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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, 21:06
  #1441 (permalink)  
 
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Is not the clue in the name "check" list? ie by a certain stage in flight, the following items/actions should have been completed, and the list is just a check that they have?

In practice, of course, many of the items are also actioned at the same time as the list is read, but there should be no bar to crews deciding to carry out a certain action/item when they deem it best to the conduct of the flight?
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:16
  #1442 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
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.
Have to disagree there. The manufacturer's expertise lies in designing and building the heli, not operating it in a variety of environments and roles. Our checklists bear little relation to the RFM. Yes, someone will squeak that "surely we must include all the items in the RFM" (arse coverer) but I say "publish and be damned" because you know it makes sense.
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:25
  #1443 (permalink)  
 
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I think the this thread has drifted away from the key question posed by "The Learner". Do we confirm exactly who/what is flying the helicopter during the approach brief?

DB
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Old 8th Sep 2013, 21:48
  #1444 (permalink)  
 
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DB yes it has drifted but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Regarding your point, I'm not too sure why such a thing as who/what is flying what bit needs to be covered, IF the company SOP is to do things in a specific and standard way.

I think most of us here wonder why the L2 pilots decided to fly their loc approach coupled to 3 axes, and probably (possibly?) it would have been beneficial if all occupants of the cockpit had been reminded that airspeed was going to be controlled by the collective.

But I would propose that the better solution than always covering the points DB raises in every brief, would be to have in the Ops Man that "coupled approaches should be flown using 4-axis coupling. Should it be required to fly the approach 3 or fewer axes for some good reason, the briefing shall cover which elements of the flight path will be controlled by the pilot flying using which controls, and which are expected to be controlled by the autopilot" (or some such text more elegantly written).

No, its not in the Bristow 225 part B, but maybe it should be, although I have never encountered anyone who wanted to fly an approach 3 axis in a 225. There could always be a first time though!

Last edited by HeliComparator; 8th Sep 2013 at 21:49.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 06:44
  #1445 (permalink)  
 
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Yes the thread has drifted and left me with the feeling that nothing will change in the NS as a result of this sad and, it would appear, avoidable accident.

Inadequate post-conversion training and monitoring of 3rd party training solutions, no HEEDs either up front or in the back (the breathing out on ascent issue during training is easily rectified), poor passenger seat layout and escape exit options, flotation gear sited where it is convenient for the manufacturer, not where it will prevent inversion - and many other issues have been raised on this thread - anyone actually going to do anything about it or will it be more wringing of hands and complaining that it is all the bean-counters' fault?
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 07:16
  #1446 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Crab. Nice summary, lets hope you are wrong and some progress is made in all the issues you raise. There does seem to be a determination to make change by all stakeholders involved. They talk the talk. Whether they walk the walk will remain to be seen.

In this case, it may be the the accident may never have happened had the IAS hold button been pressed before MDA. AAIB and time will tell. If this is the case then this prime causal factor actually sits in our lap. The Trainers and the crews. One thing that has struck me throughout is the difficulty I have encountered explaining how these APs work to all types of management, they have no idea and probably nor should they. That's our job and we need to get much better at it, very quickly.

Attitudes, culture and procedure must change. Too often I have seen risk, in automation, managed to the lowest common denominator. Yet we know that automation is entirely type specific. It follows therefore that the procedures and requirements should also be type specific.

A passenger has asked if we brief specifically on how the approach will be flown between the AP and the Pilot Flying. In my 20 years offshore experience I would say we do not cover this in enough depth. Yet the response from crews is borderline hysterical that seems to centre on the checks being too long already. It is this that has to change. Our culture and our attitudes.

The other issues such as egress, seating and survival are vital because the passengers who post on this thread all seem to accept that fatalistic approach that it might still all go wrong. All they ask, and deserve, is a fighting chance when it does.

DB
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 07:28
  #1447 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
Hi Crab. Nice summary, lets hope you are wrong and some progress is made in all the issues you raise. There does seem to be a determination to make change by all stakeholders involved. They talk the talk. Whether they walk the walk will remain to be seen.
With a continuing interest in this thread (average of 15+ views per minute over 17 days) we can only hope that someone, somewhere with an input to the decision makers will see the analysis and input from so many NS workers, and do something
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 07:42
  #1448 (permalink)  
 
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DB, or even more simply, if one of the two pilots had been actually monitoring the airspeed.

A passenger has asked if we brief specifically on how the approach will be flown between the AP and the Pilot Flying. In my 20 years offshore experience I would say we do not cover this in enough depth.
Probably fair, I for one have not done that in the past, other than "this will be 3/4 axis coupled", but it seems a good idea and I will take that up.

