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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

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AW139 Crash in Bahamas - 7 Killed

Old 7th Jul 2019, 07:34
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
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.
Interesting comments.

I totally agree that we have seen this often in Level D (and earlier) sims - WITH NO MALFUNCTIONS.

Yer right, the very early 76's had no HeliPilots. They were fun, sometimes.

Our 212s were either Bell IFR (SCAS/AFCS) or Sperry (all with helipilots, only two with the FD).

This is accident is reminiscent of the OKie 214ST crash in Newfoundland.

Two miles from departure? I agree, most likely they drilled a perfectly good aircraft into the water.

Last edited by Old Dogs; 7th Jul 2019 at 08:24.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 09:34
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Let’s not belittle the thread by extolling the virtues of flying in the old days - we’ve already agreed that regular tooling about at night is not an issue if you do it often enough.
The fading of flying skills - If present in the first place - is a known issue but rarely addressed due to the “it will only happen to someone else” syndrome.
I have a hunch (rumour network) that there is more to this incident than meets the eye - I suspect that the ‘medevac’ element might have affected the go/no-go decision-making matrix......
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 09:50
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EESDL View Post
Let’s not belittle the thread by extolling the virtues of flying in the old days - we’ve already agreed that regular tooling about at night is not an issue if you do it often enough.
The fading of flying skills - If present in the first place - is a known issue but rarely addressed due to the “it will only happen to someone else” syndrome.
I have a hunch (rumour network) that there is more to this incident than meets the eye - I suspect that the ‘medevac’ element might have affected the go/no-go decision-making matrix......
The fact that this was a medevac has no bearing on the reality that they drilled a perfectly good aircraft into the water two miles from departure.

Flying a fully IFR equipped 139 on a clear night from the Bahamas to Ft Lauderdale should have been easy money.

Last edited by Old Dogs; 7th Jul 2019 at 10:08.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 10:12
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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This event has so many echoes of the G-LBAL AW139 crash 5 years ago, which helped to push EASA into creating the "non-commercial complex" operations rules. I would not be surprised if findings will uncover contributing factors such as no ops manuals, lack of SOPs, no MCC training......etc!
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 10:15
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Non-PC Plod View Post
This event has so many echoes of the G-LBAL AW139 crash 5 years ago, which helped to push EASA into creating the "non-commercial complex" operations rules. I would not be surprised if findings will uncover contributing factors such as no ops manuals, lack of SOPs, no MCC training......etc!
Yup, same old, same old.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 10:47
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Agree - if aircraft/pilot were serviceable
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 11:59
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Whatever happened here, sometimes training and a full specification aircraft don't stop a helicopter from going in..remember the CHC AWSAR aircraft that ran into a light house building in Ireland?
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 12:34
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Many of us have done thousands of these black night departures without an FD and fully coupled AP.
Anything practiced on a regular basis becomes second nature and a comfortable exercise. I used to fly single pilot IFR in an unstabilised Army Gazelle with no navaids for years. I have no doubt that the pilot on this particular flight was very competent flying the 139 day VFR. It is when we try to do something that is not practiced regularly that the holes start to line up. Add to that the (possibly) unfamiliar 2 crew operation, a night, overwater take-off plus induced pressure of a medical emergency (by non-SAR pilots) and it become far more hazardous.

Hopefully the FDR and CVR will clear up the mystery.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 13:09
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Lack of situational awareness is a problem for all of us. I just took some people on a canoe trip in Northern Maine. We drove two hours beyond cell phone coverage to the start of the trip. Then went down a river, high water and a current that meant return impossible. Water was so fast that we had to snatch the canoes from a steep bank at the first night camp site. If anyone had missed the landing.... The point is that it is easy to get in over your head in any endeavor.

Rich guys have much more opportunity for everything, including getting into trouble. Seems as if there should be a rich guy survival class. What was the right answer to this situation? What were the alternatives? Assuming that the medical emergency was acute, not just uncomfortable. Was it possible to get a medevac from Florida or Nassau? Would that medevac company have been a better qualified operation? I have no idea but Monday morning thinking says that this information should have been part of a Bahama out island SOP. On the other hand no one appreciates being restricted by more rules and regulations. But wouldn't it be nice to know where the line is. I just googled some medevac companies. They do brag about their NVG and IFR training. But I saw no mention of when and if they operate one or two pilot, how they handle dispatch, what crew rest rules they follow...
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 13:40
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Can we assume the helo took off from the mainland at night and landed at night in the Bahamas?

What kind of place did they land at? Could they have unknowingly hit the tail rotor on something on landing or taking off from the Bahamas?

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Old 7th Jul 2019, 13:49
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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Why are flying skills considered old-school?

The training and licensing system is clearly not fit for purpose if you can get and maintain a professional pilots licence and not be able to keep the aircraft right side up in whatever conditions you find yourself in.

If this paucity of ability is as widespread as many here attest, we will only see more of this type of accident and it may go some way to explaining the high level of EMS CFITs in the US.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 14:11
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,

One school of thought is automation has caused problems....more pilot error accidents....and the cure has been....more automation.

Hands on flying skills....which I suggest also includes handling the "automated systems"....are perishable skills.

If you do not use them....you lose them.


https://99percentinvisible.org/episo...-paradox-pt-1/
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 14:32
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Children of the Magenta. An old one but well worth a watch if you have not seen it yet.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 15:11
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Another sad event who shouldn't happen...

Companies are pushing for automation.
They think it is key factor to avoid trouble when we gone become incompetent to hand fly an aircraft.
It is a problem everywhere and a gigantic one in the airline industry.
I feel now that I don't know if I am safe now when I fly an airline because I don't if the guys in front will be able to really fly the aircraft if they have a major problem (we have seen that in many occasion....)

