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NZ CAA prosecuting 'rescue' pilot

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NZ CAA prosecuting 'rescue' pilot

Old 16th Oct 2015, 15:42
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry Hughes 500, a heart attack is not the same as a TIA. After a heart attack you dont fly and you dont drive professionally not only for a period of time but also until tests indicate the risk of another heart attack re below a specific level. We cant do these tests with most TIAs (and it appears he didnt have the type where we can identify the cause) so we cannot predict the risk. We therefore set a longer period of no flying or professional driving.

This is rather irrelevant however: if you lose your medical you may appeal, you may seek out better medical opinions but you dont simply say the rules are wrong and break them.

It appears this gentleman may have broken the law four times in 21 months. Whatever your view on this single event, it is stretching the boundaries of credibility to believe there had been four such events where illegal flying was the only way to save lives. In this case he wasnt passing the drowning man, but had deliberately acted to make himself available. If he had known he had escaped prosecution the first two times by procedural failures by the prosecutor, he appears to have no insight into his situation. That to me makes him dangerous as it sets a pattern.

Lets hope now he has pleaded guilty he has gained that insight
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Old 16th Oct 2015, 15:46
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Although this case is quite different, in some ways it is the opposite of the above case, with a very sad result.

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Manchester | Police defend drowning death case

The police officers may have been above criticism but still have to live with the unanswerable question, could they have made a difference. At least Mr Armstrong, who may never by passed fit to fly again, will not spend the rest of his life asking that question.
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Old 16th Oct 2015, 17:19
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Except that a child trapped underwater WILL drown in a few minutes without assistance - a man with a broken leg on a hillside will very probably survive for many hours (he might not be comfortable but that is not life-threatening).

The levels of jeopardy are not equal and it seems that much has been made of the 'emergency nature' of this situation in order to defend Mr Armstrong's actions.
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Old 16th Oct 2015, 18:04
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Radgirl

Sorry I have seen to many so called problems with people's health stop them flying. One of my customers had his licence pulled by our CAA over heart issues, it was not reinstated despite the UK's top heart specialist telling our CAA's head man he didn't know what he was talking about. Lets be honest I could have a heart attack and still legally drive a landcover for instance pulling 3.5 tons, how many people do you think I could kill on the M25 ? am I stopped from driving - no. I am afraid we are being legislated to death ( excuse the pun ) on factors that can't be proved either way. Yes I agree there has to be laws and 4 times might seem to be excessive, but it is not as if this guy was doing passenger flights every day of the year
As for a broken leg, in a former career as a mountain guide I have seen the result of a broken leg, due to shock just above the Mer de Glace in the French Alps they died.
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Old 16th Oct 2015, 20:04
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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I suspect that the authorities view the falsification of official documents as a far more serious offence than flying without a valid licence. Instructing an employee to enter false information into the flight records is just the tip of the iceberg. What other documentation and maintenance procedures have been glossed over in the interest of expediency.The evidence advanced so far shows a casual attitude to rule breaking on several occasions, not just once in order to save life.

I would expect Mr. Armstrong to lose his flying priviledges for life based on the evidence presented so far and he will be lucky to avoid a prison sentence.

A sad end to what has obviously been an exciting career.
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Old 17th Oct 2015, 02:04
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I will withdraw my comment about PICUS, etc. i'm not going to delete it, as it will make the replies after the fact look silly...

However the way the issue was first portrayed was that he took over the flight on duals, and it seems that is not the case, so therefore the PICUS comment was irrelevant.

I would suspect that there is far more to this case than most of us on here will hear about, and you will never get all the relevant facts from a news story.

Considering that he dropped the guys in with a 44, why didn't he just load the rescue crew in the Jet Ranger that is sitting in the background in his pictures, put the duals in and go along supervising his junior pilot.
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Old 17th Oct 2015, 12:28
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Hughes 500

I totally agree with your comments and the feelings behind them. Over on the medical board you will see that I and others repeatedly voice our frustration about silly rules and restrictive legislation. However, we never tell anyone to go fly without a medical. Not only is there the risk of incapacitation; there is also the risk arising from flying uninsured. It is I am afraid selfish and irresponsible.
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Old 17th Oct 2015, 23:51
  #88 (permalink)  
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Give us a break

Yep those medicals are very important for pilots.... A lot of us have found out about pending long term health issues early because of them but have they ever stopped a crash happening?..... we will never know for sure.

What we do know is that every pilot who died or has become incapacitated in an aircraft had a valid medical.

In this case Mr Armstrongs so called medical problem turned out to be not a problem and at least one person is alive because of it.... please remember nobody has yet challenged the fact that all other options had been exhausted to save this persons life.

The doctor flown into the site was in fact the doctor who initiated the suspension of Armstrongs medical and was fully aware of his medical status and still got in the helicopter.
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Old 18th Oct 2015, 08:27
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I don't want this to become a medical forum but

Medicals don't prove a pilot is fit. They merely seek to identify pathology or possible risk and by grounding or putting limitations on those involved seek to ensure those pilots flying legally are safer than if there were no medicals

Like other 'facts' on this thread I take the suggestion that his illness was wrong with a pinch of salt. We can't prove someone didn't have a TIA. It may simply be that nothing was found and after the two year grounding he got his medical back. This happens in most cases but he may well have had an event where the blood supply to part of the brain failed

As for the doctor getting in the aircraft, well we medics are as mad as anyone else. We believe we can walk on water and talk to God (whereas surgeons believe they are God). Most doctors would have jumped at the chance of saving a life and being a hero, either ignoring the pilot's medical or believing any problem wouldn't happen on the that flight. The doctor involved may have done a full risk assessment and examined said pilot before boarding, or may not have
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Old 24th Oct 2015, 21:19
  #90 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up It appears some politicians understand !!!!!

http://www.caa.gen.nz/inept-power-tr...lins-lays-caa/

Judith Collins and Phil Goff comment along with the green party.
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Old 25th Oct 2015, 09:00
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How much is this costing the Kiwi taxpayer?

