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Dangers of Inappropriate Safety Equipment

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Dangers of Inappropriate Safety Equipment

Old 21st Sep 2015, 07:52
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Dangers of Inappropriate Safety Equipment

NTSB Identification: WPR15LA257
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 03, 2015 in Manra Island, Kiribati
Aircraft: HUGHES 369HS, registration: N9068F
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 3, 2015, at 1752 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a Hughes 369HS helicopter, N9068F, was destroyed following a forced landing into the Pacific Ocean about 300 nautical miles east of Manra Island, Republic of Kiribati. The El Salvadorian certificated helicopter pilot was fatally injured; the passenger sustained serious injuries. The helicopter was operated by Whirlwide Helicopters, Inc., Port Vila, Vanuatu. The local aerial observation flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91, when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the flight, which originated from a tuna fishing vessel 35 minutes prior to the accident.

In a written report to the NTSB, a representative from the operator stated that the pilot and passenger/spotter were conducting fish spotting duties when the accident occurred. He reported that the helicopter descended and impacted the water and rolled upside-down. The spotter exited the helicopter; he observed that the pilot's life vest had deployed while inside the helicopter, and the pilot was struggling to exit. He saw the pilot stop moving, but due to his injuries was unable to assist him. A nearby fishing vessel was able to recover the pilot and the passenger but the helicopter sank and was not recovered.

The operator reported that they issue the flight crews life vests, but that some pilots prefer to use their own vests. The accident pilot had his own vest, which was equipped with an auto-inflation activation system that would activate anytime the vest was submerged underwater.
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Old 21st Sep 2015, 16:51
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GipsyMagpie
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Failure to train

I would argue the failure of training rather than just inappropriate equipment. Periodic helicopter underwater escape training should be done (maybe he did it and didn't have the brief on not inflating your jacket until clear - again failure in training) and I bet that experience would have highlighted an auto inflating jacket was a bad idea. Hopefully his death will save someone else from a tragic mistake.
 
Old 22nd Sep 2015, 14:21
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Failure to Train? Really?

Tuna spotting is not gas and oil. I never heard of HUET training in my tuna boat trips from Guam or San Diego or any other place.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 15:44
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You read the article and noted that it was an AUTO-inflating life jacket?
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 16:48
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I was thinking the same until I read the second half of the second sentence.
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Old 22nd Sep 2015, 17:58
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When we used to conduct MIRG training (firefighting at sea) with the Fire Service, the first thing we did before they got on board the Sea King was to get them to hand over the auto-inflation device from their Board of Trade lifejackets.

This tragic incident highlights exactly why.
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Old 23rd Sep 2015, 16:05
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We have fresh example that contracted Italian HEMS operators operating on Adriatic east coast & islands, within 9A, are not using life west for crew at all. No HUET training either, which is MANDATORY in Italy.

Long live the EASA & single European sky
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Old 23rd Sep 2015, 17:35
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Hi 9A

Whilst I don't want to comment on whether it is sensible to carry lifejackets and do HUET training etc. and I don't know anything about Italian air law - under EASA, it is only a requirement to carry lifejackets and floats (multi-engine CAT) when flying more than 10 minutes from land, so technically if the sea route is less than about 40nm you can fly without. If I remember correctly, the EASA AMC is pretty vague about HUET training too.

TeeS
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 05:20
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True but...
My comment goes on the way that something what is mandatory in
Italy for Italian operator, is not the case in Croatia for the same operator.

Yes, they can be more that 10 min from dry land on average cruise
speed on part of operational area.

See here, this is picture of crew in "full safety equipment". (TC member, full right)


All with unique "innovation" of one ear on intercom and other on TETRA radio.
One ear on local language other on English -> multitasking&safety first
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 08:22
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Ask the RCAF - Tusker 914 - 13 Jul 2006

Float Coats and their use was completely revised.

Report here
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 13:34
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Hi RVDT

I totally agree with 9A that in our now level playing field, some nations are more level than others, I just wasn't sure whether he was saying the mandatory requirement was due to national or European legislation.

I think most of us were, at least in some way, hopeful that introduction of EASA would introduce a more level playing field and allow us access to an overseeing agency that would control the individual foibles of various national authorities; however, we have ended up with exactly the same variations between counties' understanding of the rules, all tied up with another layer of bureaucracy!

Apologies for the thread drift.

TeeS
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 13:52
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Level playing field....in Europe... are you mad???
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Old 24th Sep 2015, 14:46
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Don't start me off on this one Crab! ;-)
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