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EC 225 Return to REAL Service

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EC 225 Return to REAL Service

Old 24th Dec 2016, 21:14
  #121 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Agreed. We'll possibly never have all the answers. The overall irony is that as much as we all are concerned with having the safest aircraft possible and operating it in the safest manner possible it always comes back to money. I say this in the sense that behind the safety talk, there is also the cutthroat requirement of having the most efficient aircraft in terms of what it can do for what it costs. If we all really wanted safer flying we'd slow down, carry less , ask for less, never push the envelope we are given and not worry about empty weight. Who among us has never looked at an airframe fitting that has cracked and thought" if they'd just made it out of steel or beefed it up just a bit, it wouldn't have cracked". Occasional tragic accidents are the price we seem to pay for leaving the ground in any kind of way that allow a company to make money. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I firmly believe everyone does their best when designing a transmission. There will always be risk attributable to this issue. It just has to be true (in my world) that every OEM knows in their financial hearts that nailing down a problem and fixing it to the point where, notwithstanding abuse of the parts (like falling off a truck), it will never happen again is so superior to covering up or inadequate fixes that they do what needs to be properly done. If that gearbox had 50 kilos more metal engineered into the critical parts I think nobody would notice the reduced capability. Unfortunately it seems that has to start in the design phase, not in the fix the problem phase.
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Old 25th Dec 2016, 01:38
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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roscoe1
Isn't the point here that even though the gearbox in the latest fatal crash was involved in a shipping accident, at least one other gearbox has failed in a similar fashion with no previous report of a transport incident?

Also the "money v 'Occasionally tragic accident' " conversation:
No one thinks we can do our job risk free. Many of us think we shouldn't be exposed to a KNOWN FAULT.
Lots of safety improvements have come paid for in blood. We don't fly in airliners with square windows for e.g.

The L2/EC225 transmission fault detection has been paid for in blood. Now we need a proper fix if anyone is expected to fly it again. In my opinion.
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Old 25th Dec 2016, 02:21
  #123 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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A little Xmas levity.

Although it's an explanation of a different incident, this seems to be the explanitive model AH have adopted.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3m5qxZm_JqM

Merry Xmas, and give thanks we are not flying people in a helicopter with an apparently known and unresolved fault.
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Old 25th Dec 2016, 23:29
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Now we need a proper fix if anyone is expected to fly it again!

I have asked this question before....what is the "proper fix"?

How does one engineer a Detection System for a MGB that can detect, identify, and warn the Crew of every critical failure mode in advance of a catastrophic failure serious enough to cause a Fatal Event?
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Old 26th Dec 2016, 03:07
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
I have asked this question before....what is the "proper fix"?

How does one engineer a Detection System for a MGB that can detect, identify, and warn the Crew of every critical failure mode in advance of a catastrophic failure serious enough to cause a Fatal Event?
I think there is a difference between the above, {...warn crew of every critical failure mode in advance of a catastrophic failure....} and flying a machine with a known fault (rotor system detachment during flight) and a proven history of killing people due to that fault.

Like most of us, I have flown many different types (inc AS332, and EC225).
I can't think of another type currently flying that has suffered a catastrophic inflight break up, for an as yet undefined, let alone rectified reason. The report on the latest tragic crash has not even been finalized.

Examples (some of many)
Airliners explode - traced to stress risers from window corners. Round windows only.
Tail rotor damaged by lightning - earthing strips added.
Turbine wheel coming apart - turbine wheel redesigned.
Rotor fails - traced back to repair following lightning strike. No implications for unrepaired blades.
Loss of transmission lubricant - oil filter studs replaced with upgraded version.

All seem reasonable outcomes from bad situations. Not any sort of guarantee, but offer a logical and very reduced likelihood of repeat fatalities.

Rotor system detachment with no warning - "just fly it, we think we know what might have happened. It might not happen to you."

Doesn't seem reasonable.

Remember Einsteins definition of madness : Doing the same thing, and expecting a different result.
I personally don't want to fly an EC225 expecting the rotor system to detach.

My personal answer to SASless's question:
A re-designed gearbox that is up to the task.

Is it guaranteed to be perfect? No. But unlike the current design, it's not a proven killer. Many other gearboxes are up to the task, so it's not quite rocket science.
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Old 5th Jan 2017, 19:37
  #126 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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[IMG][/IMG]

I passed 3 x 225's on the back of lorries heading North today - this was a bit North of Dundee on the road to Aberdeen.

