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Melbourne Olympic Park bingle

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Melbourne Olympic Park bingle

Old 3rd Nov 2013, 07:15
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There would not be much friction on a Collingwood Oval. They use vaseline on and off the field.......
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 01:39
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Update from Herald Sun
No Cookies | Herald Sun
IT was a miracle escape from a spectacular crash but for the experienced pilot inside the helicopter just one word came to mind: "bugger''. That was all Emma Bobridge could mutter after crawling free from the wreckage of the Bell chopper that crashed at Olympic Park on Saturday, according to witnesses at the scene.
"She was calm and sedate and said she was fine,'' photographer Ewen Hill said following the crash.
"She walked herself to the ambulance paramedics to be treated and seemed pretty disappointed. She was so calm and unaffected.''
Mr Hill had been walking in the park as the chopper came down and said he was on his way to help get Ms Bobridge out of the wreckage when she emerged by herself.
The spectacular helicopter crash in Richmond. Picture: Michael Austin

He said it appeared that one of the helicopter's skids became caught on the landing mat as it tried to take off, causing it to lose balance and ultimately come crashing down.
The impact spread debris 30m and Ms Bobridge was forced to scramble out.
Another witness said it took just 17 seconds from the time the helicopter had tried to take off to when Ms Bobridge crawled free.
But he said the tense wait for her to emerge felt like "an eternity''.
Pilot Emma Bobridge.


Ms Bobridge, 45, was released from The Alfred hospital.
Amazingly, the experience pilot suffered only minor hand injuries despite the helicopter plummeting to the ground as it was taking off from the Collingwood Football Club's Olympic Park Base.
Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators were on the scene trying to piece together how the helicopter came to plummet.
They were hoping to speak to Ms Bobridge and other *witnesses.
The pilot had been ferrying punters from the Flemington racecourse, including Channel 7's racing commentator Francesca Cumani.
Choppair owner Michael van der Zypp said " the most important thing is that everyone is OK''.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 02:35
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Wow! Stunning photos! Goes to show how it can all go sideways in the blink of an eye! Bugger is right! Hope she's back turning jet fuel into noise and money soon! As a side note, she is super cute! Glad no one injured to badly.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 08:19
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Having flown this gig for two different years, on all fours days of each of the carnivals, I can state that the mats are actually quite slippery and you have to be careful closing the throttle on a Jetranger so as not to yaw, ie don't close it too quickly.
It would be extremely uncommon to have a skid get stuck on the map, but not completely impossible.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 09:02
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Interested that the ATSB buggered off back to tea and scones in Canberra without talking to the two independent witnesses who saw the craft land and take off. Why bother coming down from Canberra apart to get out of the office?

Last edited by Skillsy; 4th Nov 2013 at 09:02.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 10:01
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A slippie mat combined with a tendency for a near empty Longbox to pitch nose up and slide back on TO combined with catching the edge of one of the mats combined with low sun at the end of a busy day - bugger indeed!

If I were Zyppie I'd apportion full blame on the Collingwood Footbal Club and their over exuberant use of Vaseline - as posted previously - both on and off the field. Buggery indeed
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 12:22
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What exactly are these mats? Are they strictly necessary? Must say I've never come across anywhere where I've had to land on mats and it does sound an obvious risk. Are they often used?
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 20:56
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I suspect the mats are there to protect the grass surface from the skids and many high heels from the passenger, moreso than being required for helicopter operations. At a guess over 100 flights would take place for sure over the day.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 23:36
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If there are mats placed over the grass there has to be at least four edges to each mat. Therefore to cover a large area there would have to be joints and unless the edges are zipped or otherwise joined along the full length of the joint, there will be loose edges.

With loose edges there would be a possibility of an edge to lift with the rotor wash and allow a skid to be trapped under the edge.

Possibility?
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 21:09
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601, if you land on the mat, you won't get caught on the edge.

The mats have been used for about 5 years without incident.
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 22:26
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No pax involved - Feds don't care. End of story.
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 23:23
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Originally Posted by Semi Rigid View Post
No pax involved - Feds don't care. End of story.
Hardly: the investigators spent a long time at the site before the wreck was released to be moved and have looked at many issues.

