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Police helicopter crashes onto Glasgow pub

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Police helicopter crashes onto Glasgow pub

Old 26th Feb 2014, 16:47
  #2461 (permalink)  

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The clue is in the 'planned'.

What is the reserve in Final Reserve Fuel for then?

Sasless calls FRF "land right now fuel", but the possible consequences of landing 'right now' must surely be worse than using the remaining 20+ minutes of flying time to find a suitable and safe unhurried landing site.

In the course of things, calling it 'Land right now fuel' doesn't make sense.

105 kgs - Final Reserve Fuel - Land right now
68 kgs - FUEL Caution - Land as soon as practicable
48 kgs- LOW FUEL Warning - Land within 10 minutes
(105 kgs NPAS night/hostile area FRF)

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Old 26th Feb 2014, 17:16
  #2462 (permalink)  
 
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What is your "Land Right Now" fuel quantity?

At what level do you accept you have to land?

I pick a quantity that assures me of a safe landing....but still leaving some fuel in the Tank.

At some point Sid....you have to accept you are not going to make it to the fuel point and land short.

I don't care what you call it....how you pick the quantity...but you better have one and it has to be a finite number and upon reaching that fuel level....you have to land otherwise you are running the risk of winding up in a situation where you run out of fuel while still in-flight....which would be a very stupid thing to do.

So Sid....what is your magic number....and when everything goes wrong and you find yourself at that magic fuel level.....what would you do?

The answer is exactly as I had said.....you will land where ever you can.....or do you Sid...just carry on?

If I follow your thinking Sid....using your numbers...it is about 28Kgs of fuel. Which is not very much is it in light of the Fuel Quantity issues that can affect the 135. You comfy and warm betting you have that 28Kgs or whatever you choose?
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 18:10
  #2463 (permalink)  
 
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Re transfer pumps.

I'm not sure this reflects the view on this thread re the need to use transfer pumps:-

FAQ - Airbus Helicopters

Specifically in that FAQ it says:-

The main tank is the reservoir that continuously feeds the two supply tanks, which in turn feed the engines located on the right and left sides of the aircraft. Each supply tank feeds its own engine. This “feeding” is a continuous process. The supply tanks therefore remain full until the main tank is empty, at which point the fuel levels inside the supply tanks begin to decrease. Operators are advised to refuel as soon as the supply tank “reserve” is tapped – meaning that the main tank is empty."
The pilot does not perform a manual action to switch to the supply tanks. The supply tanks are automatically and continuously fed fuel from the main tank.
It continues:-

The red “low fuel” warning is triggered when there are 32 kilograms of fuel in supply tank 1 and 28 kilograms of fuel in supply tank 2. When this occurs, the pilot has 8-10 minutes left to land, regardless of the conditions and as dictated in the flight manual.
As previously stated, the red “low fuel” warning is generated by an independent indication system with separate sensors in each supply tank. This warning continues to operate correctly even if the fuel gauging is inaccurate.
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 18:22
  #2464 (permalink)  

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Sasless, having gone through this in the real world just the other night, I had my 'plan' worked out as best I could by what fuel was indicated, using a 200kg/hr burn rate and the eta to the airport.

My FRF was 105 kgs. I 'planned' to land above that figure, and I did.

As long as the fuel remaining was more than the fuel needed, I was happy. If the possibility arose that the fuel needed to land there was going to be below my FRF I would be looking at an alternative landing site. As it happened it would have been at the closed airfield that we had to fly over to get to said airport. If that airfield wasn't there and I only needed an extra 5 mins (15kgs) to get the the airport, I would have used the reserve. Yes I would have landed below my FRF, but it wasn't planned! (Report would have been filed)

As far as ATC was concerned, they were warned off by the previous ATCU that I would be coming in for fuel in order to rtb and the conversation at one point went;
"We are talking with a handling agent and may have problems getting you fuel"
"That's ok, I'll be coming in anyway as I haven't enough fuel to go anywhere else"

No other type of call was necessary as there was no distress or emergency, however, if I had to go into the FRF I would have given the call, in order to get any priority needed.

Now, according to your land right now interpretation, I should have be thinking about landing in a field immediately!

Seems weird to have a reserve fuel that according to some, should never be used!
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 18:37
  #2465 (permalink)  
 
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Sid,


Seems weird to have a reserve fuel that according to some, should never be used!

You are playing word games.

