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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

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Old 30th Mar 2017, 15:51
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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OK......a few questions, hopefully not all silly ones, I'm just curious

On a flight like the one planned, how much ATC involvement would there have been?

Apparently there were no mayday calls...but wouldn't there have been discussions with Llanbedr or Valley or somewhere along that part of the flightplan...discussions about the weather, if it was as bad on one side of the mountains than where they were...what the situation was for a diversion or permission for divert....???

Radar contact lost at 16:15 yesterday...but what about radio contact...when did they stop communications and who was the last ones to have spoken to the pilot, what was said, did the weather enter the discussions??

Very little has been released about the RT...surely they spoke to someone, somewhere??
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 16:39
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Originally Posted by justmaybe View Post
Don't mean to be insensitive, but given that we were all mandated to carry elt/plb might have thought that there would be some indications...
This report suggests that last August was a deadline. (There may be updates).
https://www.flyer.co.uk/elt-or-plb-b...t-from-august/
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 17:13
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Why is it when something like this happens you all turn into experts all of a sudden!! Let the professionals handle it and stop speculating!

Thoughts to the families involved
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 17:23
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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It staggers me we continue to have faith in the PLB/ELT/EPIRB. Aircraft are stuffed with them but more often than not they fail to activate or be activated.

Duty of care of the ad hoc operator is to provide flight following until destination reached. This can be done on a smart phone nowadays. An ELT signals bounces around the globe via telephone lists and may eventually start a trawl and search if the records are up to date, if the aircraft is carrying the correct complement.

A satellite tracker IS reliable .... a simple burst transmission of lat and long every 3 mins or so, not a 2 minute conversation. It works. It provides a track; if the flight stops abruptly at least you have a point within 3 minutes of where it probably is located. You can see if they turned back due to weather, it's blindingly obvious.

A flight follower would have realized where the aircraft was yesterday and reduced the uncertainty and time wasted for search and rescue crews.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 17:39
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Have only read that the aircraft was lost from radar, I would assume at low level this would happen between Welshpool and Bala. Upon reaching on a westerly track, Rhinog Fawr is is 700 metres AMSL, and flying west from Trawsfynydd at 229 metres AMSL, the terrain goes op to 366 metres AMSL, this is serious mountain territory. Valley is 10 metres AMSL, at with a reported clouse base of 300 ft at the time. Not sure if I agree Trawsfynydd was mistaken for the sea as someone pointed out is is quite small and does not has a coastal look.

Was the aircraft ever picked up on radar over the sea, and even if it ever made it over the sea, would anyone turn back into mountains, the sensible thing to do would have been to continue west and request VDF QDMs or radar headings from RAF valley once clear of the Phwelli penisulla divert into RAF valley below 300ft, ATC would probly able to advise when it was safe to turn right onto a northely heading.

What I do not understand as there seems a different thinking in some rotary wing pilots compared to fixed wing regading MSA and low level flying. I think this is based on the fact that some rotary wing pilots think in the back of their mind, "well if it gets bad, I can land on a field", that certainly would have been an option Welshpool. Bala and Trawsfynydd which would have had playing fields, and there is an abundance of B&B's and country hotels, welsh hospitality and lamb suppers. My second thought is that the second thought patterm may be, "if the weather gets bad, I'll do a 180 turn and fly back out of the valley. Interestingly rarely are of these options are available to a fixed wing pilot. Once you enter valley in less that optimal conditions you are committed. My other difficulty it that how rapidly mountain weather can change, in a variety of ways, I've seen rolling fog form below me while walkingon the fells in the lakes in less that twenty minutes.

The RAF Chinook accident, from Belfast to Inverness, which flew into the Mull of Kintyre with very important passengers, in poor weather, why had they not planned to climb to MSA upon poor weather? Likewise the rotary wing accident in London, where the aircraft flew into a crane on top of a tower block, the pilot is poor weather, and thinks 100ft clearance over a high building is acceptable, worse still he was using his mobile, for which I do not think the AAIB stated was a factor or was wrong.

While I do not want to single out helicopter pilots for CFIT in poor weather, I recall an fixed wing accident, two private pilot's flying from the midlands to Blackpool in a C152, while over Staffordshire or Cheshire, they inadvertantly entered IMC, they did not hold IMC ratings, while intially they were as I recall working Manchester, they apparently decided to head due west and descend over the sea. Two problems, they would need to stay south of the Liverpool and Manchester Zones, but north of Snowdonia, end result they impacted with Tryfan at about 2700 ft with fatal results.

At the time the CAA Flight Handling Test (GFT) required to demonsrate inadvent entry in to cloud, but not having failed to resume VFR, immediate climb to MSA, declare emergency and radar vectors to a descent in a safe (metwise) area. This was a failure by CAA standards.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 17:52
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Why is it when something like this happens you all turn into experts all of a sudden!! Let the professionals handle it and stop speculating!
Totally disagree. Everybody here has deep sympathy with the families. It's these discussions read by the community, that hopefully plants enough seeds in enough minds to consider that ' lets cancel today ' may be the most prudent option next time. This accident looks like bad weather is a factor and is nearly always the most common denominator in fatals.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 17:58
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Helifat ... Could it be some of us are experts in our own field. I understand your concerns about speculation, especially as I understand six children have now lost parents, but putting asside the AAIB report, the discussion on here could actually make a change in the future.

