Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

Driving on the Planet Mongo

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

Driving on the Planet Mongo

Old 9th Jul 2017, 18:11
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Age: 73
Posts: 3,012
Driving on the Planet Mongo

Printed in HeliOps magazine circa 2007:

The IHST’s Challenge The FAA and the HAI have joined forces to form a safety team to reduce helicopter accidents by 80% in 10 years. Their efforts to date have been terrific, and the ground work will surely yield results. It seems that simply the enlistment of the organizations and people they have fostered is enough to assure results. Also, their methodical desire to attain sorely needed data is right on target. Look at their website, better yet, join the effort! Home One aspect that deserves discussion is that the IHST seem to have taken a classic inside-out look at accidents, working from cockpit and carefully documenting the apparent cause. They are working inside the current airspace system and so their data reports the shortcomings of the operations within the system that is in place, rather than what the data might be in a system that might be, if we cleaned up the larger problems we have. Why can’t we study and fix each the cause of accident, and therefore solve the problems? Let’s use an analogy.

Imagine that, on the Planet Mongo, a great percentage of car accidents are occurring. The Mongoians are concerned, and they launch a scientific team to find out what is happening.The accident team finds that surprised drivers suddenly strike unseen trees. “The cars needed good tree detectors,” they decide, and they set about developing new tree detectors for car dashboards. The Mongoians discovered that drivers are driving into ponds. They state that “There is a great need for better pond detection, and even map displays to show the ponds, and better driver training to be sure drivers read the Pond Digest” and so a great effort is launched to plot the ponds on the new dashboard navigators and to train drivers to avoid those pesky ponds. The Mongo dwellers also find that “Drivers were not studying their weather reports and sunset charts, and were therefore driving into snow drifts and across plowed fields in the darkness.”

The accident investigators determine that much training time and money must be spent making sure that drivers carefully plan their drives, and consult the known snow, weather and sunset data.But one safety expert on Mongo said, “By systematically noting every accident, we could piecewise fix each direct cause, and miss the major, fundamental problems that our system presents to us.”“When you are inside a box, it is hard to know the color the box,”she said, wisely.

You see, on the planet Mongo, where all those car accidents occur, and where the investigators find the need to make the drivers better, and train harder, where they are burdening the cars with more and more equipment, there are no roads. Not a road, not a highway, no white stripes, no Motorway signs, no traffic lights. No Jersey barriers, no off ramps, no banked curves. Each driver starts his car and drives into fresh new ground, heading wherever he wants, unmarred by any large scale path planning, unworried about speed limits, planned maneuver radius, traffic control, stop signs and the like. This lack of roads (which have not been invented on Mongo) is a stunning problem to the accident investigators, because they don’t even know that roads could exist. With no roads, the driver bears the responsibility for avoiding all trees, snow drifts and ponds. With no roads, every drive is fresh and new, and cannot learn from the last drive. Without roads, every driver’s judgment is all that stands between success and failure, each tree avoidance relies on a new, fresh judgment, and every driver must make thousands of these judgments on every drive. To miss one such judgment means an accident, and to a Mongo Investigator, it means the need for new driver training and new dashboard equipment.

What is our point? Helicopters desperately need Helicopter Flight Infrastructure, with routes, approaches, departures. If we are not careful in our accident investigation, if we settle for the low-level intermediate causes, we could miss this potentially big finding. What did route and approach infrastructure bring to airplane aviation 70 years ago?
Routes bring pre-packaged navigation guidance. They relieve the pilots from the burden of planning altitudes, obstacles, and let-down points. Like canned soup, the work is done for you, by experts. Infrastructure, especially instrument approaches and departures, relieves pilots of continuous judgment about mundane things. EMS and Offshore accidents are rife with crews that make the seemingly bone-headed mistake during critical takeoff and landing scenarios. Initial approach routes, precision approaches and standard instrument departures reduce the need for judgment, regulate the activities into trainable segments under clear airspace control. In doing so, those judgments not made allow pilot cognitive workload for the things that can’t be regulated, making the entire flight safer. Will routes shackle helicopters and prevent our missions? No, not if they are helicopter routes that harness the awesome memory of modern flight management computers that can hold hundreds of routes and approaches. It is possible to surround every city with dozens of precision approaches to highway intersections, hospitals, businesses, and oil platforms using WAAS and little else.

