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

NZ CAA prosecuting 'rescue' pilot

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

NZ CAA prosecuting 'rescue' pilot

Old 8th Oct 2015, 05:27
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bloody ridiculous

Yup, you can always count on cops and the CAA to do the extra stupid.
oleary is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 05:37
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I completely agree with John

If my medical was invalid (lapsed or suspended) and someone's life was in danger I would cheerfully fly the damn thing by myself.

These gummint idiots could then sue me or throw me in jail or whatever - my conscience would be clear.
oleary is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 07:20
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 10,380
Received 709 Likes on 316 Posts
QDM - I did specify that femoral bleeding was the main thing that would make a broken femur life-threatening.

I don't dispute that the guy need rescuing from the hillside - note that he was eventually walked out not helicoptered out which took a long time even though he had received medical attention.

The question is, was the extremely high level of risk involved in getting the doctor there in difficult conditions with an inexperienced PICUS justified?

It is easy to be wise after the event because the outcome was successful - so the next time it happens (as it surely will) is it right to risk several lives (especially if you don't know if the casualty has a life-threatening condition) just to get medical aid to one person?

I and many of my colleagues have done exactly that when we KNOW that life is slipping away and the ONLY way to save that life is to put ours at risk (mitigated as much as possible by lots of training and a well-proven SAR helicopter).

SuperF - the difference between your 'experienced' local pilot and your 'less experienced' SAR pilot is TRAINING not just numbers of hours - that is why one flys tourists and the other is a professional SAR pilot.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 09:16
  #64 (permalink)  

Purveyor of Egg Liqueur to Lucifer
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Alles über die platz
Posts: 4,699
Received 38 Likes on 24 Posts
If my medical was invalid (lapsed or suspended) and someone's life was in danger I would cheerfully fly the damn thing by myself.

These gummint idiots could then sue me or throw me in jail or whatever - my conscience would be clear.

Isn't this the crux of the matter and the reason why the NZCAA have to take this to court.

Aviation law was broken, simple. Therefore it has to be followed through no matter what the circumstances of the flight. It is then up to the courts to decide the outcome based on everything available to them, which is a darn sight more than the two media reports we have to go on.

Otherwise we would have every Tom Dick & Sheila qualified, unqualified or simply with just enough experience to start whatever aircraft is available, giving it a go with the belief that the courts will not be involved and the aviation community will support them in their give it a go hero moment. (of course that's only ever going to be the case if all turns out well)

Don't forget that there are people reading all this who may be in the early years of their career and will base their future aviation descisions on what is posted in these threads, there are others with a few more hours under their belts wanting to learn from the more advanced of age here and will do what they would probably never normally have considered, simply because they are led to believe that this is 'the way we do things'.


Making the decision to knowingly break an aviation law is not one to be taken lightly and I'm sure some of us have had such instances. Whether we went through and did them or not would have been based on experience, judgment and with our eyes wide open of the consequences good or bad whatever the final outcome.


There are a few things that need to be made clearer;

1. PICUS - is a pilot acting as PiC and will be expected to make the captaincy decisions, who is under the supervision of the 'actual' PiC.

2. Nothing in NZCAA regulations permits the operation of an aircraft by a person who is not lawfully entitled to operate that aircraft ... even in an emergency situation. (see RVDT's post)

3. NZCAA - A person who does not hold a current pilot licence issued or validated may not manipulate the controls of an aircraft unless the person is—
(1) receiving dual flight instruction from an appropriately qualified flight instructor who occupies a pilot seat; or
(2) acting as a pilot in command in accordance with rule 61.105. (student solo)

4. The casualty in this case had already been injured for a full tanks worth of rescue aircraft fuel before aid arrived, it then took a further 6 hours to recover him off the hills.

5. A pilot of a New Zealand registered aircraft, or a foreign aircraft operating in New Zealand, must hold a current aircraft type rating for that aircraft.

6. Dr Clyde Fenton was always current and was an RFC/RAAF trained pilot. Amongst his many life saving sorties he had many crashes and was once stranded for a week after a forced landing from running out of fuel. Admirable - Yes, Lucky - undoubtably
SilsoeSid is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 09:53
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK
Age: 66
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sid
3. NZCAA - A person who does not hold a current pilot licence issued or validated may not manipulate the controls of an aircraft unless the person is—
(1) receiving dual flight instruction from an appropriately qualified flight instructor who occupies a pilot seat; or
(2) acting as a pilot in command in accordance with rule 61.105. (student solo)
Interesting, where did you get this from?
chopjock is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 10:02
  #66 (permalink)  

