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Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA

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Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA

Old 23rd Feb 2014, 01:10
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Slide 5 for example.

http://www.ihst.org/Portals/54/Partn...a/5_McColl.pdf
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 02:02
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Some interesting questions raised.

I always wondered about flying over mountains with the maybe just the very tippy tops showing....not rounded grassy tops but real sharp, jagged, granite like things....that even Mountain Goats avoid due to poor footing.

One beautiful Moon Lit night....VFR on Top in a Cessna Caravan....routing across an area in Washington State known locally as "The Alps"....a few craggy tops poking up out of the murk that ran right down to about a 1000 feet MSL....with elevations ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 or so. The destination was clear beneath an overcast so had no expectations of problems getting home.

Smack dab in the middle of the "The Alps", while star gazing and admiring a big bright Moon....and how it caused the granite rock below us to twinkle....the sudden realization that I was bore sighting a single PT-6 engine ruined a very pretty night.

Had that engine failed....it would have been fatal....and the quality of life from the instant it quit till we quit Earth would not have been very pleasant.

Helicopters are very much like that Caravan....One Main Gearbox.....and if it decides to experience a serious problem that requires an immediate landing....Things like Sea State, undercasts that go to the surface, and some other interesting situations should give us pause for thought.

We can always warmly note the Authority's definition of "Very Remote" or "Extremely Remote" however they label the concept that such things only rarely happen thus our risk of a sudden demise is not something to get concerned about.

So why should we get fussed about such issues.

The Cougar thing off Newfoundland was just a statistical fluke....as have been all the North Sea 225 Swim Calls.

What we do see....is the difference in the outcomes when Sea State is within the aircraft's certification level.

If a Rig Crew has to work over now and then....is it really that big a deal?
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 14:46
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Spot on SAS

I find it really ridiculus to do crew change with gigantic waves beneath thinking:"is it really that important for the oil companies, to get Mr. B out so Mr. A can get in? Survival if we have to ditch now is impossible."

But that thought also go with: "this is what they are paying me to do, not only to fly Cavok, sea state zero, in day light...."
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 08:32
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SASless,

The text was underlined to emphasize that the limit was on the certification status of the aircraft and not just SS6 (as HC has concluded).

As I tried to indicate (probably too succinctly), it is likely that for the whole of offshore operations, sea state will only be consistently reported for the offshore locations. Yes, there might be occasions when it could be worse at the onshore site (Sumburgh for example) but that would be an exception that would not justify the complexity that would be added to the regulatory regime by including it.

Cyclic,

It is not clear that you have read the whole report; the questions you have about getting to the heart of the problems are discussed and have resulted in Actions/Recommendations. You do need to read more than the press review and comments on PPRuNe.

The HF issues of automation will also be dealt with in an RAeS Conference on the 3rd and 4th July. This conference is intended to have all parties discuss:
"Technology Friend or Foe - the introduction of automation to offshore operations"
By having presentations and discussions from the majority of the interested parties.

Jim

Last edited by JimL; 24th Feb 2014 at 08:52.
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Old 24th Feb 2014, 20:56
  #65 (permalink)  
Sir George Cayley
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Did I read that only pax sat next to an emergency exit can be carried?

And if so is there a Body Mass Index associated with this?

SGC
 
Old 24th Feb 2014, 21:16
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sir George Cayley View Post
Did I read that only pax sat next to an emergency exit can be carried?
Only if you stopped reading at that point.

The rest of the sentence says "...unless they are wearing a Category A rebreather" (or words to that effect).
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 04:49
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What exactly is a Category A Rebreather, please? The only
ones I know of are SCUBA type which clearly aren't what is
mentioned.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 09:19
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Originally Posted by unstable load View Post
What exactly is a Category A Rebreather, please? The only
ones I know of are SCUBA type which clearly aren't what is
mentioned.
Read this thread from post 26 onwards.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 10:00
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So JimL, a couple of questions..... Will this appy to the likes of NHV and DanCopter, who don't have UK AOCs but operate from the UK? And does any other jurisdiction (ie Norway) intend to adopt equally draconian rules in such a short time scale?

Don't get me wrong, I believe that each step provides safety benefit, but 7 weeks notice to reduce the capacity of every helicopter operating by between 30-50% is going to be problematic (understatement of the month) for oilcos and heliops. There is no Cat A EBS in use on the North Sea, at least not that I can find, and the training for whatever new device is selected with take a lot longer than the 7 weeks provided. Not even sure it can be done by the 2016 cut for for all occupants!

I assume the chaps in LGW Ivory Tower have considered all of this though, so I am sure they have a solution in mind.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 11:38
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Why a Class A 're-breather' when CAP1034 clearly states that they add to the buoyancy of the wearer when you need it least - ie, inside the cabin/cockpit.
Now a Class A Compressed Air device would be solution - and does not require 'special' training as how deep do you think you are going to use it?

