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SAR S-92 Missing Ireland

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SAR S-92 Missing Ireland

Old 18th Apr 2017, 20:40
  #1201 (permalink)  
 
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Has anyone access to a 1:250k low-level chart/map of the area,as permanent off-shore installations should have their maximum height shown(and I assume a lighthouse is an installation) ?
The crew flew very close/overhead on the outbound leg and then let-down,so they must have seen Blkrck on radar at their transit altitude,even at a longer range.It is dominant enough to not appear as just a `blob`.

The VFR Transit plate shows a figure of `282` next to the waypoint at Blkrck...could they have taken that as a track to there ,as opposed to the height of the lighthouse?
Do SAR crews have access to a `lighthouse directory,carried in the aircraft,and coastal charts..?

Can the radar in the S92 be stabilised during transitions ,where the aircraft attitude is changing with speed,to it`s last `manual` input,or still require a manual input/reset once stabilised at the final attitude..?
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 20:41
  #1202 (permalink)  
 
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I'm a Spanish SAR pilot with offshore experience.

IMHO what led to the disaster was the human factor, with no doubt. Wrong procedures (200 ft over the sea at night, OMG!!!) and perhaps some lack of training (low recent experience, no local familiarization...). I see from some photos that at least the captain had transitioned from the "old fashioned" Sea King to the "state of the art" S92. This represents a huge leap in terms of technology and it's not easy to adapt to the new machine, I guess. So, if we talk about crew experience, we should have this in mind. Long experience but not so long in the type.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 20:48
  #1203 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sycamore View Post
The crew flew very close/overhead on the outbound leg and then let-down,so they must have seen Blkrck on radar at their transit altitude,even at a longer range.It is dominant enough to not appear as just a `blob`.

The VFR Transit plate shows a figure of `282` next to the waypoint at Blkrck...could they have taken that as a track to there ,as opposed to the height of the lighthouse?
If I remember, the report says they had left 4000 for 2500, probably after clearing Achill, and were likely at 2500 abeam Blackrock. Reasonable they would have seen something at 2500, if they were looking down radar wise. I think they were in the clag then, but only on assumption that 300 and above was all cloud. May not be correct.

I think that 282 is the height of the helipad. Page 2 of APBSS reportedly says 310 for the lighthouse.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 20:51
  #1204 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by palacio802 View Post
I'm a Spanish SAR pilot with offshore experience.

IMHO what led to the disaster was the human factor, with no doubt. Wrong procedures (200 ft over the sea at night, OMG!!!) and perhaps some lack of training (low recent experience, no local familiarization...). I see from some photos that at least the captain had transitioned from the "old fashioned" Sea King to the "state of the art" S92. This represents a huge leap in terms of technology and it's not easy to adapt to the new machine, I guess. So, if we talk about crew experience, we should have this in mind. Long experience but not so long in the type.
How would you have flown it? Specifically, could you, not would you, have made the same mistake with what you were given in the cockpit, information wise? Factor in that you started the mission with an idea that you were going direct ship. Gracias.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 20:58
  #1205 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by palacio802 View Post
I'm a Spanish SAR pilot with offshore experience.

IMHO what led to the disaster was the human factor, with no doubt. Wrong procedures (200 ft over the sea at night, OMG!!!) and perhaps some lack of training (low recent experience, no local familiarization...). I see from some photos that at least the captain had transitioned from the "old fashioned" Sea King to the "state of the art" S92. This represents a huge leap in terms of technology and it's not easy to adapt to the new machine, I guess. So, if we talk about crew experience, we should have this in mind. Long experience but not so long in the type.
I don't know what photos Senor but I believe the front enders were ex S61 - totally different beast to the Sea King which had a Search Radar as well as several other more advanced features including engines and airframe differences - so not the same at all. But I agree with your point re Human Factors, adaptation to new tech and type experience.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:16
  #1206 (permalink)  
 
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There was no response to my Q in 1108 or assertion in 1135.
IMHO the radar was a safety net but the issue is why was the safety net needed?
If that's not addressed then this will happen again.
That's all from me.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:18
  #1207 (permalink)  
 
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And because of the complexity of the newer kit - layers of menus and sub-menus and with different design philosophies on different bits of kit - you need more training hours to learn them and keep on top of them.

