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SAR S-92 Missing Ireland

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SAR S-92 Missing Ireland

Old 20th Apr 2017, 02:33
  #1301 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Essex
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Well I can absolutely assure you that PART-OPS-SPA-HEMS can be interpreted to allow the technical crewmember to do all of things you need them to do, provided that the role is described in the operations manual and that the training and checking required for the role is also set out in Part D.
Punto I beleive you are conflating regulations. Operating equipment is different to being responsible for primary navigation. Primary Navigation is, under EASA, FAA & CASA, to the best of my knowledge, solely in the hands of a licensed Pilot.
All SAR Rearcrew are Technical crew and just like their HEMS Counterparts they can operate radios, FLIR and "assist" the pilot with navigation.
As such, as is the case on UK SAR Helicopters and MoD Falkland Contract SAR Helicopters, the Technical Crew cannot operate the RADAR and give positive navigation commands to the Pilots. However the latter 2 services operating the AW189 do have a view of the Radar Return on the Technical Crew Mission Computer but, because of the EASA Regs the OE cannot fit the controls of the radar in the Cabin so they only have sight of what the pilots have set up whether it is a good set up or bad.
Some pilots will listen to advice from Technical Crew who have many years of being Radar Operators on Military SAR on how to get the best from the radar - many others will not. Some Technical Crew in the Civilian world do not have that experience.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 06:20
  #1302 (permalink)  
 
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Are some of the posters really trying to punt, that despite two licensed trained pilots in a third generation cockpit, the answer lies in allowing the guy in the back to drive the helicopter by verbal commands to avoid, what was effectively a rock that had been in the same place for millions of years?

Despite RADAR, FLIR, MOVING MAP, FMS WAYPOINT, GPS SUPER ACCURACY, this crew flew into a 300 foot high rock in what was effectively, the middle of the Ocean. If the only way to stop tha happening is to have "A man in the back" god help us all!
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 06:34
  #1303 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
Are some of the posters really trying to punt, that despite two licensed trained pilots in a third generation cockpit, the answer lies in allowing the guy in the back to drive the helicopter by verbal commands to avoid, what was effectively a rock that had been in the same place for millions of years?

Despite RADAR, FLIR, MOVING MAP, FMS WAYPOINT, GPS SUPER ACCURACY, this crew flew into a 300 foot high rock in what was effectively, the middle of the Ocean. If the only way to stop tha happening is to have "A man in the back" god help us all!
Totally agree! Thanks DB!

But I have to add that NVG makes a huge difference! I have been flying my first 25 SAR years (A412, AS332L1, S76C++) without and last 2 years (AW139) with NVG and I can only confirm that it will be "a whole different ball game" concerning flight safety!

Last edited by Search&Rescue; 20th Apr 2017 at 09:08.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 07:28
  #1304 (permalink)  
 
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You know a lot of accusations of systemic failures and management penny pinching that could have contributed to this accident. However, route guides and cockpit procedures are firmly in the domain of Pilots and Managing pilots. CHC senior management must be holding their heads in their hands and really questioning how this accident can happen, compared to a routine ARA in O&G. How, on the other S92 thread, two apparently highly experienced pilots can fly straight into the oil rig in 8/8s blue.

As a pilot community it is us who should hang our heads in shame. We are supposed to be the experts. We are not doing very well at the moment. Repeated bleats about money, contracts, regulations are a crass distraction from the demonstrated incompetence in these two events.

As a professional body we should look inward, at every level. Training, chief pilots, procedures and basic skill sets.

My good mate says flying a helicopters is really only about two requirements, try not to run out of fuel and don't bump into anything along the way.

Take London Crane, Glasgow Clutha, Italy SAR, Turkish Radio Mast, LBAL, Blacksod, Brazil Nosewheel crash, Brazil Oil Rig, Sumburgh L2 and tell me where we can lay fault anywhere but at our own feet.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 07:32
  #1305 (permalink)  
 
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Back in 1975 a Bristow S61 lifted off from the Beryl platform (SE of Shetland) with the intention of joining the 110 radial inbound to Sumburgh. Unfortunately, the pilot had a brain-fart and turned on to the 110 radial. Neither pilot recognised their error until the radar revealed an unrecognised coastline. They just made it to Bergen.

