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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

Old 31st Mar 2017, 07:24
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tartare View Post
...Hadn't considered the obvious that a safe hover in IMC regardless of performance and all up weight would be very difficult and dangerous...
No such thing as a safe hover in IMC. Even IFR helicopters with an auto-hover system bolted on to a 4-axis AFCS is not for hovering in IMC. And IFR helicopters have a minimum speed for IMC limitation in the RFM, typically about 50 knots. Hovering is a visual manoeuvre, usually done with reference to the ground.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 07:25
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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What colour is granite on that system?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 07:33
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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I'm assuming everyone else noted the tragic irony with the description that the pilot had "high experience"?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 07:39
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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When a tragic event like this appearsto have “pilot” decisions / actions as a contributory factor it makes all pilots think hard. It is a natural human reaction to seek explanations that allow one to find comfort; “that can’thappen to me because…. “ In this case,any CPL or ATPL holder can grab the straw of “PPL” or “rich business man”because they are neither, so it won’t happen to them.

It is clear from the records that accidents for which the investigating authority has concluded that “pilot” decisions / actions were a contributory factor happen to pilots of all levels of qualification, training,currency and recency. Therefore a focuson the pilot license type is delusional; that response actually denies the possibility to learn from the tragedy, and so hope to reduce the risk of futurereoccurrence.



The common factor in accidents where pilot decisions /actions is a contributory factor is just that; the pilot made poor decisions and / or took the wrong actions. Typically that happened not once but several times. Looking at one CPL, experienced, current-piloted accident flight :the weather was poor (but he lifted), the client said “don’t bother” (but he went), overhead the destination he aborted due to weather and could have gone home, but instead chose to drop through a “sucker hole” to divert, he could have hovered, noisily, awaiting landing permission but chose to orbit, went IMC and then CFIT. How many options to “do something different”?



As others have said, experience / currency /recency are useful IF they lead to better decision making; to keep you out of the situations where your experience might be required to get you out of trouble. So it is about the mindset of the pilot, and having the sense, and the strength of mind, to stay on the ground, chose a more appropriate route, or simply to put it in a field before you run-out of VFR.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:04
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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One way to reduce the possibilities of this happening is to raise the WX limits for VFR flight to something actually workable. 1000 feet and 5 Km would be a good start.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:08
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by industry insider View Post
Long time since I flew one but a 335F1 probably couldn't hover OGE with a full load.
Actually should do over 4000ft in the U.K. (Nil wind etc.)
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:12
  #127 (permalink)  
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So do we know if they actually coasted out into Caernarfon Bay and then turned back or if they just crashed originally heading west? Ceiling in the bay (Aberdaron report) was 600 ft amsl (300 ft agl).
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:19
  #128 (permalink)  
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One way to reduce the possibilities of this happening is to raise the WX limits for VFR flight to something actually workable. 1000 feet and 5 Km would be a good start.
DB, Never a more sensible statement written on PPRuNe.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:34
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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DB .... You have got to be joking . I only get probably 10 days a year as good as that .
We all know that low cloud base and poor viz can be dangerous but equally it can be perfectly safe ( with ref to CFIT ) . 4-500 ft with 2-3 k viz is no problem if you just slow right down and keep a minimum forward visual distance . If that reduces to 1 k then stop ! More rules will do nothing to help . How many people get taught how to fly safely in deteriorating weather ? . When is time to say no more ?
Some of us were lucky and have flown with mentors but most are just let loose with their licence to learn their by their mistakes . Inadvertent IMC means you were going too fast . Even when faced with an oncoming fog bank you still have time to turn or land if you are going slow enough . It is no different to driving in fog and being able to stop within the distance you can see . You would never attemp a VFR flight at that height in the hills , so he was either intentionally IFR or went inadvertently IFR and was climbing to MSA . I can't see any alternative .
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:37
  #130 (permalink)  

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There was no reason not to take a safer route - either of the low level routes take hardly any longer and they're much safer.

But...it could have been something else, eg medical emergency, technical problem. Just because the weather is marginal it doesn't mean these things don't happen.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:39
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Have we ruled out mechanical failure?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:43
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Mechanical failure is very rare and even more so just at the moment you are next to a mountain peak in very bad weather with no viz ...
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:47
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by configsafenot View Post
With the bad weather that closed in, could there have been a degree of spacial disorientation too?


I think when CFIT is mentioned in this case it is not meant that the Helicopter was necessarily under Control when it impacted. LoC is a highly probable scenario in the given case.
When losing ground reference in the given circumstances in mountaineous terrain and below MSA there is a 50/50 choice between keeping airspeed up trying to maintain Control and risking hitting of Cumulu Granitus horizontally or slowing down and loosing control hitting Cumulu Granitus vertically. Which one was chosen in this case we will find out when the report comes out.
The probability that it was something completely different what caused this accident is probably low single digit.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 08:50
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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The additional rule that DB suggested would not have prevented this flight from launching - those conditions were met at that time.


