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US HEMS Accident

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US HEMS Accident

Old 7th Feb 2019, 23:26
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Gem,

I would politely differ with you.

I have flown on pitch dark overcast nights in the middle of southern pine forests doing confined area operations with no lights of any kind.....and had no problem.

Yes....some celestial light...stars...Moon....make it a whole lot better but even on the worst night for NVG's...it beat hell out of a good night with no NVG's!

Flying at night in snow without NVG's....without any real lighting...the snow was invisible....then click on the Landing Light and what an impressive sight that becomes!

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Old 8th Feb 2019, 01:13
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with you SASless,

If you fly manually at night in snow showers and turn the landing light ON, the result is more than disturbing and is the best way to loose everything. If you are coupled, just turn the light off and continue as long as it is a brief shower.
I will be very, very surprised if those machine had any sort of autopilot / flight director.
And I also agree than your experience can be vastly different from what the job requires, even if you have the 2000 hrs required, but in any case, you have to start somewhere on a new job.
Nobody had night time until you start flying at night, I mean real night flying, not around a town.
Nobody has HEMS time until you start flying HEMS.
It is important in this case to get all information's, advises, experiences from other crew to reduce any possibility to get caught in a stupid way because you were not aware of those problems.
In aviation, you don't know what you don't know.
We still have this mentality of keeping information's for ourselves just because we hire a pilot with 2000 / 3000 hrs.
Well, every time you change job, you will have to discover something...something you did not know.....and sometimes, you will be very surprised....
Was she aware of those situations?
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 05:54
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Err, I am correct in believing there is no confirmed cause yet for this accident? Whilst it may carry the DNA of another CFIT at night it could also be something mechanical.
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 10:29
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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DB....welcome to the party....bit late old fella....that point has been made several times already.



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Old 8th Feb 2019, 12:39
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Shawn.....under the FAA Rules....Part 135 Ops require surface light reference.....but then we also know that Rule is ignored nightly by far too many Operators.
What the rules are for NVG's and surface light reference....I am not knowing.
NVGs are used as an aid to night flight during visual meteorological conditions (VMC), and operators are not to use NVGs during inadvertent instrument meteorological conditions (IIMC). This means that operators must comply with visual flight rules (VFR) weather minimums during a flight. For air carrier operations, these weather minimums are prescribed in the air carrier’s OpSpecs. The use of NVGs will not change or modify any of the existing regulations.

8900.1 VOLUME 4 AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT AND OPERATIONAL AUTHORIZATION, CHAPTER 7 ROTORCRAFT AUTHORIZATIONS AND LIMITATIONS, Section 4 Safety Assurance System: Night Vision Imaging Systems
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 14:21
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Just for me to understand - in the US you take tour pilots used to nice bright sunshine tours, put them on a SE „HEMS“ Helicopter and let them fly in sh...ty weather, at night because you can stick a NVG on them and then all is good? Well, congratulations to that bright idea!
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 14:54
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone know what the company's published VFR limits are?
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Old 8th Feb 2019, 20:25
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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What is that ???
Just saying that on an overcast night, no moon, no cultural lighting, out in the desert, we couldn't see the ground if we went above 100 feet.
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Old 9th Feb 2019, 00:49
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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I agree Gem.
Desert or lake with cover sky are different because you do not see any texture, looks like a uniform surface and it becomes hard to know how high you are.
But it was not the case there, hills , trees..... a lot of texture in this case to get reference.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 04:30
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Arcal76 View Post
If she had NVG's, she probably wouldn't crash because one the big advantage is, you see the weather
So, if there is a shower, you see it, you see the size, the intensity. It is easy in this case to go around and avoid it.
If you don't have them, well you only know when you are in and it is to late.
Now, if you try to scud in low weather with NVG's with snow showers, it is the perfect tool to get disoriented.

Arcal76 I have to respectfully disagree at least in part with your comment about seeing the weather while using NVG's. Most of the time seeing the weather is the case but not always. In my part of the world when you have an overcast sky with multiple squalls of bad weather moving through on some nights it is very easy to fly into rain or cloud without seeing either. My operation is IFR so if at safe height it is really not an issue and those conditions certainly are not conducive for VFR, my point though is if a crew is pushing it VFR in marginal weather even with goggles they may not see rain or cloud until in it, even then it is possible an inexperienced crew are not aware they are in fact IMC. NVG's while awesome also have there limitations and are not a silver bullet especially if mixed with bad crew decision making.


I do not have any NVG experience in snow or sleet so perhaps the squall lines are more obvious in those conditions?

