Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

North Sea Helicopter Incident?

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

North Sea Helicopter Incident?

Old 5th Jan 2014, 09:44
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 70
Posts: 32
North Sea Helicopter Incident?

Could anyone here let me know if anything untoward happened to a helicopter on approach to Aberdeen yesterday 4th January 2014?

At this stage I don't want to get anyone into trouble but I certainly had a very uncomfortable experience on board. I will provide further details if required.
coatimundi is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 10:51
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: West coast Australia :)
Posts: 234
I don't want to sound boring but..................shouldn't you have asked that when you were in the terminal after the flight? Remember if it was bad due turbulence then the pilots would have been working hard but most of us would happily field questions to soothe your nerves.

If I had a passenger ask I would happily explain if they held back for 5 minutes to allow me to get into the building. Normally by the time we have secured the aircraft and walked back into the building everyone is in a taxi or bus heading home.

Si
bigglesbutler is online now  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 10:59
  #3 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 70
Posts: 32
I assumed it was turbulence at the time, but on speaking to one of my fellow passengers outside the terminal he said he observed a small fixed wing aircraft very close to us during the event. I know that seeing other aircraft from the passenger cabin is not an unusual thing, and estimates of "very close" are open to misjudgement.

It was not the usual turbulence experience, it was a sharp left turn followed by an even sharper right hand turn. I have been travelling offshore for 28 years and never known anything quite like that - I can accept that pilots may have thought it routine but it was a wake-up for the passengers from our usual dozing during the flight
coatimundi is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 12:52
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 63
Posts: 2,021
It may have been a "see and avoid" event. It's unfortunate that it was uncomfortable for you. Perhaps you should contact the pilots and tell them that next time, it would be far more comfortable if they just crashed into the other aircraft rather than taking avoiding action?
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 13:16
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,428
HC......the fellow has offered no criticism of the pilots at all.

No need to be a Horse's Patoot!

He has politely described what happened and asked about it.

That this is not the best venue for getting an answer doesn't warrant you being rude and obnoxious about it.

Give the guy a break.....perhaps call one of your chums who is still in the loop and find out for him.
SASless is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 13:16
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: North
Posts: 94
Could most likely just have been avoiding a bird. Happens pretty regularly. Rest assured - if there was an “incident” it would have been reported and procedures followed. I doubt it would be an aircraft nearmiss as TCAS should pick it up way before (unless the other traffic was not fitted with transponder - which is not so lkely).
Don’t get this the wrong way, but I don’t understand why you feel the need to post this question on a public forum. If it is just your own curiosity then ring the company in question. It just seems like you are stirring a bit.
26500lbs is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 13:54
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 63
Posts: 2,021
Originally Posted by SASless View Post
HC......the fellow has offered no criticism of the pilots at all.

No need to be a Horse's Patoot!

He has politely described what happened and asked about it.

That this is not the best venue for getting an answer doesn't warrant you being rude and obnoxious about it.

Give the guy a break.....perhaps call one of your chums who is still in the loop and find out for him.
Well first of all, as has been said, this forum is not really the right place to ask such a question - it should have been done at the time, on disembarkation. Probably only the specific crew involved will know the answer and there is a poor chance that they would post it on here. The likely outcome is more hysteria from ill-informed observers which is not constructive.

Secondly, we operate in Class D and Class G airspace which is shared by numerous users. Approaching Aberdeen is Class D, that means no ATC separation from VFR on VFR or VFR on IFR traffic. It is up to the pilots to see and avoid each other. Sometimes a light aircraft can get closer than we would like as they are surprisingly difficult to see. At that point, avoiding action is taken and, as you know, the priority is to avoid the other traffic regardless of any momentary passenger discomfort.

This is just the way it is in Aberdeen, the UK and just about anywhere else in the world when flying in Class D. It is not like flying from a 100% IFR environment like Heathrow, and nor should it be. For the OP to expect never to encounter an avoidance manoeuvre (though to be fair, he doesn't explicitly state that) would be like having an expectation that when travelling on a bus, all other road users must be barred from using the road whilst he is in transit. A nice idea, but totally unrealistic.

Yes I know I am grumpy, but really I do get fed up with passengers making such a fuss every time there is the slightest bump, hiccup, or (in this case) unexpected change of direction.

The operators have systems in place for dealing with queries from passengers (much more than would ever be entertained by the likes of British Airways) so they should be used, rather than resorting to yet another trial by social media.
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 14:44
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 63
Posts: 2,021
Originally Posted by Agaricus bisporus View Post
means very close to ABZ indeed, to my mind inside 10 miles. If, and I repeat "if" the pax really means "on approach" as opposed to "inbound at an unspecified distance" then any airprox will be observed by radar, and in any case will be reported by the crew and appropriate follow-up action taken. Given that he described a "light aircraft" it is unlikely to be offshore by more than a mile or two unless it was a fisheries patrol craft.