I have not been SLF for a good while, spent many flights in 225 and previous variants - the S92 recent incident - the pax and crew seemed lucky with that one.
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Old 6th Jan 2017, 09:02
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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These were the three that were in storage at Norwich moving north for continued storage in Aberdeen I believe.
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Old 6th Jan 2017, 09:37
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe they are going on the Apache contract.
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Old 6th Jan 2017, 09:44
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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would be a little soon to take them out of storage the Apache contract for CHC is still 8 months away before it ends.
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Old 22nd Jan 2017, 15:45
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Apparently there is recruiting for 225 engineers in ABZ. Anyone know what’s the low down? Return to service? Or UN white machine contract?
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 15:49
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jimf671 View Post
Which 4? Just the 4 NS with the 225? The 4 Super Puma 332 & 225 in the NS since the 2012 panic-fest?

When I look at the incidents involving the EC225, frankly, I see nothing unusual compared to other helicopters. There is just less of it.

The numbers tell me that modern types, of which this is one, kill fewer people than older types. There are fewer accidents and it is easier to get out alive.
Would agree up to a point - it depends as always on how you interpret the numbers. In the case of the large aircraft modern types certainly significantly reduced the fatality rates for quite some time but in the last few years the figures have really been nothing to shout about. There remains inherent risks in this type of transport that are not always mitigated by advances in technology.
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 19:01
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Pablo, my guess is a whole glut of people got let go or re-trained and now there is head-scratching at who is looking after the 225 airworthiness for when they come back. Just because they are not flying it doesn't mean they are not being maintained.
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Old 24th Jan 2017, 15:42
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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depends what storage its in. If long term very little maintenance is required until you want to fly it.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 11:58
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/130091/airbus-pledges-rebuild-north-sea-confidence-super-puma/

Personally I can't see, in the present environment, that it is really necessary for the industry, to put the 225 into service again. The 189 and the 175 can easily cover the gap the 225 left. More in UK (Aberdeen) than in the Norwegian sector, where they basically have been using the 92 only, which gives them no cover if the 92 is grounded.

Half a year ago, I was quite sure that the 225 was done in the Northsea, but not so sure anymore. It would be sad to see the 225 in service again, and the passengers not feeling confident about it, only driven by Airbus motivation to get it back.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 12:46
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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The 225 is needed because if the pressure is sustained on the S-92 then it is likely to end in tears. Especially if exploration ramps up again. Lots of tears.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 13:28
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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The 175 is where it's at. 16 is the new 19.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 13:33
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by jimf671 View Post
The 225 is needed because if the pressure is sustained on the S-92 then it is likely to end in tears. Especially if exploration ramps up again. Lots of tears.
Certainly more than one type is needed. Whether we want to go back to the status quo of providing lowest cost transportation using contracts that have brought most contractors to the brink of bankruptcy though i'm not so sure.

Using 175s, 189s etc alongside the 92s could cover any short-term increase in demand and mitigate the consequences of the grounding of a particular type. Using smaller helicopters though would increase the unit cost of transport and necessitate significant operational changes on the platforms. So less efficient. Whether it would improve safety of course is also debatable as if the 225 returns to service it will be its record going forward - not its past history that would be relevant. AH has vowed to rehabilitate the 225's reputation. But to do that in the North Sea it must surely know that it is not just its helicopter's reputation that needs rehabilitating.

The passengers and their unions continue to tell the oil companies, operators and manufacturers that they want still safer and more comfortable transport. They understand that flying to a platform will never be as safe as taking a 737 to Stavanger, but, they are being very clear that they are not satisfied with the rate of progress especially as manifested in recent Puma incidents. One of the difficulties that AH will face is that their employers may finally be starting to listen.

Last edited by birmingham; 28th Jan 2017 at 14:33.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 14:41
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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Until AH Management and Engineering accept they have a MAJOR problem with their MGB on the 225 and not only determine the real cause of the failures and then engineer a solution that not only addresses the failures but sees that it never repeats itself....will the 225 be accepted in the Oil Patch.

If the various Authorities approve anything other than than that....they shall complicit in any other Crashes/Deaths that occur.

A wise Bureaucrat would never sign off on something that leaves him and his paycheck in jeopardy.

Are you 225 Supporters fully confident that is what AH is doing....or has done?

Did they get over the "Damaged in Transit"/"It was a Maintenance error!" attitude and really determine exactly what caused the failures?

If you think that....lay out your evidence for arriving at that determination will you?
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 17:05
  #139 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
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The adults in the UK and Norway at this moment in time consider this an unairworthy aircraft. That’s good enough for me.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 18:41
  #140 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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The Danish offshore sector is also done with the 225 - Dancopter now flying the 175, with back up EC155

The new Maersk tender starting mid 2017, and running for 5 years, has been changed from the 225 to the 189/175, meaning that both Dancopter and Bel Air is in the bidding process. Maersk has left the 19 pax version, but used to have the 225 with Dancopter, the S92 with CHC Esbjerg untill year 2011, taking over the 332L2.

Guessing that mid Februar it will be decided who will be the (only) helicopter operator in the future in the Danish offshore sector.
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