The pilot made a good call IMHO given the circumstances.
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Old 25th Oct 2015, 11:11
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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It’s simply not fair on our brave search and rescue pilots, from whom we are already asking so much, to now also ask them to put their families and freedom on the line too. Why should they bother?
Does she actually think Mr Armstrong is a Search and Rescue pilot???? How unusual for someone from the Green party to rant about stuff they don't understand.
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Old 25th Oct 2015, 19:50
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

On the day and in the conditions I would say that Mr Armstrong was "the Search and Rescue Pilot".

Not in the way you would understand as a dedicated pilot but he was the one doing the "searching and rescuing".

Having flown in NZ and the UK I don't think you may appreciate the differences.

The UK is tiny - you can see from one end to the other on a good day and it is basically flat.
I don't think it even has mountains?

NZ - think Switzerland with UK weather.

The single biggest attribute to successful SAR in NZ is local knowledge.
This is backed up by empirical evidence over the years and REGA in Switzerland would concur.
Most of their bases utilise pilots from local operators on a roster, it is that important and having flown there as well
I would estimate a pilot without local knowledge would not last a month before hitting some obstacle.

I am guessing that Mr Armstrong being told as to where the victim was he would have been able to fly there visually
and from memory without any nav aids or even a map.

Most of the dedicated SAR machinery in NZ spend 99% of their time doing transfers to better medical facilities. Their "local knowledge"
is probably limited to being able to program a GPS.

From your profile I am assuming that you operate (or did) the SK61.

In NZ that would be about as useful as a chocolate fireguard or similar unless you had a 1000' winch cable and can hover in cloud.

As to -

How unusual for someone from the Green party to rant about stuff they don't understand.
I would suggest that respectfully you may be in the same boat as someone from the Green Party.

Mr Armstrong has apparently pleaded guilty - "as charged". The issue is whether the charge makes sense.
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Old 26th Oct 2015, 19:15
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RVDT - I would suggest that your local knowledge of UK, it's terrain and the type of weather encountered by day (and oh yes by night) in the lumpier areas of the country might need some refreshing

So just how will you rescue someone in an R44 in cloud? I think a Sea King will take you safely to places where an R44 wouldn't even be a chocolate fireguard.

A 249' winch has pretty much always been enough for a lot of interesting rescues.

As I have said before - I don't question Mr Armstrong's flying skills or local knowledge but he is not a SAR pilot - he just happened to be in the right place with a helicopter - since he knew the area he didn't have to search and he didn't actually rescue anyone.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 06:37
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"RVDT - I would suggest that your local knowledge of UK, it's terrain and the type of weather encountered by day (and oh yes by night) in the lumpier areas of the country might need some refreshing"

I can see his point though. Ben Nevis is 1344m whereas NZ's top 100 peaks range from 2409m up to 3724m. The NZ weather is at least as bad as the UK weather.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 06:46
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Ah, The old ours are bigger than yours and therefore so much more dangerous fallacy - the ground will kill you if you fly into it whether it is 5' amsl or 15000' amsl.

But how many Kiwis go flying round them or conduct rescues in them at night and/or in that bad weather???

Darkness, snow showers and 40 kts gusting 60 -70 is quite normal for either a Welsh or Scottish winter but we train crews to get in amongst it and rescue people - but not in a R44!

Last edited by [email protected]; 27th Oct 2015 at 07:14.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 09:13
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Ah, The old ours are bigger than yours and therefore so much more dangerous fallacy
Darkness, snow showers and 40 kts gusting 60 -70 is quite normal for either a Welsh or Scottish winter but we train crews to get in amongst it and rescue people
Contradiction in terms and a monopoly on bad weather?

As to "in the bad weather" - all the time. Highest recorded wind speed in UK was 150.3 knots apparently and only 135 in NZ. Will let you have that one.

As to "night" well I think the NVG equipped guys get called first.

2 examples of many:

Sir Richard "Hannibal" Hayes

Otago Rescue Helicopter
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 16:20
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And you always take advertising at face value and without question??

You can claim any capability and quality you like on a web-site.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 18:14
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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No I leave that to the Commerce Commission and the Fair Trading Act to enforce.

As there is "competition" in this business any false claim would be jumped on in a millisecond.

Also as they are "certified operators" by the CAA I am sure they would take an interest as well.
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Old 27th Oct 2015, 20:14
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"Ah, The old ours are bigger than yours"

Isn't that exactly what you are doing wrt to equipment?

...

"But how many Kiwis go flying round them or conduct rescues in them at night and/or in that bad weather???"

Um, a handful?

"Darkness, snow showers and 40 kts gusting 60 -70 is quite normal for either a Welsh or Scottish winter but we train crews to get in amongst it and rescue people - but not in a R44!"

And for those sort of missions not here either, obviously. Not sure what point you are making?
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