As ol' Senator Sam Ervin, of Watergate Fame, would say....thank you Sid for all that information.....but the question was "What is your Minimum In-Flight Fuel Quantity?". What is the lowest amount of Fuel that would force you to land no matter where you were? What is the lowest amount of fuel you would risk flying with before deciding you "Must" Land the aircraft? Just how low will you let the Fuel Quantity get, Sid?

That quantity is after exhausting all reserve fuel, all contingency fuel, and is the absolute least amount of Fuel you will go to before landing?

Care to answer that, Sid?
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 18:56
  #2466 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
SS Sid,

Your answers to the CAD failure are listed in the RFM at 3.3.3 Failure of CAD lane.
There is a list of which cautions are subsequently passed to the VEMD screen.
XFER and PRIME pumps are NOT listed.
Thanks for that skadi, my post 2436 with the videos that I'm sure you must have seen and read, shows this quite clearly and many posts made after that mention this reduced list of cautions, but I'm sure that you must have also read them.

Thanks again for all the technical blurb about the transfer pumps, but my question was, "If someone with a 135 handy can try something out ... With the transfer pumps running, when you turn them off, how long does it take for the cautions to come on?"
SS, that was RVDTs post

skadi
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 19:05
  #2467 (permalink)  

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Care to answer that Sid?
Day - I would land wherever I was with 70kgs
Night - I would consider landing wherever I was with 105 kgs


Answer me this Sasless, what is the FLM minimum landing fuel?
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 19:09
  #2468 (permalink)  

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SS, that was RVDTs post
Oops, very sorry skadi.
My round
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 19:22
  #2469 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you Sid....it really was a simple question and equally simple answer.

There is a fuel level (varies by aircraft and operator as well as by the individual pilot) that is seen as the limit to which we will fly to before being forced to make a landing and if we comply with that concept....the Engine(s) continue to run normally until we are safely on the ground.

Might we consider in the 135....the appearance of a Red Warning Light saying "Low Fuel", especially if lower than that arbitrary fuel level said to be the Minimum Fuel Level allowed for continued flight, should illuminate....it being a separate system to the Quantity system....the aircraft should be landed unless already on short final to the heliport (or very nearly so....like literally one or two minutes)?
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 19:36
  #2470 (permalink)  
 
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SASless, that's one of the great ready room discussion questions.
Interesting point made by Pitts a few posts up from the Airbus Helo web site.
When this occurs, the pilot has 8-10 minutes left to land, regardless of the conditions and as dictated in the flight manual.

If it says 8-10, most pilots would probably think "8 minutes minus X minutes for the wife and kids."
Two or three seems a reasonably prudent. Should fit the "I know they'll be running when I touch down" rule of thumb, and allow one to sit there and consider (as one prepares to call back to the home office)

"How did I get myself into that pickle? I usually land with more than that."

I doubt anyone plans to end their mission with those red lights on ... reserve requirements are above that.

Sid: thanks for the illustration.
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 20:04
  #2471 (permalink)  
 
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SS - so you're 2 miles from the base, daytime, weather's fine. You've just hit 70kg to go, and you know you can be on the ground in 2 minutes. You also know your red low fuel warning light has not yet come on, which it should at 60kg, when the book says you must land within another 8 minutes. Are you really going to park it in that muddy field - or continue land with the 64kg you've worked out? How about you SAS?

Course I'm not saying it's right to be in that situation, but I think the reality is you have a bit of flexibility according to the circumstances. If you're cruising along at FL80 you'll be making that landing decision a lot sooner, given that it will take you say 5 minutes and 10kg of fuel to get on the ground.
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 20:46
  #2472 (permalink)  

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Rotorspeed, I'm flying between the Isle of Man and Blackpool at 5am on a summers day.
The fuel plan was good, enough to do the return trip, and 20 mins on task with one tank, it was still good as we coasted out, but it's now turned a little more windy than forecast, it looks as though the FRF will be reached as I approach the Blackpool coastline, Barrow isn't the closest coastline any more, Blackpool is ...

... What do I do?

... Land on the beach? What are the tide times?

... Ditch?

.... Get the tablet out and post my predicament on PPRuNe? Should I start a new thread or go for this one?


or should I declare "Minimum Fuel", recheck my figures then call "MAYDAY, 'MAYDAY, MAYDAY, FUEL" continuing in to Blackpool?

http://www.ifalpa.org/downloads/Leve...ncy%20fuel.pdf
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 20:58
  #2473 (permalink)  
 
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SS - how about just answering my question?!
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 21:30
  #2474 (permalink)  

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SS - how about just answering my question?!