The FAA crossed this infrastructure bridge years ago. The FAA realized that airplane operations required approaches and departures with firm guidance and weather minimums that support the bill-paying public. VOR’s were invented to keep airplane airliners on track to destinations, ATC was invented to prevent airplane mid air collisions and guide flights safely to touchdown. Airplane non-precision procedures for scheduled carriers were virtually eliminated in the 1960’s and 70’s when the FAA realized that the tendency for pilots to peek was too much. As a result, hundreds of ILS systems were installed at small airports and 200 and ˝ minimums became the standard.

Shouldn’t we helicopter people sit down and ask ourselves, like those investigators on the planet Mongo, “What is wrong with this picture?”How can we allow night “VFR”operations offshore, into sky as black as the inside of a cow, and then wring our hands and “seek data” when we lose a helicopter airliner every few years to FITWO? How can we watch EMS operators launch on VFR flights into the darkness with low ceilings to pick up injured patients, when the ease of full instrument approaches to highway intersections and hospitals has been demonstrated in dozens of trials? Helicopters deserve the same respect as airplanes, especially when the Satellite Nav tools are just waiting to be used. Why is radar the separation tool and 3 mile separation the rule when WAAS is accurate to within a few meters and ADS-B data packages can be swapped automatically? Why does VHF radio range set the minimum airway altitude when a company like FEDEX can track a truck and talk to its drivers anywhere on the planet? With tools like this having been available for the last ten years, why are there NO helicopter precision approaches to any heliport or hospital, and no helicopter low altitude routes anywhere? We are inside the box, but a few of us can see what the outside is like.

IHST, keep up the good work, and please be sure you use your excellent data to fix the root cause of the problems!
NickLappos is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2017, 19:11
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Age: 52
Posts: 328
Don't worry Nick, but looks like they'll be no copters left to crash soon the way this industry is tanking.
Sir Korsky is offline  
Old 10th Jul 2017, 07:45
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 871
Nick's contention that nothing is being done and there is no infrastructure is somewhat behind the times - see for example the extensive LL-IFR route structure that has been designed, and is in use, in the North East of the US.

At an RAeS conference last week in the 'Technology Friend or Foe' series:
'Helicopter Operations in an Increasingly Complex Environment'
Session three was about 'Operations in DVE - Low-Level IFR, PinS and APV/LPV'; this session included presentations from Italy, Norway and Switzerland on how such procedures have been used to demonstrate the efficacy of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP). They showed how integrated system are already being employed in these countries. Early versions of these procedures had completed the SESAR 'PBN Helicopter Operations under Demonstration' (PROuD) trials in 2016. (The latest development is a proposal for the reduction of the width of the LL-IFR routes to RNP 0.1 - if used in Switzerland, this could substantially reduce the required level of the airways and permit IFR operations deep in the valleys.)

Discussed in this Session were how LL-IFR Routes are being used to provide the backbone for IFR 'spurs' to achieve direct access to known (and surveyed) locations, and PinS 'proceed VFR' rendezvous points - providing VFR access to unprepared sites. The Session concluded with a presentation on a flexible approach module (FLEXAP) designed to allow aircraft to approach airports with less capable ground-based approach aids or remote sites with no approach aids'. However, these systems cannot come into widespread use unless operations are being conducted in an area where an effective 'terrain and obstacle database' exists (as the recent SAR accident in Ireland has shown, this cannot be taken for granted).

