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Emergency Helicopter crash in Italy

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Emergency Helicopter crash in Italy

Old 28th Jan 2017, 21:56
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Yet another prune thread where terrible loss of life leads the great unwashed on here to start blaming the crew before even the preliminary report is published. Armchair accident investigators peddling their trade to try and convince the audience how very clever they are.

Just wait and see. Give the crew at least the benefit of the doubt until more information is realeased.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 02:53
  #42 (permalink)  
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Is there a video of the departure?

Hey Hueyracer or anyone else,

I inferred from post #31 that there is a video of the departure. I can't find it - please point me to it.

3R.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 05:36
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Video -

Gli ultimi istanti dell'elicottero del 118 - ESCLUSIVA ANSA
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 06:59
  #44 (permalink)  
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I am not indicating anything.....just saying that-depending on the weather situation (and knowing the outcome), it is not "common sense" to do a "Cowboy-Take-Off" like that in THIS situation...

We have all been in situation where we did stupid things...most of us have been lucky getting away.

Does not stop us from spreading the word on how we screwed up, so others can learn from it.

Especially in EMS, but also in long lining, pilots easily get "over-motivated", putting their own lives, the helicopter and the entire crew at unnecessary risks to "save lifes" or "do the job"-which in the end leads to the (unnecessary) loss of lifes....


It is important that we take ourselves a step back sometimes.......and ask ourselves "Is this-what i was about to do-really the best thing to do now?"
 
Old 29th Jan 2017, 07:42
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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How on earth is that a 'cowboy' take-off?

They lift to the hover, turn slowly to face down the slope instead of up it and then transition?

Transitioning up slope gives you few options and you can't see what other obstacles might be in their way (wires/cables etc). His references downslope may also have been better.

A perfectly valid and safe technique for a mountain departure.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 11:05
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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You can see from the video that the slope is in and out of cloud which is quite usual in the mountains - it is entirely possible they entered cloud inadvertantly and elected to make a turn to recover VMC - perhaps they turned the wrong way or there are wires and cables (its a skiing area with lots of lifts) in the 'safe' direction towards lower ground.

As to why they were there - that's what they get paid for - again, normal protocol would be for the MR/ski rescuers to get the casualty to the cloudbase for extraction by helo.

As Jim will doubtless confirm - a bum leg can mean anything from a twisted knee to a femoral bleed so you err on the side of caution and get them to hospital smartly.

A very sad accident but it does look like CFIT in whiteout conditions - for those that haven't been there, it is bloody scary since you don't usually have an IFR pull-up option.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 11:52
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Crab - although I mostly agreee with what you are saying, I would disagree to the extent that there is not usually an IFR option. I would say that it is nearly always an option, just that very often it will be as bad or worse than the other options.
When it comes to IEIC low-level in the obstacle environment, I think the IFR pull-up is worth considering, even if you are going to get icing etc afterwards, and difficult decisions about where to go. Which is worst - frying pan or fire?
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 12:00
  #48 (permalink)  
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Doing a somewhat "Cat-A" start departure followed by a pedal turn while already low under clouds is "normal" to you?
No wonder we keep discussing accidents over and over again...
 
Old 29th Jan 2017, 12:22
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Try calculating a CAT A departure up a slope with wires/cables etc and a rather large mountain in the way and you will see that it is impracticable.

Much safer to depart downslope and they may well have had hover OEI performance available from the start.

Cat A has its place but mountain SAR really isn't applicable where you are not on a helipad nor have several hundered metres of clear area ahead.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 12:25
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Non - PC - I get what you are saying but maybe you haven't been in icing cloud in the mountains with the nearest instrument approach many miles away and a MSA of several thousands of feet.

In those conditions you can ice up and run out of power so quickly that it is a very last resort. If you have RIPS or similar you have more options but I don't know if they had it fitted. And RIPS only protects the rotors, not the airframe and it is the increase in AUM that causes the loss of spare power.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 13:34
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Was the aircraft equipped with sandel HTAWS or AW equivalent?
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 09:54
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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If this was an early model, it would not have had any icing protection fitted.

Crab - I agree icing is not fun, and as you say going into it may well be a last resort, but I think its 50/50 compared with trying to grope your way out of whiteout low level in a mountain/wires environment!

If it was a later model, with SAR modes fitted, there may have been other automated options to transition away, or get back into a steady hover at a safe height. With a basic helicopter, we have seen many times (eg G-LBAL) that "using the force" to transition away in very low vis is a bad idea.
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 17:54
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It doesn't look like the vis was that bad whereas G-LBAL was in fog at night with no experience of an IF towering take off.

SAR modes really aren't suitable for over land work and if the weather had been that bad where they took off, I am sure they wouldn't have bothered. The SAR hover mode on the 139 - if it was fitted on this one, might have been an alternative to groping in the whiteout but we don't know if it was available.

Mountain conditions change so quickly that it is easy to get caught out and I think they launched in OK vis/cloudbase but were cut off from their escape route into clear air/lower ground - it happens unfortunately and what looks like a viable escape can quickly become a trap.

These guys were presumably SAR trained and mountain qualified?

For the IF option I suspect their MSA would have been upwards of 10,000 ft in the Alps at well below zero in icing conditions so really not an option at all.
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 23:55
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Ask Gerold Biner, Air Zermatt, what he thinks, or Heli Austria, or any of the Canadian mountain/Heliski operators that fly day in day out in the same mountains and weather. When I hear discussions on IFR, EGPWS, PC 1, applied to mountain flying I automatically discount the source. Really, the 139 with its 40,000' business jet avionics and automation trying to mix it with the real mountain flyers?? Maybe with a mountain and location experienced pilot as Crab points out. Mountain flying is all about not getting trapped, even if you spend an hour hovering in front of a rock or a tree until the weather changes again. Allowing yourself to go IMC and then think you can bore your way out IFR is not an option.
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 04:00
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What ...

..... Dennis (malabo) said.

Last edited by oleary; 1st Feb 2017 at 06:12.
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 06:54
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Malabo - completely agree - there are some disciplines where the answer isn't more technology - just good training and intelligent flying
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 08:43
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This accident reminds me of the Air NZ accident on Mt Erebus in Antarctica.
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 09:06
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Malabo & Crab,

When you apply Threat & Error management, I completely agree that training, experience and intelligence should enable a capable pilot to mitigate the many and varied threats in this environment, and not get into trouble in the first place.
However, technology has its place in helping you deal with the errors if you screwed up the threat management part. Its not a panacea, but its better to have than not to have (if you are properly trained to use it in appropriate circumstances).
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 09:51
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But does having all that technology give pilots a false sense of security?

Therefore they push the limits more, thinking that the technology will save them...
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Old 31st Jan 2017, 12:13
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Non PC Plod - yes there are some technologies that help but some that hinder - an example would be EGPWS in the mountains where all the alerts could be very distracting and lead you to either disable them or ignore them, both of which completely defeat their addition to the cockpit.

The problem is that you cannot remove all the risks from something like SAR - by its very nature you often have to fly in conditions that a normal risk and threat assessment would preclude, but if you don't launch, what is the point in you being there? Your only mitigation of risk is (hopefully) excellent training and superior CRM - some technology will assist as long as you are well versed in its use and have trained for such scenarios.

An example of what Super F describes would be NVD where weather deterioration is sometimes more difficult to notice and you can get yourself further into the high threat scenario than you realised.
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