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Eurocopter crash off Queensland north coast

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Eurocopter crash off Queensland north coast

Old 23rd Mar 2018, 21:52
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
It's probably still better to train all the pax in HUET if you are going to fly them over the water - it works in O&G - just depends how much you value your pax vs what revenue they generate.
The fundamental difference is, the O&G SLF are going to work and have no choice over their mode of transport. So 3 over-water flights mandates they have a HUET tickets. Somebody like a tourist going on a jolly over-water one time only does have a choice, they can choose not to go, or perhaps choose which operator to go with. A pre-flight briefing and an on-board safety briefing card should be the limit of the requirement for them (in a language they understand).
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 08:08
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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But we've just seen how badly that can turn out in New York - if the tourists were shown a video of what a ditching can look like in a helicopter and THEN given a choice about what training and equipment they wanted, at least they go in with open eyes as opposed to assuming someone will be there to help them step out into the waiting dinghy without getting their feet wet.
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 09:15
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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if the tourists were shown a video of what a ditching can look like in a helicopter and THEN given a choice about what training and equipment they wanted,
What tourists?
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 09:31
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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In the recent Grand Canyon incident the machine caught fire, so if flying over land should we wear fire suits like the F1 drivers & train the pax on SCBA use? Should we install automatic fire suppression system on the machine?

Of course we should but itís not required by law so we donít, if we did most tourist operators would probably be broke overnight. We need to lower the risk of each flight to ďan acceptable levelĒ, the moral dilemma is how acceptable can we be & still function?
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 12:38
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Not to be too silly about it, but these are tourist flights that are going to have people on board expecting to go on a nice fun flight. Mostly that happens, but sometimes not.
Pax brief, safety cards, that's about it, but perhaps to put it into perspective, it's no different to getting into a bus or taxi, or even on a theme park ride - things may happen. What are you going to do, mandate comprehensive HUET training in five languages for all pax on any scenic flight anywhere over water? Terribly sad for these individuals and their families, but you can't wrap the whole world up in cotton wool.
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 15:18
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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but you can't wrap the whole world up in cotton wool.
no you can't but neither can you take risks with peoples lives using the justification of making money.
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 20:49
  #67 (permalink)  
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no you can't but neither can you take risks with peoples lives using the justification of making money.
People have choices. They either board the helicopter, as they do with a bus, train, drive under a bridge, ride their bike, watch burnouts and enjoy life or never get out of bed.

If the risk a ride in a helicopter was that great, you would not be able to get insurance.
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 21:50
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
no you can't but neither can you take risks with peoples lives using the justification of making money.
You must be joking. The list of for-profit activities that assist people in risking their lives is endless. Mountain climbing. Big game hunting. Bungie jumping. Skiing. SCUBA diving. Skydiving. Zip lines. Alpine slides. Water parks. Heck, we lose a few people a year on just plain old roller coasters.

The difference in this case is the expectation of risk is a bit different. To use an aviation analogy, going skydiving seems risky, but it's actual risk is not that great (to a certain extent--I say this as a USPA D-license holder). Flying in helicopter with the doors off and your feet hanging outside does not engender the same feelings of risk, but in fact may be far more risky than skydiving. Perception vs. reality.

And, sadly, because perception vs. reality is inverted here, the repercussions to the industry are also inverted. An activity that should only attract the most crazed thrill seeker instead becomes too accessible. People don't realize the riskiness of the activity. If someone augers in while skydiving you'll get not much more than a shoulder shrug from the FAA, a la they had to have known what they were potentially getting into, nothing to see here, move along... Instead in this case we get "Something Must Be Done".

Mind you I do think the lack of an appropriate quick release on the harnesses was dumb. And if they had lost someone out of the helicopter because they were too stupid not to mess with a quick release (training is not rocket science: "Touch this when you are not on the ground/in the water and you will die.") it might have been chalked up the same way as a skydiving fatality as opposed to the situation that now exists.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 02:18
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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To use an aviation analogy, going skydiving seems risky, but it's actual risk is not that great
As an ex skydiver who reads the reports, I've come to the conclusion that the riskiest part of the sport is the aircraft ride, not crunched the numbers, but it's the general impression. Agree with the thrust of the argument that people accept a level of risk in whatever they do. How many don't wear seat belts when they drive? Plenty it seems from police reports. A local neurosurgeon years ago was campaigning for the wearing of helmets in cars, for that was the area he gained the vast majority of his business. Can you honestly see people wearing a helmet while travelling by car?

From the NY ditching thread.
Regulation vs. Common Sense - Paul Bertorelli

Aviation regulation theory couldn’t be simpler. The freckle-necked masses aren’t expert enough to assess the relative risks in boarding a flying machine so we, as a society, allow the government to establish certain standards and rules designed to eliminate the most egregious practices that people trying to make money in the flying game will, quite naturally, engage in. Then, as predictably as the sun rising tomorrow, we bitch and moan about government interference.

