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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 3rd Mar 2016, 14:41
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver
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.?


Did you live in a paper bag in the middle of the road too?


Anyway, it depends on the type. The S61 is quite docile AP out, the EC225 at 150kts much less so. Why would it be a prerequisite to be able to fly AP out without the passengers noticing when you have a quadruplexed AP with triplexed sensors and duplexed actuators? Whereas if you fly a single channel AP aircraft powered by coal it is obviously reasonable to expect you to be pretty good at flying AP out. And the handling traits of the aircraft may well also match the level of AP redundancy to some extent.


Regarding you second point, obviously the ETAP springs to mind but most of the N Sea accidents occurred before advanced automation existed. I suspect if the Cormorant Alpha aircraft had been a 225 using the automation as we now do, that wouldn't have happened but it is pretty pointless trying to relate accidents from yesteryears technology and SOPs, to modern ones. The Sumburgh L2 accident wouldn't have happened in a 225. So yes I believe that, just as in fixed wing, modern highly automated aircraft are much safer. Mostly because the weakest link is often the pilot. It's just the old and bold tend to block out human failings (that being a human failing of course!). But of course that said, competence in the use of that automation is just as important as the importance of being able to fly a trip AP out used to be when you were a lad sometime in the middle of last century.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 15:11
  #402 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by HeliComparator
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!
Don't fall into the trap of tarring everyone with the same brush from your possibly own limited experience of military (or ex military) pilots.

From personal experience of about twenty years of both military and civilian flying, I'd say military aviation is all about getting the job done in the most efficient way. Just like the civilian world, really.

The difference is that the military are not constrained by making a profit and are able/must take more risks in training. The very nature of the military job demands great flexibility from their pilots and therefore must expose them to a far broader band of operations. Most military trained helicopter pilots (at least the SH ones) can safely low fly, operate on NVG (or off), carry out USL work, carry VIPs, fly close formation, winch over water or land and even transit to and land on an offshore installation etc etc. They are unlikely to be as competent at any one role as the "role specialists" (I'm thinking both SAR and/or N.Sea pilots fall into that definition) but they can usually get most jobs done. They are selected with that in mind.

However, long time role specialist experts can become blinkered and type cast. I recall flying with "old and bold" pilots who seemed to know everything there was to know about their branch of aviation and were regarded as demi-gods within their own field. But take them out of that environment and they just couldn't cope. For example, one highly regarded RAF QFI and chief examiner (head of standards) once took me to one side and quietly quizzed me about landing on a grass strip by night with no centreline or approach lighting. He was obviously very concerned at the thought of doing so on a future detachment. I was very inexperienced on the aircraft type (fixed wing) but thought nothing of it because as a helicopter pilot I had spent very little of my time landing on brightly lit tarmac runways and had been trained to land on unlit grass. He thanked me for helping put his mind at rest by imparting what knowledge I had. I was quite humbled that he saw me as far more knowledgeable than he was, at least in that respect.

I've also known a number of instances where fairly highly experienced "North Sea trained" helicopter pilots try to move onshore to the corporate world and really struggle because it's beyond their previous level of experience. Some of them go back to the more predictable role of IFR route flying. I've known one ex N.Sea pilot who was completely freaked out by flying below MSA to totally unlit landing sites by night in the casevac/SAR role and quit the job very soon after his arrival. I know because I replaced him. Got those calipers out... not very big, in fact just small (but beautifully marked).
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 15:14
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This is the thing I hate most about military culture, it is all about point-scoring
HC that just goes to show how little you know about military aviation culture and your perspective must be coloured by some previous nasty experience.

Just remind me what is wrong with an instructor who has the technical knowledge, the ability to impart that knowledge, good flying skills and the ability to teach those skills to others (along with some humility of course).

If a student can't fly a manoeuvre to the required standard, surely the instructor demonstrates it so the student can see how it should be done - or am I missing something in the civvy world - and how is that 'points-scoring'.

The old adage 'Explanation, Demonstration, Imitation' is surely the bedrock of flying instruction

If you want your pilots to have a high level of skill then your instructors need to have at least that level - it's not about gonad measuring, it's about showing what can be done and to what degree of finesse and accuracy. Otherwise, how do your pilots ever improve?
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 16:11
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Out of order, HC!
If what really counts is instructional technique, why did you have an ex QFI teaching it? I mean, if military instruction is so substandard?
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 16:46
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Originally Posted by keithl
Out of order, HC!
If what really counts is instructional technique, why did you have an ex QFI teaching it? I mean, if military instruction is so substandard?



Keith - No need to take offence! I was generalising of course and reacting to the egos on here. Anyone who thinks that the behaviour of a large bunch of people could be categorised by their employer would be foolish. So I wasn't doing that, I merely seemed to be!


I will say though that, whilst there are all sorts in mil and civvy, in my experience there is a higher % of arrogant and point scoring in ex mil instructors than civvy ones. Of course I will also say that we had some excellent ex mil instructors without a hint of arrogance or point scoring, you being one of them (phew, have I dug myself out yet?).


