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Bristow S76 Ditched in Nigeria today Feb 3 2016

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Bristow S76 Ditched in Nigeria today Feb 3 2016

Old 2nd Mar 2016, 20:14
  #381 (permalink)  
 
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It seems to me that this discussion is a between people who have most possibly never flown for one of the offshore majors and those who have most possibly been trained by one of them and have spent their whole flying careers in offshore O&G. Offshore flying these days is all about automation in very reliable large, twin-engine helicopters and requires little manual intervention so why require pilots to have years flying onshore SPVFR?

It would most certainly mean better flying skills and airmanship but is not necessary and many pilots with that background would quickly get bored with the monotony of offshore flying. The present system of recruiting young pilots straight from ab-initio training as co-pilots with PICUS and eventual captaincy seems to work well (in UK anyway).

I do feel that they have missed out on a fulfilling career as a helicopter pilot which has so many more exciting and rewarding opportunities.
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 23:48
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Wait watch and see

Kick back put on the popcorn and watch!

If it happens again in the next few months then the proof is in the pudding!

Evidently judgement, experience and stick time is no longer required and we have been replaced by machines and computers!

Well I'm getting tired of CD players that skip! Bring back the 8 track an carburetor !
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 23:57
  #383 (permalink)  
 
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We see trainees arrive on recurrent courses that don't know the aircraft limitations, don't know the immediate (memory) actions in the ECL, don't take notes in class, can't correctly answer straight forward questions on aircraft systems, some don't even know whether their aircraft has a SLA or Nicad battery installed. Unfortunately not isolated examples. It can be quite challenging teaching because without these basic fundamentals the flight manoeuvres training suffers. But the most frustrating aspect I see regularly is a NFP not saying or doing anything when the FP has put the aircraft in imminent danger of an adverse outcome. In other words, the NFP is just a passenger arriving at the scene of the accident.

I'd be interested in the CRM aspects of this Bristow accident, particularly the extent to which the co-pilot supported the decision of the Captain to undertake a ditching under the circumstances faced.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 02:27
  #384 (permalink)  
 
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Really?

That's surprising!?

You can select the R242 battery with the selector switch and revert back to the nicad if it's overheating. Surely CRM is clear that this must only be done after confirming rate of decent above 750fpm with the disc fully loaded but only if the bypass reversion switch is armed prior to entering into LTE.

Surely you Jest!

Last edited by pilonrock; 3rd Mar 2016 at 02:37.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 06:04
  #385 (permalink)  
 
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It would be futile to expend a lot of effort maintaining a redundant skill.
Unfortunately that leads to a slippery slope where what is and isn't a redundant skill gets mixed in with which skills cost the most to attain/maintain.

Depending on your area of operation you might decide almost all manual flying is redundant and end up training and assessing pilots as competent but only in a very narrow field of ops.

If that is what is desired by companies/operators then fine but don't come crying when your 'plastic pilot' spears in if the airborne situation suddenly changes to something outside that very narrow field of experience.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 08:09
  #386 (permalink)  
 
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Crab a couple of points:

It is interesting to note that EASA's Prof check doesn't require AP out flying. It's something covered in the initial skills test (IIRC) only. This applies to all ME types. I don't subscribe to that view for the many types with limited autopilot redundancy / reliability and of course an operator can always choose to add stuff. But it does go to show the Authority's view on the subject.

Secondly and more importantly we are fortunate compared to our FW colleagues in that every takeoff, final approach and landing is flown manually, as often is inter-rig shuttling. (Well except for the SAR guys who seem to need a button to fly an approach and to hover). Landing offshore at night can be quite challenging. Therefore I don't think there is a risk of us getting to the state of inability to fly that some of our FW a colleagues seem to have reached.

As to fields of operation I always maintain that aviation is very role specific. Yes offshore flying is one such narrow role but it is hard to see the benefit, and certainly not feasible, to train offshore pilots in other role skills that they will never need. So for example we had a small group of pilots rated for winch and underlslung, they received the relevant training and practice, but if we had done that for everyone there wouldn't have been enough opportunity to actually carry out the role and so it would have been counterproductive since no-one would have been current.

By the way when I was a trainer on the SAR L2 I found that role equally narrow. Yes the guys were great at dangling things over the side and fishing things out of the water (much, much better than me) but in other areas many were pretty poor simply because they never needed to do it and so lacked the motivation and practice. C'est la vie!
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 08:15
  #387 (permalink)  
 
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(Well except for the SAR guys who seem to need a button to fly an approach and to hover)
so just how often do offshore guys make an approach to 50' hover over the water with no visual references? Horses for courses but we used to train to do it manually as well, just in case you needed to in order to save lives.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 08:57
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Role related training

There is a growing realisation amongst regulators that role-related training is becoming a 'must do' rather than a 'nice to do'. In other words there are teams working to identify possible ways forward in this conundrum.

