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SAR S-92 Missing Ireland

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SAR S-92 Missing Ireland

Old 20th Apr 2017, 12:38
  #1321 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
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.
The 'experience' in most flight simulators is really disgusting and not in correspondence with the available technology and the prices per hour. But this is another topic...
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 12:53
  #1322 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by palacio802 View Post
...and not in correspondence with the available technology and the prices per hour...
There is a huge cast working behind the scenes to keep the simulators going, and the parts needed to maintain them are the exact same pricey parts that go into a real helicopter. Plus the initial outlay to buy the simulator is much the same as what a new real helicopter costs, sometimes more. Which takes up a big chunk of the price per hour. Where the economics of the simulator really shine is when you crash them, much much cheaper than crashing the real thing.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 13:28
  #1323 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
There is a huge cast working behind the scenes to keep the simulators going, and the parts needed to maintain them are the exact same pricey parts that go into a real helicopter. Plus the initial outlay to buy the simulator is much the same as what a new real helicopter costs, sometimes more. Which takes up a big chunk of the price per hour. Where the economics of the simulator really shine is when you crash them, much much cheaper than crashing the real thing.
Yes, I know. The same excuses for years, hehehe. But then, I go home and see the visuals of a 2004' flight simulator running in an old PC and I think: "jesus, they are laughing at us!".
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 13:28
  #1324 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by G0ULI View Post
Perhaps if I were to suggest that SAR should not be a commercial operation subject to cost constraints that could limit crew training, that might be more acceptable?

Yes, I know the military have their problems too, but they would appear to have greater freedom to operate without having to account for every penny.
G0ULI: from that I take it that you have not been in the military. (At least not recently, and not in military aviation).

In the past quarter of a century, at least, a significant sea change in military operations that I was familiar with was the vibrant cost consciousness of everything we did, which was a marked change from the 80's and before. (The end of the Cold War and the major draw downs of the mid 90's was where I started to see this). This was in a comparatively well funded military. For smaller services, and for nations with much smaller budgets as a whole, that pinch is going to be felt more keenly.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but in the early 00's a standard military function -- station pilots flying SAR with UH-1N's, for Naval Air Stations all over our country -- was quite simply cancelled without replacement. Someone ran a cost benefit and decided to dump the flying billets and that core capability. (Let the Coast Guard handle it, they said ...) There was some talk about trying to contract it out as well ... this, in the best funded Navy in the world.

I completely "get" why some SAR requirements are contracted out to civilian operators in various places. Governments are under a lot more public scrutiny for dollars spent, and it's the dollars anyone cares about until a fatal accident crops up. (The points in previous pages about training noted, and my head nodded on each post that brought that up. Training costs money).

If this accident can act as an impetus to improve systems training for the expensive kit, perhaps there's a silver lining to the cloud.
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.
The military no longer "accept" that in the year 2017. The military do indeed train to reduce risk to acceptable levels for military missions. You will still see training mission accidents; I refer you to the recent Black Hawk that crashed on a golf course in Maryland.
What exactly is the acceptable attrition rate for civilian search and rescue flights?
No way am I jumping on that grenade.


My maritime flying (military) and SAR experience included the radar only being usable by the operator in the back (SH-2F) and the ability for either front or back seat to operate the radar (SH-60B). Being able to use a modern radar effectively while also keeping your copilot/PM/PNF duties on task is a matter of training. And practice. (See comments by DB a while back regarding recency).

Crab and DB have had a good back and forth on some of the issues, so nothing further on that.


As to radar sensitivity and tweaking: G0ULI, you remind me of my early days of the non digital radars (we had the LN-66, which was an adapted maritime radar, IIRC Marconi) and getting the clutter/gain/scale etc just right. Likewise with ship board radars when I was on the bridge. I had a bit of a learning curve when the APS-124 and all digital tools confronted me in the Seahawk. Had to learn a new way of tweaking the radar. I will venture a guess that getting it "just right" is still as much art as science on a given day. Therefore, practice.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 20th Apr 2017 at 13:50.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 13:45
  #1325 (permalink)  
 
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Lone....the answer to that last question shall begin to be answered by what actions are taken in response to the ICG Crash!
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 13:46
  #1326 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by palacio802 View Post
...But then, I go home and see the visuals of a 2004' flight simulator running in an old PC and I think: "jesus, they are laughing at us!".
Project that 2004 flight simulator image onto an enormous 220x80degree screen and see how good the resolution is. But yeah, it doesn't take much computing power to run the simulator, actually I think the whole show runs on a Windows XP computer (which is probably the cheapest part of the whole system).
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 14:02
  #1327 (permalink)  
 
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I consider myself (and my employer considers me) to be a well-trained radar operator who routinely carries out radar approaches to moving shipping, fixed offshore structures, coastal locations and in confined coastal inlets etc. These approaches are almost always carried out in simulated IMC, and occasionally actual IMC, to minimum radar range. They are NOT simply oil-&-gas-style ARAs. Twice a year I practice radar approaches in assessed LOFT scenarios in the simulator.

