Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

EC225 crash near Bergen, Norway April 2016

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

EC225 crash near Bergen, Norway April 2016

Old 3rd Mar 2017, 11:37
  #1701 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 52
Posts: 4,359
Indeed - from the Airbus H225 portal:

Did You Know?
H225/H225M operators: more than 35
Operating countries: 25
Total number of H225/H225Ms delivered: nearly 270
Total in-service H225/H225M helicopters: approximately 260
2015 H225/H225M flight hours: 111,900
Total H225/H225M cumulated flight hours: 546,100
212man is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2017, 12:03
  #1702 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: OZ
Posts: 149
For me, as an ex EC225 pilot, the number of accidents, flight hours, and fatalities are just statistics. Of mild interest, and of low trustworthiness.

The thing that makes me not want to get into an L2 or EC225 is the fact that they have had several similar failures that have never been adequately explained. Failures that result in certain death for all on board. Failures the manufacturer has proven a willingness to lie about.

I'd fly in a Comet if it had upgraded oval windows. I'd love to fly in a Concord. I'd even fly an experimental helicopter.

IMHO, flying an L2/EC225 is playing Russian Roulete. Statistics could probably indicate approximately how many chambers are empty. History has proven at least one is loaded.
Twist & Shout is offline  
Old 3rd Mar 2017, 14:02
  #1703 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 1,227
Thaks for the update 212. So S-92 circa 1,000,000 hrs, H225 546,100 hrs - that is at least something to base the numbers on! And makes them look pretty similar......
gasax is online now  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 03:06
  #1704 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Interloper
Posts: 108
I have not flown yet on the S-92 , but I have flown to oil rigs on the Puma series a few times. Some comments here equate one fatal accident each on the 92 and the 225 as being a reason not to fear one machine over the other. As SLF I would not take any comfort in those statistics if I had a choice of which machine to board. One 92 broke 2 filter studs and still presumably had time to ditch in control ( hindsight is always 20/20 unfortunately) , but the 225 ( and G-REDL before it ) both suffered instant and unrecoverable failures that will remain etched in the public's memory. I would never belittle a worker or crew who refuses to fly the Puma series just because someone feels they don't really understand the flight hours and statistics vrs other types.
TylerMonkey is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 05:56
  #1705 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Down under
Posts: 25
Failure mode

Comparing accident statistics for different machines is pointless.

The one that that should never ever be allowed to happen is the main rotor head departs during flight!

I would expect if an airliners wings fell off in strait and level flight and then it was "fixed" only to happen again a short time later that type would never fly again.

The gearbox should be able to fail without losing the rotor head. I would rather see this on a specification sheet than all the run-dry toss.
Aluminium Mallard is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 08:59
  #1706 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 62
Posts: 1,993
Originally Posted by TylerMonkey View Post
I would never belittle a worker or crew who refuses to fly the Puma series just because someone feels they don't really understand the flight hours and statistics vrs other types.
I would. If they decide that the risks of offshore flying are too great for them, then fair enough, their choice. But if they decide they don't want to fly a specific type just because it is the most recent one to have an accident, but are quite happy to fly one that crashed a few years ago and/or far far away, then they are irrational and foolish and I have no problem telling them so. In fact it's my duty to. If we allow irrational and foolish decisions to go unchallenged then we are setting the human race up to fail.
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 09:27
  #1707 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Out there
Posts: 253
If we allow irrational and foolish decisions to go unchallenged then we are setting the human race up to fail.
Unfortunately, I think we've been doing that for an awfully long time and are paying the price, aviation is not an island in that case.... Back to the thread. Excuse my flippant comment.
Evil Twin is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 09:44
  #1708 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Very Low Orbit
Posts: 63
[QUOTE]I would expect if an airliners wings fell off in strait and level flight and then it was "fixed" only to happen again a short time later that type would never fly again./QUOTE]

+1
Mel Effluent is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 10:17
  #1709 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 4,500
But if they decide they don't want to fly a specific type just because it is the most recent one to have an accident,
But the S92 in Newfoundland didn't have an accident. It crashed because the emergency drills weren't followed.
Fareastdriver is online now  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 10:17
  #1710 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: England
Posts: 1,249
The rosy view of the fixed wing world is at variance with the facts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737_rudder_issues

"This was only the fourth time in the NTSB's history that it had closed an investigation and published a final aircraft accident report where the probable cause was undetermined."

I bet just about everybody has flown on one of these aircraft without knowing that there was a potential problem. Millions of passengers flown in aircraft with a potential fatal flaw.

