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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

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Missing Twin Squirrel: Wales/Ireland

Old 31st Mar 2017, 16:22
  #161 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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I have corrected my post to G-LBAL
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 16:48
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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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...
I don't think that's insensitive, but more to the point:

Q: why would anyone operate a half-million quid aircraft with no ADSB-out?

A: to save the price of a couple of hours flight time?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 17:45
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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But ADS-B is no good low level countrywide for ad hoc helicopter operations ..... Satellite tracking is more reliable ..... showing you instantly track, position, speed and altitude.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 18:02
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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"Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree
than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect."

— Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. 1930's

I was given a picture with the statement above by my father when I started my aviation career at PPL level & have never forgotten it since & never will..
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 18:13
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Crash site was at circa 2300ft. Terrain safe 25nm MSA for Cranfield is 2200ft and Oxford 2300ft . . . .

Nahh he wouldn't have; would he ??

Fred
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 18:18
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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ADS B Out is not necessarily cheap it depends at what level you want to participate and what equipment is already fitted.

Satellite tracking is not always that reliable. You are relying on data going through various gateways.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 18:33
  #167 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Location of Crash Site

If the photo on BBC news is correct...

Five Snowdonia helicopter victims' bodies recovered - BBC News

The location of the crash site is here...

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.82...!3m1!1e3?hl=en

The view is looking North.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 19:37
  #168 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SW Scotland
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Originally Posted by tistisnot View Post
But ADS-B is no good low level countrywide for ad hoc helicopter operations
Is that really your personal experience of ADSB-out?

Mine (albeit in a simple bushplane) is quite the opposite: i.e. that extended squitter with SIL 10^-7 ensures scarily accurate FR24 tracking in upland Britain well below the height at which en-route compliance with the common rules of the air would not be assured.

As for the cost of ES, it should be around 1 AMU unless the rest of the stuff in the panel is 15 year old junk.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 20:20
  #169 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
could have just flew around the base of the hill to the coast. guess we won't know until the report comes out in 2 years time
I think it will be a lot sooner than that, usually 1 year, no?
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 21:21
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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It is not as simple as that. Looking at my log book I have around 300 hours of flying across Wales VFR.

Most were direct line Cardiff to Valley. None were ever flown direct line.

The weather and terrain is the killer for experieneced low level pilots.

The combination of very poor visibility and turbulance is not an easy combination to cope with if you have never flown over remote mountains.

Try it at night and you really push your luck.

Been there done it and never again.
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Old 31st Mar 2017, 23:07
  #171 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
The big issue here with currency (recency) and experience is not the ability to fly the helicopter - it is the ability to make decisions, either before getting airborne or once in the air.

Planning to fly that route with the forecast weather is one of those areas where you might assess it as marginal and have a viable plan B (rtb or divert or land) or you might take the risk and push on until you have run out of options.

The first option might be that of an experienced pilot or a wary, less experienced one - the second option is likely to be that of someone who has convinced themselves they are good enough to cope with whatever happens and is often the precursor to many CFIT accidents.

I wonder if they ran their grand plan past anyone who didn't work for them so they might get the 'voice of reason' to tell them the idea was a crap one.

A frustratingly pointless loss of life.
The specifics of this tragic accident will, one hopes, become more fully understood. But one reason, I believe, why many pilots who may well start with a Plan B (C, etc) in mind, but do not implement them when indicated, is that they have kept the alternative plans to themselves and have not communicated them to passengers (who, if non-pilots, are generally entirely innocent of flight safety considerations). Once airborne, the pressure to keep going just that further mile, to look for the gap in the cloud or the lifting in visibility, can then become intense, for fear of disappointing the companions on board. We've all been there.

A method I have used over the years in both private and small commercial operations (FW light twins and turboprops) to offer some degree of self-immunisation from this temptation, is to "pre-disappoint" the passengers during the safety briefing. Or better, when discussing the intended flight some hours or days beforehand.

The spiel goes something like: "Folks, we are planning to fly to X and arrive by Y time, however in aviation there can be a number of reasons why it might become unsafe to continue and I may decide to divert, or even return to base, and we need to consider these before we go. They can include weather deteriorating below safe limits, suspected mechanical problems, if I or a passenger were to become unwell, or other possible contingencies. If any of these were to arise then the plan would be [divert to A, return to B, go by road, have dinner, etc etc]. It's unlikely any of these will occur but if they do, my decision will be final on these alternative plans. No flight is important enough to press on in such circumstances. Is everyone happy with that arrangement?"

I've never once given this briefing where all concerned didn't nod vigorously in agreement. Having committed to it, they have pre-approved and absorbed your contingent decision, should it become necessary, to divert from the original plan. Putting some gentle frighteners on them focuses their minds a bit further. (Call that TEM, if you like).

Should the need then subsequently arise to turn to plan B, etc., they will now be GLAD the pilot is doing so, rather than disappointed. More important she or he is relieved of a large element of internal pressure: that crushing reluctance to share the bad news while peering into an increasingly worrisome scene ahead. It's already been told, and the pilot can concentrate without distraction on getting safely to the alternate.

On a related topic:

"Safety Altitude" often gets discussed in incidents such as this. Over the years I have heard students and private flyers (and even some professionals) describe safety altitude for VFR flights as all or any of:

- A height you must stay above if you accidentally fly into cloud
- A height below which you must fly extra-carefully if the cloud base forces you below it.
- A height the school or company recommends you keep above unless you're a super-special pilot.
- A useful idea for students but something you can exercise discretion over when you get more qualified.

