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Old 12th Mar 2018, 05:31   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vaqueroaero View Post

It sounds as though the harnesses the photographers were wearing made it difficult for them to get out.
The commissioner said that the five passengers were "tightly harnessed" he didn't say what type of harness they were wearing.
We shouldn't just assume they were wearing a photographers harness unless it is standard procedure for Liberty to insist on one whenever the door is removed.

It is not uncommon for operators to operate doors off with a regular seatbelt.

Even with all the resources available in a capital city and despite being quickly on scene the last passenger apparently remained trapped for between 30-60 minutes.

This video shows police helicopter dropping divers.

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Old 12th Mar 2018, 05:32   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kulwin Park View Post
It looks like it would've been ideal to whack on the Main Rotor Brake as soon as touchdown occurred. It would stop the blades whacking the water faster as it rolled, and a quicker exit for passengers.
I wonder if that is a requirement during ditching?
Condolences to the ones who didn't make it.
No rotor brake brakes the rotors faster than having the blades whacking the water.

In a helicopter without floats, that (ie, cyclic sideways, to as soon as possible stop blades by contact with water) would be the proper procedure.

The procedure for helicopter with floats has been explained by others in this thread.

It appears the mishap pilotís problem was that due to high rate of descend at touch down the ship submerged anyway (despite the deployed floats).
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 05:45   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GrayHorizonsHeli View Post
the live video i saw, they had the aircraft tied off at a dock inverted. all six bags still inflated.
Can you pls link this video here?
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 05:59   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by malabo View Post
Looked like a reasonable auto into water, maybe a little more impact than desired that damaged the right float, causing the eventual rollover. Flat water, may have made it more difficult to judge the flare height and contributed to the hard impact.
No flare; high rate of descent on touch down. Ship submerges at least up to shoulder level on impact.

Despite reports that the ship landed on its side, or flipped over upon ditching, the videos in the OP show that it stayed upright (albeit half submerged) for a few seconds while its blades slowed considerably by contact with water.

I would argue that the blades had come to a complete stop before the helicopter then turned towards its starboard side.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 06:47   #25 (permalink)
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Liberty Helicopters safety briefing video

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Old 12th Mar 2018, 06:54   #26 (permalink)
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Lot of miss comms here on operater.

FlyNYON run specific photo flights with all pax in full crewman type harnesses. Usually run 5 to a flight, one in front left seat and two on each side. The harnesses are anchored to hard points on the floor, I think where seat belts normally attach but not 100% sure. FlyNYON have their own AS350B3s and they also use Libertys helicopters when needed - hence why you see the red Liberty B2 with NYON stickers on it.

They operate from the Kearny Heliport over in NJ and not from any of the NYC heliports. Its only 3 mins flying time from Kearny to the city. They operate differently from the other tour operators who I think are under Part 135 and NYON are under 91 - but again not 100%. NYON do detailed briefings for all passengers at their facility - have sat in on these before and they are very detailed. I have used their harnesses for air to air shoots I have done in NYC and also used my own harness in their machines.

In my opinion they run a solid operation - pax are well briefed and the NYON pilots I have flown with are very professional.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 09:04   #27 (permalink)
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Was this a "tourist" helicopter flight for people to take shots of NYC or a "charter" for a professional photographer which carried unnecessary passengers?
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 10:01   #28 (permalink)
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Won't let me post URLs yet.

Tourist flight to take photos. It's this company's "experience": open door flights. You are in a harness attached to a hard point behind you as you sit with your feet dangling out.

site is flynyon.com

This guy was in another FlyNYON AS350 at the same time as the fatal flight:

his twitter account is twitter.com/EricAdams321

He has photos in his feed of what appears to be the deceased passengers walking towards the aircraft, and in flight minutes before the crash.

He also said they were told in their preflight briefing that there were knives attached to the harnesses and in an emergency, they had to cut themselves free, but were not told where the knives are located? If true, here come the lawsuits.

So in the event of a water crash, you rely on random passengers to stay calm in an emergency, locate the knife and cut themselves free, in this case upside down, before they drown? That seems ambitious if not reckless.

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Old 12th Mar 2018, 10:41   #29 (permalink)
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Does this screen grab look like the front stbd float was not inflated or at least semi-detached?