Additional rules are neither necessary, nor would they be effective; anyone entering IMC (without rating / aircraft / etc) is breaking so many "rules" already, and non of those prevented / saved them.


This is all about having a safety culture and mindset. It used to be called "airmanship".
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 09:14
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, I agree. If you stick with the rules as they are now, apply prudent airmanship for VFR category flights to remain in VMC, then inadvertent IMC leading to an accident just shouldn't happen. If you're flying below the MSA you need to be able to see far enough around you, at an appropriate speed, to avoid flying into something that would ruin your day. There should always be a plan B option, divert or turn around. And if plan B fails, then plan C should be self-evident. Land at the nearest suitable landing site and wait it out. Especially when flying in the mountains you need to leave yourself a wide margin for plans B and C. And plans B and C should always be considered together, because once plan B fails it might be too late to start thinking about plan C if the only suitable place to land has just disappeared into the weather. It really is difficult for me to comprehend doing anything else.

Last edited by gulliBell; 31st Mar 2017 at 09:26.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 10:03
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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I did not say that my proposed rule would save all of them. However, when faced with the prime causal factor of an accident being Flight in poor WX leading to inadvertent IMC, increased the margin between the cloud and the ground and being able to see obstacles ahead in good time, is for me, a no brainier.

Nigelh clearly identifies the commercial pressure to fly VFR in quite frankly, dangerous conditions to all but the most experienced pilots.

People need protecting from their inherent potential to behave stupidly or make poor decisions. Like it or not, in aviation, that requires rules.

COCIS is an invitation to an early bath for most pilots.

In addition, as a community or aviators, the unique capability of the helicopter to land almost anywhere, means these recurring accidents demonstrates we are in capable of exercising that option when the WX is deteriorating or flying towards high ground. In some sense it makes us all look pathetic. The only way to improve chances is to increase the margin for error.

#raisethelimits.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 10:11
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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At last . Three sensible posts on the trot . Rules have never been the answer alone .
How many of you break speed limits ? Flying below minima is the similar . Driving fast on a wet road becomes dangerous if you do not have the required skill / training . No one can say that 120 mph on an open road driven by an experienced racing driver is inherently dangerous . The rules are there to cover bad drivers in crap cars as well .... And of course should be obeyed .Hence they are so low . Well a pilot with relatively low hours but all of them low level , often in bad viz ( say crop spraying, power line etc ) will be safer in these marginal conditions than a high hour pilot flying A to B in good conditions ( I am not including IFR pilots in this ).
If you have lived , like I do , on the side of a big hill in Yorkshire you will either become used to flying in poor viz or you will give up flying .
My advice to anybody would be don't fly in bad weather and deteriorating viz ...... But if you don't accept that then go and fly with someone with real experience. Fly into the worst weather he is happy to go into and do a precautionary landing in a field . I know many pilots who have almost never done this ..... That means they are either very cautious ( good ) , very good a predicting the weather ( good )
Or they always make it there come what may ( bad ) . I land in fields approx 5-6 times a year at least . Sometimes just for 20 mins . Time to rethink , check weather , change plan B , C . Landing should always be an easy option when you start to tense up .
Ps. I had not seen DB post and do not endorse it . Make the rules 10,000ft and 10k if you like it will make NO difference. I think you are one of the few that don't get it crab . We need change I agree , but in training and available equipment to make flights safer . You and your type with your rules have failed totally and have just reduced the number of people flying due to onerous rules and costs . Time to think again .

Last edited by nigelh; 31st Mar 2017 at 10:38.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 10:19
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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So the solution to pilots breaking existing rules is........ another rule, which magically they will not break


Sorry, but I don't have that faith in blind rulemaking.


I have lifted in conditions below your proposed rule, safely and without incident. But then, I wasn't in mountains or flying into mountains. And on-route, I have set the machine down when weather was deteriorating; whilst still VFR.


Why propose a limit that in many cases is unnecessary, and in any case would not actually save anyone when the weather deteriorates on-route?




{Edit: I was typing when Nigel posted. For me, aviation rules are there to be obeyed, not pushed, and never broken]
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 10:30
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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Great sentiment John but I don't believe totally accurate. how can you accurately measure distance for viz or one minute be 700agl but a small hill makes you momentarily 450 agl ? Let's just agree that more rules will not save lives and try something new .... It can't be any worse than what we have now . Look at the monumental improval in fixed wing safety which came with the IMC , which a lot of people, especially the professionals, hated . We need a game changer like that for our community .
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 11:09
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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I think you are one of the few that don't get it crab . We need change I agree , but in training and available equipment to make flights safer . You and your type with your rules have failed totally and have just reduced the number of people flying due to onerous rules and costs . Time to think again .
Nigel - not quite sure how or where I have advocated any change in rules other than to insist on more training for post-ppl pilots in exactly the manner you suggest.

Don't forget I have spent much of my life teaching pilots how to fly safely in far worse weather than many will ever venture into - I know it is ALL about training and education.

Personally I would be happy to fly with anyone who wanted to improve their weather appreciation/decision making but getting the right conditions to do that safely is often difficult.
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