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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

Old 13th Jul 2019, 12:45
  #261 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cabby View Post
Re the above, I also wondered why the aircraft waited 30 minutes for the passengers? It didn't appear to take any fuel according to the witness who worked for the owner.

Bahamas Police spokesmen states they don't believe there was a distress call, and that the weather wasn't a problem.
https://popculture.com/celebrity/201...new-boyfriend/
Exactly! The whole debate about how easily even a decorated pilot can lose it in IMC has detracted from real question marks in this story:

- Alcohol poisoning may be serious, but is not complicated. Any hospital can treat it.
- Given that night VFR is illegal in Bahamas, you wouldn't take any non essential crew on an emergency flight.

Is it possible that we just wanted to go to a trendy night club in Miami?
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 12:54
  #262 (permalink)  
 
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I do not understand how a plethora of honorable posters before me concede they too could have put her into the drink under similar circumstances
You need to ponder the wisdom contained in a post by FH1100.
my ego makes me want to sit here and think to myself and promise you that *I* surely would have done a better job in that situation. But I cannot guarantee that. Perhaps I would have done the same thing, basically sitting frozen on the controls for those eight brief seconds. I like to believe I'm Chuck Yeager/Aaron/Norris all rolled into one awesome human bean. Most of the time though I'm just Chuckles the Clown. I cut that guy a lot of slack
Never have I seen it so eloquently put.
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 13:05
  #263 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Hot and Hi - I think the point you are missing is that there is a transition from VMC to IMC on a night overwater departure that you have to be mentally prepared for - you go from the comfort of your landing light illumination into pitch black and if you haven't already been including your instruments in your hover scan, you can easily be slow to fully establish your IFR comfort zone.

It is the sort of scenario that needs training and practice. I'm sure TC will attest to how easy it is to get disorientated flying off the back of a ship at night - you are dealing with a change of scan and all the somatogravic illusions of acceleration which you don't normally get on an IFR departure because you establish yourself above VminI before going IMC.
This is indeed exactly the point I am making.

Originally Posted by Hot and Hi
The only problem with IMC is if you don’t realize you are in IMC, and continue flying by the seat of your pants.
Nobody says it is easy, or it didn't require recurring training. But for Christ' sake, this is what any commercial pilot should be able to do, let alone the top notch people that this billionaire, or a Lord Ballyedmond (G-LBAL) desired to employ.

Simple rules apply:

- Be mentally prepared for the back hole departure.
- Treat any night departure as an IMC departure.
- Don't use landing lights on departure.
- Fly on instruments before you lose visual clues.

It is not that difficult. The excuses presented are not permissible.
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 14:00
  #264 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
You need to ponder the wisdom contained in a post by FH1100. Never have I seen it so eloquently put.
Every once in a while he reels one in.
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 14:56
  #265 (permalink)  
 
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Personally I'm scared to death of these types of over the ocean night flghts, but then I think of my instrument training using all those little, old fashioned guages.

I saw a video not all that long ago of a guy taking off in IMC in a 407 (I think someone called it that?) but he had this huge glass cockpit display with what looked like an enormous artificial horizon! I thought, "Damn! how much easier it must be to fly staring at that huge ass thing compared to that tiny one I once had to use?!"

Did this 139 have a glass cockpit?
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 15:00
  #266 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Robbiee View Post
Did this 139 have a glass cockpit?
They all do. And a very capable, 4-axis autopilot.
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Old 13th Jul 2019, 20:41
  #267 (permalink)  
 
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I knew Geoff and I do not want to upset any friends but something to consider here is time on type...
I have got like 4000 hours on the 139 so I know if you want to take the controls and fly manually a recovery from unusual attitudes or just to prevent a cfit scenario, you need to be proficient, once you press that force trim release button it becomes really sensitive...
I also have seen in the sim a captain that did not fly the 139 recently just going inverted and crashing into the runway trying a go around manually...

