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Loss of visual references

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Loss of visual references

Old 15th Aug 2019, 13:30
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Loss of visual references

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a...ual-references

AAIB report: Agusta Westland AW189, loss of visual references

Agusta Westland AW189 helicopter (G-MCGR), loss of visual references during a mountain rescue, Beinn Narnain, Scotland.

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Old 15th Aug 2019, 15:05
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Sounds like they scared themselves fartless - due to poor execution of a valley turn and the belief that the automatics will save you.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 16:56
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The crew liaised with the Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) who recovered the climbers on foot.
As a well known American Redneck Comedian likes to say....."Here's your Sign!".

Seems there was some very good airmanship in retrieving what had become a very bad situation.

Last edited by SASless; 15th Aug 2019 at 17:07.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 17:11
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Sounds like they scared themselves fartless - due to poor execution of a valley turn and the belief that the automatics will save you.
An arrogant, thoughtless and just pain wrong response yet again from Crab. Your sense of your own ability and willingness to be derogatory to others is astonishing. Your fellow helicopter pilots deserve better than your tripe. People like who who think that other pilots are the ones who fly Ďpoorlyí are the ones who worry me.

Have a little more respect.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 17:30
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Sounds like they scared themselves fartless - due to poor execution of a valley turn and the belief that the automatics will save you.
And course you have never got yourself into a tricky SAR op have you? Did the RAF SAR Force, of which you were a trainer, never have anything like this?

I know you, and I know the pilot involved, and I know which one Iíd like to fly with. So please, this is a forum for professional helicopter pilots not willy waving children. Letís leave the insults aside.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 17:45
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Like SAS, it looked to me like this crew gave it a great try in really lousy weather, and used their heads doing it. Only question I had was technical, and about the AFCS configuration ( never having been in any of the modern AW machines ) and specifically: it seemed like they had basic pitch and roll attitude hold but heading hold was not a basic part of that mode and had to be engaged separately as an autopilot mode? Hence the right yaw when there was oodles of left pedal margin. Subject for after action discussion perhaps. The in cockpit display setup was impressive.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 17:57
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The basic question I have is why the first response to the Hikers was the Helicopter and not the Ground Rescue Team?

I googled the general location and see from the Sat View there are easily discerned trails in the area.

The Accident Report noted the Hikers had Torches that were seen on the FLIR.

No mention was made of any injury to the hikers or why they felt they needed rescue.

The Report stated the aircraft notified the ground team and they then went to the Hikers and walked them out on foot.

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Old 15th Aug 2019, 19:47
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Originally Posted by drugsdontwork View Post


And course you have never got yourself into a tricky SAR op have you? Did the RAF SAR Force, of which you were a trainer, never have anything like this?

I know you, and I know the pilot involved, and I know which one Iíd like to fly with. So please, this is a forum for professional helicopter pilots not willy waving children. Letís leave the insults aside.
Well said - it will unfortunately not generate any sort of epiphany - for that you require insight... They can't teach that I am afraid not even in RAF SAR.

Crab - you could try and rein it in a little from time to time - maybe take up painting or yoga. PPRuNe sadly continues to be a rubbish place to openly discuss anything meaningful such as this...
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 19:47
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Anyone care to explain the AFCS panel ;ALTA;MOT,WTR,TD/H....please....
Personally I would not be tempted to use a `Baro ht,or a radar alt coupled mode in that terrain....
ed. Can you set a specific height for the baro/rad alt to capture,like f/w autopilots ie a/f 4000...?
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 20:33
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I dont see anything contentious about:
" Sounds like they scared themselves fartless - due to poor execution of a valley turn",
and I am guessing if you asked the crew they would agree that pretty much hit the nail on the head. ... However, I also agree with SASless:
"Seems there was some very good airmanship in retrieving what had become a very bad situation." - Once they regained their situational awareness, the crew were discilplined enough to review their decisions including automation modes, and fixed the situation. Could be an interesting case study for my next CRM training event!
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 21:15
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DDW - do get off your high horse - they were doing a tricky job but they made a mistake - and if you don't think climbing in a valley turn when you want to descend and use your escape route is an error then I don't want to fly with you in the mountains.

I suspect the crew debrief contained a similar critique once they got back to base.

I have done plenty of night mountains in skoshie weather as have lots of others but very few end up like this so to pretend it is OK is to do everyone a dis-service.

Can you not see the incorrect use of AP modes when the IAS is too low for engagement is an error? - a simple wings level and max power would have been quicker than trying to use GA and TU.

I feel sure the crew would take my comments as valid rather than jumping on the outrage bus as you have done.

No-one said night mountains was easy.

I do wish I knew who you are so I can can give an appropriate amount of credibility to your comments

Last edited by [email protected]; 15th Aug 2019 at 21:27.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 21:24
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Sycamore - ALTA is Altitude Acquire, dial in an alt and press the button and the aircraft flys you there at a preset rate of climb or descent.

MOT is Mark on Target, used to initiate an automatic letdown, usually in two stages to end up in the hover.
-
WTR is Winchman's Trim - the winch op can fly the aircraft in the hover using a hand controller since he can see what is directly under the aircraft. Good for night wets.

TD/H is Trans Down/Hover - in the 139 you press it once to take you to 200' and 80 kts and then again to get you down to your desired hover height.