Either way fear not it will be logged, reported and processed if appropriate. (ie if it happened as suggested)
Not necessarily (although acknowledging that you say "if appropriate"). An encounter with another aircraft requiring a direction change to avoid becoming uncomfortably close is routine and not necessarily an Airprox. It only becomes an Airprox if one of the crew considers there was risk of collision. With VFR on VFR or VFR on IFR as I said, even though ATC have the power to tell you what to do, they have no obligation to stop you crashing into each other, only one to tell you of the existence of the other traffic. So it would seem unlikely that they would take it upon themselves to file an Airprox. That would normally only happen with IFR on IFR or if an a/c had violated the airspace or their clearance.
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 15:00
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: UK
Age: 43
Posts: 1,587
Can you hear yourselves?????

Here we have a passenger who is an old hand at flying with us asking us for a bit of an explanation since he felt uncomfortable on one of our flights and what do you do? Play the I am a Skygod card!

It is fair enough to point out that the best course of action might have been to ask the pilots in question.

He might not have had the time on the day to do this, hence this forum. Which allegedly is frequented by professionals.

My time offshore has taught me communication with the pax is key and makes for happy loyal customers.

Etiquette suggests after a manoeuvre which is outside the norm, a quick explanation to the pax in-flight or before they leave the aircraft....
Brilliant Stuff is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 15:09
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 63
Posts: 2,021
Originally Posted by Brilliant Stuff View Post

My time offshore has taught me communication with the pax is key and makes for happy loyal customers.

Etiquette suggests after a manoeuvre which is outside the norm, a quick explanation to the pax in-flight or before they leave the aircraft....
I can agree with you there, but one man's idea of an unusual event worthy of comment is not necessarily the same as another's. The crew either didn't consider it was anything of consequence or, yes, they failed in their duty to reassure the pax after a "near miss".
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 15:20
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 4,670
IMHO if the crew had to do anything out of the normal then they should tell the passengers why they did as soon as possible. This applies to things that have happened and what is going to happen. You have a load of people behind you in a metal box who generally speaking, have no idea how and what is holding them up in the air. The only two things they can put their trust in are the two pilots up front. It is only fair that they should know what the pilots had to do and why should something happen out of the ordinary.

At the end of the day their employers pays the crews wages.
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 15:25
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 63
Posts: 2,021
Maybe the pilots were just bored, like these guys

HeliComparator is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2014, 18:07
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1998
Location: UK
Posts: 444
Sounds like birds - quick PA after would help. Happens a lot.
cyclic is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2014, 08:19
  #14 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 70
Posts: 32
To answer some of your responses:

I would say that we were just North of Oldmeldrum at the time, and I am aware that this is a time of high workload for the pilots. I live in Dyce, and know that at this time of year it is not uncommon to see flocks of geese in the area.

Yes we all wanted to get home after a particularly trying offshore trip (getting the rig seaworthy again after a refit in Invergordon) so we were just glad to get away.

I will write to the operating company this morning on behalf of all the passengers so that I can let them know the response when we are next offshore.
coatimundi is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2014, 14:15
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,428
HC,

Always with the either/or.....what about shades of gray sometime?

Like the Crew did what they did as normal, thought not much of it, did not think the Pax sensed something out of the ordinary happened, never even gave a thought a quick mention would be useful, the Pax were not fussed, did not quiz the Crew on their way out, and after thinking about it the OP though to ask here.

You reckon there is "innocence" all the way around here.....and nothing "sinister"is involved in any of this?

Have another cup of Tea.....relax.....everything is okay.
SASless is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2014, 14:56
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 53
Posts: 4,578
Victor Meldrew is alive and well and living on PPRuNe....
212man is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2014, 15:12
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 63
Posts: 2,021
Originally Posted by SASless View Post
HC,

Always with the either/or.....what about shades of gray sometime?

Like the Crew did what they did as normal, thought not much of it, did not think the Pax sensed something out of the ordinary happened, never even gave a thought a quick mention would be useful, the Pax were not fussed, did not quiz the Crew on their way out, and after thinking about it the OP though to ask here.

You reckon there is "innocence" all the way around here.....and nothing "sinister"is involved in any of this?

Have another cup of Tea.....relax.....everything is okay.
Nothing sinister, but just a little unintelligent to expect that those with the knowledge of what happened would be on here, and even in the very unlikely event they were, would report in public on what (may have) happened.
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2014, 15:13
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 63
Posts: 2,021
Originally Posted by 212man View Post
Victor Meldrew is alive and well and living on PPRuNe....
If you mean me, then yes definitely. It's my New Year's resolution to be more grumpy.
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2014, 15:55
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,428
Now that is going to be a feat!
SASless is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2014, 19:01
  #20 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 70
Posts: 32
Just to let everyone know that I have received a most comprehensive reply from Bristow Helicopters saying that the manouevre was in response to a spurious TCAS warning, and I am completely satisfied that the pilots took the correct action.
coatimundi is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.