Sir Korsky, I agree if it was VFR, and I think a type rated pilot (expert) has already stated the aircraft performance, the aircraft and pilot, would not be able to maintain IFR or MSA.

I speculated that this would be CFIT either side of a low level corridor, was my speculation right or wrong?

Last edited by Homsap; 30th Mar 2017 at 18:10.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:12
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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I'm a fixed wing pilot (C182) and flew into Caenarfon at the weekend. Despite the cavok conditions I almost got caught out by the rotor in the lee of the Snowdonian range (1000fpm down + very turbulent).
I note from the Valley metars that there was a brisk (20kt+) north-easterly wind on the day of the accident . Do helicopters cope well with turbulent conditions?
G-XLTG
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:14
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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@Homsap:
The RAF Chinook accident, from Belfast to Inverness, which flew into the Mull of Kintyre with very important passengers, in poor weather, why had they not planned to climb to MSA upon poor weather?
Without wishing to divert from the current thread. ZD576 has too many unknowns to be a good example. But in short they couldn't because MSA was outside the then icing clearance.
EG
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:15
  #70 (permalink)  

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Victims identified
Businessman from Manchester and his family are victims of Snowdonia helicopter crash tragedy - Manchester Evening News
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:19
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EXGrunt......Thank you for pointing that out, what would there limitation in terms of icing levels on that day? I accept there may have been tactical considerations based on the PAX, that I will never know. but a C130 or civilan charter might have been better based on your icing limitations comments.

Last edited by Homsap; 30th Mar 2017 at 19:01.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:28
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Why would they not have thought 'Hang on the weather looks a bit sh*t, lets route round the North coast instead of through the mountains'?

RIP
Maybe more obvious: Why would they not have thought 'Hang on the weather looks a bit sh*t, lets hop on a Ryanair instead of through the mountains'? Or maybe charter a bizjet if they don't want to wait in line to sit with the peasants? After all they wanted to fly from Luton to Dublin! Both parents fly their helicopter into questionable weather without the need to do so, children sitting at home. These are the kind of decisions I don't understand.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:43
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Before they identified the people involved, I had in my mind (when they said businessman) someone in their mid-fifties with a PPL and his own helicopter as someone who might think taking that route with such a poor forecast and few options would be an acceptable course of action.

Sadly I seem to have been proven right and it looks (with a very small percentage of another cause) like another CFIT in poor weather in a private helicopter....How may more before people take notice and learn from others mistakes???
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:49
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The couple, who lived close to where the helicopter took off in Milton Keynes, had a 14-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter.
Here are the real victims. I hope this never happens to any of you again.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:53
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by whoknows idont View Post
Maybe more obvious: Why would they not have thought 'Hang on the weather looks a bit sh*t, lets hop on a Ryanair instead of through the mountains'? Or maybe charter a bizjet if they don't want to wait in line to sit with the peasants? After all they wanted to fly from Luton to Dublin! Both parents fly their helicopter into questionable weather without the need to do so, children sitting at home. These are the kind of decisions I don't understand.

Im pretty sure they didn't sit there and think, hmm the weather is [email protected] lets go for it and try not hit anything on the way.

I think the issue is the level of knowledge of a PPL and the misunderstanding or lack of comprehension of the risks involved in IMC flight above or below MEA (obviously not advocating flight below MEA IMC!), especially without an IR. Even if they have done the whole '5 minutes of inadvertent fight into IMC' on the PPL LST.

I've been the PPL, I can appreciate the knowledge gap and the feeling that it will be ok, what can go wrong, ive got my garmin! It really wont be ok... there's a lot to learn.

RIP guys, a sad loss.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 18:58
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Sirkorsy and Crab.......

Well said. there needs to be a change in the culture 'in pressing on' for PPL (H) rotary wing pilots in poor weather.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 19:02
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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I'm sure the majority of people on here have thousands of hours under their belts, and then question the actions of a PPL

A PPL is 45 hours, it really is nothing at all, we forget the lack of experience gained in those hours, yet the freedom of the skies is given.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 19:19
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A PPL is 45 hours, it really is nothing at all, we forget the lack of experience gained in those hours, yet the freedom of the skies is given.
The owner has been flying since 2000, and has high experience.
I have no idea whether he was the one actually flying yesterday
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 19:23
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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RIP. I was thinking of the Matthew Harding crash in 97 and remembered that was an overwhelmed pilot, changing weather,I think not qualified for IR and it was suggested he was under commercial pressure. Not suggesting the same here, but with no call makes me wonder.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 19:29
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Originally Posted by helicrazi View Post
I'm sure the majority of people on here have thousands of hours under their belts, and then question the actions of a PPL

A PPL is 45 hours, it really is nothing at all, we forget the lack of experience gained in those hours, yet the freedom of the skies is given.
The PPL also has the freedom of the ground! No-go decision made real easy if you don't have to justify it in front of paying customers or employers...
I don't know about you but I've been overly suspicious about the weather from day one of flying.
And we are not talking about a 20yo happy-go-lucky thrill-seeker here. We are talking about two parents taking an unnecessary risk to leave their children as double orphans in an instance.
If they took that risk without being at least partially aware of it then they didn't do their homework. Not as a pilot and not as a parent, period.
NO understanding whatsoever!

Forgot to add: The fact that they took three more parents along for their ambitious ride certainly doesn't make it any better.
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