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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, 12:40
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst HUMS is an interesting subject we have no suggestion at this time of any technical failure. History would suggest that sudden power loss in turbine engines at low level is likely to be associated with bird strikes. The location of this incident very close to shore in an area where large flocks of sea birds are common would put this high on the list of possible causes for investigation.

Last edited by The Ancient Geek; 24th Aug 2013 at 12:44.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:42
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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3) The offshore oil industry is totally dependant (SIC) on these machines and safety is their number one priority.
If this was remotely true, we wouldn't be flying OS oil workers in decrepit machines without even moving map GPS. (for example)
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:47
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Every time I see a clip of the RNLI in action it reminds me of how selflessly brave these people are.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 12:52
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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RNLI

These are very, very brave men who are only volunteers, having seen that footage I shall make a donation to the charity today. It's sad that such tragic circumstances alert us to the courageous work they do, sincere condolences to all families who have lost loved ones in this terrible accident.

Last edited by nomorehelosforme; 24th Aug 2013 at 12:53.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 13:16
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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TAG, bird strike is a possibility but don't forget the engines have the "chip baskets" in front of them so unlike fixed wing, the engines are less vulnerable and travelling much slower. Also, taking out 1 engine shouldn't bring it down.

TLN - moving map? Well worth spending lots of dosh on to show a big screen of blue north sea! Anyway lots of airframes now have EGPWS map displays, and Nav displays showing waypoints and navaids. Can you explain what contribution a moving map display would bring to the party?
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 13:23
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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BBC

As well as the BBC's "aviation expert" Tim Ripley I see union leader Bob Crow has thrown his pennies worth in, with respect what would he know about helicopters, apart from ones he has travelled on with union funds footing the bill!
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 13:40
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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HC,

The rocky cliff sides would show up a very stark Red compared to all that Blue now wouldn't they?

Back when we were using DECCA we had a moving Map such as it was....not that I would consider DECCA a modern Navigational system even when we were using it.

Modern day Moving Map displays might not be all that much use over the North Sea....but when departing and landing ashore it would be nice to have.



A question that I keep asking.....why are these event happening on the UK side of the North Sea and not on the other side? Is it just my memory fails me or are we really not seeing any on the other side? I am not suggesting anything....so don't get your feathers ruffled.....honest question here.

If we are not having crashes and ditching on the east side....then what are the factors that might be in play that keeps them from having the same problem?

Last edited by SASless; 24th Aug 2013 at 13:49.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 13:52
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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RIP to the four who didn't make it.

After nearly 22 years flying as a PAX in these machines, it is a sad fact that the only way to improve safety in the different aircraft types to date has been post-analysis of the failure modes and re-engineering to correct this. HUMS IMHO can only be a pro-active tool if it can accurately inform the PIC and co-pilot on a potential imminent failure mode in one of the main transmission components. Will we ever get to that stage of HUMS development?

In the interim, all we can do is rely on what we have available to date wrt. on board monitoring systems, the RFM and the driver's experience and skills.

I reflect back today on the 17 lost in a S92A on March 12th, 2009 over here offshore Newfoundland, and how that tragedy could have been avoided. We learnt a lot of lessons from that loss of life, as we do from all helo accidents. Let's hope we can prevent further loss of life from the AS332L2 variant by quickly identifying the root cause failure mode and engineering a suitable fix.

There will always be risk in offshore flying operations, sadly it's part of the industry. The onus is on the aircraft manufacturer and the operators to provide equipment that is as safe as reasonably practicable. In light of the recent spate of accidents in the North Sea hopefully more focus will be put on improving our current safety controls and fault monitoring systems.

As far as paying for any improvements required to the helos, you may find that funds become quickly available from support from the oil companies when they evaluate the cost impact of continuous/increased offshore personnel vessel transfer operations and the growing dissent of offshore workers to agree to fly in what they will deem "unsafe" equipment.

Safe flying all.

Max

Last edited by maxwelg2; 24th Aug 2013 at 13:54.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:20
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Max, you are making a massive assumption that there is mechanical failure involved here. Maybe, but maybe not.

Last edited by industry insider; 24th Aug 2013 at 14:20.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:31
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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SAS, no I think your point is valid. Is it just the nature of random events, or is there an underlying cause behind the accidents we have had over the last 4 years or so, with very few for a long time before that? I don't see any reduction in safe practices from where I am, quite the opposite in fact, but then for whatever reason we in Bristow haven't been a party to these accidents.

Perhaps its the current obsession with paper safety - both from the operations and the engineering side? Maybe its time to have less reliance on paper, and more reliance on safety derived from individuals carrying out their jobs in a professional manner. In this respect, IMO it is the regulatory authorities that are driving the paper-safety gold rush and showing little interest in the real safety "on the shop floor".

