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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

Old 2nd Apr 2017, 17:37
  #221 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps they've more extensive experience of flying at low level, in poor weather than you??
Perhaps not, some have I'm sure and some may have not. I have done a lot of scud running in my time sir! a lot!
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 17:42
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rotorspeed View Post
Then he could have had a gyro or autopilot problem which was not noticed. Or instead of having ALT engaged, had VS and that was actually in slight down so caused an unrecognised gradual descent.

Or hit a severe rotor in the Lee of the ridge that he hit and the AP disengaged...
Given that he hit so close to the summit with lots of altitude beneath him to the valley floor it doesn't really look like he got caught at the end of a valley. Looks more like he was trying to get over the mountains in AP when something didn't work out as it should, being terrain higher than he thought (i.e. being somewhere else than expected), or helicopter not able to maintain/reach required altitude quickly enough or the AP kicking out at an inappropriate moment (e.g. due to turbulence/downdraft) and the pilot losing control in IMC or another event roughly along these lines.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 17:51
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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chopjock,
2000hrs and a PPL. Be careful there Sir, to quote

'I have done a lot of scud running in my time sir! a lot'
Sounds like a recipe for another bent machine to me.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 17:51
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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Suddentwang - care to elaborate on your icing at 2500' with a zero isotherm at 6000'? Carb icing or engine icing maybe, but not airframe icing.

The weather IIRC was just claggy warm sector conditions, no embedded CB or severe rotors with moderate turbulence at worst. Fine weather for an IFR transit if that is how you have planned it and can get in at the other end.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 18:14
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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Newfie
Sounds like a recipe for another bent machine to me.
Thanks for the concern, but I do look where I'm going!
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 18:34
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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DB ......... What I wrote was this ....
You really only need about 50-100m of viz to be able to taxi safely I would have said , on gentle ground . ( this is not a recommendation but just what you could do as part of your finding a safe place to land ) However add in the different high odd angles of a mountain side and then throw in a good dose of turbulence etc you may find yourself running out of power when downwind and running out of ability to control it .

Now I accept it may not have been put across eloquently but it's pretty obvious I am talking about part of a process of landing safely . At this point you are already in the shit .... You should never be in this position . My point was that it is possible to " position " a helicopter to a safe place in ideal ground . I make it quite clear that it would be nigh on impossible in mountains !!!!!
I know you are a cantankerous old boy but please lay off this one time . Nothing I have said advocates flying in mountains in bad viz .... Especially if you lack the experience and especially if you have no urgent reason to do it .
Thanks !!
Ps . Just remember most of us who are actually pilots, genuinely want to put an end to these awful accidents . You have a wonderful blind belief in the rule book , which I am afraid I don't share . I would have thought it was time to have a rethink and look more carefully at training and airmanship. Normal law abiding people do sometimes speed and that is against the rules . In the real world people I am afraid do these things . Not you obviously, but others . I just want to give them more tools in their flying tool box to be able to deal with the unexpected as a lot of them are flying around totally unprepared....

Last edited by nigelh; 2nd Apr 2017 at 18:52.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 19:05
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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Nigelh:

Have you ever actually tried it in 50m vis? Do you actually know what 50m vis looks like???
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 20:55
  #228 (permalink)  
 
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Its the old story of trying to save time and fuel.

Wrexham,Hawarden and the North Wales coast and they would still be alive.

Why do rich people want to cut corners?
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 20:58
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arfur Dent View Post
As someone wrote in an earlier post, the crux of this (I suspect) is the apparent absence of a Plan B/C for the intended flight. Diverting to Valley and getting a taxi to Holyhead and a ferry across to Dublin is an obvious Plan B but had this been discussed and was there time left before the Christening? Turning back and getting a Ryanair/Easy flight to Dublin was also a valid alternate plan.
It seems outrageous but 5 people have died because the weather over the Welsh mountains was a lot worse than the weather around Milton Keynes and nobody had anticipated it.
What an absolute tragedy.
The weather over Snowdonia is always crap Arfur.

Up the border and along the coast is the way to go.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 21:17
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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Jay - it would appear so although I spent quite a few months at Valley doing the Gnat course many moons ago and we often flew up the A5/Ogwen valley and all over Wales in pretty good weather. I agree though, if I had enough fuel with 5 up to make it to Dublin, I wouldn't go anywhere near the mountains. Mind you, just take the safer route and refuel if that's required.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 22:26
  #231 (permalink)  
 
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Crab
Agree airframe icing unlikely unless Supercooled dunno where the front was that day but many manufacturers state +10c and below in vis moisture or less
than 1500m vis. for the engines.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 22:36
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arfur Dent View Post
Jay - it would appear so although I spent quite a few months at Valley doing the Gnat course many moons ago and we often flew up the A5/Ogwen valley and all over Wales in pretty good weather. I agree though, if I had enough fuel with 5 up to make it to Dublin, I wouldn't go anywhere near the mountains. Mind you, just take the safer route and refuel if that's required.
Low cloud and severe turbulence are the killers for small helicopters and fixed wing Arfur.The Snowdonia area catches so many people out.
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Old 2nd Apr 2017, 23:22
  #233 (permalink)  
 
