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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

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AS332L2 Ditching off Shetland: 23rd August 2013

Old 14th Sep 2013, 00:16
  #1681 (permalink)  
 
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TAG - neither of course!

To try to fathom out "what its doing now" whilst plummeting earthwards would be foolish and inappropriate, and possibly fatal.

To disconnect the autopilot would be equally stupid because you now are flying a helicopter designed to always have artificial stability operative, but have removed that artificial stability and are now flying a twitchy and unstable monster.

The correct response is to drop down a level or several of automation - ie go from whatever upper modes were coupled, to basic stability (normally based around attitude and heading retention). Raise the collective to arrest the descent, select a sensible attitude etc. No point in making it much much harder by disconnecting the autopilot unless your macho-ness is more important than your's and the passengers' lives.

Last edited by HeliComparator; 14th Sep 2013 at 00:17.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 00:25
  #1682 (permalink)  
 
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Come on Brian you are much better than that!!
Thanks for the boost DB, but should you read what I've written I have not sanctioned the untoward practices, quite the reverse, and have endeavoured in my own small way by conversing with CASA and ATSB to point out perceived shortcomings. In deed I had to give up flying in order to do so. Sadly oil companies have vast political and legal clout, notwithstanding the good people who do work within said organisations.

Both the REPCON program and CEO Policy Notice CEO PN029 2005 2 Multi Engine Helicopters Operational Performance Standards, I suspect, though do not have proof, are an outcome of my discussions with the regulatory bodies. I say "suspect" because they appeared five months following those discussions.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 00:39
  #1683 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Brian,

CEO 29 follows the doctrine of ICAO and I agree with you, it misses the mark for Offshore Operations by a long chalk. However, it recognises the very diverse nature of Australian helicopter operations and in doing so, gives the radical minority just enough rope to hang themselves.

You can lead a horse to water, but if it jumps in and commits suicide it is not your fault (this was my over riding impression formed dealing with operators and pilots during my time as an FOI(H)).

DB

Last edited by DOUBLE BOGEY; 14th Sep 2013 at 00:41.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 00:51
  #1684 (permalink)  
 
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TAG - BWAP ( Ball - wings - attitude (for Vy), power when and as appropriate).

Easy on PPRuNe, very different in a large basiv AP helicopter with a heart full of adrenalin, a bus full Pax and a mouth as dry as a grannies armpit!!

In the EC225, I tut-tut at the instigator, press the GA button, check two green GAs on the FND, follow the "I Press the Button (IPB)" philosophy (Installation, Prioritisation and Behaviour) to monitor the DAFCS, install HDG at 26 KIAS and carry on with my coffee.

But I am fortunate to fly the EC225!!

DB
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 00:56
  #1685 (permalink)  
 
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Back in post 1255 I said this....


One thing I noticed in the Sim was when things started going wrong....one of the first reactions of a lot of Pilots was to de-select the Autopilot and revert to hand flying.

Part of that stemmed from the newness of both Sim Training and Autopilots. I would think as Automation and one's experience/familiarity with modern Autopilots this tendency would decrease.

The single most glaring mistake I saw was the failure to increase power upon executing a Missed Approach.....and when that happened....we saw a slow motion crash. The Crew would decide to go Missed....hit the G/A button....make their Radio Call....start looking for charts, maps, changing radio frequencies or whatever.....and the Autopilot would do its best to comply but at some point the climb rate could not be produced by the decrease in Airspeed and then the loss of control happened.

Generally, Unusual Attitude Recovery training is done with lots of airspeed and at higher altitudes. Low Airspeed events close to the ground are where helicopters are the most at risk.

What is the system in the UK for such training and testing on Base Checks?

Do you practice low or zero airspeed upsets?

In the Training done during Sim and In-flight Checks/training....do the UK Operators perform such practice maneuvers to properly expose Crews to such situations? Are Pilots checked to see if they take proper corrective action for Non-Responsive Pilots?

Last edited by SASless; 14th Sep 2013 at 00:58.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 01:07
  #1686 (permalink)  
 
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SAS have a look at post on the S92 thread. Cheers.

hope your "Bottom" has recovered.

DB
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 01:14
  #1687 (permalink)  
 
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We are all pretty much in agreement that flying skills (handling) are vitally important in all areas but management of systems and knowledge of the limitations and capabilities of those systems is crucial.

The balance of the 2 is, as Keithl echoes, all down to quality and quantity of training.
I think that is what I was trying to say too, but thank you Crab for putting me straight and the blood pressure is fine now .

BTW, do Rafsar crews still get 4hours TRAINING per shift?
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 01:26
  #1688 (permalink)  
 
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"Although the first officer had almost 1000 total flight hours on the S-92A, many of those hours were spent in coupled flight during instrument flight rules (IFR) flights to and from the offshore facilities, and not hand flying the helicopter. As a result, the first officer did not feel confident about having the necessary instrument flying skills to safely recover from the unusual attitude that had developed" From the Cougar incident.

