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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

Old 31st Mar 2017, 11:10
  #141 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Oxford, UK
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Before we kept fuel at Shenington, I used to fly over to Enstone on a regular basis in the Supercub tow plane. And departing after refueling one afternoon in good VFR, Enstone Traffic asked me to have a look for a helicopter that had stopped talking to him, just to see if they were OK.

It had landed in a field to the west, and the folks were walking round and waving so I told Enstone there seemed to be no obvious problem. Perhaps they were practicing field landing. We do that a lot, in gliders. When driving the car round the countryside, keep an eye on the state of the crops; what looks like a good field from altitude may be 5 feet heigh in Maize! most cultivated fields will make a decent landing site. Rocks not so good.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 11:18
  #142 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Apparently according to several media reports, the flight to Dublin was a surprise for a niece which could put what happened under a slightly different light

If true, and the trip was a surprise and therefore a last minute decision, that could be why planning was not quite as thorough as would normally be done...such as maybe not being quite so well organised in respect to weather en-route and so forth

Not just pilots have made quick, spur of the moment decisions that have not worked out well for a variety of reasons...maybe this is one such occasion and its ended tragically
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 11:22
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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one look at the Form 215 and the TAFs, and a bit of low-level route planning would probably have saved 5 lives.
alphanumeric, I'm with you all the way here.

I don't think a change in the VFR criteria will really change anything.

This needs to be tackled at the training end of things. Under EASA it's mandatory that Threat and Error Management is taught and practised at all levels of training and operation.

Within the fixed wing ab initio field I find there is a paucity of training with respect to how to check and interpret the weather information and then make a considered decision as to whether it's prudent to launch and which route options to consider.

Whilst TAFs are part of the big picture they are specific to a location whereas the F215 gives the big picture.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 11:41
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry Crab ..... It was DB !! I think on this particular subject we are on the same side . In a completely fair non pc world you would have a higher speed limit for a qualified driver driving a modern tech car . Why should he be bound by the rules for someone with no talent ,ability or training driving a clapped out old car with poor breaks and worn tyres ??? Well the current rules for vfr are , in my opinion , possibly too low for some pilots of low ability and experience . So maybe we have different rules depending on your commitment to get the required training ?
If you only want to fly for fun on sunny days then that is fine , but if you need to fly on other days when the weather is unpredictable maybe you should do a full course of poor weather flying . This would teach you how to plan a diversion in both directions ( right or left of track ) . How to assess what the changes are in distance of viz . What height do you expect to be able to maintain . Do you have power to reduce speed to below transission if necessary to do a vertical landing ( worst case ) . Which direction do you approach wires and masts from and which way would your turn be if you decide to turn . When do you land . And lastly I still believe that an actual flight into cloud with you at the controls would hammer home the fact that you are totally unprepared and in qualified to climb to MSA .....realise that this is not really an option for the average pilot . Get to that position and you are already done for barring a big dollop of luck .
There is always the option to spend hours and hours training for ifr and then keeping in practice but very few ppl,s have the time or opportunity to do this .
So how do we start a change ? How many of you have flown into full IMC yourselves ( without rating but maybe with a rated pilot ) . Trust me it is not like flying with a hood on which is dead simple , and when low level getting glimpses of ground it is much harder than flying straight and level into a cloud at 2000 ft !!! It is totally different and I suspect most non current ppl,s would keep it together for less than 30 Sec . First time I did personally I just froze and I couldn't even change the frequencies as my brain was so overloaded . Thankfully I had a very amused and very calm mate sitting next to me . Every pilot who admits he has even just a 1% chance of making a mistake and flying into worse weather than he expected should do this . Personally I would make it part of the syllabus just like Engine off . ( but inadvertent ifr is more likely nowadays !!!!)
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 11:48
  #145 (permalink)  

The Original Whirly
 
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Apparently according to several media reports, the flight to Dublin was a surprise for a niece which could put what happened under a slightly different light

If true, and the trip was a surprise and therefore a last minute decision, that could be why planning was not quite as thorough as would normally be done...such as maybe not being quite so well organised in respect to weather en-route and so forth

Not just pilots have made quick, spur of the moment decisions that have not worked out well for a variety of reasons...maybe this is one such occasion and its ended tragically
Doesn't make sense. Any pilot checks weather in mountains, no matter what. You just don't cross Snowdonia without checking, however spur of the moment your decision. Even if you didn't check, and realised it was getting worse as you were flying, it's very easy to head north or west to the coast and safety at almost any time. You can even turn back first and then do that. Doesn't really make sense at all.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 12:01
  #146 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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A question for the experienced pilots out there. With the occasional mention of what about a "technical glitch" on this thread.

