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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 13th Feb 2016, 08:48
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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So an interim report by the Nigerian authority suggests the ditching was in response to problems with the AFCS. The commander decided to ditch rather than risk losing control of the aircraft presumably.


What was the full nature of the problem? Not known or public knowledge


Could a better decision been made; problem otherwise managed? Not enough information. But the situation was managed and nobody died.


So unless the report is a wack of lies, it would appear that a goodly number of malicious, racist, sexist and unprofessional posts here were wrong. Do you ask yourselves how this reflects upon all professional helicopter pilots when you can't wait to throw mud and question the competence of colleagues in such a public arena and in such an inbalanced and damaging way?


TT
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 09:52
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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So an interim report by the Nigerian authority suggests the ditching was in response to problems with the AFCS. The commander decided to ditch rather than risk losing control of the aircraft presumably.
therein seems to lie the problem TT - was it a well-trained and professional crew taking wise precautions faced with an unusual or complex emergency? Or was it poor knowledge of the systems and lack of captaincy leading to an unnecessary water landing?

Until (and if) the full details of the malfunction are made public then the speculation will continue.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 10:06
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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Yes Crab;


The answer, is we don't know.


That some current and ex-pilots may have legitimate concerns and greviances is clear enough. But that is no excuse for some of the what has been posted here.


TT
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 10:07
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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TT

Careful there slugger, I just had a look at the ECL for my C++ and um, there ain't no flight control/AFCS malfunction listed that includes ditching as part of the program. Hydraulics, ok fine, I get it.....but, and its a BIG but, the local authority saw fit to ground all their C++'s until further notice AND suddenly all these crews are supposedly getting a real quick trip to the sim??? At least that's the way I understand it.

So, no.....this one is no where near finished playing out yet. Something smells a wee bit fishy with this incident and I'm going to need an awful lot more data shoved in my face before I think otherwise.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 10:29
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps we need some better way to gauge the forum's take on posts, if digitally possible:

Fully agree
Tend to agree
Inclined to disagree
Totally disagree

Or whatever moderators come up with?! Might save some posts!
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 11:13
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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If an AFCS malfunction lead to a ditching I would be staggered. The S76 can fly perfectly well with both AP turned off, I've even seen some guys fly an ILS in IMC with both AP off (in the simulator).

The ECL says turn off the faulty channel. If by some remarkably bad luck there is a fault in both channels then turn them both off (or perhaps accept the least bad one engaged). If there is binding in the controls with both AP off then you do have a situation where ditching might be a course of action (the binding would be unrelated to anything AFCS).

Ditching with both AP off would be a tricky manoeuvre, you'd want an AP on for this even if it was bad in one channel.

There must be more to it than this. Hopefully something useful has been captured on the FDR because bench testing all the AFCS components/sensors would probably be pointless after salt water immersion.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 11:16
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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So an interim report by the Nigerian authority suggests the ditching was in response to problems with the AFCS.
Can you post a link?
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 11:38
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing posted on the AIB website yet.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 12:22
  #169 (permalink)  
 
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What ever happened, I was not there. No one would land in the open ocean lightly, there has to be a good reason. After 41 years of flying offshore for various companies, I can tell you that Bristow is as good as it gets. Let's find the reason and move on. We have all been in situations where we landed with a whole lot of less fuel then we intended. S**t happens.
bh412tt, im not so sure thats accurate. only those who poorly planned their flight and necessary fuel requirements, would end up in that situation. I have only once in my life seen me land with 1 gal fuel showing on a guage (r22) and no I wasnt comfortable and made it known. A long time ago. CPL flight test. And the examiner kept telling me it was fine, he just wanted to do one more thing. I was quite vocal and then demanded we return to dispersal. Landed with fuel light on and I was p*ssed off. I fully expected to fail my test but I didnt, but not before I got told it was his discretion etc etc. The guy was a pr*ck as far as I was concerned.

Anyway, I think you need to reword your statement "we have all landed with a whole lot less fuel than we intended" because 99.999% of all pilots i've flown with have been totally professional and we've never been in that situation. Sorry to p&ss on your parade.

Makes you wonder about the standards of some pilots if thats your take after 41 years offshore.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 12:42
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Have to agree with Helimutt.often we hear of such attitude and sentiment - "there by the Grace of God go I" etc etc
NOOOOO!
It's as if it's accepted all because you have been caught out yourself.
Whether O&G or helilanes - decision making and Captaincy is the same - regardless of how your employer behaves.
Maybe our profession will start to be seen in a better light and not taken advantage of by those that can when people realise that not everyone flies like they do or has the same cavalier attitude to safety.
We are not talking about going to war here - we are talking about a commercial operation taking people to work because it is deemed safer and more cost effective than using a boat.

