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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

Old 11th Mar 2018, 11:19
  #401 (permalink)  
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Crab... I am not sure how strickly applied the low level military routes are applied I would err on the side of cauction with CANP. But on weekdays, it is probably best to leave North Wales to the RAF.

To add what you said about the military briefing and authorising has a place in GA, but does not always work when someone is operating outside an organistion. But you should read AAIB G-BIIJ where the clubs instructors auuthised a flight to a stag night. The difficulty here than the instructor having checked the weather authorised him. Of course I do not how the conversation went, but my concern is here that the pilot was in the mindset that if the instructor authorised him the trip was possible.

Had it been me I think I would have perhaps asked question about his gameplan it the weather became worse, such as landing at the nearest airport or turning back and hiring a car, have they got their driving licence and a credit card with them, had the pax been briefed on the possibility that they might have to make other travel arrangemnts. I think I would kindly reminded them about the consumption of alcohol and substances, bearing in mind it was a stag night. I would add that on the fatal outbound which ended at Tryfan, there were traces of drugs in both the pilot and pax, again this says alot about the attitude of the pilot in terms of his operation.

Now going back to the military, I once went on a secondment to a University Air Squadrom, at the begining of the day an Cadet Pilot would be delegated to give a full weather briefing to his instructor and fellow cadet pilots, it was from a training point a really good training exercise.

On that basis, in the civilian world it does make me wonder if we should do something similar and get our student pilots to do something similar to place more emphasis on weather planning and having an alternate gameplan when the weather is worse than expected
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 12:44
  #402 (permalink)  
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Again I have to say that the authorisation process isn't infallible - it is one of the main areas that is discussed on military Flight Safety courses - and once the aircraft is airborne it is up to the person with their hands on the controls how the flight is actually conducted.

The authoriser is a check and balance in the aviation process and can assess if the sortie is possible under the conditions he is briefed on. If the weather changes en route it doesn't mean the pilot can charge on regardless just because he has been authorised.

I concur with your thinking regarding what questions you would ask as the authoriser - that is exactly what someone could have done with this Squirrel crash - asked the 'what ifs'.

The low level routes into and out of Valley are strictly adhered to and were created to deconflict Hawks from Mil rotary. I have seen very few CANPs in Snowdonia and only ever for USL work repairing the paths. Even civilian helicopter clubs doing mountain flying training tend not to CANP their activities.

The students giving met briefing is a standard part of the military training system.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 13:43
  #403 (permalink)  
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And that, in a nutshell, is why the system won't change and we will still see pilots attempting flights beyond their capability.

None of those objections is insurmountable but the attitude behind them sounds like the NRA when someone suggests gun control.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 14:06
  #404 (permalink)  
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It doesn't have to be officially run or cost money - it just needs to be viewed as another convention for sensible pilots.

Think of it like hillwalkers, those that value their lives when venturing out into the wilds, tell someone where they are going, their route and when they expect to be back so that the alarm can be raised if they fail to return.

All it takes is a phone call to someone you know and trust - they may just shrug their shoulders and say 'crack on Lofty' but they might just ask pertinent questions that could cause you to think again about your plan.

Sadly, the type of over-confident character who is often found in the AAIB reports, is likely to see this as a challenge to their manhood or general superiority as an individual.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 15:44
  #405 (permalink)  
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Forget any ideas about authorising flights, it's never going to happen, being totally unworkable and minimally effective. Those that need advice will never ask - they can do that now electively easily enough, by asking whoever does their LPC.

Some forget that in the general aviation world most people fly to save time, and GA's benefits can be undermined rapidly by unnecessary faff such as trying to get a flight approved by someone who may well have less of an idea than the pilot asking.

Focus needs to be on intelligent decision making, both before but particularly when actually flying, if we are to reduce accidents. There always needs to be an out from any developing difficult situation, mainly weather but also challenging approaches and departures for example. And despite what some might believe, history shows that commercial pilots can be as guilty as private pilots in doing dumb things - eg Harding and Carter AS355 accidents, Haughey 139 and several 109 accidents. And most accidents probably involve a degree of pressure, from self or others, which needs to be managed and minimised.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 16:27
  #406 (permalink)  
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I don't hear Crab saying you have to get flight approval, he is suggesting if you discus the flight with someone else preferably without a vested interest in where & when you get there it will at least make you think & may be question your own decision, when I fly or sail we always tell someone our departure \ arrival time (wife, friend, whoever) & contact them on arrival or as soon as possible.
Have always done this for 60 years when sailing just seemed sensible to do same flying other than local flights, so far managed to survive nearly 80 years.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 17:43
  #407 (permalink)  
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In days of old you used to consult with a guy in flight service or met who would give you the “brief”.

