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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 15th Mar 2018, 17:23
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Bolkow 117 crash from above link:

Conclusion:

During the turn from the base leg into the final, airspeed reduced to zero and
altitude decreased continuously until the collision with the surface of the water.

Power was not increased and the approach terminated once the warning of the
radio altimeter sounded
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 17:58
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Scattercat - it was meant as a rhetorical question since I know the provision has to be there and fully understand that with the low population density, it is unlikely to be anything like in many European countries.

However, if there is a an operation requiring regular ship to shore transfers at night, it would seem prudent to have some local SAR capability for exactly the sad scenario we are seeing now.

I thought there was a military/contracted SAR unit a little way towards Perth that would be the closest>
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 20:23
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So what are the odds of this poor guy still being alive out there right now?

What's the water temperature down there currently?
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 20:24
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SAR cover? In 2012 Port Hedland didn't even have an airfield fire service.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:19
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The USA has 20% more land area but 1200% more population....telling me there a long way between Pubs in Oz.....and other modern conveniences like SAR!




Originally Posted by Nescafe
Crab,

Australia is massive. We have cattle stations bigger than European countries. This might be difficult to believe, but in most of Australia, no one provides SAR.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:41
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Originally Posted by whoknows idont
So what are the odds of this poor guy still being alive out there right now?

What's the water temperature down there currently?
Today?

30C.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 22:51
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Basically CASA gets a list of charter companies around the country to advise of their helicopter types & DOC rates. Then when there is an accident, CASA knows which company to contact & basically that company is obliged to go & do their best. I don;t think they would launch a R 22 to search 100 miles out to sea! Not that many aircraft are winch or float fitted or IFR, so the response isn't always great. The SAR provided for the RAAF is near Perth, a civilian company as the RAAF have no helicopters, some 2000 nm from Port Hedland, so not a quick solution. The MPT in Port Hedland must be 50 years old & I think this is the first ditching, ironically with a modern helicopter. There have bee
n some close shaves but this must be the worst accident. The water is quite warm, the pilot would have worn a life jacket but it doesn't look good. No mention if the 135 sank quickly?
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 23:22
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Just a slight correction Nigel, it's AMSA who have the list and contact you for searching, not CASA.

There is (or was) at least 1 fixed-wing company down the road at Karratha who was Tier 4 and have been out on many searches in years gone by, along with CHC/Bristow/HeliNZ (been a while since I was around that region so things may have changed). Police Air Wing PC12 based in KA may be available too. Bond over at Barrow Island as well. There's a fixed wing charter company in Hedland and also the RFDS but I'm not sure if they've done any form of SAR work at all. Also some helos up in Broome, and some fixed wing too (Coastwatch Dash aircraft are based there).

The helos which are contracted to the offshore work up in that region typically have the ability to do winch ops, however it can take them over an hour to get the winch installed and airborne.

Someone told me many years ago even a Qantas 737, before they started their approach, went to check on a bunch of smoke that was reported offshore from KA. Someone called up thinking a boat was on fire. Was just a rig flaring!
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 23:49
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CHC operates a number of winch equipped AW139 and AW189 aircraft an hour away from PH in Karratha. They also have a winch operator and rescue crewman permanently on site, with a SAR aircraft and crew nominated each day. One of the CHC 189's with SAR crew is involved in the current search.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 23:51
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CarRAMROD.
You're right! That's what happens to one's memory with age & being retired for 10 years! The main problem years ago was not having a winch when on an offshore contract. I'm sure John E will remember flying a 76 to try to save some people in a fishing trawler in NW Tassie one stormy evening. A rope was used to lower a pump onto the boat but the petrol can broke away. The boat ran on diesel, so the pump without fuel was useless!
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 00:00
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HNZ (now PHI) has a SAR S-92 on 15 minute readiness just over 300nm away in Broome contracted by 2 oil companies.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 00:20
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Mark, insider, thanks for the info.
Like I said been a while since I was out that way and back then I don't recall anything being winch-ready in much shorter than an hour.
Further question just out of interest, are these recall times applicable to AMSA taskings or just for their contracted oil/gas clients?
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 11:08
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6 p.m. WST....1000Z,

Ch 7 News announcing that, as of this evening, the search has been 'called off'.

Despite 'good' conditions, nothing has been found.
Several Helos, Fixed wing, and boats involved.

The pilot who got out, is OK.

More advice tomorrow, I would expect.

Not good news.
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 14:13
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Guess the pilot hasn't made a public statement why they ditched..............
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Old 16th Mar 2018, 21:24
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Rescuers call off search for missing helicopter pilot after crash off WA coast - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 08:14
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THE body of a man believed to be the pilot of the helicopter that ditched in the water off Port Hedland has been located and recovered from the water.

Police advised that the wreckage of the helicopter was located with sonar equipment at about 12.30pm on Saturday.
Police divers were moved to the scene and located the body believed to be that of the missing pilot, 44-year-old Brett Gallard.

The pilot’s family have been kept informed and a formal identification process is underway.

https://thewest.com.au/news/pilbara/...-ng-b88777478z
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Old 17th Mar 2018, 14:18
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Police divers locate body and helicopter wreckage off Port Hedland - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 00:31
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Have they released the names yet?
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 00:57
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Originally Posted by SuperF
Have they released the names yet?
Two posts before your post.
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Old 18th Mar 2018, 11:01
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Who was the check pilot , that escaped in a life raft ?
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