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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

Old 10th Jul 2019, 17:42
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Re the impression left by a few posts using the “ rush “ word, has there been any reporting from those not making the flight as to the timeline associated with this event?
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 17:53
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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What is most depressing about this is the fact despite all the technology, the regulation and the smart men in the room it seems relatively easy for very many experienced hands to believe it is entirely credible for a 10 buck helicopter to be drilled by 2 professional pilots just after take off and then the view explained by flakey process that many seem comfortable expressing. That doesn't seem cool even if it is a reality.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 19:50
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by UKExpat View Post
Looking into the Qatar A139 boom failure on the ground - would this aircraft (being a 2008 model) have still had the old/original composite nomex honeycomb boom vs. the new aluminium boom?
You are barking up a red herring.

The tailboom on that Qatari aircraft failed because it had previously been whacked on a deck. AW139s do not have a reputation or history of their tailbooms falling in flight.

Neither do the newer, improved ‘3 banded’ tail rotor blades.
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 20:58
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you...glad someone finally put this to rest. Now if we can get off the absence of floats, tail rotor stripes, and parental behavior.....
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Old 10th Jul 2019, 23:03
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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Rumor has it that the tailboom was found about 500 feet from the helicopter. Absolutely, positively, unconfirmed.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 01:27
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
...The aviation element here is that without the need for the flight, the accident wouldn't have happened so it is hardly unrelated..
If the tail boom fell off, the circumstances of the flight then become virtually meaningless. If it didn't fall off when it did, it was going to fall off on the next (or a subsequent) flight under entirely different operational dispatch circumstances.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 03:11
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing has indicated the Tail Boom "fell off".

Rumor has it that the tail boom was found "500 feet" away.

Current and wind could explain it being that far away from the rest of the aircraft....even if it separated upon impact with the water for some other reason.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 03:54
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post


You are barking up a red herring.

The tailboom on that Qatari aircraft failed because it had previously been whacked on a deck. AW139s do not have a reputation or history of their tailbooms falling in flight.

Neither do the newer, improved ‘3 banded’ tail rotor blades.
Are you sure?
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 05:28
  #209 (permalink)  
 
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Yeah, I know. Just saying, if it did fall off. But it is unusual for the tail boom to completely separate at the aft cabin junction. Most of the helicopter crashes into water that I've seen, tail boom or remnants of tail boom remain somewhat still connected by cables or hydraulic lines or whatever. But this is the first high speed crash of an AW139 into water that I've seen (al-be-it photos only).
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 14:19
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post
The tailboom on that Qatari aircraft failed because it had previously been whacked on a deck. AW139s do not have a reputation or history of their tailbooms falling in flight.

If that were the case, then why did AW redesign the booms after that exact incident?

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...ew-booms-aw139


Manufacturer promises new booms for AW139
by Mark Huber
- February 22, 2010, 9:06 AM

In the wake of the highly publicized tail-boom failure on a Gulf Airways AW139 last August 25, AgustaWestland has been quietly assuring customers with AW139s on order that it will begin equipping them with a new-design tail boom beginning next month. The boom on the Gulf AW139 failed while the aircraft was taxiing in Doha, Qatar, and there were no injuries. That boom exhibited signs of delamination, as have numerous other tail booms, according to operators who spoke to AIN. Some of the delamination is sufficiently severe to require replacement of the entire tail boom. The incident prompted AgustaWestland to issue an Alert Service Bulletin outlining emergency and then repetitive inspection techniques for the AW139’s composite tail boom. The EASA and FAA later issued emergency Airworthiness Directives.

The AW139 airframe and components are made under contract by PZL Swidnik in Poland and Turkish Aerospace Industries. The new boom will employ a different composite technique and use an aluminum skin bonded to honeycomb, according to one U.S.-based AW139 customer who spoke to AIN. Not clear at this point is whether Agusta-Westland will offer the new-design boom to owners of existing AW139s and under what terms.

Operators contacted said that as of yet they have not been offered the new boom for existing helicopters. One said it was “a matter of ongoing negotiation” with AgustaWestland. On February 16, an AgustaWestland spokesman told AIN that the company would issue a statement regarding the AW139 tail boom “in the very near term.”
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 17:36
  #211 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
Yeah, I know. Just saying, if it did fall off. But it is unusual for the tail boom to completely separate at the aft cabin junction. Most of the helicopter crashes into water that I've seen, tail boom or remnants of tail boom remain somewhat still connected by cables or hydraulic lines or whatever. But this is the first high speed crash of an AW139 into water that I've seen (al-be-it photos only).
About tail booms falling off, or otherwise failing to stay where they are supposed to, whilst rotors are turning.
Circa 1982 in Whiting Field, FL, our trainng in Hueys was curtailed for a few days when one of the Hueys, in a hover, lost its tail boom. They put it down, all walked away, nobody dies.
An inspection of the four attachment bolts on all of our squadrion's Hueys was made. Quite a few were corroded to the point of needing to be replaced, and a whole load of bolts were ordered so that, one at a time, our Hueys were brought back up to serviceable condition
(My memory is hazy a few details there, Jack Carson or a few others who flew Hueys in Whiting may recall the details better than I ... we only got part of the story as flight students).
I'll suggests that most "tail boom just left the aircraft" incidents come as a major surprise.

