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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 24th Aug 2013, 10:25
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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BBC report is now saying the 2 crew are among the survivors.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 10:26
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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As a long time North Sea pilot (30 years +) but now retired, I always get that "chill" that runs down my spine when I hear of an accident in the North Sea.

It horrifies me how many incorrect facts are spewed out by the media and how many so called "professionals" are quoted. IHMO there has only been one sensible "take" on matters "press" in the past and that is by one of our PPRuNe members.

It is always a relief when you hear about survivors. Having said that it is still a sad day when there are fatalities and my condolences and thoughts go to those families affected.

As has been said previously, let the true professionals (AAIB) state the facts.

However, my thoughts are with all you guys flying the North Sea

TC
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 10:30
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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We all need to get a proper sense of proportion here.

1) Helicopters will never be as safe as fixed wing airliners, they have more single points of failure such as gearboxes, rotors, etc and operate in more hazardous conditions.
2) Despite the above the large helicopters used in offshore operations have a good and improving safety record in terms of incidents per sector flown.
3) The offshore oil industry is totally dependant on these machines and safety is their number one priority.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 10:50
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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"and safety is their number one priority."

Yeah right.... 4 choppers down in less than 5 years.... safety is our number one priority
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 10:54
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Grenville and Heli Student

The newly installed cockpit warning on the EC225 is the first in cockpit HUMS warning ever. I am not even sure that is a great idea but that's my personal opinion.

Until now, there have been no HUMS warnings in the cockpit. The likelihood of a false warning causing an unnecessary ditching is too high.
Furthermore, HUMS is meant to pick up issues way before the pilot would need to be worried about them.

HUMS is good but not perfect and the systems still have some way to go to maintain a level of integrity which would allow sufficient confidence to give cockpit warnings.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 10:58
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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As an off shore industry outsider how many flights are there daily/weekly in the North Sea?
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:00
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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RIP

Very sad news. RIP.
Four oil workers die after 'catastrophic' Shetland helicopter crash - Telegraph

The crash victims were named on Saturday as Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland; Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin; 59-year-old Gary McCrossan, from Inverness and George Allison, 57, from Winchester.



Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, George Allison, 57, from Winchester



Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness and and Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin


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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:02
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Last edited by airwave45; 24th Aug 2013 at 11:04.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:08
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industry insider - Thank you for the clarification.

One means of protecting against unnecessary ditching is to categorise HUMS generated warnings as precautionary (given that this information was historically unavailable) until such time as the refinements you speak of are effected.

The lack of HUMS generated warning occurences may of course be due to the fact that the system is, as you say, relatively new.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:18
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Grenville, you are presuming that not only was this event caused by a technical issue, but also that it was detectable by HUMS. Two bold assumptions!

As II says, the nature of developing faults in helicopter transmission is that in general they can be detected many hours before becoming catastrophic. So to my mind, this accident was either not of a technical nature, or was of a failure mode not detectable by HUMS.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:23
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HeliComparator - No assumptions. Speaking purely about HUMS in relation to a previously raised questions about the same.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:24
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A ppruner was interviewed by Sky News this morning. Seemed to give a reasonably factual account without being forced into speculating.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:24
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Grenville, HUMS data from the EC225 is downloaded after each flight now. I believe that Bristow always did download after each flight, CHC and Bond also do now, for the 225s anyway.

Of course, we don't know whether or not mechanical issues played a part or not in this accident.

However, as someone who is on the oil company side of aviation, I have a policy that HUMS data is downloaded after every flight (not sector) for all types of aircraft we contract.

Secondly, I will be working with our helicopter contractor to look at the feasibility of at least periodic in flight HUMS transmissions back to base, much like large jets use their ACARS. Since ACARS only sends short and simple messages I am not sure where packets of HUMS data will be in terms of data size but it must be doable. I want to see some "next step" innovation from Helicopter Operators and OEMs.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:40
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My son works for a major oilfield organisation. He is a frequent passenger on these helicopters and many others around the world. As most informed contributors on this board know, Offshore helicopter passengers are probably the most safety trained and well practised in emergency drills group of people who fly commercially. A fact that is certain to have saved some lives in this incident.
However, my son who takes a very pragmatic approach to his job and the various risks it entails is obviously quite shaken by the events yesterday. Whatever the reasons for the accident, there is a feeling amongst his colleagues that four incidents in as many years in just one area of operations (the North Sea) featuring what appears to be one type of aircraft, is too much.

Our families thoughts are with those involved. Those who experienced this incident, the rescuers and the families of those who are now bereaved.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:40
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Originally Posted by industry insider View Post
I will be working with our helicopter contractor to look at the feasibility of at least periodic in flight HUMS transmissions back to base, much like large jets use their ACARS. Since ACARS only sends short and simple messages I am not sure where packets of HUMS data will be in terms of data size but it must be doable. I want to see some "next step" innovation from Helicopter Operators and OEMs.
This kind of language I find inspiring. As HeliComparator has said, not everything can be picked-up by HUMS (such as freewheel unit condition) but a vast amount of what I believe will (in the future) prove to be invaluable information is and once efficiently collated and presented, can only enhance overall safety - for since when has improved component and systems condition awareness been an impediment to safety?

I am convinced that real-time "processed" HUMS analysis fed not only to the flight deck but also, as suggested, to a supporting ground base would be a boon for helicopter safety in the longterm.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 11:55
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GF I have said in the past that HUMS development stalled a long time ago. The problem is that its a costly venture to research and develop. With no joined-up industry initiative to do so, it would be left to the individual operators who have limited budget, resource and technical ability. Bristow did spend a fortune back in the late 80s to develop their IHUMS system, but in this day and age it seems highly unlikely that such an excercise could be repeated. I am pretty sure they made a big financial loss on the whole thing, and the other operators benefitted from the development just as much as Bristow did. (not forgetting of course that BAH carried out a similair excercise). I takes someone or some organisation with lots of initiative and dosh to raise the game, but at the moment I can't see who that would be.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:01
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It will begin (again) with those possessing the attitude of industry insider and will be advanced each time it is proved that more efficient HUMS monitoring, processing and presentation is able to prevent accidents.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:10
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GF - Its not just Industry Insider's attitude that is needed, its his money as well! In my previous post I mentioned the difficulty for operators, but of course I should have said that such developments are really the remit of the manufacturers. Unfortunately there doesn't seem much desire to go to the next stage of HUMS by the manufacturers, some of whom seem to regard HUMS as an annoying bolt-on required by untrusting customers. Although the detail has changed, I can't think of any conceptual changes of consequence that have occured since HUMS was introduced in the late 80s, that's about 25 years ago. Are we as an industry even doing AAD? I don't think so (although happy to be corrected).

Last edited by HeliComparator; 24th Aug 2013 at 12:11.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:13
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Some video footage from the RNLI
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:20
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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I remember when Westland Helicopters were developing their own version of HUMS in the early 80's. A HUMS analysise unit was sent to the Royal Australian Navy and was fitted to one of their Sea Kings. The Sea King crashed and the HUMS data collection unit was sent back to Westlands (oh, this must have been around 1982-ish).

When the analysis was performed they identified an anomaly in the main transmission 150 hours prior to the failure of the component. Since then I have been a dedicated supporter of HUMS.

May I suggest that those such as Industry Insider, his colleagues in the energy industry as well as the likes of yourself and others in aviation coalesce so that potential avenues of advancement in this area be considered.

An industry sector (such as the North Sea) is perhaps one of the few operating arenas which could potentially drive this initiative.
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