I also consider myself (and my employer considers me) to be a well-trained SAR pilot who routinely flies radar approaches etc etc. I am ably assisted by moving maps with AIS and radar overlays, EGPWS, NVIS, very helpful SAR autopilot modes which greatly reduce the old-school manual flying burden, another equally-competent pilot/radar operator and a pair of well-trained and competent tech crew who can also overlay AIS and radar onto their moving map to oversee my efforts and chip in when necessary.

Those who know, know. Those who don't often either presume that their non-SAR techniques are used in SAR or, more regrettably, shout ever louder either to get a bite or to convince the uninitiated that they really do know. The danger of this latter approach is that the uninitiated might take the shouted ballcocks to be gospel truth, and if one of the uninitiated happens to be a lurking journo then a huge amount of avoidable hassle can ensue. As I said, those who know, know.

For what it's worth (and of course I may be wrong), I think it's probable that the accident radar was set up and being operated correctly for the conditions, and that overflight of the radar return at BLKMO was deliberate in the belief that it represented low-lying rocks that were not a threat. I also think that, in this case, release of the CVR transcript has been extremely useful as it will have spurred some vigorous discussions in every SAR crewroom and management office in both the UK and Eire, leading to positive safety outcomes well in advance of the full report's publication. I'm sure that this was the intent of the AAIU team - well done to them.

There are lots of learning points already arising from this accident but the big 'take-home' lesson is this: never, ever overfly a radar contact in IMC below MSA. Simple.

Last edited by louisnewmark; 20th Apr 2017 at 14:04. Reason: Spelling
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 14:16
  #1328 (permalink)  
 
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Sim training is as good as those setting the rules allow it.

I watched a well known Northsea Operator with Operations around the World refuse to embrace Sim Training until forced to by the customer, then they flew crews halfway around the World to Texas with the Sim training within a couple of hours of their arrival, then insisted the training secnnario's have nothing to do with the area in which the crews actually flew, dictated what training was done, AND which instructors could do the training.

That the Sim school dealt with customers from all points of the Globe and by being at the Factory where the aircraft was designed and produced thus having access to expert technical advice and historical data.....the Operator insisted it knew better on all issues.

The laugh is I endured the farce the Sim Training we got and being close friends with several of the Instructors we still found ways to derive benefit by being there. Later I was an instructor there and conducted training for many of the Pilots from my former employer.

I did Recuse myself when tasked to do the training on a former house mate and training captain/ops manager/type captain....as I knew I could not be objective on his evaluation knowing of his incompetence and bad attitude.

I did ride along during his Sim Training under the guise of evaluating the instructor. It was actually to be a witness as we assumed he would fail to meet the standard and would try to blame the instructor.

He did not let us down...and his fellow trainee being the Senior Training Captain in the Company got to see for himself what happened and had a good laugh at seeing an attitude adjustment happen in real time.

Sim training is only as good as it is allowed to be.

It is a Sim.....and not the real aircraft....so it is more procedures and concepts that the Sim is best suited to provide and those strengths should be made best use of during training.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 14:23
  #1329 (permalink)  
 
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Lonewolf, attrition level is something still present in (NATO) military operations. This has not changed because it is something inherent to the military. You could be tasked even for a suicide mision if the command decides it.

In the day to day life of military units the approach is as follows. They use risk matrices to determine the level of command required to give the green light. The more the risk level, the higher the level of the authority that can approve it. But no mission is theoretically "forbidden". The attrition level is something more implicit but still present.

Of course you train as much as you can in order to reduce the level of risk in any situation but accepting that any level of risk is acceptable if the president gives the order to go.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 14:24
  #1330 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by louisnewmark View Post
Those who know, know. Those who don't often either presume that their non-SAR techniques are used in SAR or, more regrettably, shout ever louder either to get a bite or to convince the uninitiated that they really do know.