Purveyor of Egg Liqueur to Lucifer
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Alles über die platz
Posts: 4,699
Received 38 Likes on 24 Posts
CAA NZ - Pilot Licences and Ratings.
or just google the quote
SilsoeSid is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 10:17
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK
Age: 66
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
NZCAA - A person who does not hold a current pilot licence issued or validated may not manipulate the controls of an aircraft unless the person is—
(1) receiving dual flight instruction from an appropriately qualified flight instructor who occupies a pilot seat; or
(2) acting as a pilot in command in accordance with rule 61.105. (student solo)
Ok so would a chief pilot, having had a "pilot licence issued or validated" but now suspended due to no current medical, fall into this category? That looks like it's open to interpretation to me.
chopjock is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 10:54
  #68 (permalink)  

Purveyor of Egg Liqueur to Lucifer
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Alles über die platz
Posts: 4,699
Received 38 Likes on 24 Posts
Ok so would a chief pilot, having had a "pilot licence issued or validated" but now suspended due to no current medical, fall into this category? That looks like it's open to interpretation to me.

How convenient that in your reply you missed off the word 'current' before 'pilot licence'
SilsoeSid is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 10:56
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK
Age: 66
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok so would a chief pilot, having had a "current pilot licence issued or validated" but now suspended due to no current medical, fall into this category? That looks like it's open to interpretation to me.
chopjock is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 11:18
  #70 (permalink)  

Purveyor of Egg Liqueur to Lucifer
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Alles über die platz
Posts: 4,699
Received 38 Likes on 24 Posts
It doesn't say that though does it!

It says;
"A person who does not hold a current pilot licence issued or validated may not manipulate the controls of an aircraft .... "
SilsoeSid is offline  
Old 8th Oct 2015, 11:28
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK
Age: 66
Posts: 919
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Like I said, open to interpretation, since there had been a licence issued and validated previously, although not current.

This could just mean that non trained pilots (without a previously issued or validated licence) may not manipulate the controls.

Last edited by chopjock; 8th Oct 2015 at 11:43.
chopjock is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2015, 21:45
  #72 (permalink)  
BGQ
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wanaka
Posts: 90
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BS

So much BS in this thread. The initial hearing is today. It is my understanding the Pilot concerned will plead guilty.... He clearly broke the law and is aware of that. The particular Rule that allows a pilot to forego compliance with the rules in an emergency situation has a hook

Quote
(5) Nothing in subsection (3) permits—

(a) the operation of an aircraft that is not registered in New Zealand or elsewhere; or
(b) the breach of any prescribed requirement as to the airworthiness of an aircraft; or
(c) the operation of an aircraft by a person who is not lawfully entitled to operate that aircraft.
Unquote

In addition some other "facts"

Mr Armstrong was the only pilot on board the aircraft when the offence occurred. He had initially gone along with a "junior" pilot who could not complete the task. That pilot was dropped off to enable more of the rescuers to get into the site. The police asked for 9 rescuers to be taken to the scene. Mr Armstrong managed to get 6 in before nightfall and the conditions became unacceptable.

In NZ officers of the law and officers of the court have discretion not to prosecute. There is one fool on here who has often stated that once the law is broken you have to prosecute.... BS. I do not know a country in the world that takes that view but I guess he lives in one.

In this case the Director of CAA could very easily have chosen not to prosecute because there is clear evidence of the urgent nature of the emergency, other options were no longer available because the original rescue aircraft was low on fuel and nightfall was approaching. The police were advised by the pilot when they requested his services he could not legally fly so he went as an advisor with the junior pilot indicating an attempt to be legal. Circumstances developed that could not have been foreseen. He exercised good judgement in ceasing the mission when conditions became unacceptable.

CAA have steadfastly refused to give their side of the story including (unusually) not even releasing the charge sheet. Plenty of high profile people in the industry have asked for info on "what and why"

There is no doubt in my mind that those who have carried out SAR missions in the past and those who will in the future will be seriously affected by this. I have done plenty and have broken rules in doing so.

The best that can be hoped for considering the guilty plea will be a conviction and discharge.

Some of this is my opinion and some of it I know to be fact.... I will happily accept the egg thrown at my face if revelations in court today indicate I am wrong
BGQ is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2015, 22:38
  #73 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Age: 76
Posts: 4,380
Received 25 Likes on 15 Posts
BGQ,

Thanks for putting some meat on the bones of the sparse media reports. That the CAA NZ are withholding details of the prosecution is a worry, but your comments certainly hold true of the replies from many on this thread.

I look forward to hearing what happens today in court, but given that you say Mr Armstrong is pleading guilty we may never know the intricacies of the prosecution nor what instigated it
John Eacott is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 05:08
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NZ
Age: 72
Posts: 206
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
'Hero' helicopter pilot admits flying breaches but asks for mercy | Stuff.co.nz
Fark'n'ell is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 07:10
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 10,380
Received 709 Likes on 316 Posts
The more information that is released, the more Mr Armstrong looks like a foolhardy idiot instead of a hero.