What did any of the European safety agencies do?
Not much, far too much money at stake.
The operators were given years to modify the aircraft and it was clear that some of them would be time expired before they were modified.
ericferret is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 10:33
  #1711 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Interloper
Posts: 108
Originally Posted by Fareastdriver View Post
But the S92 in Newfoundland didn't have an accident. It crashed because the emergency drills weren't followed.
+1 . . . . . . . .
TylerMonkey is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 11:29
  #1712 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Land of the Angles
Posts: 324
Jim, I don’t know if you were bullied at school by a Sikorsky employee, but you clearly don’t like the S-92, but to comment on your post #1708 (and I stand to be corrected if wrong), I would contest your findings regarding fatal and non-fatal S-92 accidents.

No I don’t work for Sikorsky, but to be fair to all sides in the debate on platform safety by type, other than Cougar 91, I am not aware of another S-92 accident resulting in fatalities, so I suspect you are referring to the Saudi Civil Defence incident in which a civil defence officer fell out the door from around 700 feet during an air show display in Riyadh.

This incident had absolutely nothing to do with the S-92’s design or airworthiness, and unfortunate as it was for this individual who died from his injuries, it cannot be classified as an S-92 accident as you suggest, so to include this incident in your stats, is as meaningful as also attributing blame to Sir Isaac Newton.

Going back to the Cougar 91 accident and noting HeliComparator’s comment, "The S92 has had a fatal accident, only "resolved" by ensuring the pilots are fully aware of
the aircraft's failure to meet its certification requirements"
comment (if it didn’t HC, it would not have an FAA and EASA Airworthiness Certificate).

Evidently there is more heat than light regarding this accident, as the CVR transcript reveals clearly that post the MGB oil pressure warning light illumination observed by the pilots, and having followed the Emergency Procedures check list, the co-pilot declared that they were in a "Land Immediately Situation", to which the captain agreed, but indicated his intention to stop the descent at 1000 feet, at which point the co-pilot acknowledged the pilots decision, but again repeated that they were in a "Land Immediately Situation", AND, that the Emergency Checklist was complete.

The captain levelled out at 800 feet, but did not respond to the co-pilots second declaration that they were in a "Land Immediately Situation". Tragically 11 minutes after the initial warning of indications of a MGB oil problem, 17 occupants drowned due to the very high rate of descent/impact with the water.

Looking back at the West Franklin Platform accident/incident in December and to quote a CHC statement: "We can confirm that one of S92s operating from Aberdeen experienced unexpected control responses during the final stages of a landing at an offshore platform.

The crew responded immediately in accordance with their training and the aircraft was successfully landed and shut down; there were no reported injuries amongst the passengers or the crew".

Reading the AAIB interim report suggests to me that in spite of the uncommanded high rate of turn (up to 30 degrees per second) at just 4 foot above the helideck during final approach, with the helicopter at one point pirouetting around the left-hand MLG, the crew were able to maintain enough control to land the S-92 safely with no rollover or injuries to crew and passengers, so to me it suggests a more inherently stable platform far less prone to rollover than say other models, so a positive safety point.

I would also point out that although the investigation is ongoing, the aircraft's HUMS system worked as per design and identified a problem with the tail rotor system some 4.5 hours before the accident, this being that the Tail Gearbox Bearing Energy Analysis limit had been exceeded and that this data was downloaded the previous day.

Coming back to your stats. An accident can be defined as an unintended event resulting in damage or harm. I’m not so sure the failure of a vespel spline adapter or oil pump should be defined as an "Accident", as such I would suggest most of the 18 accidents you refer to were really just engineering/crew/operational incidents.

As for S-92 flight-hours, this time last year the S-92 fleet exceeded one million flight hours, and with some 275 aircraft flying worldwide and with the 332L2/H225’s grounded in the North Sea, I’d suggest current totals are likely to be between 1.1 to 1.2 million flight hours for the S-92, so that’s twice the 225 hours, and some.

Again getting back to safety of a specific airframe model and to quote a Sikorsky press release this time last year, "Along with accomplishing this (one million flight hours) in an impressively short time of less than 12 years, the S-92 helicopter also asserts a best-in-class safety record with an accident rate of 0.20, which is 1/10th the U.S. Civil Multi-Turbine engine helicopter rate".

There you have it Jim, "Best-in-Class".

I’d have to say HeliComparator, I take heart at your strong defence of the 225 and although grandfathered up the yin-yang (which in itself is not such a bad thing), yes in general it is an excellent performing platform and so too are Eurocopter (never going to get used to AH), who make some iconic helicopters.