If what you were doing was not exactly too prudent it would normally be pointed out with subtlety.

In days of new, it’s anyone’s guess ……
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 17:52
  #408 (permalink)  
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Some forget that in the general aviation world most people fly to save time, and GA's benefits can be undermined rapidly by unnecessary faff such as trying to get a flight approved by someone who may well have less of an idea than the pilot asking.
And spearing into a hillside somewhere saves time how?????

There is a good adage in military flying - time to spare, go by air - which acknowledges that all sorts of things can slow down your aim of getting from A to B quickly and that rushing is often foolhardy where aviation is concerned.

If you are going to fly then do it properly and professionally even if you are not a CPL or ATPL holder - it is the mindset that makes the difference, which is why some professional pilots can make the same mistakes.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 23:46
  #409 (permalink)  
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It might come as a shock to you that civvie Street ain’t like the military and at some point you ain’t wearing the off color blue suit anymore.

What works in the Mob doesn’t necessarily transfer over from the RAF to your local Air Taxi, Corporate, or personally owned aircraft operation.

Awkward transition for some I know but at point in your life you do have to accept the fact you no longer have a Batman or a Rack to stow your Serviette.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 06:32
  #410 (permalink)  
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Hawks and SAR rotary have standard routes in, through and out of Snowdonia which are generally at low level

The hawk jockeys do a lot of low-level work, but regularly fly at all levels. Also, although they file a FP, they rarely stick to it (this is from the horse's mouth).

Re the 'phone a friend' idea, I appreciate this might cut down your workload, but it's fantasy for GA land, particularly the rotary owner community, which is almost exclusively comprised of individuals who resent asking anyone about anything that might risk denting their ego.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 07:42
  #411 (permalink)  

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Quite agree with the last statement. The basic premise is flawed, as it is with the gun control mention above. Until you change basic attitudes, you will always get accidents such as the Biggin Hill 206 crash. It's why many examiners, including myself, refuse to deal with private owners. It's a long process, having taken many years to change attitudes towards drunk driving - I don't believe legislation has helped there at all.

Having said that, many things could have happened with this accident. In trying to maintain VFR, many people try to fly as high as possible in mountains, too near the cloud base. This is a mistake, as a bit of turbulence could put you unexpectedly IMC. Couple that with the lack of any help from the stabilising surfaces at low speeds (typically below about 45 knots, but VTOSS on that machine is 55 kts if memory serves) you are in a situation where you should be climbing and speeding up, which is not instinctively what you want to do. At least with FW you get a basic stability from the machine.

Of course, that may well not have been the case here - I just mention it as a general safety point.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 07:44
  #412 (permalink)  
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TTB - when you say file a flight plan, you mean put their route on CADS and get a low flying booking I think.

I know they fly all over LFA 7 but the routes and heights (unless they have been changed after 30 plus years) in and out of Valley through Snowdonia are pretty well adhered to.

Sas - you just don't get it - I left the mil 4 years ago and am quite comfortable operating to other rules and regs - I don't think the mil auth system should be imposed on GA, I just raised the idea of a check and balance for those that might want it.

However, I think TTBs assessment of rotary owners, whilst maybe a generalisation, is certainly true of some out there (often the ones we read about on these pages).
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 07:45
  #413 (permalink)  
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Big Boys With Big Toys!

Or children of the magenta line, call it what You will!.
I just read the report.
Nr 1000 and counting.
This was a Cali type accident in slow motion.Something like that anyway.
A greatcircle track to Dublin VMC at 3000 feet in that weather.!! Then descend!!
With that experience and such fancy equipment!!!

Pure ignorance!! Sorry I call it what it is!

We are at a point in time were technology is fancy, but poorly incorporated and interpreted by incompetent operators.
I see it every second day in the right seat in airline ops.