Yet regulation is why, in part, modern aviation—even the relatively wild west of general aviation—is as safe as it is. The worst practices are kept at bay by the long arm of the FAA. Except, sometimes not. That’s why the NTSB issued an urgent safety recommendation Monday urging the FAA to prohibit commercial flights in aircraft where passengers aren’t equipped with quick-release restraints. This seems intuitively obvious, but it apparently wasn’t to FlyNYON, the operator of doors-off helicopter tours around New York city. Five people drowned last week when the helicopter they were riding autorotated into the East River after an engine failure and non-quick release harnesses kept them from egressing after the helo inverted.

The NTSB’s investigation soon revealed that the aircraft was equipped with harnesses of the tour operator’s own design that had not been inspected by the FAA. This raises some sticky regulatory issues. Did that constitute an unauthorized modification of the aircraft or will the attorney for the IA who signed off the annual argue that it was some kind of supplemental restraint not subject to FAR 27.785, which requires restraints with a single-point release? Technically, the harnesses had a single-point release, it just happened to be inoperable by the passenger without a knife. I won't wade into the swamp of TSOs.

How could this slip through the regulatory cracks? One reason is that tour companies operate under Part 91, in a netherworld somewhere south of Part 135. For-hire tour operators are required to have pilot drug testing programs, but they don’t need defined op specs like other for-hire businesses. They operate under specific Letters of Agreement, the FAA’s all-purpose catchall strategy when both the industry and agency agree that more forceful regulation isn’t needed.

So far, so good. But this means the tour operators are on their own to exercise good judgment and common sense in a relatively unfettered commercial air business. One unavoidable question is this: Would an FAA inspector examining that harness rig put the kibosh on it? I’m gonna go with yes.

And thus the regulatory gap and the basis of the NTSB’s urgent safety recommendation. Here we reach a philosophical divide. On Monday, we put up a Question of the Week asking if more regulation is needed, specifically banning doors-off flights. Neither the FAA nor the NTSB have gone quite that far. Yet. More than a third of readers said such flights shouldn’t be banned and that passengers are on their own to assess risk based on informed consent.

I agree they shouldn’t be banned, but given what I view as a serious safety breach, either the LOAs should be hardened to require inspections or tour operators need to be held to a higher basic regulatory standard. There’s always a danger in knee-jerking toward new regulation on the basis of a single occurrence and regulation has to balance the public interest against chilling commercial vitality. But as I mentioned in last week’s blog, it’s unrealistic to think those passengers could have reasonably assessed the risk they were about to take. So how Darwinian do you want to be?

Every Saturday morning in the U.S., thousands of unsuspecting passengers sign up for tandem skydives. The perceived risk is so high that they sign multi-page waivers and the FAA allows the industry to exist in its own laissez-faire bubble. The demonstrated risk is rather lower. Still, inspectors do show up to have a look at these operations, examine the airplanes and look over the maintenance logs. Even though minimal, these inspections are sometimes capricious and intrusive because FAA inspectors can do that if they want. It appears to me that air tour operators don’t even get that much attention. If they did, maybe someone would have squawked those harnesses.
https://www.avweb.com/eletter/archiv...t=email#230469
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 07:06
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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no you can't but neither can you take risks with peoples lives using the justification of making money.
You certainly can, and every commercial organisation does it every day. It's just the level of risk and the mitigators that vary.
As I said, buses, taxis, theme park rides, just getting in the car to drive to work can all be fraught with danger - why should aviation be a special case?
You can't be cavalier about it, of course, so you need to take sensible precautions and give people fair preparation and warning for what they're about to do, but you can't expect pax for a 10 minute reef scenic to be put through anything more than a safety brief and demonstration not unlike the one the cabin crew give you in an airliner in terms of complexity, really.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 09:39
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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I should have put the word unacceptable or unmitigated in this sentence
no you can't but neither can you take risks with peoples lives using the justification of making money.
What the author of Megan's post calls the 'wild west' of aviation that pushes the boundaries of 'common-sense' safety in order to cram more people in more frequently is where I have an issue -
It appears to me that air tour operators donít even get that much attention. If they did, maybe someone would have squawked those harnesses.
- you can't remove all risk from aviation (or most of life for that matter) but you must allow people to understand the risk - the phrase 'Informed consent' best sums up your responsibility when you are taking money off people and expecting them to take those risks.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 10:47
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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harnesses of the tour operator’s own design
Fair enough, this is just stupidity.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 23:37
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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but you must allow people to understand the risk - the phrase 'Informed consent' best sums up your responsibility
Trouble is, what constitutes "informed consent", beyond these things can crash for a whole heap of different reasons. What constitutes informed consent when you hop on a train, bus, or an airliner. You buy your ticket and trust in God.
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Old 26th Mar 2018, 01:51
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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"harnesses of the tour operator’s own design" - that comment is just stupid. NYON didnt just design their own harness they bought a commercially available one. Should it have been a quick release one - absolutely - but no way in heck was it just something they designed up themselves - is someone really that stupid that they would believe that comment or better yet stupid enough to post that.
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Old 18th Apr 2018, 08:15
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Preliminary report out.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...r/ao-2018-026/