As to drift of parts after impact: yes, I'll take the line gulliBell suggests unitl further detail is provided.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 18:22
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Nothing has indicated the Tail Boom "fell off".
Rumor has it that the tail boom was found "500 feet" away.
Current and wind could explain it being that far away from the rest of the aircraft....even if it separated upon impact with the water for some other reason.
Hmmm, 500ft would be quite aa lot for the shallow water. Depending on what's still attached to the boom it will sink rather quickly.
Also a total separation just upon impact is rather unusual. Those two aspects would at least not rule out a loss off the tail as initiating event.
On the other hand it would be a strange conicidence. Pitch black moonless night. 2 AM in the morning over flat sea, just starting from a private property with possibly sub- optimum lighting for transition into the dark (so all ingredients for spatial disorientation => LoC/CFIT) and then the tail boom falls off.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 18:40
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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@henra: while the coincidence would be unusual, think about the harsh reality of the Pitch black moonless night. 2 AM in the morning over flat sea, possibly sub- optimum lighting for transition into the dark - and you lose the tail.
Not just that the TR stops turning (tough enough at night wil no visual reference and not a lot of altitude) but the tail boom.
(Based on a mishap from some years ago, (different aircraft type) as the main fuselage swaps ends the airspeed drops rather quickly ... that lateral separation might not be so out to lunch. Depends a lot on wind, and other factors)

That's a hard emergency procedure to train for with VMC as the assumed environment. At night with no horizon? degree of difficulty goes way up.
I'd expect that the upset would be hard to deal with for even the best pilots, when we toss in the surprise factor ...
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 18:48
  #214 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
That's a hard emergency procedure to train for with VMC as the assumed environment. At night with no horizon? degree of difficulty goes way up.
I'd expect that the upset would be hard to deal with for even the best pilots, when we toss in the surprise factor ...
'hard emergency procedure to train for' is probably a euphemism...
I'm quite sure loosing the whole tail boom will mess up cg so badly plus strip you of the slightest weather vaning that I would consider that scenario simply unsurvivable (just depending on altitude/impact severity) even in the brightest daylight.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 19:21
  #215 (permalink)  
 
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Lone is learning the art of that infamous British understatement thing it appears!

We could throw in a Swash Plate failure as a possible initiating event as well.

My money is on this was a mechanical failure caused event....rather than the stock CFIT thing

Who is in for a Pint of Beer on that?
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 20:13
  #216 (permalink)  
 
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Something has caused all the blades to come off, and all the tail boom to come off. Which of those bits came off first in flight has no bearing on the outcome because neither scenario would be survivable. I'm inclined to think that flying a serviceable helicopter into the water at whatever unusual angle, at the speed they were likely to be traveling so soon after take-off, would not result in the damage observed. So I'm with SASless on this one.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 20:25
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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Who is in for a Pint of Beer on that?
Chalenge accepted.

I'm 99% convinced it was some kind of CFIT. Alas.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 20:47
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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Tail failure.

I would have thought the tail would have been nearby if it had been attached to the aircraft when it went into the water.
With the Qatar AW139 losing its tail it did make me wonder about known problems with composite material. The FAA were looking into composite delimitation problems on all composite a/c in 2010.
Vibration has caused a few cracks in some of the a/c made from composites which I've flown.
Salt water can be very corrosive on metal bolts even if operating over land near to the coast from what I've seen in the past..

Anyone heard if they have found the tail, or tail rotor, as the water didn't look very deep? Did the landing site on Grand Cay have any cctv cameras?

Update from the Bahamas air accident investigation unit.. Their facebook page says that 90% of the aircraft has been photographed.


July 9, 2019
Investigation involving N32CC helicopter approximately 90% of the craft has been photographed and documented over the last 2 days. The remainder of the craft will be completed over the next few days.

Components and parts requiring additional analysis have been removed and are being prepared for shipment to additional laboratories and facilities for specialized analysis in a more controlled environment.

No cause(s) or contributing factor(s) to this accident has been determined, as it is too early to say what may have caused it.


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Last edited by Cabby; 11th Jul 2019 at 21:08.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 21:14
  #219 (permalink)  
 
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Recovery photo.

The airframe aboard the recovery boat.
https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/...crash-64203194
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 22:46
  #220 (permalink)  
 
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It was CFIT. Pitch black moonless night, takeoff over a black ocean at 2 o'clock in the morning from a remote island, with probably little crew rest...but NO! The tailboom fell off just after they were airborne! Please.....
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