There are lots of learning points already arising from this accident but the big 'take-home' lesson is this: never, ever overfly a radar contact in IMC below MSA. Simple.
LOUISENEWMARK

Those who don't know don't know either. NEVER EVER OVERFLY A RADAR CONTACT - this is not a SAR Technique. Its basic common sense!

But many thanks for clearing up several pages of the bleeding obvious with a totally pointless, holier than thou, "we are so so special"....post.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 16:11
  #1331 (permalink)  
 
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DB, I absolutely agree that it's basic common sense and any of my colleagues would agree - yet, for perhaps a number of reasons, it seems to have happened here.

Apologies if my previous post seems to be of the "we are so special" variety; I'm certainly not and wouldn't want anyone to believe that I thought that way, but my point was that the training that my colleagues and I receive is rather better than certain posters on here would like to think (or like others to think). Yes, there's the bleeding obvious, but there's also an inordinate amount of spurious nonsense!
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 16:31
  #1332 (permalink)  
 
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Loiusenewmark. Thanks for your gracious post and maybe I was a bit quick to fire off. I agree with all you say and you are, in my opinion, 100% correct about flying over the Red Blobs.
Like I have said repeatedly on this thread. I have a huge respect for the SAR Community and would much prefer this to have been caused by something other than the crew. However, it seems, from what we have learned in the AAIB report that this is not the case.

I just cant get my head around the 200 feet thing and the lack of real response when the RADALT began to kick off. On one hand, it implies they studied the guides and decided that the rocks were nothing and therefore not a problem to fly over. (albeit this being a crass departure from conventional wisdom in any circumstance). However, if they had done the study then surely they would have realised the height of Blackrock.

I understand your commitment and appreciation of your training. However, training without underlying competence, discipline and sensible procedures (who steers the helicopter) amounts to not much at all. It seems on that on this day, for reasons we will probably never know, a whole lot of cheese holes lined up to supplement what was essentially an underlying poor practice of probably routinely accepting overflight of RADAR targets at daft heights.

I also cant understand that if the rear crew called for a change of heading why the PF just did not do it rather than asking the PNF to make this change. Is this normal? PF should control the trajectory of the helicopter at all times.

We have this a lot with automation philosophies and how organisations chose to set out their stall. I believe that the PNF can make preselection's, but only the PF should control the final trajectory, ie engagements or datum changes. The alternative is effectively 2 x pilots trying to fly the helicopter at the same time which is OK if they both remain in the loop but sucks a lot when one of them drops out of the loop....like appeared to happen here.

If the PF had immediately changed the heading instead of asking for that change, the outcome may well have been a couple of pairs of brown trousers and beer tab for the rear crewman. As it was the outcome was somewhat less positive. This delay lies at the heart and soul of automation philosophy and setting out habits (SOPs) that work in extremis and in your favour rather than act like a ticking time bomb to catch you out when you least expect it.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 17:42
  #1333 (permalink)  
 
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Lots of good points, DB, but it seems to me that there were a lot of other factors contributing to the crew's apparent loss of SA. For example, a) nobody is at their sharpest at 2:00am, b) they flew a recognised company route that I presume was intended for use in poor weather and, surely, nobody would approve or continue to accept such a route that overflies a 280 ft rock, c) for some reason it seems possible that they believed the rocks to be low, and so were happy to overfly them, d) they were unfamiliar with the local topography. Points c) and d) may have reinforced their reliance on point b).

Forgive me if you know the next bit, but here goes: the aircraft's roll channel would have been coupled to the nav kit to follow the route. When initially alerted to the need for a heading change the PF followed the usual multi-pilot procedure by asking the PM to select the roll channel into 'heading' mode so that the PF could then manually select the heading bug, and hence the aircraft, to the desired heading. That's absolutely fine and safe in normal fully-coupled circumstances but, in this case, neither pilot appears to have appreciated the urgency. Instead of overriding the autopilot by manually moving the controls to change the aircraft's flightpath rapidly, as would probably have been appropriate, the pilots used up valuable time by following automation SOPs. By the time the urgency was emphasised it was too late to avoid the island.

It seems that the pilots were complying with the tech crewman's direction, but in an inappropriate (with hindsight) manner. SOP techniques in non-SOP circumstances.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 17:56
  #1334 (permalink)  
 
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DB - I have been watching pilots perform in the 139 sim for more than 10 years and I can tell you that if you want to guarantee misselection of AP modes under IMC conditions in an MP environment then get the PF to make them. If the PIC wants to effectively manage the situational awareness then I suggest he act as PM. That way he gets to be a more effective manager of the situation and make the AP selections whilst vetting all that the PF does.

