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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

Old 6th Jul 2019, 19:30
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Rockytop, Tennessee, USA
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Originally Posted by atakacs View Post
Just wondering: who will be the lead agency investigating this one? NTSB ?


This crash will be investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Department of the Bahamas (
http://www.baaid.gov.bs/).

From the Tribune Freeport:

According to a statement by AAID issued by Grand Bahama NEMA official Tammi Mitchell, AAID has dispatched a team of investigators to the crash site. They will be joined and assisted by a team from the United States.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as well as the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada and the manufacturer of the aircraft and engine have been notified and will be providing assistance to the AAID with the investigation.

A salvage team has been dispatched to recover the aircraft and transport it to Florida where an inspection and investigation will be carried out.

"The AAID is mindful of the families that lost loved ones in this tragedy. We understand people want answers rapidly. We offer our deepest condolences. At present we are assessing this occurrence," the statement read.

"Once on site, our team will collect data, conduct witness interviews, examine and photograph the wreckage before it is transported to the facility in Florida for further analysis and documentation."

The statement indicated that AAID also will be looking to examine the maintenance history of the craft, review weather information, operations policies, regulations requirements and the operation of the aircraft.

AAID will have to examine all the information before drawing any conclusion.

"It is too early to say what the causes and contributing factors of this accident might be. The AAID will be also working with local law enforcement, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and other government and non-governmental agencies to ensure that those affected and next of kin are provided with information about the accident, and the next steps," the statement read.

AAID will provide updates on its website at www.baaid.org, on its Twitter page at bahamas_aaid, and through its WhatsApp Chat.

AAID thanked all emergency personnel and first responders for the support provided to local community and the assistance provided its team.



http://www.tribune242.com/news/2019/...t-nassau/?news
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 21:04
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Should have been an easy flight for a 139.
Only if the crew were very current in night/IMC operations and understood the correct use of flight director modes and the activation speeds of those modes. I have seen very experienced and current AW139 crews mess up on night overwater or IMC (same thing) take-offs in the sim - especially when even a minor malfunction is introduced.

If the operation is performed by 2 pilots then there needs to be a clear understanding of what will happen during the departure (a full brief) by the pilot flying (both normal and with a failure) and an understanding by the pilot monitoring. This is standard in most offshore/SAR operators SOP's but less so in other operations. If what I understand from previous posts is that this is a private operation normally flown single pilot day/VFR and this particular flight was 2 pilot night/IMC then I am not surprised at the outcome. RIP.

Last edited by Same again; 6th Jul 2019 at 21:32.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 21:11
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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But both of them hold licences as professional pilots - I am only SP VFR on the 139 but I can use the FD modes day/night and avoid flying into the water - what went wrong here?

Even the most basic use of ALTA would take you away from the water while you dealt with a malfunction (excepting major technical failures like TR), you are not telling me that pilots with a licence can't do that that, even if it is dark?
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 21:30
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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I have seen pilots with professional licences and AW139 type ratings who could not even fly an accurate circuit without being talked around it. Take a job at Sesto Crab - it would give you some clarity on world standards and abilities. RAF Valley not so.

For example (hypothetically of course) ..... a take-off is not properly briefed as the crew are not used to flying a 2 pilot operation and prior to reaching 55 kts IAS the PF (who is not very current flying without any visual references and starts to feel uncomfortable) asks the PM to select ALTA. He tries but it won't engage. The PF looks down to see what the problem is. The airspeed reduces further. Both pilots are looking inside and outside it is very dark with no visible horizon. The PF gets disoriented. They have not briefed what the procedure will be. Airspeed reduces further. Unusual attitude. Low altitude. No float arming, gear still not raised. Helicopters impacts the ocean in an unusual attitude and tail boom detaches.

Last edited by Same again; 6th Jul 2019 at 21:56.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 21:38
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Crab dear boy....you should get out more.

Gullibell and I both noted our experiences as Sim Instructors....and now you get it from third source......a piece of paper in a fancy twine bound booklet does not mean squat when it comes to real life flying ability.

Turn the lights out and remove a horizon such as over water flying and the numbers of our peers that are unable to reliably cope drops quickly.

To be fair to the two pilots in this particular tragedy....we do not know what happened to cause them to wind up as they did.

My point as was the other two is to remind all and sundry that IF flying skills are very perishable and just having a ticket to try...does not mean you can or should.

