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EC-135 crashes into ocean near Port Hedland off Western Australias Pilbara coast

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EC-135 crashes into ocean near Port Hedland off Western Australias Pilbara coast

Old 8th May 2018, 10:40
  #181 (permalink)  
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Emergency immersion automatic cabin lighting would also be useful...is it standard equipment in EC135, or customer option?
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Old 8th May 2018, 12:45
  #182 (permalink)  
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Some O&G pax are wearing UEBS currently. With more moving to the technology this year.
our customer passengers wear jackets with EBS. they are a bit heavy and uncomfortable but in the event of a ditching, air would be better than no air.
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Old 8th May 2018, 13:24
  #183 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by John Eacott
Remember, both pilots had removed their helmets: what extra time did that take both in the decision making and in the execution?
As a life support guy it makes me wonder if their helmets were properly fitted and tight, or did they rotate under impact hindering escape/vision? I worked for one civilian heli company and until I go there it was grab one that sort of fits and go fly deal, not individually fitted and padded out correctly. Same deal with a large 'professional' police force as well.
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Old 8th May 2018, 13:45
  #184 (permalink)  
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Was he going for the other exit to follow the surviving pilot?
When I did my first HUET at HMS Vernon in 1967 in the dark and deep submarine escape tower I was told that if your exit doesn't open immediately go for one that has.

Fast forward 37 years to the HUET at Perth. Final rollover, hand on handle, pull and the door didn't release. I immediately went out through the other cockpit door and when I surfaced I got a bollocking from the safety people floating around because I had come out of the wrong door.

They didn't believe me when I said the door wouldn't jettison.............until they tried it.
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Old 16th Jun 2022, 05:41
  #185 (permalink)  
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And after just 4 years and 3 months, the final report is out. Click HERE for a *.PDF copy.

Originally Posted by The ATSB
On the night of 14 March 2018, Heli-Aust Whitsundays Pty Ltd was operating a twin-engine EC135 P2+ helicopter, registered VH-ZGA, on a flight from its base at Port Hedland, Western Australia. This flight, conducted under the night visual flight rules, was to position the helicopter for a marine pilot transfer (MPT) from an outbound bulk carrier.

The pilot in command was a company instructor who was supervising line training with a recently recruited pilot. Earlier in their rostered shift, the pilot under supervision had passed a line check for day MPT and, having a total of 10 MPT flights, was approved for day operations. The instructor then introduced the pilot under supervision to night MPT operations and they completed 2 night MPT flights.

At 2330 local time, the helicopter was lifted off and climbed on track to the outer markers of the shipping channel (C1/C2), about 39 km from the port. Although the weather was suitable for the flight, there was no moonlight, and artificial lighting in the vicinity of C1/C2 was limited. Consequently, the approach to the ship was conducted in a degraded visual cueing environment that increased the risk of disorientation.

From a cruise altitude of 1,600 ft, the pilot under supervision descended the helicopter to join a right circuit around the carrier at the specified circuit height of 700 ft. During the base segment the helicopter’s altitude started to increase, reaching 850 ft soon after completing the turn onto final at an airspeed of about 70 kt. Although the helicopter was higher than the target height of 500 ft, a consistent descent was not established, and the helicopter remained above the nominal descent profile.

When the helicopter was about 300 m from the landing hatch, it was descending through 500 ft at a rate of about 900 ft/min. At about this point, a go-around was initiated, but the helicopter descended to about 300 ft before a positive climb rate was achieved. The helicopter was turned downwind for another approach and subsequently reached 1,100 ft. A
descent was then initiated without coupling a vertical navigation mode of the autopilot. This was not consistent with standard operational practices and significantly increased the attentional demands on both pilots and associated risk of deviation from circuit procedure. During the downwind and base segment of the circuit, the pilots did not effectively monitor their
flight instruments and the helicopter descended below the standard circuit profile at excessive rate with decaying airspeed. Neither pilot responded to the abnormal flight path or parameters until a radio altimeter alert at 300 ft.

The instructor responded to the radio altimeter alert, reducing the rate of descent from about 1,800 ft/min to 1,300 ft/min. This response was not consistent with an emergency go-around and did not optimise recovery before collision with water.

After the unexpected and significant water impact in dark conditions, the helicopter immediately rolled over, and the cabin submerged then flooded. The instructor escaped through an adjacent hole in the windscreen and used flotation devices until rescued; however, the pilot under supervision was unable to escape the cockpit and did not survive.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 01:30
  #186 (permalink)  
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Descending at 1800’ per min at night over water would raise my pulse.
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Old 18th Jun 2022, 10:50
  #187 (permalink)  
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Hey Greyrain

Just a side note, Fareastdriver won't see or reply to your post as he is no longer with us and now flies way above Class A airspace.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 01:05
  #188 (permalink)  
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Interesting reading - one point that was I think missed is it is quoted that "upper modes" were engaged after the go-around on the first approach. Doesn't say which modes though.

ALT.A would have taken them up to whatever was set and the AP would change to ALT. It quotes that "upper modes" were de-coupled on the second approach but if it was missed or actually wasn't de-coupled and only ALT engaged and power management not closely monitored it will fly pretty much that same profile. Earlier software had an aural and Master Caution any time the AP decoupled but it was removed in later software versions which personally I think was a backward step. Now the only way you can tell is if the green bits are no longer visible which may not be so prevalent of your attention. The 4th axis (collective) is manually controlled and the aircraft only uses pitch to try and maintain altitude so the net result is the speed decays and it can be rapid. There is a note on only being coupled to ALT below 80 knots to monitor airspeed closely. Coupling needs IAS above 60 knots but pretty sure it wont decouple and will try and fly until way below that. Even though they say you need 60 knots to couple it will fly away from a hover if you push the GA button.

Ground protection and level off are only available in V/S or G/S with enough power to maintain level flight.

AS332 Sumburgh anyone? Similar?

Not saying this is what happened but should have been addressed in the report.

It does mention in the report that they have moved to Helionix models. The one that will fly you perfectly into VRS if you let it.

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Old 19th Jun 2022, 10:00
  #189 (permalink)  
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RVDT - I think you’re right, fundamentally similar cause to Sumburgh. Losing awareness of maintenance of particularly a satisfactory airspeed and descent rate on an approach in IMC (or pretty much) conditions. In both cases the situation deteriorated far too far, leaving late recovery too big a challenge for the crew. Comes back to basic IMC flight techniques - continual monitoring with the instrument scan is vital, to nip deviations in the bud. Whether hand flying or using any AFCS modes.
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Old 19th Jun 2022, 14:00
  #190 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RVDT
...they have moved to Helionix models. The one that will fly you perfectly into VRS if you let it.
How so? Not familiar with the H135 AP so asking out of curiosity...
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