As well as considering changes in weather etc. When planning a flight do you always consider the possibility of a LASAP event?

If so does this thought process go so far to include any other specific failures, or just the generic need to reach the ground safely?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 12:24
  #147 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
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Early days and it is PPRuNe....

I was first on scene in the police helicopter when we found the wreckage of a FW that had stoofed just shy of the summit in this vicinity in Snowdon. The driver had bought the farm but there was one survivor who we airlifted to hospital. He recalled much later on stating that the pilot had worked out his MSA based on the leg he should have taken but was 'put off' by the bad weather in the area and deviated slightly but still used the MSA he had planned on. He hit just shy of the summit by 200 feet - CFIT.

I suspect (based on experience) that when the words PPL holder and IMC are thrown into the mix - it eventually forms the last two holes in the swiss cheese model.
Pilots who go inadvertent IMC who DO NOT have a current IMC rating WITH recent currency, are committing potential suicide.
If he was current and qualified - it could well have been miscalc of MSA / heading, or of course the rare issue of mechanical problem(s).
My money is on inadvertent IMC with a PPL attached.

RiP guys.

Next...........................
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 12:26
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
That is the thing with helicopters, you don't need to get to an airport to land.
Light fixed wing, too. As I can attest. Better to land in a field than press on when it's looking increasingly bad. Not easy to make that 'land' decision though; the temptation to 'just keep pressing on pressing on' is very strong.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 13:08
  #149 (permalink)  

The Original Whirly
 
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the temptation to 'just keep pressing on pressing on' is very strong.
Not so much in helicopters, because it's so easy to take off again. You can land, wait for the wx to improve, and then carry on. Though in Snowdonia that might be in a few days rather than a couple of hours!
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 13:13
  #150 (permalink)  
aox
 
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Originally Posted by configsafenot View Post
Apparently according to several media reports, the flight to Dublin was a surprise for a niece which could put what happened under a slightly different light

If true, and the trip was a surprise and therefore a last minute decision, that could be why planning was not quite as thorough as would normally be done...such as maybe not being quite so well organised in respect to weather en-route and so forth

Not just pilots have made quick, spur of the moment decisions that have not worked out well for a variety of reasons...maybe this is one such occasion and its ended tragically
Believed to be a family christening (said on local TV)

I dont think you can read this, as your speculative stance can be looked at another way.

Why would someone say a few days in advance to someone else in the family we might come, but don't tell her yet, don't actually make it a promise?

See what the weather is like on the day?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 14:06
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Heli Fat View Post
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!
... because there are a few on this board (I exclude myself) who are more knowledgeable and experienced than some of the idiots paraded in front of some of the media.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 14:20
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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If I was flying fare-paying passengers, I would be diligent with my planning and be prepared to say no.

If I was flying my wife, niece and other family members I would take even more care, not less.

A straight line route through the mountains in poor weather with a long sea crossing (any of them wearing lifejackets or immersion suits?) at the limits of range with few viable diversions is poor airmanship whichever way you cut it.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 14:25
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Dclbydalpha - a LASAP emergency IFR with cloud down to 2 or 300' beneath you is something you just have to hope doesn't happen to you. Consider it by all means but there is likely to be little you can do faced with a choice between continued flight with a serious emergency or an unplanned descent through cloud over ground you can't see into a situation where you might not get VMC below anyway.

Pray for a gap in the clouds or getting over the sea quickly.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 14:26
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
If I was flying fare-paying passengers, I would be diligent with my planning and be prepared to say no.

If I was flying my wife, niece and other family members I would take even more care, not less.