Rip
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 01:57
  #268 (permalink)  
 
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Every once in a while he reels one in
Since he says he is a CPL flying light single engine helos I venture he/she has some learning to do, should he/she have the arrogance to believe he's/she's not capable of screwing the pooch I for one would not wish to share a cockpit with him/her. A little humility re ones ability goes a long way.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 03:26
  #269 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
Since he says he is a CPL flying light single engine helos I venture he/she has some learning to do, should he/she have the arrogance to believe he's/she's not capable of screwing the pooch I for one would not wish to share a cockpit with him/her. A little humility re ones ability goes a long way.
Just "he" dude
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 08:27
  #270 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Megan, play the ball and not the person.

The reasons presented in this thread (that even the best can screw up a night departure) were:

- Sometimes you are not mentally prepared. (Post #253)
- You hold on too long to visual clues and become subject to visual illusions. (Post #253)
- It's so dark out there, you can't see a thing ("deep IMC"). (sea plane's posts #239-247)
- The bright reflection of ground objects illuminated by the landing light messes up your night vision, and your eyes don't adapt quickly enough when it gets dark. (Post #253)

While all this is true, the charter client expects us to be able to manage this situation correctly, in order to provide a reliably safe air service. It appears that some of us, even though licensed to and experienced in flying a twin in IMC as part of a two pilot set-up, would still wish to tell the charter client that mostly it should be fine but on occasion - despite best preparation and efforts - the above listed problems might catch us out, and we all die!

This is not what I believe. Please educate me why the simple rules that I had stated here would not guarantee a safe night departure (unless mechanical malfunction):

- Be mentally prepared for the back hole departure.
- Treat any night departure as an IMC departure.
- Don't use landing lights on departure.
- Fly on instruments before you lose visual clues.
There are a number of Ppruners who have voiced similar concerns (e..g, post #227, 245, 248, 265). It would be good if one could reach consensus on this question.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 08:52
  #271 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by falcon900 View Post
Whilst it seems rather tangential to the current flow of the thread, I remain interested in the background to the fatal flight. The eyewitness report states that the aircraft ARRIVED about half an hour before it departed on the fatal flight. Do we know where from? Do we know why it took around 30 minutes to take off again? If it was a medical emergency involving the owners daughter, would we not expect it to take off immediately? Why was it heading to the US; the medical facilities in the Bahamas are doubtless less sophisticated at the high end, but their proximity would be a major advantage, and they would certainly be able to deal with "alcohol poisoning" ? Why so many friends on the aircraft: I know what young girls are like, but alcohol poisoning is not a spectator sport, and by the time her Father had become involved and had to send for his helicopter in the middle of the night, I would have expected a different and smaller passenger list.
Possibly all irrelevant to what happened, but until we know what transpired, maybe not.
i was wondering the same thing. A medical emergency does not normally require corralling an entourage, especially at 2 in the morning. Were they planning on returning?
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 09:40
  #272 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
Megan, play the ball and not the person.

The reasons presented in this thread (that even the best can screw up a night departure) were:

- Sometimes you are not mentally prepared. (Post #253)
- You hold on too long to visual clues and become subject to visual illusions. (Post #253)
- It's so dark out there, you can't see a thing ("deep IMC"). (sea plane's posts #239-247)
- The bright reflection of ground objects illuminated by the landing light messes up your night vision, and your eyes don't adapt quickly enough when it gets dark. (Post #253)

While all this is true, the charter client expects us to be able to manage this situation correctly, in order to provide a reliably safe air service. It appears that some of us, even though licensed to and experienced in flying a twin in IMC as part of a two pilot set-up, would still wish to tell the charter client that mostly it should be fine but on occasion - despite best preparation and efforts - the above listed problems might catch us out, and we all die!

This is not what I believe. Please educate me why the simple rules that I had stated here would not guarantee a safe night departure (unless mechanical malfunction):



There are a number of Ppruners who have voiced similar concerns (e..g, post #227, 245, 248, 265). It would be good if one could reach consensus on this question.
I personally dont think simple rules are sufficient. Training and practice are essential if you want a good outcome.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 11:15
  #273 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Non-PC Plod View Post
I personally dont think simple rules are sufficient. Training and practice are essential if you want a good outcome.
Spot on. I’ll throw in [established procedures] also.
If you don’t have procedures, MCC and training on it, Id say it will be virtually single pilot operations with a witness to the left of the single PF. How is the PNF supposed to support the PF, what values are the limiting factors he need to monitor during take off, when should he make very importand call outs and what is the actuall call outs and what is the actions needed?