Yet the response from crews is borderline hysterical that seems to centre on the checks being too long already. It is this that has to change. Our culture and our attitudes.
The point being that the important elements of the briefing are often lost in the mass of waffle and verbiage that is trotted out "parrot-fashion" the same way every day. It is that that needs to be cut down, leaving the vital stuff to stand out and actually get noticed.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 07:42
  #1449 (permalink)  
 
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A passenger has asked if we brief specifically on how the approach will be flown between the AP and the Pilot Flying. In my 20 years offshore experience I would say we do not cover this in enough depth. Yet the response from crews is borderline hysterical that seems to centre on the checks being too long already. It is this that has to change. Our culture and our attitudes.
I think HC had the correct response, which mirrors my view - I think! The brief - with respect to this specific element - should only cover whether the approach is coupled (default 4-axis/3-cue as per SOP) or hand flown, along with discussion about speeds (ATC, weather etc). Uncoupled would only be in VMC for practice, or following system degradation, in which case there might be other considerations to brief too. Everything else should be in the OMA/B - such as standard calls (do I really need the brief to include advising half scale deviation?) and handover (or not) protocols.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 08:18
  #1450 (permalink)  
 
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Crab and DB are on the money!
There is an area of our industry that has gone through this process (very painfully and is still learning).
Around 7 years ago Boeing, in conjunction with NASA, had a major review of their procedures. This resulted in a rewrite of checklists and SOPs which many people saw as unnecessary. I believe, once you have bought in to their philosophy is successful.
So I, once again, would recommend that the movers and shakers of the NS go and look at how the airlines do it; the attitudes, culture and procedures, and pick out the bits that can be applied.
There are plenty of ex-NS guys who are in senior management/training positions in the airlines (not me) who I feel sure would offer a great deal in this area.
You will find that briefing are kept relevant, checklists are safety nets, SOPs are rigid but offer scope to be modified at Capt.'s discretion, and a culture that reinforces that.
Unfortunately when Operators feel they know better how to fly aircraft than the designers and builders, that's when problems arise. (Asiana 777 at SFO)
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 08:29
  #1451 (permalink)  
 
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look at how the airlines do it; the attitudes, culture and procedures, and pick out the bits that can be applied
I can think of one operator that has done

Unfortunately when Operators feel they know better how to fly aircraft than the designers and builders, that's when problems arise
One huge difference between RW and FW - which HC has alluded to - is that FW manufacturers produce SOPs and FCOMs which, with minor variations, are common accross operators for the type. RW manufactures tell you what switches you need move to start and shutdown the thing, and then leave it to the operators to figure out how they are actually going to 'run the show.'
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:13
  #1452 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 212man View Post
I can think of one operator that has done



One huge difference between RW and FW - which HC has alluded to - is that FW manufacturers produce SOPs and FCOMs which, with minor variations, are common accross operators for the type. RW manufactures tell you what switches you need move to start and shutdown the thing, and then leave it to the operators to figure out how they are actually going to 'run the show.'
Airliner manufacturers are very likely to have members if their flight test team that have operated their airliners to and from international airports etc(!).

Helicopter manufacturers typically have no-one at all in their flight test teams who have ever flown offshore. Typically they are ex military test pilots and engineers who have left the mil and gone straight to the manufacturer. As far as I am aware the only such people in EC who have been offshore are the 3 that I have personally taken. So anyone who thinks the manufacturer is best placed to define operating procedures for roles in which they have zero experience is wrong.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:14
  #1453 (permalink)  
 
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212 and others. The point made by the passenger, The Learner, was specifically directed at the brief correlating in simple language who does what with the controls during an approach, such that both crew fully recognise beforehand how all three profiles, lateral, longitudinal and vertical, will be managed and modulated thought the approach.

I am not qualified or intelligent enough to determine if this would improve our performance and if so, how we would do it.

Shields Down is the SASless cry and I would like to see that applied everywhere. Some operators, some fleets and indeed some individual pilots may be doing good things already, however, to cure the patient it needs to first recognise it is sick!!

If this accident is a CFIT, then that is 3 in the last 5 years, 2 of which are fatals. That alone should signal all of us on the UK NS sector that we have a very specific problem. It is probably training, probably procedures, probably environment. The fact is this seems to be a UK NS issue right now.

Pretending that we are immune and therefore not disposed to look inwards a very British disease!!

I have been intrigued by one Norwegian Operator subsidiary who, from the moment I took my job, have worked me hard to answer their questions, demonstrate the full capability of the AP and shown generally a determination to learn, evaluate and apply the design operating principles of the EC225. They have lobbied their Group Training Management hard to effect change. These people, by the way, are know as (Operator Name)-No-Way!! (Norway), Due to their steadfast refusal to see a degradation in their crew training and standards amongst other things. Interestingly they have solid union support for this which immunises them to some extent from outside interference from foreign group issues.

Contrary to this, on my side of the NS, not one UK Instructor has ever approached us for guidance or advice on operational issues such as DAFCS deplyoment and management despite the introduction of new and fantastic tools such as the Standard Groundspeed Mode. This is culture working against us. I am not criticising the individuals involved as I know well they fear that seeking such advice would be viewed poorly by their management and is probably sanctioned formally. This is poor culture. This has to change.