We have just written the 139 FCOM for offshore and so this is a very active area of discussion.

G

PS - I wouldn't rule out the flat cross-cockpit gradient as a factor. BTW you can move the HDG bug using cyclic trim in the 139 so maybe a better system than that on the S92.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 18:21
  #1335 (permalink)  
 
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Geoffers - cyclic trim controls the hdg bug (in HDG mode) in the S-92 also. I think that's what the PF intended to use.

PS - Very good point about the flat cross-cockpit gradient.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 18:49
  #1336 (permalink)  
 
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Rescue 116 crash: New search for missing crew

Army personnel and Garda experts to take part in two-day mission on Blackrock Island
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...crew-1.3054295
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 19:07
  #1337 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY View Post
I just cant get my head around the 200 feet thing and the lack of real response when the RADALT began to kick off. On one hand, it implies they studied the guides and decided that the rocks were nothing and therefore not a problem to fly over. (albeit this being a crass departure from conventional wisdom in any circumstance). However, if they had done the study then surely they would have realised the height of Blackrock.
The RADALT warning came when they passed over the Carraigs. The captain knew what they were. She didn't know that from the guide "plate" because that doesn't have them. She is looking at a moving map which does. The RADALT doesn't only give the warning, it displays what the new radar altitude is. Somewhat less than it was. For a moment, and then goes back to 180 or 200, whatever it was set at.

At the warning point, and given she has correctly analyzed the reason, what would you have her do? You say crew error, so at this point, what does she do?

She incorrectly assumed that was BLKMO, which doesn't jive with the distance to waypoint info. If she is looking at a map which shows the two little Carraigs, surely that map has Blackrock as well, although as the report says, depending which map is up on the display, it may contain anywheres from no to the correct information re the altitude of Blackrock.

The Carraigs didn't show on radar, so not a big deal if they were overflown. Blackrock may or may not have shown on radar, and the large target may have been the Achill coast about 3 miles away. The crewman saw an island. It wasn't a radar return. What should she have done?

BLKMO: A geographic point on the Operatorís Route Guide at which the arrival into Blacksod was to commence; it is close to Black Rock.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 19:21
  #1338 (permalink)  
 
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The PO said they were 1.3 miles from BLKMO.
He then said "small target six miles at eleven o'clock".
Then "Large, out to the right there"
PF replied "A small little island... that's BLMO itself".
So her BLMO comment cannot refer to the six mile target,as 1.3 had already been given as distance.
So she either pointed at something they had visual on. Or she pointed at his radar display or her own map display. What she pointed at could be the "Large, out to the right" what she thought was BLKMO.
Then the guy in the back said "Come right"
She asked for confirmation. She thought BLKMO was to the right.
I think it could have been Achill that was mistaken for Black Rock, as Black Rock was, of course, right in front of them.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 21:32
  #1339 (permalink)  
 
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Cnpc, for a start, the moving map, the paper map and the EGPWS do not matter once you are 200 feet in the dark over the sea.

All the matters is the RADAR, followed by RADALT. FLIR would help. NVG they did not have.

So you ask me the question. I answer. I would have the PF flying AND fully controlling the helicopter. I would have the RADAR image on the PF and PNF MFD.

It the Radar was correctly tuned. PF sees target. PF announces target and makes a correction to the trajectory. PNF concurs. The simplest, quickest smartest way to operate a third genearation helicopter at night. In addition the Commander would be PNF and the Co-0pilor PF.

I absolutely vehemently disagree that the PNF should have any control of the aircrafts trajectory UNLESS the PF becomes disorientated. It's f****ing madness to have the aircraft and AP modes being controlled by two people. PNF pre-selects, PF checks and Authorises. Once the mode is engaged PF drives the helicopter by knobs or trim switches, or if warranted, flys through. PF totally responsible for the aircrafts trajectory, coupled or uncoupled. PNF monitoring the trajectory and the FMA indications.

It's gobsmacking what people have just posted about automation. Surely even the most mentally deficient can understand that pissing about with silly over complex INAPPROPRIATE AUTOMATION SOPS almost certainly was the last hole in this Swiss cheese.

Geoffers, all I can say is you are not taking your guys in the right direction. Please re think it through. If you PF is miselecting then more training required. But you cannot have the Helicopter trajectory shared between two people.

Last edited by DOUBLE BOGEY; 20th Apr 2017 at 22:00.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 22:06
  #1340 (permalink)  
 
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DB is right....one Pilot "drives"...the other monitors and assists!
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