This confirms a propensity of human beings - to make mistakes and not realise it until it's too late. This wasn't a unique event, Ireland wasn't a unique event. Such mistakes are likely to continue but that should not prevent us trying to instil appropriate SOP's via quality training - in FSTD's of course. The need for regular effective renewal of skills was a subject I presented at an RAeS conference a while back (Automation ? Will Evidence Based Training Deliver a More Competent Helicopter Pilot? ? Sim Trainer). The notion that recurrent training is like an annual 'inoculation' and that mere attendance will insulate the crew against errors is an indication that the point has been missed. A six-month recurrent programme is the minimum to be effective and a three-month cycle would be better.

As FSTD's become more common and more available I would hope that we introduce more effective recurrent programmes that focus on RAISING standards not just maintaining them.

G.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 07:35
  #1306 (permalink)  
 
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I am not sure how many training hours the Irish CG contract includes but with the UK civvy SAR contract there is a heap of hours for training. 50 per month to be precise.
compared to the 120 hours per month that the RAF SAR Force had.............and, as discussed, newer technology requires more training not less.

However, I believe the UKSAR are using a bit more than 50 a month.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 07:47
  #1307 (permalink)  
 
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Geoffers, agree 100%. Also in tha training we need to be ready to "Bin" the incompetent tossers who latterly tend to launch official complaints against Instructors and Examiners, for what in majority of cases, seems to be and accepted practice to mask unsuitability at the most basic levels.

Also spineless middle management pilots who accept the "Yes" men over the "No" men and who in themselves, so inexperienced, that they cannot cope with the demands of the older, wiser more experienced crews.

Bring back the days when the CP was truly the "Senior" pilot.

Training needs addressing. People who crash in the simulator..............what are they capable of in the real Helicopter!
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 07:51
  #1308 (permalink)  
 
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Sunnywa seems to have the most logical explanation regarding why the APP1 approach was used to 200ft then the APBSS route guide towards Blacksod. In summary the crew knew (a) APBSS was probably VFR, (b) the cloudbase was around 300ft hence the need for a 200ft VFR transit, (c) that their SOPs mandated any over sea IMC let down had to be well away from the coast and (d) that as there was no IFR arrival plate this was their only option.

Of the many issues, firstly what SOPs do apply to the ICG SAR for IMC let downs? If there is no IFR arrival plate (which presumably for most of their non airport destinations there isn't), exactly what are the crew permitted to do? Presumably creating their own safe let down procedure is not a permitted option?
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 08:06
  #1309 (permalink)  
 
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DB - it's a dark and shitty night, 200' cloudbase, strong winds, limited vis due to the heavy rain and there is a vessel aground on rocks (coastal location) with life seriously in danger and the conditions preclude lifeboat rescue.

It is an unfamiliar area and you are scrambled to the job - you have to get down from the cruise and get to the job - you are obviously relying heavily on the radar.

Not only do you have to let down to a safe area but then you need the radar to close to the coast until you get visual.

Would you rather have a well-trained radar operator whose ONLY job is to conduct that letdown safely, using all the skills and experience gained from training and being regularly examined in this discipline OR would you rather rely on the co-pilot who might have been up to speed when he did his type and role training but hasn't really got the best out of the radar and hasn't done a letdown in really poor weather for quite a while (for training or for real). Oh, and he is listening to 3 different radios, monitoring your flying and managing the FMS.

Tell me which one you think is safer and which you would prefer - I think my choice in the matter is self-evident.

ARAs are not SAR letdowns.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 08:31
  #1310 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
Geoffers, agree 100%. Also in tha training we need to be ready to "Bin" the incompetent tossers who latterly tend to launch official complaints against Instructors and Examiners, for what in majority of cases, seems to be and accepted practice to mask unsuitability at the most basic levels.

Also spineless middle management pilots who accept the "Yes" men over the "No" men and who in themselves, so inexperienced, that they cannot cope with the demands of the older, wiser more experienced crews.

Bring back the days when the CP was truly the "Senior" pilot.

Training needs addressing. People who crash in the simulator..............what are they capable of in the real Helicopter!
Careful DB, you're beginning to sound like me
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 08:34
  #1311 (permalink)  
 
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Crab - Sad fact, use of Radar, Taws, TCAS not included in basic TR course as they are 'customer specific options'. Before you ask I guess the vast majority of aircraft built have those 'options' on board. Training for this equipment is the responsibility of the owner/operator.

I think we have to accept that SAR involves the occasional need to venture into areas that are not entirely regulated so then the crew must fall back on their skill and experience. They have their own special versions of what are referred to as 'Black Swan Events.