Ignore punctuation/grammar as fingers too big for iPad which does not allow me to correct.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 12:50
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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I have just checked the Nigerian AIB website and there's no report as yet on this accident (nor would one expect there to be given that it's a Saturday).

gullibell
The S76 can fly perfectly well with both AP turned off
Ditching with both AP off would be a tricky manoeuvre
So which one is it?
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 17:59
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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FAA MMEL. Autopilots are a C item, 3 days. Unless you are IMC in which case you need at least 1 working. So if you made it back to shore with both AP's turned off, your engineer could sign the tech log with an MEL deferral and you could go back out and fly passengers in VMC conditions for the next three days.

Now you could have operations restrictions against this, but the OEM and FAA think it is fine, and frankly I would question the competence of any pilot that could not fly with both AP's turned off. Pretty common exercise in the Canadian world.

Binding? Anybody fly a Bell 407 with the hydraulics turned off? Sometimes you need some arm strength, HR take note when hiring pilots.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 18:32
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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What? Hire experienced expats vs freshmen local pilots? Don't you know that is racist?! Besides, local pilots cost us 250,000 USD a peace. Must put them to work and get our money back. And if they stand out and show their talent by performing such feats as making "precautionary water landings" and help us achieve our Target Zero objective, these talented few will be fast tracked all the way to the top!
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 20:03
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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The S76 can fly perfectly well with both AP turned off
Picking a 76 into the hover with both APs off - you'll only do that once.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 20:39
  #175 (permalink)  
 
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Yep. Which is why I said that ditching an S76 with both AP turned off would be a tricky manoeuvre. It flies without AP perfectly well, but it can get wobbly close to the surface below translation or in the hover. I see pilots take-off with the AP's turned off all the time, I don't recall anybody losing control in wobbly mode. I've never seen anybody attempt a ditching in wobbly mode, and I haven't tried it myself either. I think safe to assume in the Bristow instance the AP were on during the ditching manoeuvre. Hopefully the AP were turned off at some stage when they were diagnosing an AFCS malfunction.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 22:01
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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The S76 is certainly flyable without APs. But there is a big difference between an examiner switching the APs off under stabilised conditions and seeing how much instability the pilot can add to the situation, or even picking up with them switched off (marginally better than trying to pick up whilst still in idle), and the APs having a well-earned if untimely vacation during flght. Things can go pear shaped pretty rapidly when that happens.


It is not yet known in detail what happened to this crew. But IF it turns out to be an overreaction to an AFCS fault, the recent loss-of-control fatal might have had an important bearing in influencing the response as has already been said.


And if it turns out that an insufficiency in training or expereince may have influenced events, there will be a time to bemoan that. But training and experience are not colour or gender factors. And spreading rumours about fuel starvation and naming the captain is just low. As has already been said, didn't happen with any of the North Sea incidents.




Malabo,
Are you saying that you think it is safe to defer AFCS maintenance on double AP failure for up to three days whilst continuing to fly passengers offshore? VMC offshore can very often be IMC in all but name, so accepting some VMC maintenance exception rule and flying without SAS is hard to follow. Do you fly a type that is benign without SAS? I don't think there have been many people keen to get ride of it on an S76.

Last edited by Torquetalk; 13th Feb 2016 at 22:42.
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 22:40
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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@Tourquetalk..wasn't the pilot named in the Nigerian newspaper before being mentioned by name in this topic?
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Old 13th Feb 2016, 22:49
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, I think so. But why repeat it here? don't see any decency in it myself.
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Old 14th Feb 2016, 00:03
  #179 (permalink)  
 
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@malabo is correct. The S76 can be despatched for VFR with an MEL deferral on both AFCS inoperative. It always falls under the pilot prerogative not to accept an MEL defect.

As for the arguments about, VFR offshore can be very much IMC in all but name, that would be a minefield to explain or defend at a coronial enquiry. Very easy to legally blame a pilot decision for operating to VFR procedures when the weather is less than VMC. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.
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Old 14th Feb 2016, 00:34
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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From Gullibell

Yep. Which is why I said that ditching an S76 with both AP turned off would be a tricky manoeuvre. It flies without AP perfectly well, but it can get wobbly close to the surface below translation or in the hover. I see pilots take-off with the AP's turned off all the time, I don't recall anybody losing control in wobbly mode. I've never seen anybody attempt a ditching in wobbly mode, and I haven't tried it myself either. I think safe to assume in the Bristow instance the AP were on during the ditching manoeuvre. Hopefully the AP were turned off at some stage when they were diagnosing an AFCS malfunction.
The AP / AFCS didn't "fail". It was a relatively small anomaly. The decision to ditch a serviceable helicopter is therefore very puzzling when it flies perfectly well AP out with a little extra concentration.

The aircraft is a total loss, this counts as an accident for Bristow. 2 in 6 months. Their clients will be asking difficult questions.
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