Maybe it's time to raise the minimums for co-pilots BEFORE starting off in Offshore flying. Maybe 1500 TT PIC in helicopters would be a good number, at least you'd have decent manipulation skills. I've always been surprised at how low the experience required levels are for Co-pilots all over the world when you are flying in one of the most demanding environments (IFR, Night over water etc)...

Or am I just too cautious

Last edited by Heliringer; 14th Sep 2013 at 01:36.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 01:53
  #1689 (permalink)  
 
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I've always been surprised at how low the experience required levels are for Co-pilots all over the world
We used to get them with a bare CPL and a copilot instrument rating, so in the order of 200 hours. As I've mentioned previously we were a VFR operation (wink, wink) and copilots were inclined to automatically plug in george whenever able. I was regarded as something of an a...hole because I'd punch it off and make them hand fly.

Should you wander over to Tech Log you'll find much discussion on hand flying skills v use of george - outcome of the San Francisco 777 accident and incident and others. Has long been a source of discussion among airline crews, and how sim training, as it's currently used, does not enhance manual skills.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 06:41
  #1690 (permalink)  
 
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Al-bert
BTW, do Rafsar crews still get 4hours TRAINING per shift?
yes and we still do an hour's IF (in the aircraft) of GH including UPs and 2 hand flown approaches every month - we are clearly a long way behind the commercial world in our approach to training, fancy putting safety ahead of s and pennies

Last edited by [email protected]; 14th Sep 2013 at 06:42.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 08:23
  #1691 (permalink)  
 
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Brian

You're right. Lloyds got me to do several 76 co-pilot endorsements, their hours were between 80 & 110! Apparently that fulfilled the contract!
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 08:42
  #1692 (permalink)  
 
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Angel

Crab

yes and we still do an hour's IF (in the aircraft) of GH including UPs and 2 hand flown approaches every month - we are clearly a long way behind the commercial world in our approach to training, fancy putting safety ahead of s and pennies
and let me guess, co pilots go on to be captains? Do you think that might happen in the 'commercial world' too? How do they ever develop that GH/UP skill in a sim? My glasses are misting up now at the thought of those poor deprived co's - must go- NURSE, NURSE, the screens!
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 08:47
  #1693 (permalink)  
 
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How can you be sure that the co-pilot has the hours and the experience with the systems to be confident enough to take over from a "Non-Responsive Pilot"? In a rapid descent in any aircraft, heli, or glider in a spin, there is very little time....we were trained to be violent if necessary in taking over....
Confidence has to be part of the makeup of any pilot. I had to take over an approach being made by the Chairman of the Soaring Society of the USA, visiting our club, who was undershooting, and failed to recognise or respond when prompted! Doesn't matter who outranks you, you have to squeak up!

The first officer in the Canadian incident was hesitant. Training, as SAS says again and again, needs to cover recognition of the problems leading to a possible upset so as to keep the situation from ever developing.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 09:48
  #1694 (permalink)  
 
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Where does that familiarity, that expertise, that practice come from?

TRAINING. And as much of it as you can get.
I agree, but not training on its own. As mentioned selection of correct personnel is critical and their attitude to their work and profession. I note that most posters on here are the wrong side of 40, we need to be clearer on expectation on the young people who enter our industry.
For you guys and us, a lot of our job is routine, but we have to ensure we are trained and prepared to take the correct actions in the event of an emergency. It is very easy to let this slip.

Correct me if wrong, but you guys are trained how to auto rotate and land on engine failure and have to demonstrate this hands on?
The chance of having to use this in anger seems to me much less than having to get an aircraft out of danger when it finds itself descending quickly at low speed for whatever reason with possible CFIT consequence. Should you not have to be trained and exercised on how to do this with AP and manually?
Also agree on need to be able to recognise quickly when the a/c is starting to get into this situation.

I admire DB's and others passion for safety and automation, but as we all know automation can go wrong - although on modern systems reliability is high. Then you have to be able to use manual skills?

Edited to add this quote from Neil Armstrong which applies to all of us.

You've got to expect things are going to go wrong. And we always need to prepare ourselves for handling the unexpected

Last edited by thelearner; 14th Sep 2013 at 10:10.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 09:55
  #1695 (permalink)  
 
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Also this headline was not what was required for the EC225 and it also got some attention on that social media site. Glad it was a faulty bulb only, but of course this was not apparent on the early headlines.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 10:03
  #1696 (permalink)  
 
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I think this thread is in danger of getting rather confusing with all the references to the new Cougar report, with its different region, attitudes, legislative framework and training regimes.

In the UK pilot incapacitation is covered in initial (MCC) training and recurrent training. For us, its a 36 month item but after the ETAP we included it in offshore ops recurrent training as well.