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Helicrazy ..... I can only assume you can't read . Read my post again . Nobody would ever intentionally fly at all in 50 or 100 or even 500 m of viz .ok ? I am only saying that if you were stupid enough to get into that sort of situation you still have the option of hover taxiing to the nearest flat clear spot to land . You can still salvage the situation you have got yourself into !! That is the beauty of a helicopter ... You always have the option to slow right down and land , even if you have already messed up and gone into really poor weather . As I said before these options reduce if you go into hostile territory like forests and mountains.
Can we please drop this whole nonsense as we all know , just because something can be done doesn't mean it should !!!
The important point is , are we going to do anything proactive to help improve these statistics of helicopters flying into things ? Surely that is what should come from this tragedy.
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Old 3rd Apr 2017, 06:05
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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nigelh:

what you said was: "You really only need about 50-100m of viz to be able to taxi safely I would have said , on gentle ground . ( this is not a recommendation but just what you could do as part of your finding a safe place to land"

Again, its not going to happen, I don't know what you think the scenario is where you find yourself in thick fog and able to transition from forward flight to a hover in this sort of vis, its not going to happen, especially in a helicopter without all the 'bells and whistles'

I ask again as you have ignored the question, have you ever hovered in 50m vis, and do you actually know what 50m vis looks like? As if you did actually know what 50m vis looks like you would realise what utter toss you are spouting.
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Old 3rd Apr 2017, 06:40
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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Again, its not going to happen, I don't know what you think the scenario is where you find yourself in thick fog and able to transition from forward flight to a hover in this sort of vis, its not going to happen, especially in a helicopter without all the 'bells and whistles'

I ask again as you have ignored the question, have you ever hovered in 50m vis, and do you actually know what 50m vis looks like? As if you did actually know what 50m vis looks like you would realise what utter toss you are spouting.
Erm Nige mentioned 50m as manageable for hover-taxiing rather than transitioning to the hover, and I agree with him (much as it would be a last resort - as he also said).

For the record, I have hover-taxied in 50m vis in mountainous terrain, and in 10m vis (estimated) at night over the sea. Not that either is remarkable, but this thread seems to have an appetite for stating credentials at the moment.
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Old 3rd Apr 2017, 06:58
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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Have had to carry out a hoge hover-taxi in less than such viz after completely cocking-up a series of poor decisions.
Element of 'push-on-itus' as well as overconfidence of aircraft avionics kit.
Never concentrated so hard in all my life - but it was not an inconvenient 'fog-bank' that I could blame which 'caught' me out but a gradual deterioration of conditions that that got me.
After landing at the 'Blacks' and waving the pax off in an Heathrow-bound taxi (Zone was 'open' - just couldn't get there) I quickly realised that the pax would not have patted me on the back for getting him there regardless. He still caught the flight and saved some silly landing fees in the process.
No 'there go by the grace of God go I' and the usual blah - I had the wherewithal to know better but my ego convinced me otherwise.
My family have now beaten any 'ego' out of me.
I will be interested to see what the AAIB discover as the weather was forecast/actually crap for the day.
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Old 3rd Apr 2017, 06:59
  #237 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TorqueOfTheDevil View Post
Erm Nige mentioned 50m as manageable for hover-taxiing rather than transitioning to the hover, and I agree with him (much as it would be a last resort - as he also said).

For the record, I have hover-taxied in 50m vis in mountainous terrain, and in 10m vis (estimated) at night over the sea. Not that either is remarkable, but this thread seems to have an appetite for stating credentials at the moment.
But the context was being able to get to that position to find a suitable landing site. My point is, its not possible unless you are already hover taxiing and the vis clamps in, its not like there was an ILS to make the decent, and it was a squirrel, not a SAR cab

I don't dispute hovering in 50m vis, I also have, but I wasn't in a squirrel, and I am sure you weren't, and when you were, you had crew looking out every direction for things that you could bump into. And I'm guessing you had sufficient training.
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Old 3rd Apr 2017, 07:20
  #238 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nigelh View Post
..Nobody would ever intentionally fly at all in 50 or 100 or even 500 m of viz .ok ?.
Certainly not intentionally, but sometimes in the mountains you can try a little too hard and all of a sudden you're up to your neck in deep trouble. It's happened a couple of times to me, and it's not something you forget. I found myself hover taxing up a 7000' mountain in fog going from tree top to tree top, with a sling load on the hook (lucky it was only a 30' line). There was no way I would have been able to turn around and go back down the mountain, but I knew there was a helipad on top of the mountain so that's where I ended up, and waited it out for the weather to improve. So, point being, even experienced pilots can get caught out in the weather, particularly when flying in the mountains.
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Old 3rd Apr 2017, 07:50
  #239 (permalink)  
 
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Helicrazy . Don't worry , it's very easy to be misunderstood on these forums but I really tried to make it clear that this was just positioning ! The answer is yes I have also needed to hover taxi in very low viz but , as with the others , this was after very bad decision making on my part and was part of the process of finding a spot to land , ( the field I chose was full of cattle and so was the next one .) I would also point out that in the event of you crashing in this process you would at least be only doing a very slow speed so chances of survival would be good . I guess the point some of us have wanted to put forward is that as viz decreases , so should your speed ... So eventually if you have been stupid enough to get there , by the time the viz is 100m or less your speed should be 5-10 knots and not 100 knots !!
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Old 3rd Apr 2017, 07:55
  #240 (permalink)  
 
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50m Vis, only for Rescue

Had the lousy job many a-times hovering up moraines & river flats situated at very extreme altitudes to go save a Life in mist/fog/shite with less than 100metres visibility it sure ain't fun. You better know Yourself, your machine & be damn sure of the terrain with oodles of local knowledge, tons of excess power, or you'll end up a dead fool

Also had to abandon many Rescues as I considered the risk far too dangerous, which (sadly) left the Patient to die better them than me rolling-up in a ball I said
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