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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 29th Jan 2014, 20:51
  #2421 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50
Good enough for the troops, but beneath you, is that it?
Your interpretation? Rather beneath your normal output. I've been both, thank-you. The 332L1/L2/EC225 is a compromise, based on a military requirement, and so, with your permission I'll return to my original premise; let's hope that in 50 years time the industry will provide aircraft specifically designed to be fit for the specific purpose of getting people to and from offshore installations in such a manner that doesn't compromise their safety.
How much more Fit For Purpose can one get, I ask?(Observations on window and door size appreciated and taken into consideration).
I take it you've never had the pleasure of sitting with your legs inter-twined with those of four of your compatriots, wondering which of the two windows available to you, you'll be able to get-to first?

Last edited by diginagain; 29th Jan 2014 at 21:36.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 22:45
  #2422 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by diginagain View Post
I take it you've never had the pleasure of sitting with your legs inter-twined with those of four of your compatriots, wondering which of the two windows available to you, you'll be able to get-to first?
So is your primary interest here in passenger comfort, or safety? I can't blame you for wanting more legroom, but please don't try to piggyback your comfort needs onto the back of a safety case.

You are saying you already have 2 windows to choose from, how many more would you like? Or would it be easier if there was only one - then no decision needs to be made?
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 22:49
  #2423 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by HeliComparator
So is your primary interest here in passenger comfort, or safety?
The supposition does you no justice at all, HC.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 23:05
  #2424 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by diginagain View Post
The supposition does you no justice at all, HC.
I think you'll find that a supposition is a statement, whereas a question has a question mark. But since you have declined to answer the question and instead created a smokescreen, I guess I can reasonably switch from a question to supposition.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 23:08
  #2425 (permalink)  
 
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HC


Surely you can make the connection between inter-twined passengers crammed in like sardines and the difficulty that is likely to be experienced trying to evacuate a ditched helicopter before they drown.


Who in such a situation is realistically going to follow HUET discipline and allow their fellow passenger to exit first and who is going to have the room to manoeuvre to correctly activate their re-breather should their exit be impeded?


I am constantly amazed at the advertised seating capacity of virtually all helicopters. Japanese subway trains offer more breathing space for passengers. An eye-watering number of often 'well-fed' passengers are being squeezed into North Sea helicopters and being bulked up further with survival suits and life jackets. It's not on to suggest that people are merely concerned with comfort.
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Old 29th Jan 2014, 23:16
  #2426 (permalink)  
 
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I shall cede the point to you, HC, and thank satsuma for his post, which puts rather more eloquently that which I had considered writing in response.

Do feel free, when the opportunity presents itself, to observe the ergonomic-nightmare that is the 332/225 cabin when full.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 00:53
  #2427 (permalink)  
 
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I am well aware of how cramped a 332/225 cabin is when full of well fed and well suited chaps. However, poor legroom, which I fully agree makes it uncomfortable in some seats, does no translate into poor safety. Even after we understand that we are only looking at a small subset arrivals in the water - those between where an orderly and calm evacuation right-sides up is the consequence, and where the impact forces make the arrival unsurvivable (ie currently a 1 in 22 year event), I don't see a connection with legroom. Window size, proximity, ease of operation, not having to be second out etc, Yes. But legroom? No. That is just a comfort thing. There is nothing wrong with the unions clamouring for more comfort but I resent it when it is disguised to look like a safety plea.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 01:05
  #2428 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by HeliComparator
That is just a comfort thing.
Then you and I will have to differ on this point, as on a number of others.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 02:33
  #2429 (permalink)  
 
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Excuse me....I seem to have lost my way on this discussion.

If you are Cheek on Jowl....elbow to elbow...legs intertwined....your noggin is bumping the overhead....and you are even second in line for an exit....assuming everyone does exactly as they are supposed to and no one is incapacitated.....is it really just "comfort" HC....really?

Now I really do hate to broach the topic....but is it a situation that is common to all the aircraft operating on the North Sea...or is it unique to the 225/332 aircraft the guys are concerned about?

Even the old lovely 212 had its downside when it came to emergency exits with nine folks trying to get out of two windows. The Dauphin must have been a real thrill if you were stashed away in the rear end of it. The 76 was not much better.