G.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 08:49
  #1312 (permalink)  
 
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Regrettably crews are guilty of not using the Safety and Quality System to effect change. It is seen as cumbersome. Surely it is high time we adopted a rotary form of LOSA; to allow experienced and trained company pilots to monitor crews anonymously with a view to providing real evidence of both good and poor PDM, TEM in light of the quality of and adherence to company SOP's with a view to demanding that Safety & Quality force Operational Management to change or amend where necessary. The selected LOSA pilots will also have received plenty of cockpit feedback on poor or lacking procedures, training, roles, charts etc or even heaven forbid heard suggestions for safer alternatives.

LOFT in the simulator only partially covers this. And in the aircraft of today ... a jump seat is not necessarily / easily available for the task but as DB states .... it is we, the pilots and trainers, who need to recognize and amend our ways - by listening to and watching each other.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 09:31
  #1313 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
DB - it's a dark and shitty night, 200' cloudbase, strong winds, limited vis due to the heavy rain and there is a vessel aground on rocks (coastal location) with life seriously in danger and the conditions preclude lifeboat rescue.

It is an unfamiliar area and you are scrambled to the job - you have to get down from the cruise and get to the job - you are obviously relying heavily on the radar.

Not only do you have to let down to a safe area but then you need the radar to close to the coast until you get visual.

Would you rather have a well-trained radar operator whose ONLY job is to conduct that letdown safely, using all the skills and experience gained from training and being regularly examined in this discipline OR would you rather rely on the co-pilot who might have been up to speed when he did his type and role training but hasn't really got the best out of the radar and hasn't done a letdown in really poor weather for quite a while (for training or for real). Oh, and he is listening to 3 different radios, monitoring your flying and managing the FMS.

Tell me which one you think is safer and which you would prefer - I think my choice in the matter is self-evident.

ARAs are not SAR letdowns.
CRAB - In a modern third generation cockpit, I would rather be looking at the RADAR screen myself and not reliant on the Co-pilot or anyone else for that matter, regardless of me being PF or PNF. Most especially at 200 feet on a dark and stormy night.

In a modern MFD cockpit, the requirement for the PNF to "direct" the PF is extent. Sure the calls should come, but they are supplementary to the PFs ability and requirement to avoid red blobs on the MFD in front of him.

You cannot confuse the basic requirements of the procedure they were flying with a rescue mission.

I recognise, having done it, that in older types the scan required precludes the PF from really concentrating on the RADAR. Althopugh having flown those types I have always checked the screen as much as my scan would allow.

I agree 100% that in SAR, a rear RADAR Operator is a huge bonus when off route letting down in nager to an incident.

However, this accident has nothing whatsoever to do with that. This accident started in the planning room, when, as both pilots were "unfamiliar" with the procedure they were required to do, so evidently failed to capture the height of Blackrock and the implications of it along the route they were about to fly. Which in itself presents a wider question. If Black sod was a regular known and required refuelling stop WHY were this crew so unfamiliar with the area/procedure/hazards.

Not too long ago a good friend of mine, a TRE/LTC, decided to take a refuel in Sumburgh to familiarise the co-pilot he was Line Training with the airfield. He did not need to stop for fuel but as he was passing he took advantage to get the co-pilot familiar with an airfield which would become a regular alternate/fuel stop for the rest of his NS career.

On RTB he was torn a sizeable new one by the Pilot management for making this decision and slightly delaying a flight/causing a bit of expenditure. Policy stated was such Line Training adventures were unacceptable. And yet the regulations demand familiarisation training.

These are the insidious problems that afflict the modern commercial helicopter operation.

Looking at the Blacksod area in general, it would be placed in my view, as a "Difficult"/ "Hazardous" approach with no ground based NAVAIDS for positioning and a high reliance on GPS/RADAR and the Vertical Profile to ensure safe operations. This does not mean it cannot be done safely. It just places a premium on data, briefing and training.

In this case, the data was poor, the briefing seemed to consist of an admission of unfamiliarity and the training....well I guess that one is answered already.

In the fixed wing world they grade aerodromes in degree of difficulty and the pre-requisites to operate to/from a particular aerodrome are proportionate to that difficulty.

I watched with a degree of fascination when flying NS. co-pilots opting for SAR work. Co-pilots that I would put in the "Low Ability" category. No-one intervened. They got there. Some of them a few short years later were Commanding a SAR machine.

SAR demands high quality, reasonably experienced flight crew. Where experience is lacking, selection, quality and maturity should fill the gap. Much as how the Military machine works.

There is much to point the finger at in this accident. However, the more we become aware of what happened the harder it is not to focus on the competence and skills of that crew.

