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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 14th Nov 2013, 14:51
  #2201 (permalink)  
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If you haven't read 'The Naked Pilot' then please do. You may think differently afterwards.

Don't forget that whilst sitting there watching 'George' they had expectations about how it would work. Were the crew properly trained to know what to expect - If we wait and see I suspect the AAIB will oblige us with their opinion on that.

Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 15:02
  #2202 (permalink)  
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I agree but at the end of the story - We are the folks who should have the MDA and IBT in our minds and if we are deviating from that it our duty to do something.
albatross is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 15:55
  #2203 (permalink)  
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At the final analysis....I have the absolute requirement to ensure the aircraft is flown within the Tolerances required to accomplish a safe approach and landing. Amongst those duties is to monitor the flight path and all the instrument indications to confirm the correct flight path is being flown.

Automation, no automation, hand flown, flown by the other Pilot, no matter.....the PIC and in a Crew Served aircraft.....all Flight Crew Members share that responsibility but the final ultimate responsibility lies with the PIC.

We can discuss all the issues we wish....but in the end....prepared, trained, tired, sleepy, bored, sick, or not.....the occupants of the cockpit seats must perform.

A Non-Precision Approach to an Airport in day light in benign conditions in a completely airworthy aircraft should never wind up in a fatal crash of the aircraft due loss of control.

That this one did....is what gives rise this many paged discussion we are having.
SASless is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 18:50
  #2204 (permalink)  
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Geoffers: I think I know you, atleast I've been told I know you by people like PCPlod et al.
I have to say, that coming from an ex FAA Wafu you are speaking "nanny language". You have spent too long away from the coal face methinks.
I suspect your days at Rotorsim have contaminated your thoughts. I have heard some horror stories about both customers and staff at RS.
Don't tar everyone with the same brush.
As the boss of a training establishment teaching hundreds of pilots from 6 different nations at any one time, I think I know all about standards across the globe, too.

Each of my SFI's are atleast B1 standard, some A2. ALL mil pilots are of a standard which based on your take on the situation would be head and shoulders above the civvies you seem to have condemned.
And I don't believe that for a minute. I think RS may have a localised problem but both european (mil) and large company SFI's like Bristow, CHC, et al, definitely cut the mustard old boy.
I say again:
This is a run of the mill L2 doing a boring ILS approach in very benign conditions with a 50+ yr old experienced Captain who was asleep on the damn job - simples. The co-jo wasn't far behind. They watched a benign situation develop relatively quickly (nothing outrageous) into a terminal one.
Human error 100%...Nothing wrong with the machine, nothing sinsiter about the situation, weather normal. He took his eye off the ball and killed 4 innocent people. TRAGIC human error. Don't wrap it up into any nanny state technological, systemic or physiological complexity.....it wasn't and it ain't.
Thomas coupling is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2013, 22:05
  #2205 (permalink)  
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TC. Your career in the diplomatic service has been cancelled.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 22:16
  #2206 (permalink)  
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TC - the aircraft crashed and four people were killed for the sake of one little button being pressed IAS.

The question is why was this button not pressed. The answer is that there was no directive, imperative or cultural reason to press it.

Sure it seems like the crew screwed it up. But we are all capable of that. For those of us who understand these issues it's more complex than human error.

DOUBLE BOGEY is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 00:33
  #2207 (permalink)  
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Pushing that Single Button...."IAS"....should have been the exact right way to do what the Crew tried to accomplish.

But...my question keeps coming back to why the Crew did not do that and that is where I fully agree with you about it being far more complex an answer than it would appear.

To me....it simply defies logic.....but I think it follows from the Crew deciding to use different airspeeds and ROD's in what should have been a far more stable approach if a single approach airspeed had been decided upon.

Ultimately.....doesn't the "KISS" method of Helicopter flying apply?

Slow the aircraft to approach speed upon arriving at the initial approach fix, then maintain that airspeed to the Final Approach Fix....then if a further reduction in airspeed is desired.....prior to passing the FAF make any other Airspeed reduction and have that airspeed stabilized passing the FAF.....and hold that "Final" speed until completing the Landing Visually.

Changing more than one parameter at a time seems unnecessary if the Approach is planned properly.
SASless is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 06:20
  #2208 (permalink)  
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What's the slowest speed permitted in IAS mode?
My experience when doing the familiarization of the Super Puma (I was with Transport Canada at the time) was that even in 4 axis mode, the IAS hold couldn't maintain 40 knots, and so a limit (for the Canadian flight manual anyway) of 50 knots was imposed.
Got lots of calls after that about 'Why is the Canadian limit 50 KIAS when the French manual says 40 KIAS?'
Just wonder if the three axis mode was any good at holding 40 knots? If that was the commanded value…
Shawn Coyle is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 08:29
  #2209 (permalink)  
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Shawn, on an approach to normal minima I cannot see any reason or sense in reducing airspeed below Vy. The JAR-OPS 3 landing limits provide sufficient cues at minima to decelerate and land visually. If those cues are not present we should GO-AROUND.

The L2 can fly four AXIS coupled at Vy no problem at all.

The EC225 can reduce to 30 KIAS coupled but again it should not be necessary when flying to, and observing the prescribed landing limits.

This accident has much more to do with culture, understanding and training than the error this pilot was legally allowed to make. Blame is never appropriate. Only understanding leading to corrective measures, procedures or behaviour is important.

I cannot stress enough the severe danger present when the IAS decays below 30 KIAS and the nose is rising with no discernable visual references. In this condition the normal rules no longer apply. The FIX is to do whatever it takes to prevent this condition occuring.

