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NZ: chopper crash Fox glacier

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NZ: chopper crash Fox glacier

Old 21st Nov 2015, 20:36
  #21 (permalink)  
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Agree with mickjoebill, especially with children.

My family and I took a Franz Josef glacier flight in a 350 earlier this year.

Wife and 8 year old daughter in the front.
Myself, 8 year old son and two other adult pax in the back.
Son and daughter swapped on the way back down.

Yes, it was very cosy.
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 22:32
  #22 (permalink)  
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Seized Gearbox

What if that happened at altitude, the rotors would not be turning on impact!

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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 02:00
  #23 (permalink)  
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They don't land at 2400 feet (800 metres). They land near the top at about 7500 ft....
The weather apparently wasn't too good....
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Old 23rd Nov 2015, 00:49
  #24 (permalink)  
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I thought it was a bit of bloodshot vfr that ended in cumulo ice(granit)
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Old 23rd Nov 2015, 18:58
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Our local chief of radiographer and hubbie was one of the victims, sadly. Think its safe to say one's folks had come across her in their line of work over the years and spoke highly of them professionally.

Sad news

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Old 23rd Nov 2015, 23:03
  #26 (permalink)  
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Sad accident, poor weather and large scorched wreckage field over hundreds of metres....
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Old 24th Nov 2015, 05:48
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How sure are we about the scorching? In the dictionary this refers to burn/fire. And if the burning debris is scattered over hundreds of meters, as the one source reported, then this suggest an in-flight fire.

Further, scorching of a wreckage area typically occurs when the burning wreckage sets the surrounding vegetation alight. Now a glacier doesn't burn that well.

We would like to get this confirmed. Maybe it is just paint marks from the chopper scratching across the ice?
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Old 25th Nov 2015, 13:45
  #28 (permalink)  
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H & H

Fly your cab into terrain at speed and the ensuing 'potential impact related fireball and scattered wreckage' will give what the reports suggest. Having witnessed similar first hand tragically on more than one occasion it is a likely scenario. But this is all rumour here until the official report is published.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 15:25
  #29 (permalink)  
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What might regulations said about an amount of occupants. It's still over the helicopter flight manual limits. How about insurance?

I had a few argue with my customers a years ago, due to I refused to take more than Flight manual said, even they were children. Now, I am feeling that I made a right decissions.

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Old 26th Nov 2015, 15:43
  #30 (permalink)  
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What might regulations said about an amount of occupants. It's still over the helicopter flight manual limits. How about insurance?
What are you on about? The Airbus website clearly states it can carry 7 pob:

ē Standard configuration:
5 passengers + 1 pilot.
ē High density configuration:
6 passengers + 1 pilot
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 05:19
  #31 (permalink)  
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More POB than seats?

Two different things, as 212 already pointed out. Depending on local legislation, infants may typically be carried on the lap of another pax but need to be properly secured using a child restraint device. So yes, in that scenario you might have more POB than seats.

All other children (older than infants as defined by the law) need to have their own seat.

MGW and performance restrictions always take precedence.
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 06:05
  #32 (permalink)  
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NZ CAA have released a new AD for the 350/355. Its related to the dual front Pax seat and weight and balance calcs, and apparently unrelated to the subject of this thread, but posted here for info.

Press release here: http://www.caa.govt.nz/public_and_me...l_squirrel.pdf

AD here: Emergency Airworthiness Directives
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 08:27
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Apparently unrelated???? The coincidence that final clarification was received from Airbus this month (date not specified) seems rather like covering up a problem that was known to exist due to local modifications.

The AD comes out within a week of a high-profile crash with multiple fatalities with exactly the same seat configuration...........someone is worried about having sat on their hands for too long.
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 12:47
  #34 (permalink)  
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Did you read the document?
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 13:17
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Yes and it highlights that it is a result of an investigation from a crash last year - that isn't in dispute and they have sought clarification from Airbus regarding weight and balance calculations with the local modifications to the front seats.