However, looking back at the numerous MGB incidents in the North Sea, two of which have been un-survivable due to catastrophic failure of the MGB (unlike the Cougar 91 accident, in that there was no time for the crew to manage the situation) and also the two incidents of incorrect system operation/indication of the emergency water glycol system, which resulted in the crew ditching the helicopters (this in itself may well have been a blessing in disguise for all those on-board, as would you want to be flying for 30-minutes post loss of oil pressure knowing that the oil pump drive shaft had separated and was rattling around the gearbox sump), the uprated 332L2 and 225 MGB’s clearly have design issues that I suspect will not be addressed by senior management (another problematic area) and engineers to the satisfaction of the passengers in the back.
Hilife is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 14:41
  #1713 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: After all, what’s more important than proving to someone on the internet that they’re wrong? - Manson
Posts: 1,472
Hilife,

When did you last read FAR Part 29?

Specifically 29.927 Additional tests. (c) Lubrication system failure.

As the aircraft does not meet "extremely remote" i.e. 10-7 per AC 25-1309 as proven it is required to comply with the second
part of the paragraph which it also does not to this day.

The certification requirement overrules any BS that you put in the RFM.
RVDT is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 14:56
  #1714 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: NW
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by Hilife View Post
Jim, I donít know if you were bullied at school by a Sikorsky employee, but you clearly donít like the S-92, but to comment on your post #1708 (and I stand to be corrected if wrong), I would contest your findings regarding fatal and non-fatal S-92 accidents.

No I donít work for Sikorsky, but to be fair to all sides in the debate on platform safety by type, other than Cougar 91, I am not aware of another S-92 accident resulting in fatalities, so I suspect you are referring to the Saudi Civil Defence incident in which a civil defence officer fell out the door from around 700 feet during an air show display in Riyadh.

This incident had absolutely nothing to do with the S-92ís design or airworthiness, and unfortunate as it was for this individual who died from his injuries, it cannot be classified as an S-92 accident as you suggest, so to include this incident in your stats, is as meaningful as also attributing blame to Sir Isaac Newton.

Going back to the Cougar 91 accident and noting HeliComparatorís comment, "The S92 has had a fatal accident, only "resolved" by ensuring the pilots are fully aware of comment (if it didnít HC, it would not have an FAA and EASA Airworthiness Certificate).

Evidently there is more heat than light regarding this accident, as the CVR transcript reveals clearly that post the MGB oil pressure warning light illumination observed by the pilots, and having followed the Emergency Procedures check list, the co-pilot declared that they were in a "Land Immediately Situation", to which the captain agreed, but indicated his intention to stop the descent at 1000 feet, at which point the co-pilot acknowledged the pilots decision, but again repeated that they were in a "Land Immediately Situation", AND, that the Emergency Checklist was complete.

The captain levelled out at 800 feet, but did not respond to the co-pilots second declaration that they were in a "Land Immediately Situation". Tragically 11 minutes after the initial warning of indications of a MGB oil problem, 17 occupants drowned due to the very high rate of descent/impact with the water.

Looking back at the West Franklin Platform accident/incident in December and to quote a CHC statement: "We can confirm that one of S92s operating from Aberdeen experienced unexpected control responses during the final stages of a landing at an offshore platform.

The crew responded immediately in accordance with their training and the aircraft was successfully landed and shut down; there were no reported injuries amongst the passengers or the crew".

Reading the AAIB interim report suggests to me that in spite of the uncommanded high rate of turn (up to 30 degrees per second) at just 4 foot above the helideck during final approach, with the helicopter at one point pirouetting around the left-hand MLG, the crew were able to maintain enough control to land the S-92 safely with no rollover or injuries to crew and passengers, so to me it suggests a more inherently stable platform far less prone to rollover than say other models, so a positive safety point.

I would also point out that although the investigation is ongoing, the aircraft's HUMS system worked as per design and identified a problem with the tail rotor system some 4.5 hours before the accident, this being that the Tail Gearbox Bearing Energy Analysis limit had been exceeded and that this data was downloaded the previous day.

Coming back to your stats. An accident can be defined as an unintended event resulting in damage or harm. Iím not so sure the failure of a vespel spline adapter or oil pump should be defined as an "Accident", as such I would suggest most of the 18 accidents you refer to were really just engineering/crew/operational incidents.

As for S-92 flight-hours, this time last year the S-92 fleet exceeded one million flight hours, and with some 275 aircraft flying worldwide and with the 332L2/H225ís grounded in the North Sea, Iíd suggest current totals are likely to be between 1.1 to 1.2 million flight hours for the S-92, so thatís twice the 225 hours, and some.

Again getting back to safety of a specific airframe model and to quote a Sikorsky press release this time last year, "Along with accomplishing this (one million flight hours) in an impressively short time of less than 12 years, the S-92 helicopter also asserts a best-in-class safety record with an accident rate of 0.20, which is 1/10th the U.S. Civil Multi-Turbine engine helicopter rate".

There you have it Jim, "Best-in-Class".

