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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 8th Sep 2013, 17:14
  #1421 (permalink)  
 
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SLF

The first time I heard the term SLF was from a friend of mine who is SLF, therefore if its good enough for them its good enough for me! I believe it has its origins in the military.

Better than pax, which is just a lazy shortening, at least SLF has some ironic humour to lighten the mood.

As has been said, helicopters are not normally grounded following an accident and let's remember that the airworthiness authorities did not even ground the EC225 after 2 ditchings from more or less the same cause in the same year. The CAA Flight Ops put a ban on offshore CAT, only applicable for UK. The reason why the aircraft stopped flying was because the operators and oil companies decided it was the best course of action, and I think we all agreed it was a good idea until the real cause was understood.

II - you have an excellent memory, clearly senility has yet to catch up with you!

Last edited by HeliComparator; 8th Sep 2013 at 17:19.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 17:26
  #1422 (permalink)  
 
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Checklists

Checklists are not the solution to flight safety. By which I mean, you can't have everything that has to be done in a checklist, or at least if you did, it would be far too long and convoluted.

The more things there are in a checklist, the more likely it is that something will be missed /skipped, and it tends to absolve the user from having to think about what they need to do. Checklists are necessary to cover really important things that if not done, are likely to cause a problem. If those vital actions are buried in a mass of fairly unimportant stuff it becomes likely that one might be missed. There is a definite thing called "checklist fatigue" where the reader starts to tire of the whole process and inevitably gets careless. It is very important to consider human factors and performance when creating checklists, and not just slap anything and everything you can think of into them.

Briefs of course should be relevant and concise (ie not waffly) and include everything the other pilot needs to know in order for him to act as a contributor and checker to the approach, or whatever the next phase of flight is, with the usual CRM rules for communication applying (checking ready to receive beforehand, and checking received and understood afterwards).
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 17:44
  #1423 (permalink)  
 
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Checklist design - another "blue touch paper" subject for me (after CDFA!). Most glass cockpit FW a/c have around 7-10 items in their checklist from wheels up to wheels down. Most NS operators seem to have about 50! Good SOPs, briefings from the chart and ignore fluff that won't kill you (NASA specifically refer to 'killer items' when discussing the subject) is the key. I know those who joined my previous operator from the NS appreciated the change in philosophy although it was a little alien! Checklists are just that - checklists. Not "how to fly a helicopter for dummies" Tolstoyesque epics!

Last edited by 212man; 8th Sep 2013 at 17:46.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 18:59
  #1424 (permalink)  
 
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OF, a rant it may be, but a correct rant!

On the 225 we tried to get away from the parrot brief, but it was a struggle due not only to habit, but to an Ops Man Part A that was a bit old fashioned in this respect. My pet hate was the Aberdeen landing brief "LDP will be 100' and 40 kts, in the event of an engine failure before we can go around, after....zzzzzzz zzzzzz (I had usually dozed off by then). So the same old same old, and NO MENTION of the only variable, which is the selected go-around Vtoss (choice of 65 to 80 in steps of 5). Completely pointless, but gets a box ticked in someone's mind.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 19:04
  #1425 (permalink)  
 
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HC, sorry, I deleted it before i saw you'd replied as I re-read it and it was in fact rather rambling and over long, quite what I'd been arguing against!

For those now confused, I rather ranted against the overlong and unnecessary "parrot" briefings that seem to infest our daily NS lives!

Last edited by obnoxio f*ckwit; 8th Sep 2013 at 19:15. Reason: Adding "parrot" as that sums it up entirely!
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 19:14
  #1426 (permalink)  
 
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OF, HC and 212 - Couldn't agree more, I failed to convince those around me that heaters, strobes etc. are not a subject for discussion in the final stages of an approach - all concentration should be directed at not flying into the water or ground when you are less than 1000' from it (in my opinion).

Cheers

TeeS
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 19:38
  #1427 (permalink)  
 
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TS, it was one of the pleasures of my old job to introduce the concept. I even removed 'brakes' from the 'After Take Off checks' because flying in the cruise with brakes on isn't actually dangerous - but they were in the 'Final checks' because landing with them off or on could be bad news, depending on the location. SOP would dictate they are released for a flight to onshore though. Similarly, no 'cruise checks'. Let's get this right - there is over a quarter of a million dollars going into that cockpit and we need a piece of A4 to help us check we have enough fuel at alternate, the MGB oil pressure is ok and the navaids and radios are tuned appropriately! An Airbus/Boeing pilot would think you were "having a larf" if you tried to explain that...

