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A109S Medevac Crash Brainerd Minnesota

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A109S Medevac Crash Brainerd Minnesota

Old 28th Jun 2019, 16:03
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A109S Medevac Crash Brainerd Minnesota

Apparently N11NM.

Pilot, nurse killed in helicopter crash at Brainerd airport
Updated: June 28, 2019 09:53 AM

A pilot and a nurse died in an early-morning helicopter crash Friday at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, officials said.

According to a statement issued by North Memorial, three North Memorial Health crew members were on board at the time of the crash, which was about 1 a.m.


Officials said the helicopter's pilot and a nurse were reported dead at the scene. The third crew member was transported to St. Joseph's Medical Center.

No patients were on board when the crash happened

"The FAA and NTSB have been notified, and we will fully cooperate with both agencies during their investigation of the incident," a North Memorial spokeswoman said in a statement. "North Memorial Health is grateful for the expertise and efforts of the first responders who came to the accident scene including the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, Brainerd Police and Fire Departments and Baxter Police Department."

KSTP's Ashley Zilka spoke with Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Director Steve Wright who said the helicopter was small and that there was no debris following the crash.



https://kstp.com/news/fatal-helicopter-crash-brainerd-airport/5406014/



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Old 28th Jun 2019, 16:33
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A weather observation from another media outlet.

An airport employee confirms conditions were extremely foggy at the time of the incident. KARE 11 meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says ground fog was dense in the area, with visibility at two tenths of a mile or less.


https://www.kare11.com/article/news/...8-9e114faa9d08
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 00:44
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What is it with US EMS crews and fog?
Is it the 'tow truck' mentality of tasking?

Sadly, no one EVER learns there.
The hardest word in aviation? No.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 05:09
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METAR KBRD

[code=left]North Memorial is a SPIFR no NVG program:

KBRD 281153Z AUTO 04005KT 1 3/4SM HZ OVC002 18/16 A3010 RMK AO2 SLP190 7//// T01830156 10200 20183 53005[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 281144Z AUTO 04005KT 2SM HZ OVC002 18/16 A3011 RMK AO2 T01830156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 281120Z AUTO 05005KT 1SM HZ OVC002 18/16 A3010 RMK AO2 T01830156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 281053Z AUTO 05006KT 3/4SM HZ OVC002 18/16 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP187 T01830156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 281029Z AUTO 04005KT 1/4SM HZ VV002 18/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01830156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 281014Z AUTO 06005KT 1/2SM HZ VV002 18/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01830156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 281004Z AUTO 05005KT 1/4SM HZ VV002 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01890156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280953Z AUTO 06004KT 1/2SM HZ OVC002 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP182 T01890156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280933Z AUTO 09003KT 1SM HZ OVC002 18/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01830156[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280925Z AUTO 00000KT 1 3/4SM HZ OVC003 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01890161[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280853Z AUTO 00000KT 8SM OVC003 19/16 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP184 T01890161 51004[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280824Z AUTO 08005KT 3SM HZ OVC002 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280815Z AUTO 09004KT 1 3/4SM HZ OVC002 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280753Z AUTO 06004KT 2SM HZ OVC002 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP181 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280746Z AUTO 07004KT 2SM HZ OVC002 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280738Z AUTO 06006KT 1 1/2SM HZ OVC002 19/17 A3009 RMK AO2 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280653Z AUTO VRB04KT 1/2SM HZ VV002 20/17 A3009 RMK AO2 SLP184 T02000172[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280642Z AUTO 05005KT 1/2SM HZ VV002 20/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T02000172[/code]=left
[color=left=#000000]
Code:
KBRD 280553Z AUTO 04003KT 1/4SM HZ VV002 19/17 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP181 60000 T01940167 10233 20178 402440178 50000
[/color]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280518Z AUTO 05004KT 1/4SM HZ BKN002 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01890161[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280513Z AUTO 04003KT 1SM HZ BKN002 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 VIS 1/4V5 T01890161[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280510Z AUTO 03003KT 2SM HZ BKN002 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 VIS 1V5 T01890161[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280500Z AUTO 03003KT 1SM HZ VV002 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280458Z AUTO 03003KT 1 3/4SM HZ FEW002 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280453Z AUTO 03003KT 1 1/2SM HZ CLR 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 SLP183 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280430Z AUTO 05004KT 1SM HZ CLR 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940161[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280423Z AUTO 04004KT 1 1/2SM HZ FEW003 19/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940167[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280416Z AUTO 03003KT 1SM HZ VV003 20/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T02000172[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280413Z AUTO 00000KT 1 1/2SM HZ FEW003 20/17 A3008 RMK AO2 T02000172[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280401Z AUTO 03003KT 1 3/4SM HZ CLR 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 T01940161[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280353Z AUTO 02003KT 9SM CLR 19/16 A3008 RMK AO2 RAE0254 SLP182 P0000 T01940161[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280253Z AUTO 04004KT 10SM -RA FEW095 21/17 A3007 RMK AO2 RAB34 SLP180 P0000 60000 T02060172 53006[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280153Z AUTO 08003KT 10SM SCT100 23/18 A3006 RMK AO2 RAB0057E12 SLP175 P0000 T02280178[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 280053Z AUTO 08004KT 10SM BKN110 23/18 A3005 RMK AO2 SLP171 T02280178[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 272353Z AUTO 07005KT 10SM SCT110 23/17 A3005 RMK AO2 RAE09 SLP173 P0000 6//// T02330172 10244 20222 56005[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 272253Z AUTO 05007KT 10SM -RA OVC110 23/18 A3006 RMK AO2 RAB00 SLP175 P0000 T02330183[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 272153Z AUTO 06006KT 10SM FEW044 SCT110 23/18 A3006 RMK AO2 SLP174 T02330178[/code]=left
[code=left]KBRD 272053Z AUTO 03004KT 10SM OVC041 24/17 A3007 RMK AO2 SLP178 6//// T02390172 51037[/code]