Iíd have to say HeliComparator, I take heart at your strong defence of the 225 and although grandfathered up the yin-yang (which in itself is not such a bad thing), yes in general it is an excellent performing platform and so too are Eurocopter (never going to get used to AH), who make some iconic helicopters.

However, looking back at the numerous MGB incidents in the North Sea, two of which have been un-survivable due to catastrophic failure of the MGB (unlike the Cougar 91 accident, in that there was no time for the crew to manage the situation) and also the two incidents of incorrect system operation/indication of the emergency water glycol system, which resulted in the crew ditching the helicopters (this in itself may well have been a blessing in disguise for all those on-board, as would you want to be flying for 30-minutes post loss of oil pressure knowing that the oil pump drive shaft had separated and was rattling around the gearbox sump), the uprated 332L2 and 225 MGBís clearly have design issues that I suspect will not be addressed by senior management (another problematic area) and engineers to the satisfaction of the passengers in the back.
They are both grown out of a stretch, have just as much hanky panky fix, and fail at critical frame and MGB attaching points. Having more luck does not make a helicopter safer than the other. The latest one was lucky enough not to smash the deck and killing everyone including ground crew.
Mee3 is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 16:55
  #1715 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Inverness-shire, Ross-shire
Posts: 1,171
Originally Posted by Mee3 View Post
... ... Having more luck does not make a helicopter safer than the other. ... ...
Right with you there.


I have stated in several fora that BOTH the S-92 and the H225 are part of a new generation of safer helicopter. The numbers support that. You can cut and slice it and spin it any way you want but I tried to lay out the whole picture.


Do I hate the S-92? No, I love it compared to the S-61/SK because I know how much safer our guys are hanging from it with all that power and those nice new 21st century toys.

What's my beef with Sikorsky? Nothing, other than being able to see through their teflon coating. (Seahawks in a few weeks: really looking forward to that. )
jimf671 is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 17:17
  #1716 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Age: 59
Posts: 5,262
Originally Posted by jimf671 View Post
(Seahawks in a few weeks: really looking forward to that. )
Good birds, hope you have a long and enjoyable time flying them.
Lonewolf_50 is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 20:53
  #1717 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Aer
Posts: 427
They are both grown out of a stretch, have just as much hanky panky fix, and fail at critical frame and MGB attaching points. Having more luck does not make a helicopter safer than the other. The latest one was lucky enough not to smash the deck and killing everyone including ground crew.
No ground crew, it's an NUI
terminus mos is offline  
Old 6th Mar 2017, 21:00
  #1718 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Inverness-shire, Ross-shire
Posts: 1,171
Lonewolf 50,
We (under one or other of my hats) get some all-too-short interesting experiences to add a bit of variety and save our weary legs. AW189 SAR last week, Seahawk, later maybe 532 Cougar if I can swing it.
jimf671 is offline  
Old 7th Mar 2017, 07:32
  #1719 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Age: 62
Posts: 1,993
Hilife - some good points but marred by a few too ...

When dispassionately observed by a neutral bystander, it is obvious that the S92 doesn't meet FAR29.927. That it still retains its certification is only down to politics and economics.

If your argument that the S92 is "best in class" is based on a Sikorsky press release, could you please send me some of what you are on, it seems fun.

As to the Newfoundland crash being an accident only as a result of the pilots' incorrect actions, there is some truth in that but bearing in mind the weather, it seems unlikely that a ditching in accordance with the RFM wouldn't have resulted in some loss of life. What riles in that accident is that Sikorsky knew perfectly well that the MGB didn't have the required dry run ability and yet they pushed it hard both in their publicity and on here as having it. If they didn't lie directly, there was clearly intent to mislead. We will never know to what extent this influenced the pilots' decisions.

I am not trying to make out that the 225 is wonderful and the 92 is a dog from a safety point of view (only from an operational point of view!) but both types have had fatal accidents, both types have had a few "near misses" any of which could, but for luck, have been fatal. So I don't see a big difference in their airworthiness. Where the 225 lost out to the 92 was only in that the rotor head detachment was caught on video whilst the 92 smashing into a raging ocean wasn't. And if we look at the most likely cause of the next accident - pilot error - the 225 wins hands down in its level of pilot-supporting automation vs the 1980s autopilot tech in the 92.
HeliComparator is offline  
Old 7th Mar 2017, 08:03
  #1720 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 52
Posts: 4,359
...but bearing in mind the weather, it seems unlikely that a ditching in accordance with the RFM wouldn't have resulted in some loss of life.
I've never bought into that argument. G-TIGK autorotated without a tail rotor onto 6-7m seas and 30 kts, Cougar 491 was faced with 2.5m seas and 30 kts, and the ability to land with power.
212man is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.