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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 29th Aug 2013, 13:54
  #741 (permalink)  
 
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Flying 3 axis coupled at Vy, ALTA capture at MDA and a failure to raise the collective would produce this exact effect and its progression is exponential as the IAS slides backwards up the Power Velocity curve.
Agaricus, the AAIB have full access to the crew. if something broke and caused the reduction of airspeed the AAIB bulletin would have been worded very differently!!
As it stands it implies there was no technical error.
We know the crew personally and you do not. Knowing them as friends and colleagues does not absolve our desire or responsibility to seek the truth
All the while explaining how this couldn't happen in a 225. My friend either you know and have it all worked out and that's cool, but unsure the need for this run around. OR you don't and you have thrown them under a bus. Not sure how else you term it in Scotland.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 14:05
  #742 (permalink)  
 
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if the Pilots are smart and BALPA members....they will already have Lawyers and have made any statement only after being advised by those Lawyers.

They can count upon being sued by the families of the four passengers that were killed and also by the survivors too.....thus they need to be very judicious about what they say to the AAIB and everyone else.

I can assure you when it comes to going to Court....the Lawyers representing CHC are not representing the Pilots.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 14:11
  #743 (permalink)  
 
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Biggles and others:

Please put into practice what Biggles himself advocated not so long ago

"Don't feed the Pitts"
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 14:11
  #744 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
if the Pilots are smart and BALPA members....they will already have Lawyers and have made any statement only after being advised by those Lawyers.

They can count upon being sued by the families of the four passengers that were killed and also by the survivors too.....thus they need to be very judicious about what they say to the AAIB and everyone else.

I can assure you when it comes to going to Court....the Lawyers representing CHC are not representing the Pilots.
How true and how our little world has changed over the years.

Let's just hope this does not impede upon the quest to discover what actually happened.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 14:13
  #745 (permalink)  
 
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Unfortunately Colbri what other conclusion can you draw from my last post?
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 14:18
  #746 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
...I am surprised to learn the Aberdeen Simulator(s) are not working nearly 24 hours each and every day. I would think every pilot, but especially newer pilots would be encouraged to make use of the Sim(s) anytime they were not scheduled for Required Training..
I've been flying IFR helicopters for over 20 years including offshore for almost 10 years and have never once sat in a sim let alone done any training in one.....I'd like to have a go in a sim at least once in my career but alas it looks unlikely. So far the employers or oil companies/clients never wanted to pay for it, perhaps they never considered it worth the expense or time.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 14:33
  #747 (permalink)  
 
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Long time reader first time poster... don't bite my head off

Along with a lot of others lets wait to we see all the data before drawing conclusions.

My worry is that if human error is a factor the operators, eurocopter, oil companies and other interested parties will throw the kitchen sink at the pilots. So as to deflect from previous incidents and get the fleet flying.

I fly the 332 and have struggled with what I see as unfair criticism of the Puma family.

I do though worry that we may miss valuable safety lessons if the human factor is blamed in its entirety.

Surely with more investment in the Shetland oil fields we NEED airports with better infastructure (why no ILS for 09?, Scatsa ILS?).

What about flight time and fatigue given the latest boom in the North Sea? I certainly know my own capabilities after 5 days of early starts and 6 hours in the chair being asked to fly the 16 ILS into EGPD at minima.

Just some thoughts.....
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 14:35
  #748 (permalink)  
 
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if the Pilots are smart and BALPA members....they will already have Lawyers and have made any statement only after being advised by those Lawyers.

They can count upon being sued by the families of the four passengers that were killed and also by the survivors too.....thus they need to be very judicious about what they say to the AAIB and everyone else.

I can assure you when it comes to going to Court....the Lawyers representing CHC are not representing the Pilots.
Unfortunately this is bang on the money. If any here are ever in the unfortunate position of being involved in a accident/incident, it would be most prudent to ensure that the very first person you speak to after getting your voice back is the union representative and then an appointed lawyer after that. Only after those two have been consulted should one engage in the rest of the chat. As has been mentioned already, memory is an unreliable tool and very malleable when folks are looking for someone to blame. If I were in their shoes right now, with all the uncertainty, confusion and stress of the aftermath, I would not be saying a huge amount until the CVR/FDR are examined. A few vague memories from the heat of the very stressful moment without the full picture can really only be inaccurate at best and will do little to help build an accurate picture of events. The AAIB will expect as much and probably not expect too much from the crew at this point anyway, hence the wording of the release. It neither conforms nor denies any rumors or theories and so far in no way implicates CFIT or technical failure. Do not try to read between the lines on this one. Yes the wording is carefully chosen, but does not implicate. They just donít know yet, and until the recovery of the FDR, probably wont be able to release any more info either. All in time.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 15:04
  #749 (permalink)  
 
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Not vortex ring

Personally I think its unlikely to be vortex ring.
To get VRS you have to be going very slowly in both axes, at a stable air speed less than 10 kts, and then it takes a little while to develop. SPs are pretty resistant to VRS. The hypothetical scenario proposed doesn't require VRS to cause the heli to hit the sea.

Yes, I am aware of at least one other event where this happened, not on this continent. They got away with it by the skin of their teeth.

