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Kensington Fire

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Kensington Fire

Old 18th Jun 2017, 20:00
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by MOSTAFA View Post
Surely a job for a Billy Pugh on a winch or even the hook - might scare them fartless but I'd guess they'd have preferred the option - and yes maybe they couldn't get to the roof after the fire took hold but surely a muster on the roof before it did would at least be an option.
You are talking about tenants who are untrained / unaware of what to do if they reach a basket on the top floor, many would panic, many would refuse to get on the winch / pugh or whatever you lower down until the very last minute.

Those you try and rescue would not conduct an orderly climb on and you would thus put the aircraft in jeopardy, you cannot put crew on the roof (even if you could get close) as it would push the acceptable risks beyond safe operating limits - you have to remember it was dark - the LFB never requested SAR - and SAR would not have primacy - LFB took the lead and co-ordinated a rescue of those that were saveable.

Yes it's worth looking at the viability but lets get away from the statement that a helicopter would have made a difference.

Oh and regarding the muster on the roof option - if you opened your flat door and found you could breath (limited smoke damage) in the stairwell - would you

A) make your way downstairs in the hope you could get out
B) make your way to the roof (even though you could perform A) in the hope that someone sent a helicopter...
Colonal Mustard is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2017, 20:05
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK
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Originally Posted by Hompy View Post
As everybody is 'all ears' somebody senior at the ARCC or MCA should have a word with somebody senior in the fire service to let them know that tasking is possible.

As has been stated, there are thousands of towers in the U.K. and if this 'once in a lifetime' event should happen again I am sure the crews would want to have a go, at least. It might not have made a difference in this case but it just might have, even for just one or two lives. The tasking authority should have confidence in their 'asset's' professionalism not to add to the casualty list, despite the danger. Risk assessment is what they do on every tasking.
The Fire Services are well aware of the capability across the UK, they exercised with UK Mil SAR at the fire service college regularly (not sure what the position is with Civ SAR, rescues from high rise have been done, just not when they are burning..

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/w...er-6p825qmf709
Colonal Mustard is offline  
Old 18th Jun 2017, 20:26
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Inverness-shire, Ross-shire
Posts: 1,212
The word FIRE does not appear in the specification of the current UK SAR Helicopter Service contract in a tasking context.

Although a typical UK SAR situation involves flying in moving air, and in a fire situation this would be an advantage in a number of ways, the situation at the time of this fire appears to have been very still air.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/...60&quality=100

https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/...60&quality=100
jimf671 is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 02:24
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: UK/OZ
Posts: 1,695
Hardware such as Quick release hinges exist and can be retrofitted. In theory they would allow access to top floor from the roof.

Minimal cost, no training required to activate ect

Mjb

Last edited by mickjoebill; 19th Jun 2017 at 02:54.
mickjoebill is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 02:35
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: The Americas
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOSTAFA
Surely a job for a Billy Pugh on a winch or even the hook - might scare them fartless but I'd guess they'd have preferred the option - and yes maybe they couldn't get to the roof after the fire took hold but surely a muster on the roof before it did would at least be an option.

Really before the fire builds to a conflagration on all corners of the building, is a light single perhaps boosted with an AFCS, dual belly hooks and billy pugh with remote loud hailer not sufficient for the task?

The right pilots obviously being the most important key to the whole operation. Ones with extensive (thousands of hrs) and current practice in vertical reference flying. Perhaps moonlighting periodically from his/her real job logging, power line, mountain rescue, seismic, (forest fire work being a given)etc etc. People who know and operate consistently to the ultimate limits of the machinery, allowed to use their own discretion to the possibilities versus the bureaucratic channels and risk assessment algorithms and matrices so lauded by folks trying to keep up appearances. Hey isn't that the whole point of self deployment?

Ah yes and then I woke up! Rescue work + government = nothing but vicious politics.
Question is? Who ends up getting screwed because of it?

A cunning linguist would define CASTRATION as the CAST(trap) of excessive regulation, politics and bureaucratic STRATA. Have our best efforts to provide the utmost aerial capability been castrated and hamstrung by obedience to political structure and protocol?

Maybe add a pair of rubber "choppersticles" to supplement the cargo hooks?





Question is
Washeduprotorgypsy is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 08:18
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: no comment ;)
Age: 55
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Originally Posted by mickjoebill View Post
How likely is a flameout in a hover in or near the rising plume?

Mjb
Right question
On the other hand average FF helicopter engines have built in mods
to prevent plume and thick smoke flameouts...
9Aplus is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 08:47
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Hereford UK
Age: 63
Posts: 3
Sorry Col Mustard but the man with the the lead piping says get in or get out of the way, as there are others queuing up to get in. Of course its not the perfect answer, but for me I'd kinda like the option of either getting in, closing my eyes and screaming; to an early cremation.
MOSTAFA is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 09:57
  #48 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by jimf671 View Post
The word FIRE does not appear in the specification of the current UK SAR Helicopter Service contract in a tasking context.

Although a typical UK SAR situation involves flying in moving air, and in a fire situation this would be an advantage in a number of ways, the situation at the time of this fire appears to have been very still air.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/...60&quality=100

https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/...60&quality=100

Is it important that the word FIRE doesn't exist? Surely not every situation is detailed in the contract. There's a lot we don't know here, which will be covered in the inquiry. Assuming the ARCC were not contacted, who in the fire service would not make that call? No ladders/lifts high enough, no way of retrieving casualties from the top floors, surely it is an option that should be considered in the future, if it wasn't this time?

I understand it would possibly have been an impossible mission with recirculating air, bad references and no viable winching location, not to mention the debris, ash and smoke. Even without differential gps height hold(ridiculous in 2017) a dual hoist, flir, night sun sky shout 4 crew coastguard s92 MIGHT have been able to do enough to help one life and surely that is enough to allow them to exercise their own skill and judgment in future cases such as this? To leave them in their beds doesn't seem fair to them or the casualties. More than likely no additional rescues could have been made but without being called the crews were denied the opportunity. I wonder what beaurocratic mechanism denied them the opportunity?

Self deploying is a nonsense and whether on fire or not the last thing cities need are old/young and bold pilots 'having a go'. But that is not what we are talking about with a well equipped multi crewed helicopter with many years combined relevant experience onboard.
Hompy is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 10:42
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: North Up
Posts: 489
Even in one of the most helicopter-savvy countries in the world it was not feasible to rescue anyone from either of the two towers (more than two, actually) of the WTC on 9/1/01.

With Piper Alpha the prime planned evacuation method was by helicopter from the helideck, but there too it was quite impractical to use helicopters despite having several well equipped rescue helicopters onsite with some of the best winching crews in the world.

Sadly, helicopters aren't the answer in this case.
Cazalet33 is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 12:08
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 885
All interesting comments but I conclude that only a water cannon would have been of real use in stopping the fire spreading and damping down the smoke. Rescue from the roof impossible with obstructions and the smoke cloud .
heli1 is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 17:39
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Midlands
Posts: 127
Originally Posted by Hompy View Post
Is it important that the word FIRE doesn't exist? Surely not every situation is detailed in the contract...

If it isn't in the contract it probably isn't covered by insurance.
Pozidrive is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2017, 17:48
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Inverness-shire, Ross-shire
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Originally Posted by Pozidrive View Post
If it isn't in the contract it probably isn't covered by insurance.
That would be my expectation.
jimf671 is offline  

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