The trouble is that in the Sim, pilots are more or less expecting it and have no difficulty in recognising it and taking control.

However in the real world it can be much more subtle, unexpected and accompanied by other factors.

Therefore I would say that no reasonable amount of training can guarantee that the other pilot will take control in adequate time, especially if its the co taking over from the capt. We can only expect that this will probably happen.

In the case of the L2 its still too early for us to know whether there was a failure to take over by the co, although it certainly seems a possibility.

As to allowing recruitment of copilots only who already have thousands of hours, not only is this impractical at a time when the industry needs to recruit fairly heavily, but it also results in the recruitment of people that arrive with a lot of preconceived ideas and possible bad habits. One of the very few new recruits that we had to sack after many months of trying, for failing to reach a satisfactory standard, had about 5000 hrs.

I think its ridiculous to expect junior copilots to have the same skills and confidence as a high time captain - that is how the system works, one highly experienced pilot, one further down the learning curve than his captain (you never get to the top of the learning curve!). The captain is not supposed to screw up but if he does, the probability of a good outcome is less than if the roles were reversed.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 10:07
  #1697 (permalink)  
 
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I was told a story, fictitious, before anybody starts jumping up and down, about some NS pilots made redundant during the collapse in the eighties.

They were offered a job building a wall around the United Kingdom. The money was good, as expected in the building trade; equal time with travel and accommodation plus a generous daily allowance. Half a dozen people applied and off they went.

The first few days were a bit shambolic as non of them knew anything about bricklaying but with a bit of professional instruction they went on their way by themselves. As they went on the standard improved and in a few weeks their finish was as good as any.

A few years later they approached the point where they had started off. Every one of them was a highly experienced bricklayer operating to a standard second to none. When they reached the beginning of the wall they all stood around in confusion.

None of them knew how to splice the new wall into the old.

That story illustrates the fact that experience is not the be-all and end-all of knowledge, A pilot can have thousands of hours monitoring an autopilot but in that there is no experience of piloting.

Some post ago somebody listed some accidents where he maintained that would not have happened with an autopilot engaged. I would counter that by suggesting that two of them would not have happened if the pilot had been trained in a military environment because he would had been there before.

In the military environment Auntie Betty gives you an aeroplane to play about with. Invariably it ends up in some hazardous situation but has the advantage of being either empty or light so there is the power and the manoeuvrability to get you out of it. The pilot puts the incident in the back of his mind and promises himself that he will not do that again. Later in the crew room or the bar he will recount the story and so others will tuck that information into the back of their heads as well.

There is none of that in the North Sea. There is not an opportunity for the training and even if an incident did happen neither of the crew would dare, for the sake of their careers, publicise it so the experience is not spread around. There are not many that trust the so-called anonymous reporting.

You can thrash somebody in the simulator as much as you like. It will only do what the programmer tells it to do. The actual aeroplane may have completely different ideas.

It does not affect me but I feel that the over reliance on automatics is wrong. I speak from forty eight years of flying and I started using automatic pilots in 1962. I have never had an autopilot go seriously wrong on me but I do know that they react slower than a pilots backside. I know that from years of monitoring them.

The profession dictates that a pilot should, without any prompting or resistance, should be able to fly a complete flight without monitoring an autopilot in perfect safety. If he cannot because of his training or company policy then he is not a pilot. He is what the beancounters call a button pushing bus driver; and should be paid as such.

One day somebody is going to have a total electrical failure at night in IMC and have forty five minutes with only basic flight controls to get on to the ground. I wish him luck.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 14th Sep 2013 at 11:26.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 10:58
  #1698 (permalink)  
 
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HC

The Cougar incident is entirely relevant if in the North Sea, as FED says

if an incident did happen neither of the crew would dare, for the sake of their careers, publicise it so the experience is not spread around
and

A pilot can have thousands of hours monitoring an autopilot but in that there is no experience of piloting
Surely you can see the parallels.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 11:03
  #1699 (permalink)  
 
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I would add the Cougar 491 to the list with parallels to the Shetland accident on the basis that the co-pilot was not authoritive enough with the PIC in making the decision to do a controlled ditch. We would most likely have had more survivors in that tragedy...this was stated in both the TSB report and the Wells inquiry.

Max

Last edited by maxwelg2; 14th Sep 2013 at 11:05.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 11:27
  #1700 (permalink)  
 
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Satsuma, yes of course there are (probably) parallels, however as I said if multiple events with different circumstances in different continents all get lumped into a thread ostensibly about the L2 accident, thing will get so convoluted as to become dysfunctional. We have already seen plenty of contributors struggling to keep up when it was just about the L2. Its a free country and you can discuss what you like on here, just don't be under the illusion you are helping. Why not bring in every loss of control accident there ever was, that way there will be plenty of grist for fatuous comments such as "more manual flying required", even though some of the events occurred on an R22!
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