Over- reliance on pads and apps.
Ignoring the hard facts and basic airman-ship.
It will get worse , trust me on this!
Hope I am wrong.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 08:14
  #414 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I thought I might have got it wrong but why have screenshots of that point - are they surmising that he cross checked one against the other and then selected Runway HD as his choice?
It may be an artifact of how the iPad does swapping between applications. It takes a screenshot when you move away from one app to another, then a double tap on the Home button shows a mini version of the screenshot.

So it may be one app was being used for a while, the last time the other was used was a few minutes ago therefore shows further east.

Last edited by The Nr Fairy; 12th Mar 2018 at 08:19. Reason: Removed link to N2NR accident report, already covered in earlier posts
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 08:24
  #415 (permalink)  
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Quite agree with the above, this new reliance on IPAD is not always a good thing, on entry into inadvertant with an IPAD, iwould just see as a distraction. What wrong these days with dead reckoning, use of navigation aids and a radar service? I just wonder what happens if the GPS fails.

I should say I like Garmin 430, but only as a secondary source of information.

A similar trend amongst hill walkers is the reliance on GPS, why not use a map and compass, enjoy the veiw, fresh air and escape technology for a while.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 10:21
  #416 (permalink)  
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Like it or not the reality is that efficient use of time (and money) is important in the GA world. And commercial air transport world too of course. In some areas of aviation it is much less of a priority. That means that "unnecessary faff" as I termed it, should be avoided. Necessary flight planning, aircraft preparation, and professional flying is necessary use of time and of course should be undertaken. But it should be appreciated that 99.99% of flights operate perfectly safely within the existing framework of regulations and procedures, which is why focus should be education of pilots in specific areas of high risk. Returning to the Wales accident, I think here it was a fundamental lack of spacial awareness. So the key message here is, always make sure you know where you are and what’s around you.

I stand by my view that your suggestion that “the GA community could learn something from the military where each flight is required to be authorised”, if implemented, would be an unnecessary faff and unworkable. The way you floated the idea was that each flight should be approved. But if you were going to flesh this out (which is necessary to validate the practicality of any idea) who exactly would you think this should apply to? All pilots? Just PPLs? Low time PPLs? And for flights in what weather? All, even CAVOK 20 mile hops? Or just bad weather flights? Then what weather? And who would do this? What credentials would they need to authorise flights? What notice would they need? How long would it take? How much would it cost? And then there is the big one – what insurance will they need to cover the liability risk when the relatives of crashed pilot add the authoriser to the list of parties they are going to sue? Not an issue in a mil world I’m sure, but it will be in the civilian! And then if you consider it should only be a recommendation, this has always been open to anyone to do – and those that felt they needed it could be doing it already.

Don’t get me wrong, you usually have some very good views – but I don’t think this is one of them!


If you're over the Welsh mountains and relying on dead reckoning and using nav aids (what radar service?) you're going to have a lot less spare time to think about what you're doing, looking out, looking at instruments and generally thinking, compared with glancing at an iPad moving map with your exact position and speed instantly shown. And you're Garmin 430 will give you a GPS back up anyway. And if they don't agree - sure, dial up a VOR. If you're high enough.

Totally agree on your earlier post ref reading AAIB reports though. Essential educational reading for everyone.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:25
  #417 (permalink)  
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Or aborted until the Wx improved.

"Press onitis" rears its ugly head again.................
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:43
  #418 (permalink)  
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Rotorspeed - I understand the likely resistance from the GA community and I am not advocating a mandatory compliance with another layer of regulations since there are more than enough of those already.

However, if there was an ability to ring someone of appropriate experience and credibility simply to have them cast an eye over your planned sortie (obviously of the longer, cross country variety rather than circuits) would some of those RW owners use such a facility?

Even if just one did and then aborted a planned flight rather than pushing on into another CFIT incident, it would be worthwhile.

The issues of legal responsibility and indemnity insurance are valid but definitely surmountable.

And I don't think I am the only one with ideas in this vein, there are plenty of responsible. experienced aviators who hate to see senseless waste of lives for the sake of a little education and guidance.

It's worth considering just for the sake of the families and friends who are either taken along to perish or left behind to grieve.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:46
  #419 (permalink)  

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Sir Niall Dementia was talking about this very subject some time ago.....
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:53
  #420 (permalink)  
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Yes, he prompted my last post
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