It is, of course, none of these things. It is a height at or above which, if you are forced to descend to it by deteriorating cloud base or visibility, then you MUST divert or return to better conditions. This is another decision which it is essential to "pre-make" in the pilot's mind long before it is forced upon them.

Instructors or pilots discussing this concept with students or fellow-flyers would to well to ensure it is thoroughly understood and internalised as a trigger to action.

Last edited by justanotherflyer; 1st Apr 2017 at 13:27. Reason: Accuracy of terminology
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 07:37
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by justanotherflyer View Post

MSA often gets discussed in incidents such as this....It is a height at or above which, if you are forced to descend to it by deteriorating cloud base or visibility, then you MUST divert or return to better conditions. This is another decision which it is essential to "pre-make" in the pilot's mind long before it is forced upon them.
To me that seems unnecessarily restrictive for VFR. To me it's sensible to say, you can be below the MSA if you are clear of cloud and have sufficient visibility to see and avoid obstacles, whilst maintaining a safe height above ground. When you can't be below the MSA is when you can't see where you're going.
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 08:00
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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juustanotherflyer,

I like your "pre disappointment" approach. Do you mind if I blag it and your spiel to use in TEM training?
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 08:24
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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Just another, that is pure gold, the pre-briefing of a possible disappointment.
When I told a companion that we might have to rent a car to get to Austin, and he said "can't you get another weather report?"
I said "I am tired, weather is dangerous, and we might end up dead, which would be bad for our image!"

He immediately agreed to rent a car instead of continuing into horrible weather. It rained over Christmas for five days, and even the airlines had to divert!
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 08:25
  #175 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Welshpool
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Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
could have just flew around the base of the hill to the coast. guess we won't know until the report comes out in 2 years time
The police released this image yesterday, showing where it came down:



https://goo.gl/maps/PQVs9fTPTLG2 or 52.840320, -3.993511

It crashed just below the summit (on the eastern ridge) of Rhinog Fawr, with Llyn Cwmhosan below it. The helicopter will have been flying from R to L in the photo.


Streetmap.co.uk - Map of 52.840320, -3.993511 shows just how inaccessible the location is.

Last edited by Demeseo; 1st Apr 2017 at 10:18. Reason: Direction of travel incorrect
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 08:34
  #176 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by justanotherflyer View Post

MSA often gets discussed in incidents such as this.... It is a height at or above which, if you are forced to descend to it by deteriorating cloud base or visibility, then you MUST divert or return to better conditions.
Which is, even by the standard of PPRuNe, potentially misleading.

The Minimum Sector Altitude (MSA) is the lowest altitude which may be used which will provide a minimum clearance of 300 m (1 000 ft) above all objects located in the area contained within a sector of a circle of 46 km (25 NM) radius centred on a radio aid to navigation.

As such, MSA is about as relevant to contact flying in remote mountain areas as the rest of the information on a Dutch instrument approach chart.

If confusing MSA with the "minimum safe altitude" as defined, for instance, by 14 CFR 19.119 or the British rules of the air, that's a statutory requirement to maintain 500 ft separation from any person, vessel, vehicle or structure in remote areas.
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 09:04
  #177 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Originally Posted by nigelh View Post
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
That brought back memories of IF trg under the hood all those years ago!

"A peek is worth thousand scans!"

And limited panel UPs on a Chipmunk...
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 09:24
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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During my 2 years as a 'spotter' at EGNX, in the early 1970s, there was a C337 based there, G-ATNY.

About 10 years later a pile of AAIB reports appeared in our crew-room at EGCC, including one involving that a/c.

Fixed-wing as opposed to rotary-wing, yes, but I wonder how many similarities there are with this tragic event?

https://assets.publishing.service.go...979_G-ATNY.pdf
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 09:24
  #179 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Originally Posted by Demeseo View Post
Streetmap.co.uk - Map of 52.840320, -3.993511 shows just how inaccessible the location is.
I think this lower level of magnification at http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x...earchp=ids.srf shows rather better where the site actually is in relation to the coast and the height of the actual mountain/ridge crashed in to.

It would also be interesting to know what altitude they were travelling at during most of the rest of the journey from Luton and what effort they made to fly higher when flying over terrain chock full with mountains as high as 1085m.

If determined to make the trip in such adverse weather conditions its also hard to see why they wouldn't have flown over lower terrain and north of but close to the North Wales coast, although even then there is a long and dangerous ridge of mountains up to 1064m high just south of Llanfairfechan. But as the Twin Squirrell is capable of flying at up to 3,400m was there any good reason for them to be flying this low in this area. Of course I expect weather and lack of visibility at higher altitudes no doubt came in to the equation. Or was lack of fuel to take a more circuitous route with this amount of adult passengers and luggage also potentially a factor?
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Old 1st Apr 2017, 09:59
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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>It would also be interesting to know what altitude they were travelling at during most of the rest of the journey from Luton and what effort they made to fly higher when flying over terrain chock full with mountains as high as 1085m.<

For what it may be worth, my BaseStation log shows the aircraft at 2700ft between 1227 and 1253. At that altitude my site is probably line of sight to the Rhinog area at 1090MHz.
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