Last edited by HeliComparator; 29th Aug 2013 at 15:06.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 15:16
  #750 (permalink)  
 
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Agree with HC. My recollection of VRS from my Mil training days is that the ROD is very high/scary. I doubt if the L2 would have stayed in one piece or that any of the pax would have got away with no injuries had that been the case.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 15:19
  #751 (permalink)  
 
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The AAIB did not mention what the Airspeed was....what the ROD was...what the Aircraft Heading or Track was....Folks....Quit Speculating....it is a waste of time to do so.

Until there are some definitive facts and data to be chewed on and digested....you are only arm waving and making silly noises at this point.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 15:20
  #752 (permalink)  
 
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CVFDR found:

Air Accidents Investigation: AS332 L2 Super Puma helicopter G-WNSB ? News Release
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 15:22
  #753 (permalink)  
 
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Now....in time we shall get some very useful information and data.....then we can all speculate with great abandon as some are already doing.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 15:25
  #754 (permalink)  
 
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SAS, I don't see anything wrong with speculation as long as its made clear its just that. It passes the time pending real information, and allows the airing of things that COULD go wrong, even if they didn't this time. Anyway, looks like there might be some solid info soon.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 15:26
  #755 (permalink)  
 
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Having been retired from the NS for nearly 15 years I have refrained from commenting here as I'm too long out of touch, however the information contained in the third paragraph of the initial AAIB press release regarding airspeed reduction and increased rate of descent could well be the result of analysis of the Sumburgh radar tapes and nothing to do with statements from the crew or passengers.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 16:32
  #756 (permalink)  
 
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The captain of the BA777 that landed a tad short at LHR was told by BA to go into seclusion and on no account talk to the media.

No doubt the crew of the Super Puma have also received the same caution.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 16:34
  #757 (permalink)  
 
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The Norway CHC L2s are flying today. CHC is the Operator of the accident aircraft.

The AAIB report expressly omits any mention of technical problems despite 4 days access to both pilots.

BALPA press release reaffirms its members confidence in the Super Puma family and has access to the crews.

Lets hope the HSSG recognise the significance off these statements and CHC actions and we all get flying again soon.

DB
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 16:41
  #758 (permalink)  
 
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Its very good news that the cockpit voice and flight data recorder has been recovered, and the likelihood is the true cause(s) of the ditching can now be determined from hard facts. Not withstanding that, it would be sad if the opportunity was lost to use this accident and the attention currently focused upon it to improve the already high standards throughout the offshore helicopter industry.

As Diginagain said:

I believe it was Mechta who suggested the use of a confidential reporting system for raising concerns. Of course, air- and ground crew as well as maintainers can do-so using CHIRP. The oil industry have been offered a similar confidential occurrence reporting system but this offer has been rebuffed. It seems that while OGUK/Step Change In Safety would like greater workforce engagement, there are limits as to how much engagement is warranted, it appears.
The difference between CHIRP and my proposal, is that CHIRP is started by an individual being sufficiently concerned that they initiate the process of a report. What I proposed was a confidential survey or interviews of all those working (and could include retired from) the industry to pick up incidents which had previously gone unreported. There must be plenty of close-call incidents which, although alarming at the time, did not get reported due to distractions of pressing day to day tasks. They then become distant memories until someone gets badly bitten by much the same thing.

My other proposal, of, as Grenville Fortescue described it,

A North Sea Helicopter Operations Task Force comprised of retired pilots and engineers, supported in their mission by offshore workers
to observe and compare, over a period of weeks or months, the differences between the operators' styles of operations, planning, maintenance etc. with the sole objective to bring industry standards up to the level of the best, would be a valid way to reassure the users of North Sea helicopters that the four lost did not die in vain.

As a footnote, if you were a 'bear' wouldn't you at least like your pilot to be aware of the cause of the recent accident, whether it was mechanical or not, before you climbed into EC332L2?

Last edited by Mechta; 29th Aug 2013 at 16:50. Reason: footnote added
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 17:17
  #759 (permalink)  
 
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Not speculation - CHC website

From the CHC website:
Update: CHC Statement on Sumburgh Aircraft Accident
From what we know so far about the Sumburgh incident, as well as tens of thousands of hours of experience with this aircraft, there is no reason to believe that a fundamental problem with AS332L2 aircraft led to this accident. So we returned AS332L2 aircraft to service beginning Thursday.

Inside the U.K., we are continuing to honor a request by the Helicopter Safety Steering Group and are not presently flying passengers with AS332L, As332L1, AS332L2 or EC225 aircraft (except for life-saving SAR and medevac missions).
So the SP family is OK to resume flight operations as soon as the HSSG say so

Last edited by b.borg; 29th Aug 2013 at 17:23.
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Old 29th Aug 2013, 17:30
  #760 (permalink)  
 
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So very fine Tap Dancing in the CHC Press Release.

No statement as to the suspected cause....but a statement that the Type (in their view) has no "fundamental flaw".

You speculators out there.....if there was a mechanical problem would they have mentioned something vaguely or not? If it was CFIT...would they have obliquely mentioned that to enhance the public image of the SP family?
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