But, isn't it slightly too coincidental that the final clarification and the AD appear days after a crash where the exact cause is under investigation but the aircraft has that specific seat fit and was full to the brim with pax.

It may well be that this sad crash was not a result of C of G or AUM limits being exceeded but it seems that someone is getting their excuses in early just in case it had a bearing on events.
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 15:51
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Indeed, what a coincidence! Maybe somebody looked at the 6 pax and couldn't find any combination of 2 that were below 120 kgs (as would be the max allowed combined mass of the 2 front pax).

However, there is nothing a responsible operator would do differently based on the AD than before. And there is no change of procedures, which the AD prescribes, that were not in force already. It basically says, do a W&B based on actual and true pax mass before (each) flight.

You don't need an AD to compute the moment-arm of the front pax ... any spreadsheet or flight planning app allows to do this, and to introduce new stations as required.

Apparently, however, in the tour business there have been too many incidences where this was not done. Quite strangely so, as in the tour business the circumstances (route, density alt, fuel requirements) are always the same, and it should be very easy to manage the only true variable (the number and individual weight of your pax).
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Old 30th May 2016, 05:25
  #37 (permalink)  
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Alpine Adventures owner's AOC suspended:

Alpine Adventures choppers grounded | Radio New Zealand News
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Old 30th May 2016, 06:24
  #38 (permalink)  
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Note: for AS350B3 the front passenger "love" seat limit is 154kg for two pax not 120kg. It is 120kg for a single front passenger. Have not seen how this machine was loaded.

Some comments here suggesting a conspiracy in CAA because of the timing coincidence seem a bit ridiculous to me. The suggestion that some issue with local modification is being covered up makes no sense. These machines are all using STC approved seats.

In fact the idea that CAA could do *anything* within one week of *anything* is absolutely laughable.
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Old 23rd May 2019, 18:38
  #39 (permalink)  
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TAIC Report: NZ Fox Glacier crash, 21 Nov 2015

The report by NZ's TAIC (Transport Accident Investigation Commission) was released yesterday NZT. I can't attach the link (being a newbie) but you can search for the NZ web site of TAIC, then search for the report "AO-2015-007".
NZ's CAA (Civil Avation Authority) has been slated for not acting on known deficiencies for some operators.
Here is a summary of their findings (Quote):

"5.1. The helicopter struck the glacier surface with a high forward speed and a high rate of descent, with the engine delivering power.
5.2. Throughout the flight, the all-up weight of the helicopter almost certainly exceeded the maximum permitted weight.
5.3. It is unlikely that mechanical failure with the helicopter was a factor in the accident. Although not all of the wreckage was recovered, an examination of the recovered components (including all the dynamic assemblies) revealed no pre-existing failure.
5.4. The tail rotor servo had exceeded the maximum flight hours permitted before overhaul, although that was unlikely to have been a contributory factor.
5.5. The weather conditions on the day were unstable and unsuitable for conducting a scenic flight. The localised weather conditions in the area were very likely to have been frequently below the minimum criteria required by the Civil Aviation Rules.
5.6. It is very likely that when the helicopter took off from Chancellor Shelf and descended down the valley the pilotís perception of the helicopterís height above the terrain was affected by one or more of the following conditions:
  • cloud, precipitation, flat light conditions, condensation on the helicopterís front windscreen.
5.7. The pilot had not been properly trained and did not have the appropriate level of experience expected under the operatorís categorisation scheme to fulfil the role and responsibilities expected of a senior (A-category) pilot in this type of operation.
5.8. The operatorís system for training its pilots was ill-defined and did not comply fully with the Civil Aviation Rules.
5.9. The operatorís training system did not have sufficient oversight by the designated senior persons. This was a factor that allowed the pilot to be assigned roles and responsibilities without the proper training and experience.
5.10. The Civil Aviation Authority had identified significant and repetitive non-compliance issues with the operatorís training system and managerial oversight that warranted intervention long before this accident occurred." (unquote)

The Squirrel A350 had 7 POB, including pilot and 2 pax in front left double seat. All died, RIP.
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