Personally I see an advantage in a role-related rating that at least recognises that some relevant basics have been delivered prior to going 'live'. The crucial benefit of that rating would be the date that it was issued. Such a rating is deliverable for SAR, HEMS, OFFSHORE, LAW ENFORCEMENT, FIRE FIGHTING and maybe CORPORATE. As Crab And HC point out there is s relationship between pilot performance and the length of time since the relevant training was delivered. Keeping track of recency is a crucial element in the equation.

My latest hobby horse is to bang on about Ebbinghaus (German psychologist in Victorian times) and his 'FORGETTING CURVE'. The trouble is we keep forgetting how fragile imparted knowledge is. In many cases 80% of imparted knowledge is lost after 2-3 weeks. That doesn't work well in our world.

I wonder how much of her technical training was the young lass in this incident able to recall when the proverbial hit the fan? Essinghaus went on to emphasise the value of continued repetition as a teaching tool. Repeat it enough times and you remember for ever. What 'post-graduate' support is offered to TR graduates - NIL. We need to look at that. If we has some intensive post-course, on-line Q&A routines with a live instructor and CBT then maybe we could hang on to the vital elements of system knowledge a little longer.

G.

Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 3rd Mar 2016 at 10:34. Reason: Amplification of post TR support and correcting spelling of my German psychologist (Thanks Bob)
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 09:15
  #389 (permalink)  
 
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Very good points Geoffers, I give both the technical and the flying instruction on my present type so I know exactly what the pilots were taught and can reinforce the tech training during the flying and sim sorties.

Repetition is definitely the key.

As for the 'forgetting curve' - mine seems to have steepened as I have got older!

HC
Secondly and more importantly we are fortunate compared to our FW colleagues in that every takeoff, final approach and landing is flown manually, as often is inter-rig shuttling.
you have changed your tune from a previous thread when you assured me it was in the passengers' interests that the automatics were used as much as possible.

By the way when I was a trainer on the SAR L2 I found that role equally narrow. Yes the guys were great at dangling things over the side and fishing things out of the water (much, much better than me)
so how did you have credibility as a SAR trainer if you couldn't do it as well as the crews you were 'training'? That is certainly something that wouldn't have passed muster in the mil.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 09:37
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
HC you have changed your tune from a previous thread when you assured me it was in the passengers' interests that the automatics were used as much as possible.

so how did you have credibility as a SAR trainer if you couldn't do it as well as the crews you were 'training'? That is certainly something that wouldn't have passed muster in the mil.
1/ No I don't think I said that. It is in the passengers' interests that the automatics be used as much as possible in poor conditions / at night. When there are reasonably good visual references it is a good thing to fly manually especially for the young chaps with limited exposure to manual flying. But even in poor conditions/at night the very last bit had to be flown manually since we don't have auto-land but typically by then you are very close and the visual references are OK even if the vis is poor.

2/ Oh the winderful mil. If only everything could be run by the mil there would be no more accidents!

But you misunderstand the structure of civilian training. I was a TRE on the L2, I was not a SAR pilot. In order to be a SAR pilot you have to have a licence, and in order to have a licence you need to be able to do, and be tested on, such things as OEI Cat A procedures, procedural instrument approaches etc. In other words, pass an LPC. That was my role, doing type conversions onto the L2 and taking LSTs, LPCs and OPCs, technical ground school refresher etc. This ticked the necessary box for them to be a licenced L2 pilot. There was then another set of Line Trainers who were the SAR experts, would train and test for the SAR-specific elements which of course on a day to day basis was the most important bit.

That was my problem, some of the pilots didn't see why they needed to be able to do all the stuff in a standard LPC since some was not relevant to their role. But of course my answer was that in order to be a SAR pilot you first need to be a pilot with a licence.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 09:50
  #391 (permalink)  
 
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Aaaw, come on now Crab ...... of course it's manual for the first and last 30 seconds - I think that was the point. And a little humility and self-deprecation is a good instructor's trait.

I reckon if we put all you guys in the same room, a day of CRM training and a few beers at night - you'd all come out thinking better of each other and realize you are all aiming for the same goals ......