Last edited by 212man; 8th Sep 2013 at 19:41.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 19:46
  #1428 (permalink)  
 
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I got a lot of grief when I removed "parking brake" from the pre-taxi checks. My argument being that if you try to taxi with the parking brake on, nothing much will happen and you will rapidly come to the conclusion that its not moving because you left the brakes on! Some people were not happy though!
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:10
  #1429 (permalink)  
 
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Briefs....which are not worn and are not short....were always a rant I loved to go on about.

Eket Airport to the QIT (or reverse)...max air time maybe four minutes....and SOP would have you....well in reality you would be a Stage Act if you could read all the Checks out loud much less get a response....and that was on a Bell 212 with Skids much less retractable landing gear.

A well known American once shortened the Take Off Brief to "We're Outta Here!" which sufficed for the the Ubit Hopping routine.

In Vietnam I heard a VNAF H-34 Pilot deal with both Brief and ATC clearance with the simple Phrase....."I go now!".

Why can we not use the terminology...."Standard Brief" and verbally note any differences just so the other guy knows what to expect and look for while you are wiggling the sticks. No deviation....Two Words gets the job done. Landing Briefs in IMC/IFR do need to be a bit more specific....but still pretty limited.

Why not go to a "Silent Checklist" and a simple Thumbs Up or terse...."Checks Good!" unless there are deviations?
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:14
  #1430 (permalink)  
 
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Company checklists are basically copies of the Flight Manual because when the company takes delivery of a new type that is all they have to work on. The manufacturer writes them to cover itself and also provide guidance to customers to which English (or French) is not their first language. An organisation that has only one executive version does not write checklists, they use the manual. The 332L my company bought from Samsung was an example,

It follows that it is overdone and repetitive. Not only that the people that write the company checklists draw on their experience on other types which is why 332s are flying instrument patterns at the same speed as S61s.

When we flew the S76A single pilot we had a flip out board by the side of the instrument panel that told what to check Not what to do but just to check it.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:31
  #1431 (permalink)  
 
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HC

Don't I remember an As332L (could have been a 225 even but my memory aint that great now) which nearly came to grief trying to taxy with the brakes on from a "spot" in Aberdeen
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:35
  #1432 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Briefs....which are not worn and are not short....were always a rant I loved to go on about.

...

Why can we not use the terminology...."Standard Brief" and verbally note any differences just so the other guy knows what to expect and look for while you are wiggling the sticks. No deviation....Two Words gets the job done. Landing Briefs in IMC/IFR do need to be a bit more specific....but still pretty limited.

Why not go to a "Silent Checklist" and a simple Thumbs Up or terse...."Checks Good!" unless there are deviations?
That is what we do SAS (at least where I am now). There are a limited number of short checks that require C/R, but not the majority. Improvements can certainly be made but it's steadily getting better.

An unfortunate consequence of "standard" is that a TRE can make an error, or develop a bad habit (it happens), and insidiously it will become the 'standard'. As discussed earlier, getting the trainers to look at each other regularly helps to alleviate this particular risk.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:45
  #1433 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TipCap View Post
HC

Don't I remember an As332L (could have been a 225 even but my memory aint that great now) which nearly came to grief trying to taxy with the brakes on from a "spot" in Aberdeen
Not that I am aware of. You raise the lever a bit, push the cyclic forwards a bit. It should be moving by now, if not... Oops, parking brake off!

Maybe you are thinking of the guy who thought the parking brake was like the one on his car, the lever hinged at the back, on his left side. Give it a good pull... Wow!, why has the ground disappeared?

Last edited by HeliComparator; 8th Sep 2013 at 20:46.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 20:52
  #1434 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pilot and apprentice View Post
That is what we do SAS (at least where I am now). There are a limited number of short checks that require C/R, but not the majority. Improvements can certainly be made but it's steadily getting better.
If a checklist contains only vital actions as it should, they are all important. Therefore in a 2 crew environment, they should be checked by both pilots. To have "silent checks" is effectively reverting to single pilot ops for those elements. Of course, lots of flying takes place with a single pilot crew, but the idea of two pilots is to improve safety by requiring both pilots to make the same mistake before it can become critical. So by having silent checks, you are intentionally reducing the benefit of having two pilots. Its not a disaster, but it is not best practice.