The mats have been used for 5-6 years and their deployment is well established to be safe and effective. Had it contributed to the (likely) dynamic rollover then you would expect to see it entangled in the starboard skid in the action photos, or at least significantly disturbed.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 10:54
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The ATSB still have at least 4 people to interview and no time frame for interview including three people who saw the chopper land and take off. I would expect better investigation in PNG or East Timor.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 10:58
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That's probably a bit unfair.
With the number of accidents in last 3 weeks, ATSB are stretched, as was mentioned in another thread.
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 11:12
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Hover leads to rollover

While repositioning, the pilot commenced lifting this Bell 206L-1 helicopter into a hover from a temporary helipad. It started rolling about the right skid until the main rotor blades struck the ground.


On 2 November 2013, the pilot of a Bell 206L-1 helicopter, registered VH-VDZ, was conducting passenger-carrying charter operations between Olympic Park oval and Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria. At about 1830 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, the pilot prepared to reposition the helicopter from one of the temporary helipads at Olympic Park. There were no passengers on board.


Accident site of the Bell 206L-1 helicopter, registered VH-VDZ at Olympic Park oval, Victoria. Source: Witness

As the pilot lifted the helicopter into a hover it started rolling about the right skid, which was in contact with the ground. The helicopter rapidly rolled further right until the main rotor blades struck the ground. A large amount of main rotor and other high energy debris was released from the helicopter and impacted a nearby marquee, a number of vehicles and a helicopter on an adjacent helipad. The pilot sustained minor injuries.

The ATSB found that the pilot did not identify and react to the helicopter’s right-skid low attitude in sufficient time to prevent the helicopter rolling over. In addition, an unsecured ballast bag was positioned on the left front floor of the helicopter, increasing the risk of injury to occupants. Further, the helicopter’s dual flight controls were removed to facilitate the flights. The person who removed the controls did not have the training or authorisation to conduct the maintenance procedure. The left cyclic stub cover was not installed, leaving the stub exposed. This resulted in the potential for the ballast bag to inhibit movement of the pilot’s cyclic control due to fouling of the left cyclic stub.

The ATSB identified safety issues relating to the availability of first aid and emergency response equipment at the oval and the proximity of the helipads to the perimeter fence and public access areas. Each increased the risk of injury to bystanders in the event of an accident.

For subsequent operations at the Olympic Park oval for the remainder of the event, the charterer positioned firefighting equipment at each helipad and first aid equipment was made available nearby. In addition, the helipads were repositioned further from the passenger marquee, and passengers were not loaded or unloaded if helicopters were in the process of landing or taking-off from adjacent helipads. Operations at the Olympic Park oval ceased following the 2013 carnival.

Safety message

This accident highlights the importance of coordinated control inputs by pilots during lift-off to control any roll, and if necessary smoothly lowering the collective in coordination with cyclic input to re‑establish the helicopter’s weight evenly on the ground before any roll becomes excessive. The importance of properly securing any equipment, particularly if stowed in aircraft cockpits, and of the correct removal and re-fitting of dual flight controls to prevent any obstruction or fouling of the controls is emphasised.

In addition, this accident is a reminder of the risks involved when operating helicopters in public areas. Although the likelihood of a helicopter accident on the ground that results in injuries was found by the ATSB to be low, in the event of an accident, high energy rotor and other debris can travel large distances. Where possible, operators should consider larger distances around helicopter landing areas, in particular when operating close to public areas.

Read the investigation report AO-2013-199
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Old 5th Jun 2016, 04:46
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It's a spectacular photo. Very fortunate nobody was killed or seriously injured. I'm quite surprised a pilot with 1000+ hours experience could roll a serviceable B206L taking off from perfectly flat grass.
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Old 6th Jun 2016, 14:19
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"The left cyclic stub cover was not installed, leaving the stub exposed. This resulted in the potential for the ballast bag to inhibit movement of the pilot’s cyclic control due to fouling of the left cyclic stub."

Sounds like a catalogue of 'events' conspired to make this accident happen... one very lucky lady
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Old 7th Jun 2016, 14:17
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testament once again to the rugged build of a Bell product..
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 09:35
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In court now for the third day:

Chopper pilot sues flight company over spectacular footy field crash

Wayne Flower, Herald Sun
July 25, 2016 1:57pm

A HELICOPTER pilot who spectacularly crashed a chopper on a footy ground during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival is suing her former company.