DOUBLE BOGEY is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 13:13
  #2210 (permalink)  
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Why slow down from the initial approach speed st all? Any precision approach is going to have acres of concrete at the bottom which will give you plenty of space to slow down. Going slowly at DH doesn't improve your eyesight in poor visibility. Also the faster you go the less drift and less vertical speed corrections are required and you also have less time to foul it up.

If a twin turbine plank wing can use the same DH as you then you can use the same speeds as him.
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 13:56
  #2211 (permalink)  
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Speed on Final Approach

With reference to FarEastDriver's comments--

Yes by all means an increased speed on final is desirable in terms of ability to control drift, improved control response, etc. Also a higher speed on final improves the ability to mix with other traffic that may be flying at higher speeds (if applicable).

However in the U.S. and I would presume internationally as well, the ability to use the lowest category of approach minimums is predicated on a maximum speed at the missed approach point (which in the U.S. is 90 KIAS).

This brings up the question of decelerating on final approach, which may not be allowed by an operator's procedures manual ("stabilized approach" criteria), and also which complicates the problems of aircraft control on final.

SASless correctly says that it is desirable from the standpoint of unhurried and monitorable operations to establish approach speed at the initial fix and carry this through until the missed approach point. However if this speed is slow, i.e., 90 knots for the purposes of being able to use the lowest approach minima, this is going to present problems in a busy terminal environment in terms of fitting in with traffic flow.
arismount is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 14:06
  #2212 (permalink)  
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As I suggested.....so long as the final reduction of airspeed is immediately prior to the Final Approach Fix....and the IAS is stabilized prior to crossing the FAF....then in my view....that is my preferred method. Granted in a Helicopter, we are not talking a huge difference in reality. It is not like Jet flying here......we are talking Helicopters.

Airplanes used Vref speeds plus a few Knots for variables so why should we not do the same in Helicopters.

Depending upon weather.....using Cat A Approach minima is the right answer.....but for higher weather conditions where higher Speeds are not a bar to improving your chances of getting into the airport at the bottom of the approach, then going faster is fine too.

There is no simple cookbook solution to performing Instrument Approaches....but using a modicum of commonsense goes a long way in these discussions.
SASless is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 16:14
  #2213 (permalink)  
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Surely, regarding any instrument approach, it's this simple.

- Maintain speed between Instrument Vmin and Vmax.

- Stay on the glidepath or above MDA until FAF is reached, if you can't, go around. Once visual, do what you like to effect a safe landing.

- Use the autoplilot in a sensible manner to reduce workload.

The only time these simple rules don't apply is if you're suffering a major malfunction or you've run out of fuel. People seem to be going round in circles on this forum over-complicating what should be a straightforward procedure.

Or am I missing something?
llamaman is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 18:10
  #2214 (permalink)  
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Llama: quite right. 111 pages of so called experts summating that something unusual or intangible has perhaps happened to make the pilot err.
For goodness sake everyone - listen to yourselves. We're in this nanny state of ours because of naive statements like these on the last 111 pages.
There was NOTHING wrong with the A/c: FACT.
There was nothing wrong with the bloody weather: FACT.
There was no pilot incapacitation: FACT.
There was nothing wrong with the damn ILS: FACT.

The soft centred, fleshy bit in the middle of the helicopter made a mistake/miscalculated/disengaged from his duties/suspended logical thought/misidentified visual cues............

The pilot(s) made a mistake. Please can we label this accident appropriately and stop covering it in layers of mellifluous sophism!
Thomas coupling is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 18:40
  #2215 (permalink)  
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Bit drafty up there on that Horse?
SASless is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 18:46
  #2216 (permalink)  
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Suss and cuss and fuss and oooooh!
Thomas coupling is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 20:39
  #2217 (permalink)  
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Suss and cuss and fuss and oooooh!
hmm, difficult to top such an expert statement about the human factor.
xlsky is offline  
Old 15th Nov 2013, 22:38
  #2218 (permalink)  
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TC I know the Commander of this flight very well. He is capable, competent and extremely diligent. He is well liked and respected by all his colleagues including me. I know his heart is broken by what happened. I know you are a heartless prick but it still grates when I read your unsympathetic drivel.

It is very difficult, knowing the man, to understand why this happened. A large part of the community is hoping the he suffered an incapacitation.

TC, I know it is easy when detached from the situation, which you clearly are, to be openly critical and I recognise that you also have your place in the grand scheme of things. So do I. On this occasion my place is to tell you what a tw*t you are.

DOUBLE BOGEY is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2013, 02:02
  #2219 (permalink)  
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Just because he is a nice guy, liked by is colleagues, respected even, someone you know well and who is heartbroken does not mean that he was not part of a serious crew error which led to the loss of a serviceable helicopter and the death of 4 passengers who had put themselves under his expert charge.

There were 2 crew so both are part of the same error but P1 is the Commander of the aircraft and in the absence of extenuating circumstances has no option but to take the blame. Hard but true, true for all of us when we sign for an aircraft.
industry insider is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2013, 03:56
  #2220 (permalink)  
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II I hear you and you are of course right. However this kind of accident is not unusual and happens a lot more than we think around the world.

My last count I have 27 serviceable helicopters impacting the sea!!

Why does this happen and how can it be prevented?

Modern machines like the EC225 and EC175 have Flight Envelope Protections built into the DAFCS. Even this did not stop one hitting the sea when the crew decided ( because they are allowed to) fly manually in the dark.

It's a very poor response to try and blame these accidents on the individuals alone. They are, for the most part, simply guilty of poor airmanship that leads to the accident. It is much more relevant and progressive to try to understand what processes, procedures and equipment could be deployed to prevent these accidents.

DOUBLE BOGEY is offline  

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