How often do the crews have to go to the simulator and is that just for emergencies training/checks or are they getting scenario-based training where the kit can be fully utilised in a safe environment?
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:21
  #1208 (permalink)  
 
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Sudden twang - they could have utilised the S92's capabilities with a letdown within 5 miles of Blacksod and never got anywhere near Blackrock.

They didn't but instead were drawn down an 'approved' route which was unsuitable in terms of design and warnings of the hazards.

Palacio - why are you so horrified by 200' at night? Granted they went down far to early but it is a good height for manoeuvre and final approach using SAR modes - especially if someone has given you NVD to use.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:23
  #1209 (permalink)  
 
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Al-Bert: I hear you regarding kit complexity vs capability, but I also know that you have not operated a modern SAR aircraft with all that 'complexity' to be able to make a fair comparison. What it normally provides is, ironically for this scenario, far greater situational awareness, especially for the pilots whose quality of SA is no longer solely reliant on the quality of a dedicated radar operator's 'mouth music'...but ex-S61 crews will know that! In that respect operating a modern aircraft normally (!) takes up less mental capacity, not more. For this reason, I wonder if there was a degree of cognitive bias at work here: the Irish crew were expecting very low-lying rocks rather than a big island, so that's how they interpreted their displays.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:24
  #1210 (permalink)  
 
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In the transcript at 2:02,29 Copilot/PM says "OK so small target at six miles eleven o’clock Large out to the right there ehm".

Response "Roger" from the Commander and about two seconds later "Eh just a small little island...that´s BLMO itself".

As I'm reading this, it seems that they see BLKMO on the radar?( says "BLMO" but meaning BLKMO ?)
Am I reading it wrong ?
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:29
  #1211 (permalink)  
 
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International pilot groups are highly critical of the publication of the CVR in the prelim report.

It is said that the conversations do not contribute to any understanding of the causes of the accident.

Not sure that that is a completely accurate sentiment, but is true that generally these things don't come out at this stage and that they have certainly been sensationalized in the media.

I do think the aviation community does have a better understanding as a result of the publication because they certainly do give insights into what was going on in the cockpit as the danger developed. I don't think they discredit or dishonour the memories of the crew. They certainly evoke sadness and empathy for the situation they came to be in.

Publication of Rescue 116 crew?s final words condemned
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:31
  #1212 (permalink)  
puntosaurus
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Aakee. Nobody knows what the copilot was referring to in that 'Large' comment, although there has been speculation. It has been pointed out before that the commander's subsequent comment about BLMO was in response to a EGPWS callout 'Altitude, Altitude'. The consensus is that that this was triggered by the Carrick Islands 0.65nm to the WNW of Blackrock.

Crab. Sudden Twang refers to posts where he/she has asked about where the crew received their training on the S92, and whether there are questions about the operator's SOPs that align with those on the G-WNSB accident.
 
Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:32
  #1213 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by louisnewmark View Post
Al-Bert: I hear you regarding kit complexity vs capability, but I also know that you have not operated a modern SAR aircraft with all that 'complexity' to be able to make a fair comparison. What it normally provides is, ironically for this scenario, far greater situational awareness, especially for the pilots whose quality of SA is no longer solely reliant on the quality of a dedicated radar operator's 'mouth music'...but ex-S61 crews will know that! In that respect operating a modern aircraft normally (!) takes up less mental capacity, not more. For this reason, I wonder if there was a degree of cognitive bias at work here: the Irish crew were expecting very low-lying rocks rather than a big island, so that's how they interpreted their displays.
Have you operated an RAF Sea King with full NVG fit Louis? There didn't seem to be much SA for this poor crew. You are right, I have never operated an S92 nor do I wish to but in 22 years of SAR I seemed to retain SA fairly well. As I said before - the job is the same - it appears to have become more complex, at least for the front enders. Sometimes there was poetry in the 'mouth music' which you scoff at - perhaps you were RN?
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:34
  #1214 (permalink)  
 