However, the majority of unprepared sites are in 'uncontrolled airspace'; for that reason the safe use of 'let down' procedures will be dependent upon the effective use of 'detect and avoid' technology. Use of 'electronic visibility' was extensively discussed in Session two because it is likely that such 'uncontrolled airspace' would also be shared with 'drones'. Conflict detection and resolution - how airborne self-separation can be safely achieved in an ever-congested airspace, was covered by Jaap Groeneweg of NLR, an expert in the field.

In the final Session - 'The Helicopter as an Intelligent Agent', manufacturers showed how they were way ahead of the required infrastructure and already had in place the required equipment and performance to facilitate such operations. One manufacturer even claimed that work on a 'FLEXAP' procedure was already being conducted.

Jim
JimL is offline  
Old 10th Jul 2017, 09:42
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lost again...
Posts: 664
It's an interesting and very valid premise Nick, but it's not all of the answer.

We should certainly be doing more to take advantage of the technology that is available in order to make flight in IMC or marginal conditions safer and more effective. Night, Offshore, EMS in bad weather etc.

But I also think that Planet Mongo would do well to invest in a couple of very big sticks to use on the people who knowingly drive their cars when they know they can't see what's in front of them!

By constantly trying to make allowances for the deliberate deviations or incompetent aberrations of a few we are ham-stringing the industry and at the same time encouraging those people to continue to deviate.

To take the Vauxhall Bridge crash as an example. That aircraft had GPS, 4 axis, moving map, all the toys you could want. But it was flown into conditions it simply should not have been. You could argue that if there had been a suitable GPS let down to the heliport then he would not have "needed" to struggle in marginal VMC. But that's a bit like excusing an armed robbery by saying that if we'd given the robber some money then he would not have needed to do it.

Similarly - The Norfolk 139 crash. If there had been a GPS Point in Space departure then would that have stopped that accident? No - I don't think it would because the aircraft already had more than enough automated capability to take off safely from that site but the Crew did not use it properly.

All to often we have these accidents and the response is "What could we have done to stop it happening?" Everyone starts talking about all the gucci technological options and policies. Nobody talks about actively seeking out and identifying those who deviate from the existing rules and removing them from the system. Why not? Because that would require a regulator with the will, the resources and the teeth to do it.

How many times have you sat reading an accident report and said "Not surprised that happened to him - everyone knew it would sooner or later". So why do we allow it to happen?

Technology, legislation and procedure is only effective if there is suitable training and enforcement.

Training is only effective if it can identify and remove those who are not competent and select those who are. Our current system is based around those who can pay getting through eventually.

Our current enforcement system is based on taking action after an accident and letting the lawyers fight about it.

is it any real surprise that we are where we are?
OvertHawk is offline  
Old 10th Jul 2017, 19:17
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Africa
Posts: 456
Nick, to steal a quote a well-known head-set brand: That's why I fly. I commend you on the articulate way your bring you point across. But no, I don't eat canned food. And I do enjoy going off-road.

But I am sure your brave new world will come: When we are being whizzed around by self-flying drones.

The century of the "hero pilot" may soon be over. But 'til then, let it be one man, one machine, one sky!
Hot and Hi is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2017, 14:17
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: USA
Age: 73
Posts: 3,012
JimL said: "However, the majority of unprepared sites are in 'uncontrolled airspace'; for that reason the safe use of 'let down' procedures will be dependent upon the effective use of 'detect and avoid' technology. "

I very much agree that progress is being made (that article was written 7 years ago) but much remains to be done, especially when great guys like JimL (a true expert in many areas of our game) cannot see that WE define uncontrolled and controlled airspace, not God.
The means exist to make great approaches anywhere, down to perhaps 200 or 300 feet, but even our best experts see limitations everywhere, as if we can't create more controlled airspace! Meanwhile, our industry is earning the title of "former industry" as we kill our passengers with aplomb.

Overthawk, I agree that stick is needed, but it is being used and the accidents continue. I am reminded of how fun trench warfare was, and how British Generals decided that if a few artillery raids and mass charges didn't work, then many more would. My point is simple: it has been about 3 decades since we realized the carnage and that enforcement, training and well intentioned passionate appeals have NOT worked. When airplanes faced this challenge, the answer was made clear, and it worked, but we forgot, and so we are stuck.