Lots of demands that I answer questions, but none of mine get answered

SS - so you're 2 miles from the base, daytime, weather's fine. You've just hit 70kg to go, and you know you can be on the ground in 2 minutes. You also know your red low fuel warning light has not yet come on, which it should at 60kg, when the book says you must land within another 8 minutes. Are you really going to park it in that muddy field - or continue land with the 64kg you've worked out? How about you SAS?
Let's sort this question out;

Red low fuel warning should be expected to come on at approx 24 kgs per tank (48 kgs total), not 60 kgs.
At that point I have to land within 10 minutes, not 8 minutes.
At 68 kgs I would expect the Fuel caution to come on, which means that I have to 'land as soon as practicable', which in this scenario, would be back at base.

Right then, now that's been tidied up ...

Where have I come from to find myself in this predicament?
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 21:33
  #2475 (permalink)  
 
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Minimum Fuel

The point seems to be that there are no hard and fast rules as to what exact quantity of fuel remaining constitutes an emergency. So long as there is enough fuel remaining to allow a landing and the possibility of a go around, it will probably be enough. Declaring an emergency to facilitate a quick(er) landing at a busy airport when low on fuel would seem to be prudent. Declaring an emergency when approaching an operating base where you are the only aircraft and there will be no delay in landing, seems unnecessary.

When I started my flight training many years ago, my instructors took pains to emphasise that running out of fuel was unforgiveable and would result in the permanent loss of my right to fly assuming I survived.

My own personal view is that the aircraft should be on the ground before the main tank is indicating empty on the EC135. If the only fuel left is in the supply tanks, then a serious review of operating practices should be undertaken.

Last edited by G0ULI; 26th Feb 2014 at 22:08. Reason: corrected EC225 to EC135
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 21:39
  #2476 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks SS. Glad to see you've changed your mind and not just landed wherever you were with 70kg, as you originally said you would! And I agree with your second, more pragmatic and less dogmatic response!
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 21:45
  #2477 (permalink)  

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rotorspeed;
Thanks SS. Glad to see you've changed your mind and not just landed wherever you were with 70kg, as you originally said you would! And I agree with your second, more pragmatic and less dogmatic response!
You seem to have misunderstood my post.
You have your facts wrong and I was highlighting them by putting them into context


Answer my question and I will be able to answer yours.
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 21:48
  #2478 (permalink)  

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G0uli
My own personal view is that the aircraft should be on the ground before the main tank is indicating empty on the EC225. If the only fuel left is in the supply tanks, then a serious review of operating practices should be undertaken.
So operators such as Bond and NPAS have an FRF that is below which the supply tanks are full, and your personal view is that operating practises are reviewed.

Yep folks, we've reached this point in the discussion.
(Anyone else want to mention to him that this thread is about the 135?)


Good job the battery is going on this iPad !
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 21:51
  #2479 (permalink)  
 
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All we know for sure so far, is that sufficient fuel remained on board the aircraft for continued flight. It may have been in the 'wrong' place, and may have been below the MLA.

Due to the fact that there is no voice recorder, and no data recorder, there is a distinct possibility we may never be able to recreate the sequence of events leading up to the accident. We are thereby denied the opportunity to understand precisely what happened.

This has occurred elsewhere previously, and in such circumstances it would be completely unjust to apportion fault to those who are, sadly, unable to offer their defence.

Lessons can be learned without the imperative of opprobrium.
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Old 26th Feb 2014, 22:04
  #2480 (permalink)  
 
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SilsoeSid
I stated that it was a personal view. Bond Helicopters and the NPAS are subject to commercial pressures to keep the aircraft in the air for as long as possible to maximise their financial return. I'm sure they have had teams of very expensive and well trained engineers and accountants calculate exactly how far the limits can be pushed before an accident occurs. Personally, I don't want to be up against those limits in any aircraft that I am responsible for. But that's just me.

I know that in the real world part of a professional pilot's job is to maximise the utility of the aircraft for their employer. Those that don't are soon looking for other employment. Fortunately I don't have to make those choices.

Sorry about the mistake in the model number, I did mean EC135 and not EC225.
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