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NZ CAA prosecuting 'rescue' pilot

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NZ CAA prosecuting 'rescue' pilot

Old 6th Oct 2015, 06:46
  #21 (permalink)  
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Absolutely, SS: but you weren't basing your previous comments on that, were you? Again we don't know the circumstances why the Westpac 117 turned back nor why the Rescue Co-ord chose to call Kaikoura Helicopters instead. But they did, and this is the result after a successful insertion of medical personnel; a witch-hunt.

This is becoming a broken record and if you are still determined to Monday morning umpire the decisions made at the time then there is no point in further discussion.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 07:58
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As it happens John, when I read a thread such as this I have a little look around to see what other articles there are around about the subject. The report I linked to was available since way before the beginning of this thread so I knew about the Westpac cab from the start. I'm surprised that those of us 'over there' didn't!

You say that the Westpac controllers called Kaikoira helicopters, where did you get that information and why do you think they would ask a R44 to do the job that a fully equipped 117 couldn't?

There is actually very little coverage about this considering it happened last year. Is Mr A still suspended?
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 08:42
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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If the R44 had been flying with Armstrong purely as a passenger and the PIC had become incapacitated, does the fact Armstrong was currently suspended preclude him from effecting a safe landing using his skills, or is he expected to say 'oh shoot, guess we're going to have to die cos I cannot touch the controls as I'm suspended'?

As the most experienced pilot in that area of flying surely he was right to tag along to offer experience and advice. When he saw that the PIC didn't have the required skills to effect the rescue he had two choices, leave someone to die, or to help them. Well done that he chose the right course of action and hopefully the powers that be will also recognise that he took appropriate action.

If he had been on his own then it is more contentious, but he wasn't, he had another pilot there to help.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 09:13
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Originally Posted by SilsoeSid
You say that the Westpac controllers called Kaikoira helicopters, where did you get that information and why do you think they would ask a R44 to do the job that a fully equipped 117 couldn't?
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) has nothing to do with Westpac Rescue: it is a Government funded organisation that coordinates rescue tasking within the NZ region. Same as Australia's RCC, they use whoever is suitable and available.

However, since it was overland it was probably the NZ Police doing the tasking as they have authority for overland SAR.

I thought previous comments to you may have got the message across that this ain't the pommy set up and UnZud looks after its own? If Kaikoura Helicopters were tasked it was for a good reason, and knowing the area may have been an important factor.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 09:19
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Squeaks, you seem a little mixed up.

It was John that said, "Again we don't know the circumstances why the Westpac 117 turned back nor why the Rescue Co-ord chose to call Kaikoura Helicopters instead. But they did .... "

All I asked is where he obtained that information.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 09:57
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Why couldn't the SAR aircraft refuel at Mr A's facility?
I would hazard a guess that a 117 might not run very well on R44 fuel?
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 09:58
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surely_not, yea right! Just like if you're flying to see us here in pommy land and the flight crew become incapacitated and you as a professional pilot do nothing but carry on munching your peanuts and swilling your lager


I fully understand what we are saying here and of course the feeling that he shouldn't be prosecuted given the circumstances, but what really is the 'full story' here?

What do we know from the media, or in other words what information do any of us have on which to base our opinion?

1. Westpac 117 leaves the search area due to fuel or weather issues.
(Can't get fuel at Kaikoura base? Weather too bad for a fully equipped & crewed 117?)
2. Kaikoura R44 launches with an inexperienced pilot and the highly experienced yet suspended company director as pax.
(We don't know if they were asked to)
3. Casualty located in dense bush on a steep slope.
(Then what happens?)


Purely hypothetical and merely an opinion;
Given the dire circumstances, wouldn't you drop off the inexperienced pilot and have the extra capability to get the expert rescuers to the scene asp?

Could it be that the R44 found the casualty, the pilot had difficulty landing so the suspended pax took control and landed. Now what?
Was the inexperienced pilot left to care for the casualty while the experienced yet suspended pax flew in the rescue team, after all, if the suspended pax had stayed with the casualty it wouldn't be certain that the inexperienced pilot would be able to get them back in.


Spot the difference;
Helicopter pilot admits aviation breaches | Stuff.co.nz
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 10:01
  #28 (permalink)  

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Sid
Why couldn't the SAR aircraft refuel at Mr A's facility?
I would hazard a guess that a 117 might not run very well on R44 fuel?
But it would on 206 fuel

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Old 6th Oct 2015, 10:33
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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From the AIP:

Fuel:
Air BP Avgas 100, Swipecard
Mobil Jet A1 available on request to Kaikoura Helicopters, Tel (03) 319 6609. (Not located on Kaikoura aerodrome)



Morally this pilot should not be prosecuted, of course. I think that slapping him right and left (a verbal warning!) would be sufficient.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 17:08
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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One problem with this case is that the urgency and severity of the injury (ie the amount of jeopardy the casualty was in) has only been reported by the injured party himself to support the actions of the pilot.