We need look how the knowledge can be better imparted to your trainees, through broader oversight from the operator and authority.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 09:59
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so how did you have credibility as a SAR trainer if you couldn't do it as well as the crews you were 'training'? That is certainly something that wouldn't have passed muster in the mil.
Hmmm. Tin gods comes to mind. We seem to have a lot of those in aviation
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 10:18
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HC - I just wanted to clarify that being a trainer on a SAR L2 does not make you a SAR trainer on the L2 which is what your post rather implied
some of the pilots didn't see why they needed to be able to do all the stuff in a standard LPC since some was not relevant to their role
can't see whay any of that LPC stuff isn't considered relevant - maybe your pilots needed a bit of military re-briefing about professionalism
When there are reasonably good visual references it is a good thing to fly manually especially for the young chaps with limited exposure to manual flying
isn't that even more important to do in less than CAVOK conditions so they gain experience?
Phone Wind
Hmmm. Tin gods comes to mind. We seem to have a lot of those in aviation
the difference is in being able to show you can do it better, rather than just telling them you can
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 10:41
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
HC - I just wanted to clarify that being a trainer on a SAR L2 does not make you a SAR trainer on the L2 which is what your post rather implied
Definitely not a SAR trainer. And old piloty adage sprinter to mind "never assume - check!"

Originally Posted by [email protected]
isn't that even more important to do in less than CAVOK conditions so they gain experience?
So what you are saying is that passengers' safety should be sub-optimal on that one flight in order that the pilots can do some "on the job" training to improve safety overall? Unfortunately the passengers on that one flight don't like that very much. I will agree that it probably would be good for pilot competence but unfortunately we are not the military (we can't do what we like at taxpayers expense, and we even need licences!) and have to do what the customer wants, which is increasingly restrictive. If you think about it, it is not really a tenable position to deliberately increase risk to passengers even slightly, or even at discomfort, just to satisfy some training need.

In my youth we used to, for instance, fly a whole rig trip AP out including a rather wobbly landing offshore, but for many years this has been verboten by both the customers and the CAA. We are not allowed by the CAA to intentionally degrade the aircraft's systems in any way with passengers on board. Once the CAA wakes up they will realise that that includes failing to make best use of the automation. (OK to be fair, they are starting to wake up to that point).
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 10:49
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Phone Wind the difference is in being able to show you can do it better, rather than just telling them you can
This is the thing I hate most about military culture, it is all about point-scoring. If you are an instructor or examiner in civvy world you don't have to say you are the best pilot in the company. You don't have to prove you are the best pilot in the company. What you have to is have a good instructional technique (that doesn't function on having a "superior" attitude), know the syllabus, the required standard and relevant technical knowledge. And a bit of humility helps!

In the military so much time is spent getting the callipers out to measure the size of each other's balls that I wonder there is any time for flying!
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 11:31
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Our Offshore facilities are in the Tropics and we don't routinely fly passengers at night. As a client, we have to pay for our Contract Pilots to remain current for night flying in case of emergency, which we are happy to do.

With offshore facilities are > 200nm from our operating base, there is not a closer deck to use, we have some significant transit time each way. When our Pilots complete their 3x landing in 3 month night deck landing currency, we have a requirement that we take 3 crew to maximise the benefit.

Since its revenue flying without passengers, we specify the outbound and inbound sectors are used as much as is reasonable to practice manual flying skills. We also encourage crews to take a slightly extended routing to land and take fuel onshore rather than offshore so that they have another landing at night at a different place for some variety.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 11:46
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HC don't be so stupid . They don't make calipers big enough for TC and Crabs balls !!
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 12:07
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Originally Posted by terminus mos
Our Offshore facilities are in the Tropics and we don't routinely fly passengers at night. As a client, we have to pay for our Contract Pilots to remain current for night flying in case of emergency, which we are happy to do.

With offshore facilities are > 200nm from our operating base, there is not a closer deck to use, we have some significant transit time each way. When our Pilots complete their 3x landing in 3 month night deck landing currency, we have a requirement that we take 3 crew to maximise the benefit.

Since its revenue flying without passengers, we specify the outbound and inbound sectors are used as much as is reasonable to practice manual flying skills. We also encourage crews to take a slightly extended routing to land and take fuel onshore rather than offshore so that they have another landing at night at a different place for some variety.
Very commendable. Was this before or after you demanded a 20% reduction in costs?


Although technically, since the 3rd pilot is not a necessary member of the flight crew, he/she is a passenger on a commercial flight. But never mind, unlike oil co. passengers, pilots are expendable!
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 13:18
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Originally Posted by terminus mos
After of course, we never cut costs
Why would they be classified as expendable HC? Supernumerary they may be for one sector but their well trained and professional colleagues are flying so their safety is guaranteed, surely?
Expendable as in you find it OK for pilots to be practising flying a degraded aircraft when the only passengers are other pilots, but not when the passengers are oil workers. Can you explain your double standards?
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 14:17
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If a captain, not a co-pilot, cannot fly an AP out trip offshore without the passengers noticing, then he shouldn't be a captain. When I first flew for Mr Bristow we were paid to fly the aircraft, not the autopilot. Should the single channel AP go u/s that was tough, you went without it.

HC, you bleat on about how much safer the North Sea is since everybody is slavishly pushing buttons instead of flying it. Can you back that up with all the accidents in the North Sea that would have been avoided if a Flight Management System had been in operation instead.?
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