DB

Last edited by DOUBLE BOGEY; 9th Sep 2013 at 09:18.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:19
  #1454 (permalink)  
 
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But surely in designing a RW there must be philosophy in how all the switches and knobs are operated to achieve what they want and what warnings they see as appropriate.
I must dig out my old 332 notes. I'm sure Aerospat did produce a generic normal and non-normal checklist and SOPs.
Maybe they don't any more.
212, I'm glad one company has done this. Has it proved beneficial? Should it be rolled out through the industry?
HC, not many people in NASA have much airline experience, but that doesn't stop them from embracing what is required. Your 225 AP flies an ILS (very well) yet there is little military use for that, it was designed into the A/C with a (French) philosophy!

Last edited by Kakpipe Cosmonaut; 9th Sep 2013 at 09:25.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:35
  #1455 (permalink)  
 
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DB don't forget that when the 225 was first sold in 2005, there was no simulator for several years, no guidance from the manufacturer on how to use the automatics, and a RFM that gave very little info on how the automatics worked, not covering most of the clever stuff we have been talking about on here. Yes, many years after introduction there is a good guidance document and facilities such as you provide, but what were we supposed to do in the 5+ years prior to the existence of these things?
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 09:41
  #1456 (permalink)  
 
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HC you make a very good point and believe me when I say things are and have changed. That is why the facilities now exist in Aberdeen, Malaysia, China and soon hopefully Brazil. The roll out for the EC175 should see an EC FFS in place in the absolute minimum time possible after AC certification.

DB

Last edited by DOUBLE BOGEY; 9th Sep 2013 at 09:43.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 10:25
  #1457 (permalink)  
 
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The same situation existed for the EC-155 too: we started operating in 2001 and the FFS came into service in 2004! Meantime, we trained about 30 pilots - most of whom came straight off the B212.....

212 and others. The point made by the passenger, The Learner, was specifically directed at the brief correlating in simple language who does what with the controls during an approach, such that both crew fully recognise beforehand how all three profiles, lateral, longitudinal and vertical, will be managed and modulated thought the approach.
I understood what the pasenger was asking, but my point was that in a properly operated environment these concepts are so basic and intrinsic that they should not require detailed discussion within the cockpit, but should be detailed comprehensively in the OMB/OMA and thereafter referred to as SOP. Variations from that SOP do need to be briefed in more detail - using knowledge gained in training - such as flying with a u/s collective trim and therefore a degraded coupled status. In fact, during simulator training, we would use a collective trim failure as a recognised malfunction, specifically to create this unfamiliar "mixed mode" situation.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 11:26
  #1458 (permalink)  
 
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Having left the NS 3 yrs ago my knowledge of SOPs and briefs is a little out of date.

However, in my time briefs would be said parrot fashion as it was generally obvious what type of approach was being done and how it would be flown.

I believe that briefs should reflect the conditions that are being flown in. If it is good VMC and the deck approach is simple the perhaps a call "standard brief - if we go around it will be to the L or R"

Should the conditions be marginal - as it seems to have been at Sumburgh then a very detailed brief should be given encompassing everything that needs to be done/monitored during the approach so a successful landing can be made.

I can see one problem that may happen is that companies want to standardise checklists/SOPs across the whole of their global operations. This may produce checklists/SOPs which are too broad and fail to take account of individual operational limits.

Have the autopilots become too complicated and not fully understood by crews who have had little training in all the quirks and dangers of the system. It seems that the 332L2 autopilot does have "gotchas" which EC obviously recognised and HC praises the 225 as being very capable and safe to use.

HF
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 11:34
  #1459 (permalink)  
 
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Luck plays a big part in these things. In the early days Management aviation(Bond) had two full main gearbox failures on the 58T's. One just as the aircraft flared on to a helideck and the second just after the aircraft coasted in, resulting in an auto to a field in north Lincs. One minute earlier on each occasion would have resulted in a ditching.

I believe that with the exception of one (two?) helideck accidents Bond never had a fatality up to the point when they were bought out by HS. I believe there was only one ditching, 105 G-AZOM which ironically was a Bristow aircraft on lease.

This was in a period when BA, BIH and Bristow all had serious accidents.

However in the light of the comments on training a quote from I don't know where.

" The more I practice the luckier I get" (Golf related)

Last edited by ericferret; 9th Sep 2013 at 11:37.
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Old 9th Sep 2013, 11:49
  #1460 (permalink)  
 
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Contrary to this, on my side of the NS, not one UK Instructor has ever approached us for guidance or advice on operational issues such as DAFCS deplyoment and management despite the introduction of new and fantastic tools such as the Standard Groundspeed Mode. This is culture working against us. I am not criticising the individuals involved as I know well they fear that seeking such advice would be viewed poorly by their management and is probably sanctioned formally. This is poor culture. This has to change.
Something very similar was discussed in the Military Aircrew Thread during discussions about the Chinook Program and the RAF.

I saw great examples of that when teaching in the Sim when some British TRI's came through for training....with some predictable negative results in both Pilot Performance and Programmed Training for the Crews.

The attitude has got to be such that we can learn from anyone and everyone....being able to pick and choose what works best and produces the best outcome should be the goal.

I have always tried to learn from others even if it was "I shall never ever do that in that manner!".
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