Quite understandable that the casualty should be enormously grateful for having a doctor delivered to him when he is in pain and shock but he didn't die in the 6 hours it took to stretcher him off and broken femurs (unless accompanied by femoral bleeding) aren't usually fatal.

So the pilot took a big risk with his life, the co-pilots life, the medical teams lives and that of the casualty, in a single engine piston aircraft in very challenging terrain and weather conditions.

Was it a skillful piece of flying? Yes. Did it need to be carried out? Perhaps not - if the casualty was carried out, a team could walk in so it may just have saved some time and discomfort for the casualty.

Had anything else gone wrong it could have been a multiple-fatality accident with a much bigger witch hunt then there now is.

Experienced SAR operators know when to say NO - I don't blame the pilot for trying to help but I don't think he did much of a risk/reward assessment before acting.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 17:16
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So the pilot took a big risk with his life, the co-pilots life, the medical teams lives and that of the casualty, in a single engine piston aircraft in very challenging terrain and weather conditions.
Perhaps not such a big a risk as you may think though since the biggest risk factor in accidents is the pilot, not the number of engines!
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 17:57
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IIRC 22 Sqn. used to operate piston engine Whirlwinds for years without too much trouble even though the old Leonides was prone to throwing pots.

As with others I feel that this is some jobsworth making a name for himself in todays PC/HS world. A few years ago this would have got the plaudits it deserved for making the best of a difficult situation.

Does the modern SAR crew know how long the survivor has the potential to live before he/she is picked up?
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 18:35
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Does the modern SAR crew know how long the survivor has the potential to live before he/she is picked up?
no-one can know how long anyone else has to live But yes, they often know the extent of the casualty's injuries, either because there is someone on scene already or because the person or passer by used their mobile phone to call for help.

The Whirly was used because we didn't have a choice - once the Wessex was available, the Whirlwind soon went out of service.

Perhaps not such a big a risk as you may think though since the biggest risk factor in accidents is the pilot, not the number of engines!
Except a single engine failure in a single is always dramatic - not so much in a twin. However you are right in this case - the inexperienced pilot couldn't hack it and could easily have clipped a blade or similar -the more experienced pilot chose to continue and ends up as hero or villan depending on his luck that day.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 19:06
  #34 (permalink)  

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Meanwhile, back in the UK........

Simon Burgess drowned after firemen refused to wade in 3ft deep lake due to health and safety rules | Daily Mail Online
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 19:32
  #35 (permalink)  

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Another meanwhile,

Barnet police swim to save car plunge woman - BBC News
Hero police officer saves drowning man | News | London Evening Standard
Police officer saves woman who had fallen into the River Trent | Central - ITV News

Perhaps at a more sober time, you may like to remember these police officers;

Blackpool police officers' drowning tragedy recalled - BBC News
On a winter morning 30 years ago, one man's efforts to rescue his pet from the sea set off a chain of events which cost his own life and those of three police officers.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 19:33
  #36 (permalink)  

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Back on thread, does anyone have any actual details that are not taken from the media?
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 21:20
  #37 (permalink)  

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The Whirly was used because we didn't have a choice - once the Wessex was available, the Whirlwind soon went out of service.
The definition of "soon" is totally subjective, Crab. The HAR10 actually continued in service alongside the Wessex for more than twenty years. I fondly look back on my time flying them (and prior to that, a short time under them, getting wet, on what some would consider the "wrong" end of the winch cable).
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 22:04
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Silsoe .....if you were hanging off a rock I wouldn't come and save you in case you did a ramp check on me afterwards !!! You really really are a sad old jobsworth ..... His suspended medical did not effect his skill , or otherwise as a pilot . In an emergency I would like someone with no medical and licence out of date rather than being left !! Don't forget in this country ,not having a type rating for the heli you are flying would ( in your book ) make you unsafe .
Well I haven't got any type ratings and fly about 7 different types quite happily !! Give the man a medal
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 22:28
  #39 (permalink)  

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Thanks for that Nigel, going back to page 1 you'll see that I wrote;
"Of course the prosecution may be a bit harsh given the outcome, after all someone's life has been saved." but you just couldn't resist it could you

Nigelh
Silsoe .....if you were hanging off a rock I wouldn't come and save you
And here's the difference nigel, I would come and save you

Where did I say that anything was unsafe or unskillful? I have said nothing of the sort. Please don't make things up to support your twisted personal agenda.
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Old 6th Oct 2015, 22:37
  #40 (permalink)  

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Anyone know what three charges he is facing?


Stuff.co reported Monday that police seized Dave Armstrong's logbooks after the flight in April of 2014 and now he's facing three charges relating to the incident
Pilot Faces Jail For Rescue Flight - AVweb flash Article
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