Personally, not considering the pax (in this respect) as they have been equipped with a far greater level of safety equipment than my industry has afforded me.................
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 12:20
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I assume the chaps in LGW Ivory Tower have considered all of this though, so I am sure they have a solution in mind.
They write Rules....solutions are the Industry's Problem.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 12:23
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Sea states en-route

JimL,

I spoke to a very nice Met man at the Aberdeen Met Office about 15 months ago, who showed me the data that is now available on sea states/sig wave heights in UK waters. It is possible now, with satellite measured data, to show the sea states along a route from Aberdeen to, for example, the North Alwyn. When I asked why this wasn't available to me every day as a line pilot, he told me that was because "no-one had asked for it"!
It will probably cost the helicopter companies a little more, but on those days when sea states are an issue, it should be available.
And, as some have already pointed out on this thread, both the EC225 ditchings took place en-route, nowhere near an offshore installation.
No-one wants to see airframes in the water, but it will occur again despite all the training and improvements we are likely to see in the future. Surely, we owe it to our passengers (and ourselves!), that we cover all the bases and do all we can to ensure a safe outcome.

bondu
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 12:40
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Bravo73,
Read this thread from post 26 onwards.
Link not working.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 13:17
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Bondu.....ever the trouble maker!

Why is it I get the direct impression that the CAA and the Met Service eat at different subsidized Messes?
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 13:37
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Originally Posted by unstable load View Post
Bravo73,

Link not working.
What link?

I'm talking about this thread. The one that you're in. Try reading it from the beginning.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 15:31
  #76 (permalink)  
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The Messes are different - one at Gatwick and one at Exeter.

Oh and the CAA subsidy has been removed.

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Old 25th Feb 2014, 16:27
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Ok, for you professional types - I'm ready to be shot down and this may have been addressed already) BUT..

Reduced number of pax (30%) will require an increased number of flights (30%?). What does this do for the frequency of potential ditching. It occurs to me that, statistically, they should increase.

I don't know all of the details but, again, it occurs to me that we are dealing with survivability (and I'm all for that) , after ditching, without actually improving the fundamental issue of NOT ditching in the first place.

All with good intent, to learn
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 19:04
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Somesuch,

It would appear that the only means of achieving a level playing field (if you can have this in SS 4) would be with an airspace requirement - whether that would be the method of application is not known to me.

As the Report applied only to UK offshore operations, it is also not clear (to me) whether other fringe States would follow suit.

Bondu,

I'm sure all are aware of Sea State forecasts (it appears in Annex E page 25 of the report) along with this text:

2.10 Sea State Information

2.10.1 ICAO Annex 3 has a recommended practice in relation to the provision of information for helicopter operations. It is stated in Appendix 3.

4.8.1.5 Recommendation. In METAR and SPECI, the following information should be included in the supplementary information, in accordance with regional air navigation agreement:

a) information on sea-surface temperature, and the state of the sea or the significant wave height from aeronautical meteorological stations established on offshore structures in support of helicopter operations;

2.10.2 The UK has arranged that state of the sea information is provided from a number of offshore installations and is included in the AUTO METARs. Arrangements are being made to change the reporting from state of the sea to significant wave height which has been made possible following an amendment to ICAO Annex 3.

2.10.3 In addition forecast significant wave height information is provided on OHWeb.
I have to remind you that I do not speak (or think) for the CAA but am merely reporting what is contained in CAP 1145.

I find it somewhat bizarre that canteen practices always seems to be in the minds of some of the members. I wonder what Freud would make of that?

Jim
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 20:03
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Jim

I have read the report, end to end. I wasn't referring to the use of automation which I don't think is a huge problem or at least one that can be remedied very easily. You only have to look at some of the knee jerk reactions that have already taken place to see that a few topics have peen picked which aren't at the core of the problem/s. I really worry about the emphasis on post crash survival, the horse has already bolted. It needs to be reviewed and changed but isn't the answer to all the problems, nor is the use of automation. My reference is really to one of ethos, how we actually operate day to day and how we need to look with an open mind, a genuine will to thoroughly review gloves off. This forum shows how quickly "we eat our own babies" when it comes to a slightly varying point of view.

Most of the items in the review are blindingly obvious and ones that could have been implemented with a little vision long before the last accident. Why didn't we do it? Because, in my humble opinion, the ethos is not right in many respects.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 22:32
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Slfsfu
Reduced number of pax (30%) will require an increased number of flights (30%?). What does this do for the frequency of potential ditching. It occurs to me that, statistically, they should increase.
Can't argue with you Slfsfu, it has also been mentioned on this thread earlier so you're not the only one. I don't have an answer though and neither does anyone here yet.

Si
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