Last edited by SLFMS; 10th Feb 2019 at 10:12.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 14:23
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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How doi you know it's VFR with no lights

Seems impossible to know what the vis is without lights on the ground at night when t's overcast...
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 16:14
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Autopilot Vs NVGs

I apologize if this issue has been previously addressed. My experiences include flying single engine B-206L and AS-350 machines at night, unaided, in the deserts surrounding Globe, AZ and operating more advanced machines at night with NVGs and autopilots in the Carolinas. The believe that decision to mandate the use NVGs over the basic autopilots was flawed. Standardized training that would require the engagement of an autopilot for all but departure and arrival phases of flight and would reduce workload allowing for better overall management of the flight. Encountering a significant change in weather, in route, could be handled by simply allowing the autopilot to reverse course. I believe that there is also a place for NVGs. A night emergency requiring an immediate landing in a remote would be just such an instance where NVGs would be invaluable. Given a choice, I would select an autopilot over NVGs.

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Old 10th Feb 2019, 16:24
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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The Rule!


§ 135.207 VFR: Helicopter surface reference requirements.No person may operate a helicopter under VFR unless that person has visual surface reference or, at night, visual surface light reference, sufficient to safely control the helicopter.
Notice the emphasis upon "Person" and "That Person" in the Regulation.

So...while you are out risking life and limb of yourself and the Med Crew....you reach an area that has no surface lighting within sight....and it is an overcast night....and there are no headlights, tail lights or hunters out spot lighting deer for you see.......what do you do?

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Old 10th Feb 2019, 20:29
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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MG - same in the Falklands but being able to discern the ground from the sky is possible even on the darkest nights (except maybe over the sea) and combined with the good use of the rad alt and some flight planning is at least enough to stop you spanking in. Even seeing the ground suddenly appear in the last 100 ft would be enough to take avoiding action.

Jack - agreed, autopilot first, then NVG.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 14:05
  #75 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
The Rule!

Notice the emphasis upon "Person" and "That Person" in the Regulation.

So...while you are out risking life and limb of yourself and the Med Crew....you reach an area that has no surface lighting within sight....and it is an overcast night....and there are no headlights, tail lights or hunters out spot lighting deer for you see.......what do you do?


You divert to a route that allows keeping the required surface reference. I routinely planned to follow routes that maximized the possibility of surface lighting and avoided areas where it was more likely to be difficult. If the plan is in place from takeoff, considerable diversions, say a 20 mile diversion mid-leg on a 100 mile route requires a mere 4 minute penalty (117 kn cruise) making 0:51 into 0:55. I've spent more time waiting for the hospital to get the pad cleared, not to mention performing high recons on a remote lz while the ground people get stuff organized.

Or you abort- just like ceilings and vis, that light is a required minimum. "If you wouldn't go for a box of rocks...' was the cliche used in company orientation.

NVGs make maintaining that single light contact much, much easier in that the smallest light is visible and from much farther away. I have flown nights in which I NVGs showed lights on the ground that were not visible with the naked eye, recent 'controlled burns' of managed forests with remaining embers spring to mind. I believe I could also see personal electronics, watch and cell phone faces from miles away as well with NVGs, there were certainly more lights visible aided than unaided.

Descending to maintain visual reference in adverse weather is a trap. It is an especially dangerous practice for VFR nights. One needs other parameters in the decision before you even consider 'down'. How low will you allow yourself to descend? How quickly do you want to descend? Wanting down quickly is a very, very bad sign. Are there likely to be surface references after the descent? Are you 100% certain that the issue is temporary? Are you slowing from maximum cruise to deal with vis? Another big, BIG indicator that it's really time to quit.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 15:06
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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§ 135.207 VFR: Helicopter surface reference requirements. No person may operate a helicopter under VFR unless that person has visual surface reference or, at night, visual surface light reference, sufficient to safely control the helicopter.

“sufficient” meaning being what is necessary or desirable, or that which is required for meeting a need.

Is it possible, that NO “visual surface light reference” is sufficient (required to meet the need) to “safely control the helicopter”? Think in terms of a high illumination, starry, cloudless night in a highly defined but remote environment devoid of surface lights. Just asking.

Last edited by JimEli; 11th Feb 2019 at 19:49. Reason: emphasis added/spelling
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 04:13
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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visual surface light reference
is the immediate issue.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 05:52
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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And one or two lights really doesn't provide the spatial information required - anyone who has been disorientated by trying to use a single point light reference will know that.
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 13:18
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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NTSB Preliminary Report Released

https://www.10tv.com/article/ntsb-sh...southeast-ohio

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the Survival Flight medical helicopter crash in southeast Ohio last month.

The flight was traveling from Mount Carmel Grove City hospital to Holzer Meigs hospital in Pomeroy for a patient transfer back to Columbus on January 29

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Old 13th Feb 2019, 15:55
  #80 (permalink)  
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https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/Re...relim&IType=FA
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