Silent checks may be appropriate for long and unimportant checklists, but the answer really is to crispen up the checklists rather than allowing one pilot to not have to endure them.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:04
  #1435 (permalink)  
 
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Inertia can be both a good and bad thing.

I once took the initiative to redo an existing CofA Air Test Proforma for the Bell 212.

I felt an improvement in the sequence of the Flight Check Maneuvers and Checks was in order as the existing format did not have a proper flow. Now understand....I was not trying to re-invent the wheel....just grease the bearings a bit.

I made a copy of the existing format, got a pair of scissors, cut out each segment of the existing Proforma....then using a glue pot and some a brush, put the Proforma back together using exactly the existing verbiage and paragraphs.....just re-arranged the sequence a bit.

The old format had you doing a single engine Height Climb, returning to the Starting Height and doing another Single engine height Climb followed by an Autorotation. Then you were off on other maneuvers that required another autorotation.

My big change was to do the first height climb, do an AutoRev Check, do the second engine height Climb, followed by a handling check Autorotation.

There were other minor changes but only as to flow and sequence.

As I was doing the CoA Airtests I mistakenly assumed I might have some input on the procedure.

Not the done thing! Captain!


Some folks were very definitely "Shields Up!" on that.

The Result....as before....you printed out the Proforma....then flip flopped back and forth through the many pages looking for the correct place to enter your data while doing the Air Test rather than being able to start on Page One and simply work your way back to page Last in an orderly fashion.

That is the kind of mentality we must excise from our Industry.

One organization I worked for had SOP's for everything we did....Aviation, Admin, Safety, Training, House Keeping.....everything!

As we were involved in the safe guarding of Sensitive Nuclear Materials....there was much concern, rightfully so, that we be very well organized and effectively carrying out our duties.

Our SOP's had certain "Priorities" assigned to them for verification.

Higher priority SOP's were checked quite often, lesser important SOP's were checked less often.


The Verification Process was done to ensure that the SOP was being followed....and that the way we did things agreed with the SOP. Variances were identified and analyzed to determine the reason for the deviation then assessed to determine if the actual practice was the better way of doing things or if it was deficient or less effective. If it was deemed better, the SOP got re-written to reflect the change in practice. If the SOP method was deemed better, the actual practice was amended to conform with the SOP.

The entire evolution was really designed to keep track of change....and make sure the change was appropriate for existing and anticipated conditions and did not jeopardize the mission objective.....guarding those Special Nuclear Materials.

Swap Human Lives for SNM and I see the applicability of that verification process in the Helicopter Industry.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:08
  #1436 (permalink)  

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I know nothing of the industry or type, but just to say there was an interesting statistical article this evening on Radio 4's 'More or Less' about the Super Puma and North Sea Ops. About 12 minutes in once the episode becomes available.

BBC Radio 4 - More or Less - Episodes by date, September 2013
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:10
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Tip Cap - I'm not sure that checklists should be there to prevent poor handling skills. If you can't tell that the brakes are on or the cyclic is locked before you raise your left hand too much, then the training/checking system has failed in it's primary task.

On a slightly different subject, do we operate with a 'check list' or a 'do list' I've had pilots voice concerns about switching radars to standby or arming floats prior to running through the checks. Are fixed wing pilots allowed to lower the flaps and undercarriage without written instruction?

TeeS
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:10
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Was that not a nosewheel locking pin on a bond craft?
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:17
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Originally Posted by TeeS View Post
Tip Cap - I'm not sure that checklists should be there to prevent poor handling skills. If you can't tell that the brakes are on or the cyclic is locked before you raise your left hand too much, then the training/checking system has failed in it's primary task.

On a slightly different subject, do we operate with a 'check list' or a 'do list' I've had pilots voice concerns about switching radars to standby or arming floats prior to running through the checks. Are fixed wing pilots allowed to lower the flaps and undercarriage without written instruction?

TeeS
A checklist is a checklist surely, not a do list. There should be nothing to stop a pilot showing some initiative and doing stuff that is beneficial to do, in anticipation of checking it at checklist time. Of course, one has to be reasonable about this and not only ensure that the other pilot knows what you are doing, but also do stuff that is beneficial to the flight, and not just to yourself. Lowering the undercarriage at 30 miles just in case you might forget it later for example, would not be a good idea.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:26
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TS - absolutely not a 'do list'. Hence my comments about "flying for dummies."
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