A straight line route through the mountains in poor weather with a long sea crossing (any of them wearing lifejackets or immersion suits?) at the limits of range with few viable diversions is poor airmanship whichever way you cut it.
It reminds me of the helicopter crash into a crane in Vauxhall, London, in 2013. There are plenty of times when one shouldn't take off and tell off anyone who contradicts. (viz Buddy Holly).
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 14:30
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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Crab . I agree totally with what you say . A low level route to the coast where I am told the cloud base was 600ft AMSL would have been the only potential way to have a chance of staying within common sense . It also would give you an easy option of landing to get fuel and more weather info .
Coming onto the current training requirements do you have any ideas to get people more aware and more capable?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 14:34
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Downwind .... That accident was so different in every way and not relevant. There was no reason why he should not have taken off . The weather was clear above cloud and he was a current IFR pilot in an IFR machine . He could easily have flown back to base but decided to go into Battersea at last minute .
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 15:39
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nigelh View Post
Downwind .... That accident was so different in every way and not relevant. There was no reason why he should not have taken off . The weather was clear above cloud and he was a current IFR pilot in an IFR machine . He could easily have flown back to base but decided to go into Battersea at last minute .
You may well be right but I recall severe criticism at the time. Sometimes the pilot is under pressure and needs an external agency to ground the flight for him (or her).
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 15:42
  #158 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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I agree that while Form 215 gives the big picture, but local mountain weather is unpredictable. But the Valley TAF should have been a red flag, again an actual from London Information again would have been another red flag.

I agree we could do better in the way we teach how to check and interpret the weather, but to add to that what alternative plans were in place. The accident report on G-BIIJ, a CFIT accident in Tryfan, was two young men flying to Blackpool for a stag weekend, it was suggested an instructor checked the weather, and I got the impression that meant the flight was possible. But the decision on weather was down to the PiC. Had I been the instructor based on the weather, I would authorise it on the basis that they had a plan b and c, if the weather bad. For example, diverting and hiring a car.

In respect of the recent accident aircraft in Wales, just wondered if he briefed the passengers and relatives, something like "because of the weather, I can not be sure we can complete the route, so plan b will be divert to Livepool airport, catch a ferry or flight, plan c, land at one of two hotels near Bala with heliports, I've checked they have HOTAC, and we can have a nice meal and resume the next day'. That way the passengers have no false expectations and PIC is under no pressure. How simple is that.

Regarding regulation G-LBAL accident in Norfolk, a company aircraft was to fly from a country house in Norfolk to Northern Ireland, under regulations the weather conditions were such that, if they were departing from a licenced airport, let say Norwich. the fog was below minima for a departure, yet oddly as this was country house there was no regulation as to minima. The sensible thing would have to applied the same visibility minima in an ops manual, based on the captains estimate of visibility, not least as there were fewer external refences. I find it interesting that some CEO's are too tight fisted to operate under an AOC, it is a much safer way to operate even though under regulations it not required. I also am amazed that rich or poweful people could pressurise or bully their pilot.

From the AAIB report, there are various CRM issues. Firstly assertiveness, the captain warned the CEO's PA that fog was forcasted so they needed to depart on time, the co-pliot states why dont you speak the CEO directly, CEO delays departure, by this time co-pilot expresses his concerns as fog is forming, and states to the captain, that if he had his overnight case, he would have words directly with the CEO. Aircraft departs and four are killed, two pilots, CEO and the PA I presume.

Oddly, before before the loss of G-CBAL, the same company lost G-HAUG, again non AOC, three pilots killed during a DIY GPS. The CEO did not learn that an AOC, might be the way forward, as AOC operations are externally checked.

Last edited by Homsap; 31st Mar 2017 at 16:21.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 15:55
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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Come on correct info please.....

It was G-LBAL not G-CBAL thats a PA-28 at Redhill
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 16:13
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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Coming onto the current training requirements do you have any ideas to get people more aware and more capable?
Nigel, short of giving out our phone numbers and imploring those about to make trips in bad weather to call us and run it past someone who might note the flaws in their cunning plan - no.

In the military you have an authoriser for every sortie who you run your intended plan past and they will consider your currency, fitness for flight and host of other things. That clearly won't work in GA but phoning a friend might help.
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