I can't help thinking that in 20 years we will be laughing at how much effort was expended on paperwork for so little result (and how much it distracted resource from the real task of safe operations).
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:37
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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I think that trying to turn HUMS from a monitoring system into a warning system may be too difficult. It was always designed to try and pick up trends in component's characteristics and then as experience was built up look for trigger points to replace that component.

The only time I came into close contact with HUMS was on the A365N2 which developed rotor vibe. The engineer checked the blades and head before making adjustments advised by HUMS. This lasted a few sorties but the vibe returned. He got onto our HUMS dept who interrogated our base station - we were offsore based, and advised changing the blue blade. This we did - problem solved though nobody could see any defect on the blade it was beginning to delaminate and therefore at speed was causing airflow disruption and hence vibration. I was impressed with HUMS but I doubt a warning system could be designed to trigger at that point as rotors vibrate for too many "safe" reasons.

I am not familiar with the L2 radar fit but the older N2's radar showed your track as a white line and the hard bits as a very bright red! Very difficult not to see! We had a basic moving map on the GPS display - not really used much apart from rig radar approaches.


JD
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:38
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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HC, hallo, how are you doing?

Re: "Chip baskets" as a defence against birdstrikes, I have to point out that although they may prevent ingestion, they won't prevent suffocation.
I'll never forget hitting 24 seagulls at night in a Canberra (well, you wouldn't, would you?). The area covered by compressed wing feathers was quite large enough to throttle a pair of 332 intakes.

I'm not saying that's what happened...etc, etc.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:49
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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To the people calling for the immediate grounding of Puma helicopters in offshore, just take a moment to remember that aircraft of all types crash - Sikorsky gearboxes fail, Agusta Westland tail rotors fall off.

Do we hear calls to ground 737-800's every time they crash and break into 3 pieces? (No, but we should, and that is another story).

The Puma series has a long and very good record offshore. Give the type, the operators and those who fly them A BREAK while this is investigated.

Last edited by What-ho Squiffy!; 24th Aug 2013 at 15:14. Reason: Spelling
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:53
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Helicomparator, I illuded to your sentiments a few months ago and was taken out for not considering safety. I however do also feel that in the interest of safety yes we need paperwork but we also need time on the machine ourselves whether flying or servicing without paper pressures just understanding, feeling and listening to the machine. Very sad this accident and especially to the families who lost loved ones, but I love the 332 and worked with her in difficult circumstances and she had her tricks like all of them but definately does not deserve this either.

Hope we can learn something out of this once the facts are known.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:53
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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In my day, we had to switch the radar to standby on finals, except on an ARA so the chances were that the radar would have been to standby (but then its been a few years since I retired)

TC
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:55
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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HC and TLN.

A significant part of the rescue opperation last night was by aircraft and vessels equipped with AIS and I tracked them online. MCA SAR aircraft are on AIS, as are the Lerwick lifeboat and the cargo ferry. For a plot every minute or so, that is about every 4000m for a cruising helo.

As I write this, the BA shuttle is about to hit the ground at Dyce as it approaches at 125kts.

Another a/c on a holding to the NW.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 14:55
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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TLN - moving map? Well worth spending lots of dosh on to show a big screen of blue north sea! Anyway lots of airframes now have EGPWS map displays, and Nav displays showing waypoints and navaids. Can you explain what contribution a moving map display would bring to the party?
I'd suggest a moving map GPS or linked Multi Function Display would bring 21st Century situational awareness to the party. Say while conducting an instrument approach.
We probably would accept that two fixed card ADFs are all you NEED, but if safety is "Number one priority" anything which dramatically improves SA should surely be on the agenda.

If I was an oil company aviation advisor - I'd advise that no workers are to fly in an AC without a useful MFD - capable of displaying all approach procedures.

"Lots of airframes" so equipped, doesn't change the fact that many also are not.

"Lots of dosh" compared to what? Doing nothing?

I'm not suggesting for a second that loss of SA contributed to this tragedy. Simply commenting on the "Safety is number one priority" statement, and giving one example where cost saving is number one.
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 15:10
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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BA1312 now taxied at 11kts and now sitting at the terminal. Cessna just came in behind it.

The northern North Sea is empty of aero signals but packed with maritime AIS, including all the service boats, platforms, bouys, and drilling rigs. If the Oil and Gas industry were to step forward and establish a helicopter band for similar tracking then it may be another small step forward in safety.

Even at one minute updates the search area is down to a strip 4000m long at helo cruise speeds which is not large by maritime search standards! And you usually have 121.5 locally anyway.

What do you think HC?
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Old 24th Aug 2013, 15:11
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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Eurocopter Ec225 Gearbox Video

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Old 24th Aug 2013, 15:11
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jimf671, can you share the link to the tracking site you are using?
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