There is banter on here, don't take it too seriously!
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 16:54
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Just remind me what is wrong with an instructor who has the technical knowledge, the ability to impart that knowledge, good flying skills and the ability to teach those skills to others (along with some humility of course).




Nothing, of course.


Originally Posted by [email protected]

If a student can't fly a manoeuvre to the required standard, surely the instructor demonstrates it so the student can see how it should be done - or am I missing something in the civvy world - and how is that 'points-scoring'.

If you want your pilots to have a high level of skill then your instructors need to have at least that level - it's not about gonad measuring, it's about showing what can be done and to what degree of finesse and accuracy. Otherwise, how do your pilots ever improve?

No, I don't think the instructor has to be better than the student. He merely has to be adequate and know how to get the best out of the student. Whether he can hold a speed to +-1kt or whatever is not that relevant, what is relevant is that he keeps the aircraft safe and is a good instructor. When I want to give praise I sometimes say "that was better than I could have done it" and sometimes it is even true!


There is a subtle but important difference between a demonstration aimed at showing a confused student how it should be done (demo worth a thousand words etc), vs a demonstration whose purpose is primarily to show the student what a numpty he is and how clever the instructor is.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 16:59
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ShyT don't disagree with much of that. On the blinkering effect I have taken a few folk, highly competent on the N Sea, to Marignane to collect new helicopters. Hmmm. Out of their comfort zones, definitely. Say no more!
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 17:00
  #408 (permalink)  
 
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HC .... I think you need a lie down . I think you have lost the plot a little !!
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 17:00
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OK, OK, HC, that'll do.

I had intended (being now retired) to confine myself to lurking, but your remarks just goaded me out of my passivity!

I would though just reflect that I noticed more prejudice against the military among those who were never in it, than vice versa.

Returning to Lurk Mode...
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 17:11
  #410 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by HeliComparator
ShyT don't disagree with much of that.
Especially the beautifully marked bit...
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 03:15
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Originally Posted by nigelh
HC don't be so stupid . They don't make calipers big enough for TC and Crabs balls !!

Or a Tape Measure long enough to measure their Hat Size!
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 08:33
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HC Wrote

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?
If voluntarily en route "hand" flying an S-92 or 225 without the upper modes and holds engaged at 5000' on a training sortie under the guidance of a Training Captain for night deck landing practice with 3 crew is considered to be flying a degraded aircraft to the extent that it unacceptably increases risk and categorizes pilots as expendable (in your opinion) then the world is going mad.

When else should pilots practice their "manual" flying skills?
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 08:41
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Originally Posted by terminus mos
HC Wrote

If voluntarily en route "hand" flying an S-92 or 225 without the upper modes and holds engaged at 5000' on a training sortie under the guidance of a Training Captain for night deck landing practice with 3 crew is considered to be flying a degraded aircraft to the extent that it unacceptably increases risk and categorizes pilots as expendable (in your opinion) then the world is going mad.

When else should pilots practice their "manual" flying skills?
No I agree that flying without the upper modes is not "intentionally degrading the aircraft" and of course we would do that with your passengers too. I was more thinking of AP out flying, trim failures, switching off NAV systems, failing screens etc.

You did say "practice manual flying skills" but I don't see plodding along for 200nm without the holds engaged, but instead just tweaking the beep trim every few minutes, to be of much benefit for manual flying skills.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 09:29
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HC you make some vary valuable points but lose half your audience with the Mil versus Civvy debate.
There is a very clear difference between Mil and Civvy pilots. Mil pilots ALL survived not only a rigorous formal selection process but the intense scrutiny of a military flying course. Civvies do not suffer anything like this.

Of course, some Civvies may well have the aptitude and resolve to pass a military course but as such ALL of them remain un proven in that regard.

For those of us who did a military course we are quite justifiably proud of what we achieved and that does, whether you like it or not, set us apart from our Civvy colleagues.

I never flew in combat but many of the later generation of mil boys have or certainly been close to it. Flying in such conditions must surely add depth and breadth to those pilots.

Modern helicopters, as you point out, have such redundancy of systems that the result is we retain all capability until the last redundant system fails and then we end up degraded. In some instances, severely. In the 225 this is manifested by there being no failure that leaves you in ATT mode!

AP out (no stab) is so far down the line should we even go there much. I don't know the answer to this one but sure it may be different based on the type being flown.

I note with alarm the number of events arising from poor auto techniques especially in twins. Have we gone too far in assuming we should not practise this regularly and also in the real aircraft?

These debates are really important in the right context, with the right spirit, without tearing each other apart of waving our Willies in the wind.

Automation is appropriate where it adds value. That value is almost always increased capacity for the crew provided the automation is fully understood and does not in itself sap capacity!

In my view, poor core flying skills (manual flight path control) both when everything is working or not, can never truly be masked by automation. The FW boys are learning this regularly and so should we.

Automation does not and should not change the fundamental requirement to fly the aircraft. In HIGHLY regulated and controlled environments like O&G our opportunity to practise and maintain these skills are minimal compared to a Mil pilot spending lots of time doing general handling.

The challenges we face are to find the right balance of core skills recurrent training and checking with advanced skills such as automation.

