct IAS) until the last stages where according to the AAIB.
They had a 500fpm ROD reducing to 68KTS, reducing to 30 odd KTS...splash.

Does no one else consider that the wind at AD level, especially coming from 140/17 AT AD around Sumburgh Head has nothing to do with a 09 approach?

The pilot's set his ROD with collective, as Sumburgh Head's winds come into play (it's a mere 300ft), the aircraft tries to maintain ROD levels created within parameters of a much lower collective setting, the pilots don't notice because they're desperate to get in, it's Shetland and there's very few places to go bar Wick, Inverness or Aberdeen and Scatsta's as much use as a chocolate teapot in these conditions.

Admittedly it's poor monitoring/flying..but how many of you haven't had your own 'moments'? Which fortunately for all involved, meant you and the pacs all lived to tell the tale?

As for the training element, you train specialists for a specific task, when things get shitty and they fail because they've never 'seen it before', you've only yourselves to blame. Time to wake up Governing bodies and those controlling the purse strings...
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 18:59
  #2175 (permalink)  
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I have operated into and out of Sumburgh a fair amount and can certainly say I've never been desperate to get in

In all seriousness though, I'm intrigued by your point about people being overly keen to get into LSI (or any given destination with viable alternates) - in my opinion it's about getting somewhere safely as opposed to getting to the destination at all costs. I can honestly say I've never felt pressure (as Captain or FO) to have to get in to a destination - if we see the lights at minima, great. If not, we might try again before heading off to the alternate.

You say there aren't many places to go from Sumburgh as if it's seriously isolated, then reel off quite a few. As well as the ones you listed, Kirkwall is only 80ish NM away with an ILS at both ends.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 19:12
  #2176 (permalink)  
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Flying in on Dan Scare to start my Work Shift.....I always seemed to be praying to accept a missed approach and speedy return to Aberdeen.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 19:16
  #2177 (permalink)  
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SAS, you've quite spoiled my morning: I'd forgotten about DA and the 12" seat pitch lumbering in and out of Sumburgh

Further thread drift, sorry........
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 20:06
  #2178 (permalink)  
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Kirkwall, would be pretty much be the same as Sumburgh, as would most East coast Airports with a South Easterly. The point is Sumburgh Head, the topography and the meteorological incidents that occur because of it.. not the smart arse comments that swell a pilot's already inflated ego in reminding everyone of the list of his accomplishments.

Two pilots sat in beautifully old, leather armchairs, discussing the follies of less experienced minnows..
EXP1: You know that chap was on minima...
EXP2: And What of it , in my vast experience, there's always a place to go.
EXP1: Well yes, of course old chap, no such thing as being in the shit, after all, we're both vastly superior due to our extensive TRI/TRE quals., not like any of us would cock it up, exspesho since we're ex mil, and even better, ex Crabs!
EXP2: Well of course, who could doubt your superior wit and knowledge No 1...
EXP1: Fancy a blow job on account of your amazing knowledge and all round superiority..?

A mate of mine told me that PPRuNe was a place where all decent and professional pilots avoided because the forum that should be the place to go...was filled wit wee men wit weeer breeans...

Bring it mofos..

Last edited by Rotoronin; 12th Nov 2013 at 20:35.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 22:05
  #2179 (permalink)  
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Something suggests attrition from the Forum might pick up shortly.
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Old 12th Nov 2013, 22:23
  #2180 (permalink)  
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Kirkwall, would be pretty much be the same as Sumburgh, as would most East coast Airports with a South Easterly.
Check facts before you post drivel

METAR EGPC 231820Z 16007KT 6000 -RA FEW045 16/15 Q1011=
Having used EGPB many times in poor weather you fly to minimums as accurately as possible and if no visual references you divert to the alternate that you MUST have!!

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