When you take-off in those conditions, you really have top prepare your mind about you should do, what is important, what procedure you will have. Taking-off during the day can be done "mechanically" without thinking about anything, there is no way it is possible to do that at night.
Many people do not fly at night or under-estimate the difficulty of night flying. The transition from the take-off area to total darkness can be very surprising and difficult to manage and in this case you go from having some light during take-off to pitch black.
If you are not prepared mentally, it is a recipe for disaster and it doesn't matter if you have experience.
As the other guys said, with a 139, even if you are not current or not used to do that, it shouldn't be difficult.
Pre-select 2000ft, prepare yourself to accelerate to Vy, select ALTA at Vy and the aircraft brings you to 2000 ft at the speed you had when you made the selection.
You are flying a 139, not a 206, you should know all system available to help you and use them when you need it.
It is sad to see that even with modern aircraft who have a lots of tools available to save you, we still end up with 7 persons dead.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 15:45
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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But we have had automation in helicopters for many years and as long as people are taught how to use it and how to fly without it if it goes wrong there shouldn't be an issue.

If pilots are so rubbish on the sim checks why aren't they failing and being sent for more training.

It seems as though we are all asleep at the wheel here, allowing the standard of piloting to reduce but doing nothing about it.

The children of the magenta is a very real problem and it often seems that the information presented to the pilot is as a result of an engineers design rather than a pilots need. You have to learn and understand how the designers think rather than have the right information, easily presented and with the minimum number of button presses.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 16:07
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
But we have had automation in helicopters for many years and as long as people are taught how to use it and how to fly without it if it goes wrong there shouldn't be an issue.

If pilots are so rubbish on the sim checks why aren't they failing and being sent for more training.

It seems as though we are all asleep at the wheel here, allowing the standard of piloting to reduce but doing nothing about it.

The children of the magenta is a very real problem and it often seems that the information presented to the pilot is as a result of an engineers design rather than a pilots need. You have to learn and understand how the designers think rather than have the right information, easily presented and with the minimum number of button presses.
I have to agree with a statement above, if pilots are so bad in the sim then why do they pass.

I've seen blatant failures in the sim yet the pilot has passed, I think at the moment itspartially down to bums on seats and a massive shortage.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 16:09
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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I feel now that I don't know if I am safe now when I fly an airline because I don't if the guys in front will be able to really fly the aircraft if they have a major problem (we have seen that in many occasion....)

Sometimes it is a very simple problem and one that should not be difficult to handle that gets them.

Far too often the aircrew has a lot of help from the design engineers, tech writers, company management and certifying authorities when it comes to causing an accident.

In response to Crab....one Sim outfit I worked for....we did not "pass" folks unless they met our standards. I once failed the Chief Pilot of a major oil company....and got absolute support from my management.

The second Sim outfit I worked for....had a much different view of it. If you determined you would not be able to "pass" a Student....he got transferred to another instructor.

Later we had a several major operators lease time in the Sim and they did their own training and checking and we just ran the Sim for them.

Oddly....they. never failed anyone.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 16:32
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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I just joined this forum to add a little to this thread. I'm DOM for a high end corporate flight department, an aircraft owner and pilot. Our "little toys" corporate hangar is next door to Cloud 9's corporate hangar at F45 in Jupiter, FL. I knew Geoff as a hangar-neighbor, and we would talk when ever we saw each other.

I understand it's easy to complain about the waining "skills" in today's batch of pilots. But I can tell you first hand that Geoff was an absolute professional, with top tier hands on flying skills. I'm finding it exceedingly difficult to speculate on pilot error being the cause. These 2 pilots flew regularly in local conditions, day+night, understood them exceptionally well, and displayed professionalism always. Not the type to be distracted into CFIT shortly after a night takeoff.

We've all heard common airport chat such as: "that idiot is going to kill himself or someone else". Geoff and Dave were NOT those people and never had such things said about them. We never expected this. Geoff managed his business and his flying with the utmost professionalism.

I need to go out to the hangar this morning, and I dread it, this really hurts. I was out there the other day, the sadness is palpable, the missing pilots weigh heavily on our souls. Not one of us has ever had a bad thing to say about them.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 18:11
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Sounds like there was only one pilot and a mechanic on board at the time. And not the ‘regular’ pilot, possibly. But that’s all my guesswork from reading here.
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Old 7th Jul 2019, 18:14
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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You'd think a billionaire could buy himself a higher quality operation. Part 91, was not a "Medevac" in our SAR/Commercial definition of the term. That term is being tossed around now by the media to give a sense of sacrifice and justification for not waiting a couple hours until dawn. In most jurisdictions (Canada 604.02, EASA for sure) there is a requirement for private large airplane, turbine, or multi-engine aircraft to operate to a regulator-approved standard. I wonder what the oversight was here.

Cujet , fill us in on how this was a professionally managed flight. Airbubba quoted the Nassau Guardian article that the locals saw it splash in at 2am, searched the water until 5am, and then were told it had arrived in Florida and all was fine. Then later in the afternoon at 2 pm, 12 hours later, when it was apparent it had not arrived, the search began again. So what was that, no flight plan, no sat tracking, no flight following, no customs arrangement in Fort Lauderdale? Last time I flew a helicopter from Nassau to KPBI I had to have all of those things, plus ADIZ contact and previously filed eAPIS. If we can be forgiven for thinking it sounds Mickey Mouse, perhaps you can explain how things are done there.

Last edited by malabo; 8th Jul 2019 at 00:39.
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