Simple solution, well within our grasp: Create helicopter specific routes, approaches and departures, equip ALL commercial helos to use them, and then REQUIRE that they be used, rain or shine, cloud or clear.

Hot and Hi is exactly right, we will loose our jobs to machines that have dedicated routes, approaches and departures, and are flown by computers that are smart enough to stop whining about discipline and training and just solve the damn problem. Our passengers will get aboard a pilotless aircraft because we pilots proved too dumb and stubborn to fix our problems!

Last edited by NickLappos; 11th Jul 2017 at 14:27.
NickLappos is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2017, 07:34
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 871
It is a pity that this thread was not started several months ago; the opportunity to discuss some of these issues ahead of the recent RAeS conference would have been welcome and might have resulted in better attendance.

One small quote has been taken from my previous post to infer opposition; a comprehensive consideration of it all, plus an examination of the referenced Programme, would have revealed an intent to examine how to achieve what Nick was suggesting in his article, not diss it.

There have been substantial changes to the airspace since Nick's article - not the least of which has been the exponential rise of the drones. Any solution provided for achieving missions in DVE must address the issue of interoperability - hence the reference to 'electronic visibility' and 'detection and resolution of conflicts'. This has to work between manned and unmanned air vehicles and therefore extends beyond the current work on ADS-B (in and out) and has to embrace low emission devices and 'alert/inert' principles.

The issue of controlled v uncontrolled airspace (or more specifically, operations in Class G airspace) is important because what is being considered are operations in IFR. Put simply, controlled flight requires: flight at a safe altitude; separation of traffic by an outside agency; and authorised procedures for joining and leaving (mostly take-off and landing). One goal is to provide a means for transfering the management of these flights from the ground to the air - just as it is for VFR. What needs to be considered is an alternative to VFR/IFR called 'Autonomous Flight Rules' (AFR) - a concept designed and developed by David Wing and William Cotton of NASA, and the subject of a number of papers.

It is absolutely correct that the means to a safe let-down to 200/300ft, is easily achievable; however, the key to achieving it safely requires that the terrain and obstacle environment be established. With approved approaches to operating sites, that is assured by surveying and guarding such sites. Achieving let-down to 300ft outside of defined locations requires the existence of 'terrain and obstacles databases' (eTOD) which can be utilised to define appropriate paths and minima that can be flown by the machine. (The combination of the trusted eTOD and a FLEXAP were covered briefly in my first post.)

Hopefully this thread will continue to develop and some of these concepts can be further examined.

Jim
JimL is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2017, 10:54
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 8,686
But to achieve the flexibility of IFR operation of a helicopter that we currently enjoy VFR, the whole of Class G airspace would have to become controlled airspace (no matter what you want to call it) which would have to be able to be turned on and off as the weather worsened or improved.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2017, 18:38
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 871
Hi Crab,

Not necessarily - let's move into speculative mode.

We are on the cusp of a major change in the way that airspace is managed; rather than continue to use RADAR as the sole means of separation, States are moving to systems, such as ADS-B 'out' where each aircraft self-reports with its 'position' and 'state' data. More, each aircraft can be equipped with ADS-B 'in' which allows the capture of all messages sent by other aircraft. It doesn't take much imagination to envisage a situation where each aircraft becomes its own controller. Look at this extract from 'Autonomous Flight Rules - A Concept for Self-Separation in U.S Domestic Airspace' by Wing and Cotton:

The restrictions common to IFR operations today have their roots in the earliest days of instrument navigation, when aircraft first ventured into the clouds (ref. 1). Without being able to see the ground to navigate or other aircraft to remain clear, operators had to rely on ground-based radio navigation aids and separation services, the latter provided through procedural separation and later also through radar-based separation. The human element of Air Traffic Control (ATC) inherently limited the number and traffic flow configuration of aircraft that could be safely managed. This gave rise to most of the IFR restrictions in place today, such as ground delay programs, congestion-based reroutes, speed and miles-in-trail restrictions, altitude level-offs in climb and descent, and use of structured routes and cardinal cruising altitudes. These restrictions, necessary for human controllers to meet their primary responsibility of separating aircraft, were derived from the limited technology available as air traffic services were formulated.