Do we need an aircraft that has a big Window by each row of seats or perhaps turn the seating so that each two rows face one another with a huge window on either side of the aircraft like the 212?
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 06:39
  #2430 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs down

HC,

Most of your arguments are logical and well-reasoned but here I think you're just being argumentative for the sake of it. The reference to inter-twined legs is clearly just a method of highlighting conditions in the back of the aircraft, not a reason for randomly accusing an entire workforce of being a bit precious about levels of comfort. You're starting to come across as a bit dim, which you're obviously not, so please stop it. Furthermore, I feel it would be sensible for you to stop tempting fate by labelling ditchings of this type as a 1 in 22 year event. Cold statistical facts are for the use of management and money men.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 06:50
  #2431 (permalink)  
 
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If the legroom on a 225 is just a "comfort thing" then might I suggest you try sitting in the right hand seat of the starboard aft facing row of two in front of the three rearmost seat with a full load of pax. There is literally nowhere to put your legs, everyone is clamouring for space. I did a just over a two hour flight in that seat and after landing my legs ached until after I got home. Even cattle have minimum space requirements when being transported. But not apparently offshore workers.

But not to worry as I wont be doing it again, I have decided to move on from the offshore industry as it quite clearly has its head inserted right up its rectum. And they wonder why they are struggling to get workers when you go to check in, have your bag checked only to be told that you cannot take your sealed bottle of Centrum multivitamins offshore "because its a drug".

Think I need a name change ..
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 09:08
  #2432 (permalink)  
 
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Helicomparitor
However, if I were a pax, I would prefer that max effort went into keeping the helicopters airborne, rather than spending too much effort on what happens after an uncontrolled ditching, only a small spectrum of which would entail any benefit by reducing pax numbers.

ie a controlled ditching - everyone gets out OK.
A completely uncontrolled ditching (crash) - chances are everyone dies on impact.
A slightly uncontrolled ditching such as the Shetland one, yes for that case certainly the chances of successful evacuation is improved with fewer pax. But it is the only one out of all the recent arrivals in the water, where that is the case.
I agree with this - edited to add apart from the thrid scenario which I consider a crash - not a slightly uncontrolled ditching - offshore pax have to accept there is some risk - I always have, and I have the following points.

1. Comfort - yes it has to be improved, the post above is exactly accurate. But I don't think it should be improved to the point where we have 10 pax in a 225, requiring double the aircraft and double the pilots. I think this increases risk - the last two fatal crashes seem to be due to maintenance, and the pilots flew an airworthy aircraft into the sea. It is already hard finding pilots and maint crew - don't want to dilute the existing pool with rushing in newly trained people.
2. Escapabilitly - has improved over the years from days of chinook, bell 212/214, s76, dauphin. 225 has best escape windows but most cramped cabin. S92 has spacious cabin - windows are too small.
3. Rebreather - really needs to be reviewed - this accident probably will show it's totally ineffective if you have not advance warning to deploy. There appear to be better systems out there.
4. Pax size - needs to be looked at - offshore pax must realise their size (getting bigger and I include myself) does not help in comfort or safety terms - so perhaps we should put stricter limits in place - if I had to be lighter and less bulkier to keep my job I am sure I would achieve that goal.

and to be clear - a ditching is a concious decision on the part of the pilots to land on water - anything else is a crash.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 10:17
  #2433 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by satsuma View Post
HC,

Most of your arguments are logical and well-reasoned but here I think you're just being argumentative for the sake of it. The reference to inter-twined legs is clearly just a method of highlighting conditions in the back of the aircraft, not a reason for randomly accusing an entire workforce of being a bit precious about levels of comfort. You're starting to come across as a bit dim, which you're obviously not, so please stop it. Furthermore, I feel it would be sensible for you to stop tempting fate by labelling ditchings of this type as a 1 in 22 year event. Cold statistical facts are for the use of management and money men.
My point really is that the offshore industry in general tends to have the memory of a goldfish - ie they only remember the accident that just happened, not the previous ones. In the case of the Sumburgh L2, some folk didn't get out. We don't really know why yet, although of course a cramped cabin MAY have been an issue, maybe not. But suddenly there is a big focus on the issue of cabin density, and the implication that if we just cut down the number of pax then all will be well. But to my mind this is a very minor issue in the great scheme of things, and not the universal panacea to end all offshore fatalities as is being made out.

We are quite happy to fly over water in an airliner, without pop-out windows and with the nearest exit many rows away. Why? Because they don't fall into the water very often (and when they do, it is usually unsurvivable). Surely we should be aiming for the same thing?

I think your dislike of statistics is a little childish - if were to deny ourselves the use of statistics to drive the direction of effort to make the best improvements, we would be very foolish.

Finally, in response to O. A., yes I know that seat leaves very little space to put you legs and no, I wouldn't want to spend 2 hrs in it. On the other hand you are sitting right next to a class IV emergency exit, and I don't think that having your legs overlapping (not intertwined, unless you have rubber legs) is a significant factor in an emergency evacuation. FYI the space for me in the front, having to drive at the same time, at 6'4 1/2", is no better than it is in the back. So yes I would like more room in the front and the back, but it is not the highest priority safety issue.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 11:01
  #2434 (permalink)  
 
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HC - "they don't fall into the water very often (and when they do, it is usually unsurvivable). Surely we should be aiming for the same thing?"