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Old 29th Jun 2019, 12:37
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Knowing what the OpSpecs Weather Minimums for the Operation are will be interesting reading when doing a comparison of the weather reporting in the forecast and actual weather being that existed at the time of the flight.

NVG's are not of much use if you are in cloud or fog.

Fog will straight up kill you.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 13:52
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Killer Fog!!!!?????

It's the impact with the ground whilst in the fog that seems to do the damage
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 14:57
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Via my quick check, wx was sufficient to file/fly the ILS with clear condition alternates within 30 minutes. Note my total speculation on this, did they complete the ILS and attempt a transition to the ramp, passing over top the PAPI? The aircraft heading is opposite this path but the impact looks near vertical with rotors intact.

And, I wouldn’t characterize NVGs as completely useless in fog and on an ILS.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 15:16
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How would you characterize the usefulness of NVG's on the night in question with the existing weather and Celestrial Lighting due to the Moon Phase, Overcast, and flight within Cloud or Fog?


http://www.aeromed-africa.com/sites/...NVIS_final.pdf
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 15:24
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The operator's website is interesting:

https://northmemorial.com/specialty/air-care/

Our pilots are certified to “fly by instrument,” making us agile enough to reach emergency scenes when weather has grounded other pilots.
A fascinating correlation between being instrument rated and landing at a random accident site in IMC.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 16:35
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A fascinating correlation between being instrument rated and landing at a random accident site in IMC.
yes, that is a very worrying management mindset........

I have used NVG in very poor vis to get the required visual references at the bottom of an ILS once - not pretty or clever but we had no diversion options and a sick patient on board. You could see the lights at DH with the goggles but not without them and it was a two-pilot process.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 17:31
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I have used NVG in very poor vis to get the required visual references at the bottom of an ILS once - not pretty or clever but we had no diversion options and a sick patient on board. You could see the lights at DH with the goggles but not without them and it was a two-pilot process.
Agreed. The transition from instruments/IMC to visual landing at night at/near ILS mins, is one of the most challenging maneuvers of IFR flight. The high intensity of the approach light system and runway lights can penetrate cloud and fog at the distances involved near DH. This amount of artificial lighting is sufficient for adequate NVG operation. It seems odd one could understand the benefits of NVGs, but dismiss their value during this phase of flight.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 17:50
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Pictures of the crash site by Steve Kohls of the Brainerd Dispatch:



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Old 29th Jun 2019, 18:00
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My experience with the Sperry Helipilot system on Bell 412's and S-76's demonstrated the aircraft could get you down to 50 feet AGL using the RadAlt and the system tracking the Localizer and Glide Slope....and do so at 60 Knots IAS.

On a fully instrumented runway approach system...with all the lights, strobes and such.....NVG's for a SINGLE Pilot Operation would be a benefit and a distraction.

Legal Approach Minima are well above the 50 foot number for ILS Approaches (all depends upon the OpSpecs for the Operator).


Now if you are doing a some sort of off airport approach or a Non-Precision Approach.....I can see a whole new degree of difficulty.

What kind of Instrument Approach was the Pilot performing?

But...back to the tragedy in question....the video of the crashed aircraft raises a lot of questions about what happened.

I did not see any lengthy skid marks or other signs of disturbance to the surrounding sod....all the Rotors were still attached, the aircraft certainly had a very hard vertical impact.....well off the Runway.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 18:09
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Appears to have impacted just short of the ILS antenna...altimeter problem?
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 20:59
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Originally Posted by LRP View Post
Appears to have impacted just short of the ILS antenna...altimeter problem?
Hi LRP
An altimeter problem on an ILS shouldn’t cause you to impact the ground early. Lots of other things might, including poor use of a three axis autopilot - but that is in the realms of pure conjecture!
Cheers
TeeS

LRP, my apologies - I didn’t look at the pictures and misunderstood your comment, that does look remarkably close to the glideslope antenna!

