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Esso load drop Longford, Victoria

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Esso load drop Longford, Victoria

Old 13th Jan 2018, 04:47
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
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nobody expressed any concern about the size of the net
Aaahhhh, but yes they did.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 11:08
  #22 (permalink)  
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A bigger net would have done very little to help avoid this occurrence.
Belly hooking a load like that?🙈
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 01:35
  #23 (permalink)  
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Basically the same mistake that was made on the previous bombing run...the load wasn't rigged properly, and if any concerns were expressed about it they still went ahead and did it. Should be an easy investigation, just cut and paste from the previous investigation report.

Karma bit on that day...EXQ was a brand new aircraft, as I recall this was its first job offshore after delivery. I remember when we did the hook check the hook was wired arse-about. Arm the hook, "hook open" advisory light came on. Release the hook and "hook armed" advisory light came on. Not that this had anything to do with the load falling out of the net, of course. But still, as I say, karma....

My guess is they'll outsource jobs like this (i.e. sling load jobs that can't be belly hooked). But there is a political angle at play, if you start outsourcing parts of the operation - day SAR has already been outsourced (CHC), some pilots have been outsourced (HNZ), sling load jobs might be next - it might not stop at that. If outsourcing reaches critical mass they might end up outsourcing the whole shooting match. And that would be a case of shooting the proverbial golden goose in the foot.

Last edited by gulliBell; 14th Jan 2018 at 01:57.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 01:47
  #24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Aaahhhh, but yes they did.
In that case OIMS should have put a stop to it. If concerns were expressed, I bet the investigation report didn't mention it, right?
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 03:56
  #25 (permalink)  
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In that case OIMS should have put a stop to it
You think?

You'll remember it was a VFR operation, so some questions may be in order.

1. What planning did crews undertake to ensure VMC was possible?

2. How often were you required to shutdown offshore due weather?

3. What plan of action did you have in the event of finding yourself single engine and everything onshore socked?

4. How much time did you build flying IMC in those so called VMC conditions?

5. What was the lowest height at which you flew enroute and were IMC?

6. How low did you get in IMC to find a platform?
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 04:36
  #26 (permalink)  
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Well yes, all of that is true. Not-withstanding. Esso Captains usually displayed excellent skill and judgement in everything they did...if an Esso Captain thought a net was too small for a sling load job I'd be surprised he proceeded with the mission using that net. No different today, if an Esso Captain thought that ladder was rigged properly - and let's face it, it obviously wasn't - I'm surprised they proceeded with a "let's see how it flies" experiment. Particularly since nobody wants to be the first to put a scratch on the shiny new toy. From the video of the incident, the load flew exactly as expected for the way it was rigged. Lucky they didn't put a scratch on the shiny new toy, or worse.

Mistakes made in the past are likely to happen again if the lessons learned are ignored. The recommendations made in the incident report following from the EXQ bombing run, if followed, should have seen them not do what was done this time.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 05:24
  #27 (permalink)  
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if an Esso Captain thought a net was too small for a sling load job I'd be surprised he proceeded with the mission using that net
You may not be aware of the relationship between management and pilots. Used to be outstanding, but it changed.

The CEO's at one time used to be Australians, Jim Kirk and John Schubert immediately spring to mind, both would drop into the crewroom for a chat and coffee if they were in the vicinity. Then the Americans moved in, and as one non aviation manager told the assembled pilots in a conference room, "We (management) don't give a shit about you people. You people have it too good". Exact words, reason behind statement, they were a stable workforce.

Pilots used to be under their own award, administered by the AFAP, but the AFAP were just a rubber stamp, all negotiations were carried out by the pilots themselves. They were all suckered into becoming staff, and relations within the group changed. No more Fridays at the pub or socialising, it was every dog for himself. Reason? The yearly appraisal, which determined your pay rise. Such an appraisal system does not encourage stand up arguments with management. As I said previously, management attitude was you do what you're told, a PIC was PIC in name only, you had to do what management ordered, and bugger what the regs or ops manual said.

Jim Ward is a exemplar of the companies attitude towards its employees.


Esso blamed the accident on worker negligence, in particular Jim Ward, one of the panel workers on duty on the day of the explosion.

The findings of the Royal Commission, however, cleared Ward of any negligence or wrongdoing. Instead, the Commission found Esso fully responsible for the accident.

Other findings of the Royal Commission included:

1. the Longford plant was poorly designed, and made isolation of dangerous vapours and materials very difficult;

2. inadequate training of personnel in normal operating procedures of a hazardous process;

3. excessive alarm and warning systems had caused workers to become desensitised to possible hazardous occurrences;

4. the relocation of plant engineers to Melbourne had reduced the quality of supervision at the plant;

5. poor communication between shifts meant that the pump shutdown was not communicated to the following shift.

Certain managerial shortcomings were also identified:

1. the company had neglected to commission a HAZOP (HAZard and OPerability) analysis of the heat exchange system, which would almost certainly have highlighted the risk of tank rupture caused by sudden temperature change;

2. Esso's two-tiered reporting system (from operators to supervisors to management) meant that certain warning signs such as a previous similar incident (on 28 August) were not reported to the appropriate parties;

3. the company's "safety culture" was more oriented towards preventing lost time due to accidents or injuries, rather than protection of workers and their health.
Low level managers are just as much under the pump as those pilots on staff with regard to appraisals. Don't rock the boat is the message, do what you're told and you'll be rewarded come appraisal. The fact that pilots may be provided by HNZ, or some other entity, under contract, makes no difference to their standing. Rock the boat and we'll get someone who doesn't.

OIMS? Yes, good stuff, for lighting your campfire.
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