The HOV referred to is the Hover mode available below 60 kts (if it is the same as the 139) which automatically couples the RHT (Radio Height Hold) - the HOV speed and direction can be set by the pilot to maintain a slow and controlled movement.

The GA is Go Around which also (If like the 139) is the same button on the collective that can initiate a go around from an instrument approach or a Trans Up (TU) from the hover.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 23:06
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You may well be right Crab .... but you have to admit you do have an ď arsey ď way about you which does put peoples hackles up ! In boxing terms I would say you lead with your chin !!
By the way surely if you are very close to the top of the high ground it would be safer to climb rather than reduce height in cloud ?? 10 seconds of climbing to safe altitude sounds much better than descending in cloud into a valley which could have filled in behind you .... then you really are in the proverbial ?
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 06:23
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Nigel - you are from Yorkshire, you should be used to people being direct

SAR crew debriefs were always direct and to the point - there is nothing to be gained by just fluffing people's egos but perhaps that is the brave new world.

If you know the cloud above you is thin and you will get VMC then up is better but you then might not be able to complete the rescue.

It is a natural reaction to pull the nose up as you turn, especially with the ground coming up towards you but the valley turn was taught in a specific way to stop this happening - I and others used to teach pilots to push as you turn - you didn't actually push but it was enough of a prompt to prevent climbing into cloud next to the granite.

The PM could have been briefed to fly the turn since all the references were on his side but I don't know the relative experience of the crew, he may have been a new co-pilot/FO.

Overreliance on the automatics is a well documented issue in modern aviation - the modern helicopter AFCS is very capable but sometimes you just have to fly the aircraft.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 10:14
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Overreliance on the automatics is a well documented issue in modern aviation - the modern helicopter AFCS is very capable but sometimes you just have to fly the aircraft.
I would have added....."At all times you must be prepared and capable of flying the aircraft.".
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 10:18
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Crab...thanks...
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 10:20
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From the conclusion and safety recommendations section at the end of the report
Shortly after the incident, the operator introduced a scenario-based training exercise for all pilots that reproduced the incident during six-monthly recurrent training and testing. The training was continued with an emphasis on unusual attitude recovery
so despite DDWs abuse, someone clearly decided there were lessons to be learned from that incident and took exactly the right action.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 10:32
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
From the conclusion and safety recommendations section at the end of the report so despite DDWs abuse, someone clearly decided there were lessons to be learned from that incident and took exactly the right action.
My abuse? Youíve been abusing people on this forum for YEARS Crab. I know lots of pilots who have abandoned this forum because of your nasty self righteous nonsense. And others who when PPRuNe is mentioned roll their eyes and immediately mention you. Your posts on the SAR thread were routinely inappropriate. Ironically your nasty posts merely undermine your own credibility, and thatís a shame. You have much to offer for others to learn from but for lots (me included) itís completely lost in your judgemental attitude to your fellow pilots. Is it genuinely too much to ask to rein in the nasty barb you all too often deploy on here? Because if you did your views would be heard much more.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 11:14
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DDW - the difference is that I make remarks based on the organisation, the equipment, the SOPs or the incidents yet you and others just hurl personal abuse because you don't like what I have to say.

I may have gone OTT sometimes in the past but only because I care about UK SAR - I still work with experienced SAR operators, ex-RN, er RAF and ex-Civ and we routinely discuss such incidents as this one and my opinions don't really differ from theirs.

Re Bristow criticisms - I have lost count of the times I have been told by ex-colleagues that some of my concerns about civilianising SAR were correct, especially in the early days of the contract.

I am quite aware that the service is maturing nicely and getting the job done well - as it should with the latest aircraft and equipment.

If you don't like my 'nasty self righteous nonsense' then fine but don't just call me names, counter my arguments with facts - like you failed to do with the pay scales issue. The report on this incident seems to support my initial comments.

Feel free to PM me to remove your anonymity so we can have a proper discussion but I don't expect you will.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 11:47
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
DDW - the difference is that I make remarks based on the organisation, the equipment, the SOPs or the incidents yet you and others just hurl personal abuse because you don't like what I have to say.

I may have gone OTT sometimes in the past but only because I care about UK SAR - I still work with experienced SAR operators, ex-RN, er RAF and ex-Civ and we routinely discuss such incidents as this one and my opinions don't really differ from theirs.

Re Bristow criticisms - I have lost count of the times I have been told by ex-colleagues that some of my concerns about civilianising SAR were correct, especially in the early days of the contract.

I am quite aware that the service is maturing nicely and getting the job done well - as it should with the latest aircraft and equipment.

If you don't like my 'nasty self righteous nonsense' then fine but don't just call me names, counter my arguments with facts - like you failed to do with the pay scales issue. The report on this incident seems to support my initial comments.

Feel free to PM me to remove your anonymity so we can have a proper discussion but I don't expect you will.
People donít want to read personal spats on here and I have no wish to continue it. I donít hide behind anonymity I donít give a [email protected] who knows who I am and thatís because I try to remember to treat people as I would wish to be treated. As many others have said to you, please remember you are referring to real people and perhaps reign in the nastiness so we can all try and do whatís important: learn from other peopleís experiences. You degrade that for me and lots of others and it is on occasion a real detriment to this otherwise great forum.
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