An alternative provision for separation assurance called “self-separation,” now enabled by emerging technologies, allows the responsibility for separation to be distributed among ground and airborne elements. Evolved over many years of research and development (refs.2-10), self separation places the responsibility for maintaining safe and legal distances from one aircraft to all other aircraft with the pilot, using on-board systems and procedures designed to support this function. While executing the self-separation function, such aircraft would be operating under a flight status proposed here called “Autonomous Flight Rules” (AFR). Through new policy and a significant update to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR), the equipment, training, and procedural requirements defined in support of AFR operations would be established so as to meet the stringent safety requirements of a primary separation system. Aircraft and pilots operating under AFR would maintain separation from all other aircraft in the airspace, including Visual Flight Rules (VFR) aircraft, IFR aircraft, and other AFR aircraft. AFR aircraft also would self-separate from terrain and obstacles, hazardous weather, and operationally restricted Special Use Airspace (SUA). They are thus removed from the ground-based ATM system’s responsibility for the separation function whenever operating under the rules of this application. Normally, this application spans from the time the AFR aircraft are released by the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) during departure until they are reinserted into the landing flow to a runway. The AFR aircraft cooperatively share their current trajectories and any changes with other aircraft and the ANSP, and they adjust their trajectories as needed to achieve the ANSP arrival plan for that aircraft.
The paper continues with a discussion of how this concept would work but, for now, look at what has been provided and see if this paradigm change could be adapted for use in uncontrolled airspace in the lower reaches of the airspace (where we and the drones operate).

Yes it would require 'electronic visibility' from all users but, in an age where such devices are half the size of a matchbox and the costs are dropping to the point where they could be put on all drones (remember billions forecast), it will not be long before all are so equipped.

Jim
JimL is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2017, 19:03
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 8,686
The reality though Jim is that even now with smaller electronics, there are still gliders, paragliders, GA both RW and FW, balloons and a host of other air users that still don't carry a transponder to allow TCAS equipped aircraft to see and avoid them. FLARM doesn't count because only FLARM can see it.

Non-commercial aviation will continue to resist any regulation that costs them money.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2017, 23:43
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Shropshire
Posts: 615
Hi Nick and JimL
I can't help thinking that the biggest limitation on developing LPV approaches to hospital and GA heliports (certainly in the UK), is the lack of control of temporary obstructions under 300' AGL. As I understand the current regulations, there is nothing to stop me putting up a 299' mast or crane, so long as I am not in the vicinity of a licenced airfield/heliport - I have to confess to not being familiar with the specific legislation. This is surely going to limit any DH to at least 500' which then makes it difficult to convince pilots that it isn't better to grub along under a 510' cloud base.
Cheers
TeeS
TeeS is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2017, 07:48
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 871
Hi Crab,

Yes, you are absolutely correct that there must be added value before small air vehicles will be prepared to provide 'electronic visibility'. FLARM, PilotAware and other systems are good examples of what can be achieved when there are tangible benefits. In both these systems, augmentation of the required 'see and avoid' is the driver - particularly for gliders which operate in close proximity in conditions of DVE (using thermals which may generate cloud). The pilot is made aware (visually or audibly) of other aircraft and, in the case of FLARM, is provided with 'collision detection and avoidance'. FLARM has also moved into the 'terrain and obstacle' avoidance area - for example in Switzerland where they have access to a reasonable eTOD.