While approaching the pontoon, at about 1535, the pilot reported noticing a warning message illuminate in the upper vehicle and engine multifunction display (refer to section titled Helicopter information). As this was a high workload phase of flight, the pilot was unable to verify the nature of the warning. However, in response, the pilot elected to conduct a go-around. When the helicopter was at an altitude of about 40 ft (12 m) above the pontoon, the pilot recalled feeling a ‘thud’ and the nose of the helicopter yawed sharply left (anticlockwise from above). In an attempt to arrest the yaw, the pilot reported that he made a number of control inputs, which included lowering the collective[2] and pushing the cyclic[3] forward and to the left. The pilot was unable to regain control of the helicopter and it collided with the water. A passenger reported that soon after impact with the water, the helicopter rolled onto its right side in a mostly inverted orientation.
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Old 21st Jun 2021, 10:53
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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After three years, final report out. https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/577987...-026-final.pdf


What the ATSB found
Although none of the possible VEMD messages required immediate action by the pilot, the pilot considered a go-around to be the best option given the circumstances at the time.
During the go-around, the helicopter continued yawing slowly to the left, and the pilot very likely did not apply sufficient right pedal input to correct the developing yaw and conduct the go-around into wind. The helicopter then continued yawing left, towards a downwind position, until the sudden and rapid yaw to the left occurred. In response to the rapid yaw, it is very likely that the pilot did not immediately apply full and sustained right pedal input.

The operator complied with the regulatory requirements for training and experience of pilots on new helicopter types. However, the ATSB found the operator had limited processes in place to ensure that pilots with minimal time and experience on a new and technically different helicopter type had the opportunity to effectively consolidate their skills on the type required for conducting the operator's normal operations to pontoons. In this case, the pilot of the accident flight had 11.0 hours experience in command on the EC120B helicopter type, and had conducted
16.1 hours in another and technically different helicopter type during the period of acquiring their EC120B experience. Associated with this limited consolidation on the EC120B, it is likely that the pilot was experiencing a high workload during the final approach and a very high workload during the subsequent go-around.
In addition to limited consolidation of skills on type, the ATSB found that the safety margin associated with landing the helicopter on the pontoon at Hardy Reef was reduced due to a combination of factors, each of which individually was within relevant requirements or limits. These factors included the helicopter being close to the maximum all-up weight, the helicopter’s engine power output being close to the lowest allowable limit, the need to use high power to make a slow approach in order to disperse birds from the pontoon, and the routine approach and landing position on the pontoon requiring the pilot to turn left into a right crosswind (in a helicopter with a clockwise-rotating main rotor system).

The ATSB also identified that the passengers were not provided with sufficient instructions on how to operate the emergency exits and the passenger seated next to the rear left sliding door (emergency exit) was unable to locate the exit operating handle during the emergency, and as a result the evacuation of passengers was delayed until another passenger was able to open the exit. The nature of the handle’s design was such that its purpose was not readily apparent, and the placard providing instructions for opening the sliding door did not specify all the actions required to successfully open the door.

Last edited by Cloudee; 21st Jun 2021 at 11:42.
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Old 21st Jun 2021, 11:34
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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OK, so to summarize (from what I understand). There was nothing technically wrong with the aircraft for it to end up in the water, the pilot only had 11 hours experience on type, it ended up in the water without the floats deployed and two passengers drowned.
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Old 21st Jun 2021, 15:19
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Pretty accurate summary Gulli and he had only the hours on the 120 as experience of Fenstron handling - how many pilots don't understand the difference in handling characteristics and the need for full right pedal in the event of unexpected left yaw?
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Old 21st Jun 2021, 15:31
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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I struggle with the announced inability of a Pilot to apply pedal to the stop if the helicopter is yawing.

That should be a natural response....apply that pedal which is required to stop the yaw.....and if you hit the physical stop and the yaw is continuing.....then you have a bonafide emergency to deal with.

Upon hitting the physical limit of the pedal movement....you would have to assess the situation to determine the factors causing that.....and determine what actions are needed and are possible.
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Old 21st Jun 2021, 17:49
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Also interesting is how all of the incidents cited in the appendix involved fenestrons.
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