Some posters has stated this kind of flight should’nt be a problem/dangerous. That would be the case with the right procedures, right training and a currency on these procedures.
Without proper procedures, training and proficient crew I see almost a tick in every box for a disaster. I don’t think I need to list them as most already are covered in this thread already.

I do not know anything about the crew training, procedures etc in this case, but generally speaking without this it is a very high risk operation.
I know that this kind of operations or similar has bitten a lot of crews in the back that actually ’was born’ in this type of environment( Navy, SAR etc.) during the years.

This flight can be made quite safe, but it could also be very dangerous. I would’nt put a technical fault first in the probability list, but Im also sure that if the procedures arent water tight it would only take a minor problem to draw attention from the most important tasks in the very wrong time. It is so easy to get fooled by an non important issue in the most critical phase, if not drilled numerous times in a sim.

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Old 14th Jul 2019, 11:58
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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I really don’t get what all the reference to deep dark IMC and moonless nights has to do with anything during this particular takeoff. It’s not like you are staring outside looking for visual references as you fly out over the water??? This was a flight where you would be on the instruments 100% of the time as soon as you rotated. You would only need to keep the helipad visual as you either backed up or climbed vertically, depending on the profile, which a moonless night and “deep dark IMC” have no bearing on.

A normal night helipad departure should have looked
like this in their AW139.........

- Pick your CAT A profile

- Do your hover checks and figure out your target PI

- Apply your calculated takeoff power

- Climb to your TDP visually

- Wait for the non flying pilot to call TDP

THEN EYES GO TO AND STAY ON THE DIALS!!!!

- Call rotating and rotate to 10 degrees nose down and count to one one thousand ON INSTRUMENTS!! (Same for all AW139 helipad profiles)

- Level the wings with the horizon ON INSTRUMENTS!! and wait for the VTOSS call at 40 KIAS by the non flying pilot (Same call for all AW139 helipad profiles)

-Adjust the pitch up to 5 degrees nose up ON INSTRUMENTS!! and continue pulling your calculated takeoff PI

- Wait for the VY call from the non flying pilot at 80 knots and then reduce the takeoff power to climb power ON INSTRUMENTS!!

- Call for the after takeoff Checks when the non flying pilot calls 500 Radalt

- Select Flight Director Modes if wanted.

This is just a standard run of the mill night departure that any offshore guy has done hundreds of times in their career and during simulator training. Deep, dark and moonless have nothing to do with the procedure. From the second you begin to rotate both sets of eyes are inside on the instruments.

However, I completely agree that these skills are perishable and if you are used to bombing around single pilot day VFR and have 10,000 hours of Robinson time, as one poster said, you probably are just checking the boxes rather than being proficient.

I would have been sweating bullets if asked to perform that type of takeoff without feeling proficient. The black hole spatial illusions are no joke if you aren’t glued to those instruments.

Currency and proficiency unfortunately are not up to the pilots but the companies or individuals that employ us. I would love to do 10 night landings per month offshore but unfortunately the oil companies and my company stick to the 3 takeoffs and landings in 90 days instead.

Looks like a classic CFIT case to me so far.........
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 12:08
  #275 (permalink)  
 
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The listed owner of the helicopter is Challenger Management LLC located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Company also owns a Cessna 208, EMB-505, ERJ-190-100 ECJ, and a EMB 550,

One question that comes to mind is.....are they operating as a FAA Part 91 Corporate Flight Operation or are they operating the fleet as an FAA Part 135 Air Taxi Operation to offset the costs of the fleet?

The key here is the added requirements for training, etc....imposed on the operation by the FAR's if they are Part 135 over that required under Part 91.