In the recent Electronic Visibility by ADS-B (EVA) trial in the UK, NATS and the CAA cooperated to permit GA aircraft to equip with low cost ADS-B ('in' and 'out') to assess the efficacy of 'non-approved' GPS positioning. (The rationale for this initiative was augmentation of 'see and avoid' not navigation aids.) The protocol for showing compliance was contained in the newly-provided-for-the-purpose' CAP 1391. A number of companies have subsequently taken advantage of this by putting on the market, compliant products. These are not expensive and, because they take advantage of the wider markets for drones, will eventually become mass-market products.

The results of the EVA trial can be found in the report but, somewhat surprisingly, the accuracy of the protocol-compliant GPS was roughly the same as the Approved.

This has nothing to do with TCAS which will continue to be used for ensuring collision avoidance in the near-immediate phase of flight.

It is important to see these initiatives in the context of 'autonomous flight' - i.e. not just autonomy from ATC (as with AFR and manned flights) but full mission autonomy.

Jim

Last edited by JimL; 13th Jul 2017 at 08:26. Reason: Spelling
JimL is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2017, 08:05
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Cornwall
Age: 73
Posts: 1,305
Historically the primary requirement to become a helicopter pilot has been the ability to 'fly'. In other words be able to manipulate the controls to achieve the required flight path etc. Over the years aviating has become more and more sophisticated in a way that makes intellectual demands upon the pilot far beyond the 'simple?' task of wiggling the poles.

From where I sit at the coal face of type training and recurrent training pilots from around the world we will need to ramp-up the quality of pilot licensing if we are going to make the pilot's working environment more sophisticated. At the moment there are too many pilots out there who simply cannot deal with the recent step change in complexity in the cockpit.

Advanced nations that also have a measure of 'rigor' embedded in their culture do well, but where rigor is lacking and in particular where basic training is weak then the overall capabilities of a pilot population in those areas are compromised. If you make the operating environment more complex then it may work in North America and parts of Europe but elsewhere it would create a chaotic situation that may well be counter productive. Moving from a VFR world to the current IFR world has created financial and capability hurdles that are of serious concern but to go further and turn the whole world into an IFR environment would be a trifle unrealistic, certainly today and in the foreseeable future. You would simply be forcing those without the necessary skills to do what the recent Brazilian 'wedding' pilot did and overstep his abilities.

Nice idea Nick, conceptually sound but the practicalities are more than challenging.

G.
Geoffersincornwall is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2017, 06:58
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Europe
Posts: 871
It's a pity that this thread has ground to a halt; to bring it to the top and show what might be done in provision of Low Level IFR Route coverage, here is the Hikock and Associates chart for LL-IFR in the NE of the USA:



In response to Geoff's point above: we either have to be transparent in assessing the competence of pilots who will be in command of these more complex helicopter systems; or, (preferably) we put more intelligence into automated systems and provide the commanders with a 'conceptual model' that permits the system to be flown and managed without exceptional piloting or engineering skills.

One of the points that came out of the recent 'Uber Elevate' conference in Dallas was that whilst it was 'initially' intended to keep a pilot on board (with the barest thread of being 'in the loop'), the economics of urban transportation with 'clean air' vehicles could not be sustained with a pilot on board. This drive to full automation is under way and is more an issue of social acceptability (for occupants and third parties) than intellectual challenge. The obvious evidence of this can be seen in the latest camera drones which are not flown but just provided with mission instructions.

The Uber time scale for demonstration of vehicles with full autonomy is less than a decade!

TeeS also makes an important point; it is not clear that there is an effective system of 'safeguarding' existing European sites with let-downs (of some description). In the Norwegian presentations at the RAeS, a question from the audience on obstacles at the Oslo hospital prompted Lars Amdal of NorskLuftAmbulanse to show a system (an APP) his company has for self-safeguarding their sites (and promulgating violations and local restrictions). Although this appeared to be effective, it did depend upon the operator's SMSs to be effective. However, even if the 300ft limit remains as the ICAO Standard for promulgating obstacles, the work on eTODs may result in a more effective (and lower) threshold. Notwithstanding this, there is still a case for providing LL-IFR routes with PinS proceed VFR Rendezvous Points that could provide scud-running-free approaches to HEMS Operating Sites. Even if such Rendezvous Points had to acknowledge the 300ft obstacle level, it would still allow care-free transit in DVE.