What make it unsurvivable too !?
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 11:31
  #2435 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think that's what he was saying at all. He was saying most fixed wing crashes are not survivable - and I think statistics back him up - although some do have survivors and the controlled landing on the Hudson River was a great example.

I think he is saying - controlled ditching - good sea state - easily survivable for all with easy evacuation of the cabin to rafts - proved with the 225's incidents.

Uncontrolled crash - as with the bond L2 - not survivable at all - regardless of cabin config.

This is what I am trying to say

The Shetland L2 crash - rare event - a crash which is not fully uncontrolled - but helicopter inverts quickly - which could be same as controlled ditching with poor sea state - this is where exits/space come into play and a much more difficult evacuation. One person next to window who fails to get out for whatever reason (e.g. heart attack from cold shock)- that exit remains blocked - and the person next to this is searching for an alternative - which may be very difficult.

But making cabin spacious and easy to evacuate for this scenario may decrease risk in this rare case - but the overall risk to pax may increase if we double the fleet and pilots and movements - and landings on offshore platforms - and for the bears more delays!

I don't think we know how many failed to get out in this incident, definitely one, possibly two? And we do not have confirmed cause of death yet for all 4?
In this scenario I think the current rebreather is useless - and the use of it needs to be reviewed to see if there is something better.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 11:54
  #2436 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by AnFI View Post
HC - "they don't fall into the water very often (and when they do, it is usually unsurvivable). Surely we should be aiming for the same thing?"

What make it unsurvivable too !?
Massive impact g forces that kill you instantly, or at best render you incapacitated.


thelearner - yes, good post. It is always very important to look at the effect any change makes on overall safety. There is no point in putting the blinkers on to fix a problem when you create a new and worse one!
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 12:21
  #2437 (permalink)  
 
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Good point about the consequences of more space resulting in more trips and more landings.

I am not convinced that more space is a cure-all. Bigger escape windows, along the lines of 225, 189 and 175, are likely to be beneficial in any sinking or inversion. When I think about the chaos of all those guys struggling with kit and looking for exits, there may be cases where more space would be unhelpful if it provides somewhere to get lost in a panic.

O&G is clearly an important market to manufacturers in a certain range of aircraft size and it is also the most challenging for emergency escape. Ideally, there needs to be a logical approach to cabin design at an early stage that provides for any passenger a single logical approach to getting out. The fewer deviations from a single logical approach that there are the more people will survive.

Pet hate: 332 door jettison regime.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 12:21
  #2438 (permalink)  
 
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Forgive a former fixed wing maritime flier inquiring...

Much is made of the supposed enhanced safety through twin engined helicopter operations offshore. But if all the power from both/either engines go through a much 'weaker link' in the chain - a single gear box and rotor head - then is the latter negating the benefits of the former?

How many North Sea twins do come home on one engine?

And if the answer is 'very few', is the added gearbox complexity of feeding power from two engines (to mitigate those 'very few') through one MGB and rotorhead introducing more potentuial catastrophic failure points?

Is there a difference in frequency of MGB failures between single and multi engined helicopters?
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 12:32
  #2439 (permalink)  
 
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There is a massive difference in the rate at which airliners end up in the water compared wih offshore helicopters (over 1000 times..). Hence the concentration on survivability with helicopters.

It would be very good to reduce the frequency of these events occuring to offshore helicopters, unfortunately the introduction of the new types has actually reversed what was an improving accident rate.

Some of that has been down to mechanical issues, the others down to operational ones.

What is inescapable is that accident rates vary across the world. In clement areas a ditching is a real inconvenience and not necessarily even reportable.... In our neck of the woods it is another matter, read the report on the ETAP ditching and note that although recovered in less than 2 hours, many of the passengers were severely hyperthermic.

The thing that really occupies my mind is the apparent difference in rates between Norway and the UK. The somewhat adversorial relationship betwen contractors and clients and what seems to be a lack of real safety leadership - from either side, appear to have created a needlessly dangerous situation in the UK. Reversing out from there will not be easy and at the moment there are no obvious champions.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 13:18
  #2440 (permalink)  
 
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But suddenly there is a big focus on the issue of cabin density, and the implication that if we just cut down the number of pax then all will be well
.

It wasn't offered as being the cure all.

It was offered as something that would IMPROVE the current situation re Survivability and go a very long way towards making the Flight much more comfortable.

Perhaps the Oil Company Management types that ride around in the G-5's should revert to flying in Coach/Tourist on Airliners for a while to get the sense of what their Offshore Workers are telling them. Hell...for that matter maybe they should ride in the back of a 225 for a week....do a flight a day and see how it really is for the passengers in the helicopters.

Perhaps do the "Undercover Boss" thing for a week.
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