The flight in question could be done under Part 91....and not Part 135.....which would pertain to Operational Control, Weathe Minimumsr, Instrument Approaches, and other procedures which Part 135 would require.

I have been unable to find any listing showing them to be a published Air Taxi Operator and thus assume they operate purely as a Corporate Flight Department.

Generally, the Insurance Company drives the training requirements more than the FAA in those cases.....that and what Management of the Operation decide is appropriate and affordable.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 12:20
  #276 (permalink)  
 
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Currency and proficiency unfortunately are not up to the pilots but the companies or individuals that employ us.
I would assess a 90% correct rating to that statement without any hesitation.

But....we also get too thank the FAA/CAA etc....for allowing a Six Month interval between Check Rides where instant currency and proficiency are asserted as if by waving a Magic Wand.

I might accept the "proficient" part....but certainly not "currency".

Most places you get a practice ride then the actual check ride....unless it is thought you have done well enough on the practice such that the Check Airman calls "it" the Check Ride.

Some of our most perishable skills are the most expensive to maintain if you do perform those tasks as part of your standard work.

One company graciously allowed us to take a few minutes extra to perform practice Instrument Approaches while taking the aircraft to the airport for refueling.....single pilot in VFR weather.

That certainly did not equate to doing it for real on a very dark, stormy night in southwest Texas as you were returning with a critical patient in the cabin and getting short of fuel because of unplanned delays and un-forecast head winds.

Instrument flight currency is best done.....in Instrument Conditions....real or simulated (Simulators).
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 12:25
  #277 (permalink)  
 
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that and what Management of the Operation decide is appropriate and affordable.
Happened at Aberdeen years ago.

During one of the slumps the profit margin was shrinking. A 'Director of Efficiency' was appointed, the Chairman's son.

It was decided that as the number of helipad departures undertaken by the offshore crews was virtually zero the helipad procedures would be removed from the six-monthly base checks so as to save the cost of the fuel and time.

A crew are tasked when offshore to bring a serious medevac directly to Aberdeen hospital so they arrive and deposit said medevac at the hospital helipad.
They cannot take off even though it is empty, the captain is not current with helipad departures. They have to shut down and wait for a training captain to come out from the airport so the aircraft could be flown out.

We all still had to wait until our next base check to get current on helipad departures again.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 13:11
  #278 (permalink)  
 
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Same outfit started Sim Training on the Bell 212 only because the Client required it.

Then....they would fly you in from Nigeria....and within hours of arriving in Texas....you were in the Sim.

Never mind the Jet Lag and pure exhaustion from the travel....and then only the barest amount of Sim Time.

Very quickly they decided the critiques by the Trainers were not very flattering and they started using their own Trainers with the Trained Sim Instructors being allowed only to run the Sim.

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Old 14th Jul 2019, 14:55
  #279 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
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Sterile Cockpit?

There is one other topic that I don't think is receiving enough attention.

If the reports are true that Cline's daughter had alcohol poisoning that was serious enough to medevac, it very much could have been a life and death situation. The fact that so many people were on the plane leads me to believe that it could have very well been a panic situation. I find it hard to believe that the passengers were patiently, quietly sitting in the passenger compartment. I could easily immagine screaming, crying, and outright chaos.

Black Hole liftoft, short flight preparation, billionaire owner onboard, chaos in the passenger compartment. I am not sure that any of us pilots could reliably pull that off, or should even try. However, if it truly was a life and death situation, I am not sure as a pilot how you say no.....
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 17:03
  #280 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 626DM View Post
If the reports are true that Cline's daughter had alcohol poisoning that was serious enough to medevac, it very much could have been a life and death situation. The fact that so many people were on the plane leads me to believe that it could have very well been a panic situation. I find it hard to believe that the passengers were patiently, quietly sitting in the passenger compartment. I could easily immagine screaming, crying, and outright chaos.
It might have been a stressful situation with lots of shouting, but I believe one of the earlier reports mentioned that everyone was in their seats and strapped in, when the bodies were recovered. It doesn't appear that anyone was moving around and out of their seats.

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