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Old 12th Mar 2018, 10:47   #30 (permalink)
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CBS news report shows the ditching, but also has a shot of the up-turned helicopter secured to the pier with floats showing.

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Old 12th Mar 2018, 11:20   #31 (permalink)
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knives attached to the harnesses
here come the lawsuits
Dear me, who is stupid enough to tether themselves up like that. I guess the converse is true to prevent tourists doing stupid things like undoing someone else's harness and making them fall out.

Another theme I keep noticing about these new trickle down rich is that most of them can't swim anyway. Were life vests employed on these flights if landing in water was a very real possibility if things went wrong?

I'm guessing she rolled over simply because the doors were open and the ship partially submerged during the emergency landing.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 11:20   #32 (permalink)
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looks like Apical Tri-bag floats. It's a B2 right? with the throttle and cut-off lever on the floor, it happend in Greenland some 15 years ago during photo flight that a camera strap got wrapped around the cut-off lever and when the photographer pulled his his camera up to take photos he cut off the engine.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 12:47   #33 (permalink)
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CNN quotes investigators saying that passenger baggage hit the emergency fuel cutoff, causing the engine failure
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:20   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cayuse365 View Post
Two dead three in critical condition, pilot survived. It was a photo shoot mission.

RIP for those who lost their lives
5+pilot on a photo shoot mission? Seems like an unnecessary amount of people on board for such a task.

Attorneys and the FAA are going to have a field day with this unfortunate accident.

Last edited by havick; 12th Mar 2018 at 13:42.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:20   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
Can you pls link this video here?
sorry, too late for that now, but as i watched the video over time, you could see that the one set of bags, the left side I believe, were deflating over time.
yet they all had inflation initially.

One thing to note, would be how fast did the bags inflate? when did he deploy them? because the bags may have still been in the inflating stage when he touched down on the water. that could lead to a least one under inflated bag and the roll over.

Reading this mornings news, I see the pilot believes a passengers bag pulled the fuel shut off lever.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:24   #36 (permalink)
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I accept the pilot was 'busy' during the engine off but my personal take is that the excessive rate of decent caused the helo to hit the water too heavily allowing the mainframe to submerge temporarily thus allowing the rotors to impact the water. This must have aggravated any rotating movement of the frame flooding the cabin.

A Zero/Zero would possibly have allowed the cab to remain upright long enough for a relatively safe egress of pax. RiP
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 13:40   #37 (permalink)
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Based on the circumstances of the recent Grand Canyon tour helicopter crash it seems like false economy to use helicopters with poor auto-rotation capabilities to operate as tour helicopters over difficult terrain or in dense cities. With a high inertia rotor the safety factor is much greater in the event of an engine failure. Also, since they fly "canned" routes they should have safe emergency landing sites mapped out along the tour route.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 14:00   #38 (permalink)
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Were the pax wearing any safety equipment? Lifejackets or, more importantly, immersion suits?

I suspect the water temp is only a few degrees above zero C so cold-water shock would have played a big part in hindering their escape, with or without the knives being available.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 14:05   #39 (permalink)
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Who would wear on of those harnesses, well I have, but I was shown how to release it in an emergency. I also made sure my video camera was securely fastened to the heli with a short length of rope in case I dropped it.

Somone has posted a video from the company in question Liberty Helicopters. It's a slick production (money has been spent)showing they do take safety seriously. In the video which I have no doubt all passengers are instructed to harness release and emergency exits procedures are clearly demonstrated. Also, the passengers are given life vests attached to waist belts. Ground marshalling and concise and clear instructions are given, They seem to be very professional outfit and I would have no issue flying with them.

Whenever people in an agency or newsroom learn a helicopter is being chartered for a shoot, everyone wants to go. I have had exactly the same scenario with everyone pulling favours trying to get a ride.After all, who would refuse a free chopper ride showing off New York?

RIP to those passed away, the suggestion that a camera bag caught the fuel shutoff is very believable, perhaps a flapping bag strap or something caught the control as it was being passed front to back.

Last edited by DroneDog; 12th Mar 2018 at 14:49.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 14:46   #40 (permalink)
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It appears that the engine was still powering the rotor after entering the water. The AS-350 has a relatively low inertia rotor and would have nearly stopped after the initial collective pull. The rotor was still turning pretty fast as multiple blades impacted the water.

Last edited by Jack Carson; 12th Mar 2018 at 14:58.
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