As you well know....from your own experience....it takes training, practice, and currency all combined to carry out the tasks safely and comfortably.

I as the rest of us should....will wait for the results of the investigation to discuss what actually occurred in this accident.

At this point...mechanical failures...systems failures....even pilot error are ALL possible scenarios.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 23:08
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Here’s a simple scenario of how it can go wrong in the 139, even with all the bells and whistles:

Fail to set a altitude (perhaps even have a minus value in...). Take off; establish a safe climb out profile; select ALTA; fail to notice that your safe profile has shifted to a descent... next call “150ft”, assuming you got higher than that; fail to react right promptly. Easy done, esp if you hit the upper modes early.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 00:18
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Torquetalk View Post
Here’s a simple scenario of how it can go wrong in the 139, even with all the bells and whistles:

Fail to set a altitude (perhaps even have a minus value in...). Take off; establish a safe climb out profile; select ALTA; fail to notice that your safe profile has shifted to a descent... next call “150ft”, assuming you got higher than that; fail to react right promptly. Easy done, esp if you hit the upper modes early.
Hopefully the fly away will kick in. I'm guessing it wasn't a phase 7 ship.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 00:38
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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They made it less than 2 miles. Clearly it went wrong shortly after loss of visual references. As mentioned, simple things can cause a serious UA shortly after takeoff.

Something as simple as a stuck down cyclic FTR can cause complete chaos with even a competent crew shortly after departure. An inadvertent SAS release with no references can be catastrophic at low alt.

The FD is very smart post phase 4 and should prevent an inadvertent descent except in a few rare conditions.

Whatever the cause, the MPFR will have most of the answers. RIP.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 01:48
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sir Korsky View Post
Hopefully the fly away will kick in. I'm guessing it wasn't a phase 7 ship.
Based on the lack of ADS-B and the early SN, chances are it wasn't.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 02:00
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Media reports are now stating that the flight was a medevac:

Cline was rushing his 22-year-old daughter to a Florida hospital for a medical emergency when their helicopter plunged into the Bahamian sea, according to a report.

Cline began experiencing the unspecified medical issue while attending her dad’s birthday party on his private island near Grand Cay, a friend of the family’s, Lauree Simmons, said on Friday.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 02:18
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by rrekn View Post
Based on the lack of ADS-B and the early SN, chances are it wasn't.
Pretty sure the fly away is based off the rad alt
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 02:55
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Pretty sure the fly away is based off the rad alt
It is, and it needs a collective flight director mode engaged and coupled.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 04:52
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Aircraft was at least Phase 5 with 4 axis enhanced FD. This means that TU (transition up) would have been available to them from zero speed, a great tool in the event of disorientation after departure and below 60kts when the traditional FD modes are not available. As to the safety flyup function, this requires the Collective mode of the FD to have been engaged/captured.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 05:26
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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From The Nassau Guardian:

‘Heartbroken’


July 6, 2019 Jasper Ward

Mathien McIntosh watched his boss’ helicopter take off from Big Grand Cay Thursday morning and then saw it disappear and crash.

American billionaire Chris Cline, along with six other people, were killed after the helicopter they were on crashed two miles off Grand Cay.

Cline is the owner of Big Grand Cay.

“The night before, me and my brother-in-law, we watched the chopper come in,” McIntosh told The Guardian yesterday.

“We watched it land and in about half an hour it [went] back up.

“As it [went] back up, it didn’t get very high. It went up and in about five minutes it just ‘boop’.

“The light just disappeared and it was a loud crash. It was a loud bang in the water.”

He said, “We jumped in our boats and we went searching. This was about 2:30 a.m. and we went searching from about 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., almost 5 a.m., the next day.

“Where it was so dark, we really couldn’t see anything because it was too dark so we called back to the island and they said, ‘No, no, no. The chopper is back in the states.’ So, I said ok, fine.”

McIntosh said he thought that was it.

But police said around 2 p.m. on Thursday, Cline’s helicopter was reported missing.

Delvin Major, chief investigator at the Air Accident Investigation Department, said the helicopter had departed Grand Cay, Abaco, and was en route to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when it crashed.

Search and rescue efforts began after the aircraft was reported “overdue” by authorities, according to Major.

McIntosh said he then went to Big Grand Cay to break the news to Cline’s employees.

