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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:05
  #421 (permalink)  
 
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Airwave - lies, damned lies and statistics! Firstly if you look at the accident rate, as opposed to the fatal accident rate, the GoM is far worse. Because they fly small helis, each accident only risks the lives of a handful, so they can have far more fatal accidents than we can. At least a good chunk of the N Sea fatals in that period must have come from the Bristow 76 that disintegrated off Norwich. Really, its hard to see how the operator could have avoided that accident - it was down to an undetectable maintenance error on a rotor blade at Sikorsky. So that one accident really skews the stats. Plus, lots of people can fall into the sea in GoM and in general, because its a more benign environment, they get away without dying. Comparing stats from different types of operations can be misleading.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:10
  #422 (permalink)  
 
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As one who has been associated with military helicopters since the Vietnam era and now working in the offshore industry and sometimes spend time riding in the back seats of said helicopters may I put in my five cents worth.

I recently flew out of the Shetlands and during the preflight briefing not one mention of what to do in the event of a ditching ie How to don you rebreather etc. I went through all this during my HUET 3 years ago but ones memory tends to gather cobwebs after a rime.

What I think should happen is a more robust preflight briefing where all this is information is demonstrated. During any operation that involves a risk offshore we have to fill out JSA;s and have toolbox talks where every risk is discussed and what preventative measures must be taken. An extra ten minutes briefing may have saved some or all the lives lost in this accident.

Lastly my insurance company will not cover me for helicopter rides offshore. If helicopter flight is so safe why is this?
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:14
  #423 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by HeliComparator View Post
At least a good chunk of the N Sea fatals in that period must have come from the Bristow 76 that disintegrated off Norwich.
To save me searching the entire web, this was the poorly repaired blade post-lightning strike?
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:15
  #424 (permalink)  
 
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AS - yes it was.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:18
  #425 (permalink)  
 
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lostinp - surely you have the (rather lengthy IMO) DVD briefing? Do you feel that a human briefing would be better?

There are a couple of factors here - yes, the DVD doesn't grab your attention the same wayas a human does, but on the other hand the DVD ensures a consitent brief every time, free from the frailties of human memory. There have on occasion been times when we pilots have been asked to go down to speak to the passengers, but the reaction I have got is that they wonder what's up, and why are we doing that instead of concentrating on preparing to fly! (can't win!)
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:20
  #426 (permalink)  
 
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@lostinp: that should have been covered in the sfaety briefing video that you no doubt were shown. SOP for offshore flights.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:21
  #427 (permalink)  
 
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"Airwave - lies, damned lies and statistics! Firstly if you look at the accident rate, as opposed to the fatal accident rate, the GoM is far worse. Because they fly small helis, each accident only risks the lives of a handful, so they can have far more fatal accidents than we can. At least a good chunk of the N Sea fatals in that period must have come from the Bristow 76 that disintegrated off Norwich. Really, its hard to see how the operator could have avoided that accident - it was down to an undetectable maintenance error on a rotor blade at Sikorsky. So that one accident really skews the stats. Plus, lots of people can fall into the sea in GoM and in general, because its a more benign environment, they get away without dying. Comparing stats from different types of operations can be misleading."

Totally agree, the GOM is a less hostile environment. Furthermore it's not correct to leave out the Norwegian sector. It is like leaving out a base in the GOM that had few or none accidents.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:27
  #428 (permalink)  
 
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Boat transfers will never be an acceptable method of transferring folk from rig to ship because they involve basket transfers. Basket transfers are inherently dangerous and terrifying to anyone scared of heights. Personally I have seen two go badly wrong with one guy ending in the sea and the second damaging his leg. He stepped off before the basket was on the deck of the pitching ship, basically he panicked. He had to be returned to the barge that had just dropped him in the same basket.
My company, a major offshore construction company, banned basket transfers years ago and are rarely used. Too many folk get hurt.
BP came up with something called a Frog. The victims would sit inside, strapped in, no windows and were craned from ship to rig. This, as you can imagine, is pretty scary too.
Basket transfers are hugely weather dependent. You can forget a transfer on anything over 30 knots. Helicopters remain the safest method of transferring workers to and from the platforms, rigs and ships in the North Sea.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:33
  #429 (permalink)  
 
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imsafe, from

http://www.sintef.no/upload/Teknolog...n%20Report.pdf


Table 5.3.
Accidents in the North Sea in the period 19992009.