Jim

Last edited by JimL; 25th Jul 2017 at 14:32. Reason: hosting of picture
JimL is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2017, 10:43
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,682
I'm sure there is a place and maybe now is the time for what Nick advocates over in the USA.

But perhaps here in the UK we might see the whole picture differently:
Commercial helicopter accidents in the UK are few and far between - yes of course they happen and they are hyped up by the media (as do all high profile accidents) but in the whole scheme of accidents - they are few and far between (thankfully). This could be down to the professional attitude of the pilot and his/her training and of course what Nick is suggesting - the airways infrastructure designed to accomodate these highly commercial activities.
BUT, a huge swathe of helicopter activities live outwith this strictly regulated. highly trained environment and for want of a better description - this GA traffic causes the most amount of accidents.
One can't regulate this fraternity the way Nick suggests because as Crab stated earlier, the whole of our Class D airspace would need to be controlled and bang goes our GA traffic.
Helicopter flying outside heavy commercial flying is much more hands on, suck it and see, give it a go, PPL stuff (please don't think I am condescending here) - it's is the nature of the beast. Helicopters land in back gardens, land on main roads(HEMS) fly ultra low level, hover over water, tow boats - none of which is practiced by the FW fraternity in their GA world.
Helicopter flying is a freer form of aviation (whilst still adhering to the rules, I might add) because of the nature of the beast!
We/they don't want burdensome overkill of routes/airways/approach aids to enjoy their GA existence.
Yes - unfortunately it comes at a slightly higher accident cost than say heavily regulated commercial activity - but hey that's life isn't it?
In fact - is our accident rate in the rotary world - a cause for growing concern, in the UK, I might ask?

My computer therefore says - no. Sorry. The UK has enough regulation and infrastructure.

[I thought during your preamble - you were going to say that the problem was actually the pilot in all of this, but you went onto describe catering for accidents by leveraging procedures, aids, approaches etc; etc. The problem with accidents actually Nick IS THE PILOT, not the tree / pond / mongolia! Accidents don't care about the colour of your box (inside or outside).
Thomas coupling is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2017, 13:34
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: on the cusp
Age: 49
Posts: 217
The issue is not about whether we do or don't regulate, it seems inevitable. If not, for safety reasons, the very expensive rotary assets will be destined to spend most of their time on the ground. This was a conclusion I took away from the conference.

The technology is here, but it can't currently be exploited. Any regulation needs to be based on rotor craft operation and not a hand-me-down from fixed wing.

Regulated does not necessarily mean "controlled" in the conventional sense. But it has impacts on technology, training and operation. It could be beneficial to all, extending current operations, if it can be implemented in a cost effective, sustainable way.

It will take all aspects of the industry working together to promote the regulation, training, documentary and technology aspects into a framework that can maximise the use of the unique qualities of rotorcraft in an affordable way.

Last edited by dClbydalpha; 20th Jul 2017 at 15:46.
dClbydalpha is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2017, 15:53
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 791
The technology is definitely there:



Although I have to say that what Aero has started shipping falls substantially short of the augmented reality concept they presented in the above video. Here's what they are currently selling:

https://vimeo.com/210800728
aa777888 is online now  
Old 20th Jul 2017, 19:57
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: on the cusp
Age: 49
Posts: 217
In-eye enhanced vision with conformal symbology has great possibilities. For the moment however helicopter operations need the kind of accuracy that isn't available cheaply or conveniently.
dClbydalpha is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2017, 20:07
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 54
Posts: 5,029
....way Nick suggests because as Crab stated earlier, the whole of our Class D airspace would need to be controlled and bang goes our GA traffic.
Surely Class D is already controlled - I guess you mean G?
212man is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2017, 08:19
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 3,682
Good spot - thank you.
Thomas coupling is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.