Then he set out with officials to find the chopper.

When officials finally located the crash site, McIntosh said he was “heartbroken”.

“Everybody just was in a daze. Man, it was just tears, you know? It was just tears.”

He was also present when divers pulled Cline’s body out of the water.

McIntosh struggled to recount the discovery.

“Mr. Cline actually…was one of the first ones that came out,” he said, choking back tears.

“…Just then, a kid came out. It was four kids and they were about 19 to 21 years of age, kids in their prime.

“They had just graduated from college and came home to have fun and then boom; here today and gone tomorrow. It’s life.”

McGarrett Russell, a native of Abaco, said he and his son went out to sea with other members of the search and rescue team.

He said they stumbled across an area that “looked suspicious in the water”.

“[My son] put on his dive gears and he got into the water to identify what the object was,” Russell said.

“He went down there and when he [came] up, he told us what he saw and it was sad. He said he saw persons onboard. They all had on their seat belt, apparently intact.”

He added, “My son said he had to take the pilot’s hand away from the controllers. It was very hard because it was stiff [but] he said everybody was intact as if no one was even trying to loosen their seat belt and the doors [were] off.”

Police said four women and three men were on the helicopter.

Cline, who died one day before his 61st birthday, was reportedly on the craft with his daughter, a mechanic and some of his daughter’s friends.

Penny Reckhemmer, a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Nassau, said the embassy is providing appropriate consular services to the families of the victims.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the victims’ loved ones at this difficult time,” she said.

“The embassy is working closely with the U.S. and local authorities who are investigating the crash. At this time, the Bahamian government is leading the investigation with participation of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.”

According to the U.S. Department of State, 31 Americans have died in air accidents in The Bahamas between January 2003 and December 2018.

Last edited by Airbubba; 7th Jul 2019 at 18:33.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 05:55
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gyro139 View Post
Aircraft was at least Phase 5 with 4 axis enhanced FD. This means that TU (transition up) would have been available to them from zero speed, a great tool in the event of disorientation after departure and below 60kts when the traditional FD modes are not available. As to the safety flyup function, this requires the Collective mode of the FD to have been engaged/captured.
What happened to just being able to fly the aircraft without all the doodads?

Many of us have done thousands of these black night departures without an FD and fully coupled AP.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 06:35
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Old school flying skills are disappearing. There was a time when losing SAS or autopilot was an inconvenience but now it’s a disaster. 2 pilots and all the bells and whistles should be able to fly over flat water safely... period . Something is going terribly wrong with our current training !
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 06:53
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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That's right...in the old days we'd turn off the helipilots and fly around in wobbly mode and it was no drama at all. Try that today, and should anybody find out likely set off all sorts of calamities and investigations.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 06:55
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nigelh View Post
Old school flying skills are disappearing. There was a time when losing SAS or autopilot was an inconvenience but now it’s a disaster. 2 pilots and all the bells and whistles should be able to fly over flat water safely... period . Something is going terribly wrong with our current training !
I completely agree.

When I flew for Okanagan in the Beaufort Sea and High Arctic we used Bell 212's (Bell IFR or Sperry - no FD or AP except on 2 aircraft) ), SK 61's (AFCS - no FD or AP) and 76's (SCAS - no FD or AP).

We flew many thousands of hours at night, 12 months a year.

And yes, I once experienced "the wobblies" after a turn on departure into a black night with no horizon or celestial illumination.

FLY THE AIRCRAFT

Last edited by Old Dogs; 7th Jul 2019 at 09:03.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 06:57
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
That's right...in the old days we'd turn off the helipilots and fly around in wobbly mode and it was no drama at all. Try that today, and should anybody find out likely set off all sorts of calamities and investigations.
You had "Helipilots"?

Cool!!!
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 07:11
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Helipilots (Sperry) and AP's (Honeywell) with FD on the 76, yes. SCAS on the IFR 212's. The 76 was a little tricky at first without the helipilots, the early ones were built without it even installed. The guys flying those earned some street cred. All that aside, there seems to be a realization that this Bahamas prang was likely CFIT. Ordinarily one might be perplexed how this could possibly happen in a 139 with an IFR qualified crew. But I've seen it happen time and time again, more times than I can count, in the Level D FFS with IFR crews that are supposedly qualified and current. And that is without introducing any system malfunctions.
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