Last edited by TeeS; 29th Jun 2019 at 23:33.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 21:45
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Originally Posted by LRP View Post
Appears to have impacted just short of the ILS antenna...altimeter problem?
That would be just beyond the GS antenna, facing the opposite direction.
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Old 29th Jun 2019, 23:00
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My experience with the Sperry Helipilot system on Bell 412's and S-76's demonstrated the aircraft could get you down to 50 feet AGL using the RadAlt and the system tracking the Localizer and Glide Slope....and do so at 60 Knots IAS.
Unfortunately, the A109S autopilot isn't quite so sophisticated as that in the S-76.

The AP has no facility to carry out an ILS with the aircraft holding a set airspeed (the collective isn't coupled and there is no altitude pre-select facility). During the ILS the airspeed is controlled by the pilot using the collective and it can be counter-intuitive until you are used to it; it will easily go through Vne or VLE (max landing gear extended speed) as it couples to the G/S and noses down - it's a slippery beast and can get away from you. At lower IASs, with the AP fully coupled, the aircraft seems to "wallow" as if the AP is struggling - it's designed to fly fast.

The AP is capable of leveling the aircraft at the completion of the ILS but at that stage the airspeed still has to be controlled by the pilot using the collective. It's actually quite unnatural to significantly lower the lever - lowering the lever brings up the nose, rather than the possibly more usual expectation of it causing the nose to drop. If you are still in fog at that stage and not used to it, possibly more than a little disorientating.
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 00:55
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Not withstanding the (lack of) sophistication of the A109S autopilot. Presumably it's sophisticated enough to enable the aircraft to be on the localizer and aligned with the runway center line. And in foggy conditions you stay on that localizer until DH, and at DH (with the required visibility) you continue down and land on the runway center line. And then ground taxi all the way to the dispersal point. 'Aint no way that helicopter was aligned with the runway center line when it met its demise.

And besides, there is absolutely no place for leveling off once established on an ILS approach prior to touchdown. The helicopter should be like a ping pong ball bouncing off a table at DH and carry out the missed approach if you don't have the required visibility (which is always to immediately add power at DH and climb). If you do have the required visibility at DH you continue the approach angle and alignment whilst slowing down until touch down. Either way, you never level off whilst in flight.

Last edited by gulliBell; 30th Jun 2019 at 01:13.
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 07:47
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gulliBell, I don't understand your reference to "leveling off" during an ILS.

Yes, the A109S flies a very good ILS. As you say, on reaching DA (or DH if using QFE), provided that sufficient visual reference has been seen and maintained there is a "transitional" period where the pilot has to take over, the aircraft has to be slowed down, either to a suitable hover taxi speed, or to a landing on the runway. The maximum run-on speed for an A109S is 40 kts. The autopilot has a "go-around" facility.

That sad photograph shows an aircraft that had impacted with little or no forward speed, but at a very high vertical velocity. Why it wasn't on the runway in fully serviceable condition remains to be seen.
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Old 30th Jun 2019, 11:03
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Strange one here. Be key to know what runway they were using and approach they were on. Not familiar with KBRD but seems there is an ILS on 23 and 34, and an RNAV on 05. N11NM was a 109S, so not the SP with 4 axis autopilot, so it would have been able to fully couple to an ILS but not, I suspect, the RNAV on 05. Given NE wind you'd ideally have chosen 05, but assuming it doesn't have an ILS and given the minimal 3kt tailwind, and advantage of having the terminal buildings at the end of the roll out with presumably some lighting, I'd have taken 23. Maybe 34 with a light crosswind. Either way, both have long 7000ft runways, so speed over the threshold not a big deal.

Looks like the pilot had 200ft and 1/4M (400m) at the time of the accident - not great, and may have been under legal limits (though before and after vis was better) - but assuming the runway lighting was fully serviceable and on, that should not have prevented a successful approach to the runway. Which is what I suspect he achieved. On the 109S the radalt will level at circa 50ft at the end of the approach with the ILS coupling keeping it over the runway, especially with no crosswind. And with say an approach speed of 100kts, stability is good, and with 7000ft you should have plenty of distance to slow it down to taxi speed without big pitch/power changes.

The wreckage appears to be about 200m SW of the 23 touchdown point, 60m south of the runway. It also shows no forward speed, and a pretty level vertical impact. So it really doesn't look like it crashed from continued descent on the ILS23 in virtually nil vis until it impacted the ground - that would have streaked it along with far more damage from surely at least 50 kts forward speed, even after 200m. In bad weather, it's unlikely you'd try and uncouple and flare enough to lose all airspeed just 200m after the threshold, especially when the terminal is over a mile ahead.

It seems to me a possible scenario is that the pilot completed whatever approach he was on, got visual and was at taxi speed, but then perhaps lost visual references in denser fog, and with minimal airspeed couldn't control the aircraft which started to go out of control so he dumped the lever to try and get back visual - but hit the ground before he did. But there again once he'd got visual over the runway you'd have thought he'd have run it on, given wheels, and been able to relax for the first time in a while, and work out his ground taxi route to wherever. But amongst the puzzles is why he actually crashed at the location he did.










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