Geoffersincornwall has alluded to this in his frequent posts.

So HC try to keep your blood pressure down and keep the positive stuff coming.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 09:49
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DB please bear in mind that my comments were only to counter Crab's constant banging on about how wonderful everything in the mil is including the pilots, and how crap it is in civvy. Do you think that should go unchallenged? (In which case you've just pinned your colours to the mast!).

I learnt to fly FW in the UAS. Some of the instructors were excellent. One or two were appalling. Most were, as you would expect, average.

I then did a 9 month cadet scheme with Bristow, at the time nearly all the instructors were ex mil. Same applied.

Now we have mostly civvy-born instructors and I don't see a difference in quality, it is the same old same old.

You may well be proud of having passed your mil course (why wouldn't you be!) but trust me, you are no better a pilot as a result of it than lots of folk from civvy backgrounds. I speak with the experience of being a TRI/TRE for many years in a "mixed race" company. ie I have trained and tested many folk both mil and non - mil. I haven't noticed a difference although of course each group has a wide variation.

Well actually to be honest there are perhaps a few civvy folk who really should have found a different career and yes they would have been weeded out from the mil, in the same way that they would have been weeded out from a company-sponsored course such as the one I did with Bristow. It is the advent of the self-funded that has introduced a small minority of unsuitable people, but then again it has also given us many highly competent people too.

Anyway, surely that is enough banging on about mil vs civvy but that applies to both sides!
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 11:14
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An S76 ditches in Nigeria and it morphs into a Civ v Mil debate?

Only on pprune!
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 11:39
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Happens all the time. Just sit back and watch the show. It never achieves anything, but that's the boys.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 12:36
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Originally Posted by Nescafe
An S76 ditches in Nigeria and it morphs into a Civ v Mil debate?

Only on pprune!
Yes I appreciate it was totally off topic, but on the other hand with no hard information to discuss about the event, I don't think anyone is missing out! And it is a distraction from the racism.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 13:15
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No, I don't think the instructor has to be better than the student. He merely has to be adequate and know how to get the best out of the student
do you send your kids to school/college/university to be taught by 'adequate' teachers?

Is 'adequate' what people in any profession should aspire to?

Getting the best out of your student usually means pushing them outside their comfort zone or showing them that the 'adequate' level of their performance (whether it be flying or playing a violin solo) can be bettered with practice and application. Just how do you do that if you yourself as the instructor/teacher are only adequate?

Perhaps this is the problem with what Geoffers and Gullibell see in their sim checks on pilots - 'adequate' is all they need to achieve and there is no reward for being any better so why bother.

Excellence is what many in the military strive for - in whatever their profession - if that is missing in civilian flying then that isn't the fault of the military.

Torquestripe = most britmil aviators are pilots first (despite what some in the heirarchy pretend) and soldiers/sailors first. They all go through a few months of basic Officer training before their flying training but that is it.

Only the Army have non-officer pilots who are usually from other Regiments outside the Army Air Corps.

Training takes place on light FW, then single engine turbine (AS 350) and includes touchdown EOLS and a whole lot more and then advanced training on a twin for operational conversion.

Oh, and I'm not the one complaining about civilian flying standards - it is those who check them that are! There are a wide range of abilities among mil pilots and instructors - that is why we have had a categorisation scheme for so many years so the good ones are allowed and encouraged to get better, rather than a box-ticking LPC OPC which just has to be passed 'adequately'.

Last edited by [email protected]; 4th Mar 2016 at 13:26.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 14:21
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
do you send your kids to school/college/university to be taught by 'adequate' teachers?

Is 'adequate' what people in any profession should aspire to?

Getting the best out of your student usually means pushing them outside their comfort zone or showing them that the 'adequate' level of their performance (whether it be flying or playing a violin solo) can be bettered with practice and application. Just how do you do that if you yourself as the instructor/teacher are only adequate?

Perhaps this is the problem with what Geoffers and Gullibell see in their sim checks on pilots - 'adequate' is all they need to achieve and there is no reward for being any better so why bother.

Excellence is what many in the military strive for - in whatever their profession - if that is missing in civilian flying then that isn't the fault of the military.

Torquestripe = most britmil aviators are pilots first (despite what some in the heirarchy pretend) and soldiers/sailors first. They all go through a few months of basic Officer training before their flying training but that is it.

Only the Army have non-officer pilots who are usually from other Regiments outside the Army Air Corps.

Training takes place on light FW, then single engine turbine (AS 350) and includes touchdown EOLS and a whole lot more and then advanced training on a twin for operational conversion.

Oh, and I'm not the one complaining about civilian flying standards - it is those who check them that are! There are a wide range of abilities among mil pilots and instructors - that is why we have had a categorisation scheme for so many years so the good ones are allowed and encouraged to get better, rather than a box-ticking LPC OPC which just has to be passed 'adequately'.




Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..........




Hmmmm, callipers out again. Funny how all that BS doesn't make them better pilots when they move into the real world! Looking at my (ex) circle of colleagues who are training captains, it is funny how most are civvy trained, whilst so many mil trained pilots languish as line pilots.
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