No. Date Helicopter Country Fatalities Survivors
1 2000-02-15 AS332L UK - -
2 2001-07-12 S-76A UK - -
3 2001-11-10
AS332L UK - -

4 2002-02-28
AS332L UK - -

5 2002-07-16 S-76A UK 11 0
6 2002-11-05 AS332L2 NO - -
7 2006-03-03 AS332L2 UK - -
8 2006-12-27
SA365N UK 7 0

9 2008-02-22
AS332L2 UK - -

10 2008-03-09
SA365N UK - -

11 2009-02-18 EC225 UK - -
12 2009-04-01
AS332L2 UK 16 0

Sum 34 0


the formatting has gone, but you see now why I can leave the Noggies out of this ?
They do more flying than us and have a vanishngly small crash rate.

Now, why is that?

Last edited by airwave45; 27th Aug 2013 at 10:40. Reason: Formatting errors
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:35
  #430 (permalink)  
 
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Aircraft safety briefing videos represent a leap forward in safety for, as HC mentioned, they deliver consistency but, for more importantly, are able to illustrate key safety factors, in most cases, far more effectively than "live" briefs.

I encourage helicopter operators to have a downloadable safety video for each type they operate on their websites and would encourage bears to download these onto their tablets and laptops and to watch the relevant video prior to their next flight.

This can never be a substitute for the pre-flight safety video but it can be an important enhancement to offshore safety.

Last edited by Grenville Fortescue; 27th Aug 2013 at 10:40.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:36
  #431 (permalink)  
 
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Resources. Is the easy answer to that.
Noggy oil companies are willing to pay for a better level of cover on all fronts.
Including back up aircraft, instead of trimming to a minimum level.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:38
  #432 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OMONEZ View Post
HC. The 76 blade defect was a manufacture defect that was accepted and release to service by SK.
I should like to remember this correctly.

I thought the blade had suffered a lightning strike, was sent to SAC for repairs, then returned to Bristow whereafter it failed on take-off from a platform?

Last edited by Anthony Supplebottom; 27th Aug 2013 at 10:42.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:42
  #433 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by OMONEZ View Post
HC. The 76 blade defect was a manufacture defect that was accepted and release to service by SK.
I should like to remember this correctly.

I thought the blade has suffered a lightning strike, was sent to SAC for repairs, then returned to Bristow whereafter it failed on take-off from a rig?
Yes thats how I remember it, lightning strike followed by repairs and subsequent failure.

Si
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:44
  #434 (permalink)  
 
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S76Heavy
HeliComparator

Unfortunately it was not included on the DVD, but before the flight I did a check of each piece of safety gear I was wearing trying to remember exactly what I was taught
Perhaps a physical demo would have been much better. especially in my case as I had not flown in a chopper in a cold water environment since my HUET 3 years ago
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:44
  #435 (permalink)  
 
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Airwave, what are all those accidents with no survivors and no fatalities? Where they ground incidents or what ( maybe it depends on the definition of an accident, which varies from region to region).

Anyway, we have of consequence:
in 2002 the 76 accident that was solely the manufacturer's fault

in 2006 the Morcambe Bay dauphin, solely pilot error (with some underlying questions about training and Ops Man)

in 2009 the nasty L2, down to maintenance issues.

The rest are what? Bumping the rotor blades on the hangar doors when tractoring it in for example? Publishing a list of events, without knowing what they are, is not helpful.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:46
  #436 (permalink)  
 
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AS / Si yes, and in fact several years of service went by after the repair, until it failed.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:46
  #437 (permalink)  
 
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Oldpilot - boat transfers are not done by basket but by hydraulic gangway. There are still weather restrictions but to date gangway transfer is significantly safer than helicopters.

Helicopters win on convenience and weather limits - not safety (although if the gangway limits are pushed that will change!)
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:47
  #438 (permalink)  
 
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Lostinp; every safety video from every company I've worked for showed the correct use of all safety equipment. In the old days we used to have a cabin attendant as well, nowadays when embarking r/r is will be a bit difficult but I always answer any queries from pax about the flight and equipment.

It should have been on the video, if not then it is a serious omission.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:50
  #439 (permalink)  
 
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Airwave,

If you look into the statistics from the GOM you may or may not (i don't know) find that a majority of the fatal accidents occured from one specific base. If you then leave those "safe" bases out of the statistics you may find that NS is safer after all.

Talking about statistics it would be interesting to see statistics of accidents/fatalities per helicopter type and operating hours in the NS.
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Old 27th Aug 2013, 10:51
  #440 (permalink)  
 
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HC. The 76 blade defect was a manufacture defect that was accepted and release to service by SK.

The fold in the strip holed the spar when it had a lightning strike, it was returned to service after going to a blade facility in the UK, wonder who owned them????? We don't use multi section strips in the EBU any more.

HC, BB. The 76 blade had a production consession for a folded over abrasion strip edge. This created a point for the lightning to burn the spar. None of this was recorded on the log card. The blade inspection after the strike was done in the UK I seem to remember. In the same area of the country.
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