Emma Bobridge destroyed the Bell helicopter shortly after takeoff from Collingwood Football Club's Olympic Park Base.

The chopper, used to transport punters and celebrities, plummeted to the ground in front of stunned onlookers.

The thunderous impact spread debris 30m and Ms Bobridge was forced to scramble out for her life.

The crash forms part of a civil case worth hundreds of thousands of dollars being fought-out in the Federal Circuit Court.

More than $160,000 of the claim relates to alleged “negligence” by the helicopter company Choppair.

But company director and seasoned helicopter pilot Michael Van Der Zypp has counterclaimed a little under $155,000 in compensation over the crash, which he claims was caused by pilot error.

Findings into the crash published by the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau state a likely contributor to the accident was an unsecured ballast bag in the cockpit which moved on takeoff, restricting the controls.

The court heard Mr Van Der Zypp blamed Ms Bobridge for failing to secure the bag, which resulted in the company losing a big contract.

Ms Bobridge’s barrister Mark Champion said the trial, which is scheduled to take about five days, would include testimony from an expert witness who refuted the ATSB finding.

“We take issue she was negligent,” he said.

In addition, Ms Bobridge hopes to be paid thousands of dollars in wages and entitlements, which she claims she was short-changed under a dispute with her award.

The court heard Mr Van Der Zypp claimed Ms Bobridge was not entitled to the payments as she was employed as an independent contractor during the disputed pay periods.

He also claims she was performing predominantly clerical duties on contract from another company at the time of the crash, which placed her under a separate award.

“We say she’s a pilot, who did substantial clerical work,” Mr Champion said.

The hearing continues.




Crash pilot almost downed another chopper, court hears

Wayne Flower, Herald Sun
July 26, 2016 3:22pm



A PILOT suing her company over a spectacular chopper crash captured on film almost crashed another helicopter on the Yarra River, a court has heard.

The dramatic development came on the second day of a Federal Circuit Court hearing which sees pilot Emma Bobridge suing her former company Choppair amid allegations of negligence.

Ms Bobridge destroyed a Bell helicopter shortly after takeoff from Collingwood Football Club’s Olympic Park Base during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.

But the court heard she had a near fatal miss when a chopper she was piloting almost clipped a handrail at a city helipad shortly after her return to Melbourne from the Northern Territory in 2010.

Ms Bobridge told the court the Australian Transport and Safety Bureau looked into the incident, but said the chopper escaped without damage.

Choppair boss and pilot Michael Van Der Zypp, who is representing himself in court, said Ms Bobridge missed the handrail by 2.5cm.

Ms Bobridge’s barrister Mark Champion objected to the incident being discussed, but Justice Phillip Burchardt allowed it on the basis that the pilot’s alleged negligence was a relevant issue.

The Olympic Park crash forms part of a civil case worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.



More than $160,000 of the claim relates to alleged “negligence” by Choppair.

Mr Van Der Zypp has counterclaimed a little under $155,000 in compensation over the crash, which he claims was caused by pilot error.

Ms Bobridge claims the helicopter got caught on a landing mat as she attempted to takeoff, flipping it over.

“I always maintained that right skid never left the ground,” she said. “It literally felt like someone was standing on my skid.”

The court heard Ms Bobridge worked to correct the crash before she “reached the point of no return” and took her hands of the controls.

“I looked out of the window and I could see the ground coming to my face. At that point I let go and covered my head,” she said.

Mr Van Der Zypp alleges Ms Bobridge crashed the helicopter when an unsecured ballast bag shifted and blocked the controls.

He told the court Ms Bobridge later admitted to him she had “f — ked up” and crashed the helicopter.

Ms Bobridge denied the accusation.

The hearing continues.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 11:21
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The defendant company owner is representing himself in Court against the horse power of a barrister? That's a good way to lose what seems to otherwise be a very strong case. I wonder if the pilot ever got hired elsewhere? In Australia, pilots who take employers to court typically don't find employment in the industry again whether they win or lose their case.
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