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I prefer 200' in the SAR S-92 to the Sea King Mk3 for what it's worth. It's generations ahead in terms of safety, with VHOLD and go around facilities if required. You can have an FMS route in as an overall guiding magenta line on the NAV display, but I would definitely use heading hold to steer to avoid overflying targets (small islands or boats).
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:40
  #1215 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by louisnewmark View Post
... What it normally provides is, ironically for this scenario, far greater situational awareness ... takes up less mental capacity, not more. For this reason, I wonder if there was a degree of cognitive bias at work here: the Irish crew were expecting very low-lying rocks rather than a big island, so that's how they interpreted their displays.
That's also what I see. But will add that transferring old procedures to a new cockpit is often underestimated as a task.

In this case once the initial mental picture of the scenario was created, all that additional SA just provided confirmation. What was required was something to look wrong. EGPWS could have done that, with a significantly red blob of terrain. NVDs could also have done that with a looming piece of land.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:43
  #1216 (permalink)  
 
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I agree, ...

Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

Palacio - why are you so horrified by 200' at night? Granted they went down far to early but it is a good height for manoeuvre and final approach using SAR modes - especially if someone has given you NVD to use.
I have no problem with 200' at night, but I am sure as h*ll glued to the radar and radalt. If ANYTHING doesn't feel right - climb up and sort it out then go back down.

And yes, as Al-bert says, the Sea King and SK61 Mark I/II are totally different bits of kit.
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 21:54
  #1217 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Sudden twang - they could have utilised the S92's capabilities with a letdown within 5 miles of Blacksod and never got anywhere near Blackrock.

They didn't but instead were drawn down an 'approved' route which was unsuitable in terms of design and warnings of the hazards.

Palacio - why are you so horrified by 200' at night? Granted they went down far to early but it is a good height for manoeuvre and final approach using SAR modes - especially if someone has given you NVD to use.
Well, it's a good question. I have the opinion that the way the helicopter is flown depends highly on where the pilots come from. S61 is a helicopter designed for the Navy. In the Navy pilots don't fear to fly near the sea surface. While Bell 412 is more for Army operations. And you can notice it if you analyse how these helicopters are flown.

I'm from the Air Force. In the AF we see helicopters as another type of plane. We use to think that if you don't have contact with the ground, the higher, the safer. Flying at 200' feet is inherently dangerous. An autopilot failure with mode disengagement can make you lose more than 100' feet. Not mentioning a tail rotor failure.

I think that at night, even with NVG you should keep 500' except when in final approach (being this approach to a helipad or a vessel). I don't think NVG gives you much clues when flying over the sea (this is my experience).
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 22:06
  #1218 (permalink)  
 
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Well, it's a good question. I have the opinion that the way the helicopter is flown depends highly on where the pilots come from. S61 is a helicopter designed for the Navy. In the Navy pilots don't fear to fly near the sea surface. While Bell 412 is more for Army operations. And you can notice it if you analyse how these helicopters are flown.

I'm from the Air Force. In the AF we see helicopters as another type of plane. We use to think that if you don't have contact with the ground, the higher, the safer. Flying at 200' feet is inherently dangerous. An autopilot failure with mode disengagement can make you lose more than 100' feet. Not mentioning a tail rotor failure.

I think that at night, even with NVG you should keep 500' except when in final approach (being this approach to a helipad or a vessel). I don't think NVG gives you much clues when flying over the sea (this is my experience).
I'm staying out of this one!
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Old 18th Apr 2017, 22:17
  #1219 (permalink)  
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HaHaHa. I get very nervous over about 1500ft.
 
Old 18th Apr 2017, 22:18
  #1220 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Al-bert View Post
I don't know what photos Senor but I believe the front enders were ex S61 - totally different beast to the Sea King which had a Search Radar as well as several other more advanced features including engines and airframe differences - so not the same at all. But I agree with your point re Human Factors, adaptation to new tech and type experience.
Yes. you are right, sorry. It was a S61.
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