I really want there to be something wrong with the RADAR. However, the Commanders attitude to the red blobs they overflew and the RADALT warnings they were receiving paints a very poor picture of complacency and discipline. As a professional body we must not be afraid of accepting that in the end, maybe we were just not good enough!
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 09:47
  #1314 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
DB - it's a dark and shitty night, 200' cloudbase, strong winds, limited vis due to the heavy rain and there is a vessel aground on rocks (coastal location) with life seriously in danger and the conditions preclude lifeboat rescue.

It is an unfamiliar area and you are scrambled to the job - you have to get down from the cruise and get to the job - you are obviously relying heavily on the radar.

Not only do you have to let down to a safe area but then you need the radar to close to the coast until you get visual.

Would you rather have a well-trained radar operator whose ONLY job is to conduct that letdown safely, using all the skills and experience gained from training and being regularly examined in this discipline OR would you rather rely on the co-pilot who might have been up to speed when he did his type and role training but hasn't really got the best out of the radar and hasn't done a letdown in really poor weather for quite a while (for training or for real). Oh, and he is listening to 3 different radios, monitoring your flying and managing the FMS.

Tell me which one you think is safer and which you would prefer - I think my choice in the matter is self-evident.

ARAs are not SAR letdowns.

I know for sure which I would prefer, as a commander manage the flight myself, and let the copilot do the hands on flying. Because it's much safer and more efficient that way.

And when on the site, transfer of controls before hoisting. Or maybe not, if the copilot has better visual references from the left seat.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 09:52
  #1315 (permalink)  
 
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A full time radar operator to operate a simple piece of machinery on the off chance that once a year you just might encounter the scenario you suggested Crab? Seriously? Or how about the Australian SAR/EMS model flying modern aircraft with all the same equipment as R116 but operating single pilot with an aircrewman in the LHS?
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 10:09
  #1316 (permalink)  
 
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The military accept that there is an attrition rate inherent in operating in hazardous conditions. They train to reduce the risks to acceptable or tolerable levels. Many if not most SAR flights involve some degree of hazard that would normally be avoided, otherwise a rescue flight would not be required in the first place. What exactly is the acceptable attrition rate for civilian search and rescue flights?
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 10:36
  #1317 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
..Training needs addressing. People who crash in the simulator..............what are they capable of in the real Helicopter!
You might be surprised at the number of weather related crashes in the simulator when there is no technical malfunction that needs dealing with...actually, I probably see more of these CFIT crashes than crashes that are the result of improper handling. In other words, crews are crashing the simulator simply because of bad weather about as often as they crash the simulator because of poor technique in response to technical malfunctions. Demonstration by the instructor, and repetition and practice of the malfunction by the trainee, usually results in improvement to an acceptable standard. There is time allocated in the training budget for this. But I haven't yet worked out how to prevent crews from having CFIT events, the causes are so deeply entrenched that it is a waste of simulator time trying.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 12:00
  #1318 (permalink)  

Howcanwebeexpectedtoflylikeeagles
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
Training needs addressing. People who crash in the simulator..............what are they capable of in the real Helicopter!
The handling qualities, control feel and visuals on the simulators I was exposed to left a lot to be desired. Some of them should not have been certified.

I have circa 20,000 hours under my belt and used to regularly crash the simulator trying to demonstrate my competence landing or taking off from an offshore helideck. I never crashed and burned in my 20,000 hours and estimated 30,000 take off and landings in real aircraft.

When the simulator started doing its own thing and not doing what it should do, I used to take my hands off the controls, cross my arms and announce "Brace Brace Brace", much to the irritation of the instructor.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 12:28
  #1319 (permalink)  
 
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Hugh I guess I am referring to crashes in open flight like CFIT etc. The spatial limitations caused by the visual systems when trying to do a pin point manoeuvre where the lack of vertical image is obviously a problem.

It is for that reason that initial deck certification for O&G has to be done on the real aircraft to a real deck. Long may that requirement remain in place.

I accept I used a broad brush! Sorry for that.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 12:38
  #1320 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by HughMartin View Post
The handling qualities, control feel and visuals on the simulators I was exposed to left a lot to be desired. Some of them should not have been certified...
The simulators now are quite good, but depth perception of blended projected visuals on to a curved screen requires some adjustment of technique. An initial trainee can do all of their training on the simulator and then be certified to fly the real helicopter with no additional training required. But I suspect flying the real helicopter for the first time after initial training on the simulator will feel about as wobbly as the simulator feels the first time you fly it after years of flying a real helicopter.

The simulators are quite realistic and provide a valuable training tool as part of a wider training curriculum.
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