He was grounded for a suspected 'mini-stroke' or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) which is often a pre-cursor to a full blown stroke - you wouldn't want to be a in a car if the driver was likely to have one so why on earth would you want to be a pax in a helicopter???

I wonder if he mentioned his actual medical condition before risking the lives, not once but 3 times, of the police and medical teams.

One delivery of a 2-man medical team would have allowed the casualty to be stabilised and assessed and protected until daybreak would have allowed a SAR aircraft to complete the recovery.

All this HERO BS is exactly that and, whilst I cannot fault his flying skills, I find his cavalier attitude to his personal safety and that of the rescue teams worthy of any sanction the CAA might impose.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 11:56
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,680
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
In the cold light of day - I agree wholeheartedly with Crab.
It is symptomatic of a bunch of guys go into a burning building to save a small child from burning to death - only to burn to death themselves. At the scene - almost everyone would be sympathetic with the guys but the next day having read it in the newspapers - they would probably have said - what idiots.
This is where being human shows its true colours - we are after all - unpredictable and vunerable to high emotion.

On the day of the race this guy probably thought he had no option and that saving life is more important than breaking the rules......and occasionally it is....but he had time to assess the situation and he had innocent people on board who may have become victims themselves if he had relapsed under duress. Then how would the fraternity have felt about this so called 'hero'.
The deceased's relatives, his own family, lawyers - all would have been embroiled in a very tumultuous outcome for years to come. Would it have been worth it?

The weakness here, is human frailty and it will be up to the judge after he has found him guilty - to be lenient.

I bet loads on here can attest to this situation........but never got caught!
Thomas coupling is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 12:08
  #77 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 63
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If this was a one-off event I suspect the CAA may have opted not to prosecute given the successful outcome. However, it seems there is more to this story than this rescue event given the other cases investigated and, IMHO, they are given little choice as the Regulatory Authority.

Sad outcome but maybe whoever made the anonymous tip alluded to in the article can also look themself in the mirror and like what they see; especially if they had tried to address concerns previously to Mr A.
Stupidbutsaveable is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 12:40
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,961
Likes: 0
Received 48 Likes on 30 Posts
Crab

" He was grounded for a suspected 'mini-stroke' or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) which is often a pre-cursor to a full blown stroke "
You can have a heart attack and die at any time ( friend died from a heart attack, having had a full medical previous week, on the squash court, he was a county player and very fit ) Does this mean that we don't go flying, don't drive a car etc etc. You certainly drive on the road with LGV drivers that if they have a heart attack would certainly kill you. So the balance of probability is what makes us human. We look at the risk and weigh things up. In this case the pilot appears to have weighed things up. It is no different to you launching on a mission !
I have personally rescued a close friend from drowning while surfing. The balance of probability was probably against me as the rip current was very nasty and I had been out for a couple of hours myself. When someone is screaming for help you don't just sit there and do nothing. By the time I got there, he was face down in water, managed to swim them back to the beach and they were ok. Probably the hardest physical thing i have ever dome including messing about on selection type stuff in the mil. It is this that makes us human and it is sad to see that in this day and age that sort of thing seems to have gone ( remember 2 PCSO's who didn't rescue a drowning kid as they weren't trained or so they said ) If that is the sort of society you wish to live in well .......
Hughes500 is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 14:15
  #79 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 14,621
Received 496 Likes on 263 Posts
Hughes 500, while I can see both sides of this, I tend to agree with your view.

After all, as things turned out, the casualty was rescued and no-one got hurt. I hope, if this case doesn't get thrown out as "not in the public interest", that the "evil perpetrator of this heinous crime" gets nothing more than a conditional discharge.

I can only wonder how the "hang the guilty bastard regardless" brigade would react if they were in the same position as this pilot and if the casualty had been a close relative of theirs.....

"Sorry to hear about your busted leg, son; but I'm off down the pub"
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2015, 15:37
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 10,380
Received 709 Likes on 316 Posts
Hughes - you are right that we can drop off our twig at any time but this is all about probability and risk vs reward. A medical board took his licence away for 2 years because they deemed the risk of him having another problem was too high!

If I had had a TIA or minor heart attack I wouldn't dream of taking passengers with me in a vehicle - I had the same argument with my brother after he started having fits due to a brain tumour from which he subsequently died, it is just irresponsible to put other lives at risk when there is a choice - and there surely was a choice in this case.

I am all for people doing brave things to save lives - if it is only their own lives they are risking - as I said before, did he make it clear to the police and medical teams the real risks involved in letting him fly them?

I suspect not.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.