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AW109 down Poros, Greece

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AW109 down Poros, Greece

Old 22nd Aug 2019, 21:30
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by muermel
Didn't the FAA conduct a study about wire strike accidents and found out that an astonishingly high number of them included wires that the pilots knew about and their locations?
Yes they did. I actually hit wires last year and survived. Took out a 3 phase 65kv line. The power company I was flying for is producing a video of the incident---I had to go re-create it the other week. I have seen the first draft, about 20 minutes long---multiple camera angles and long interview. Hopefully they will let it be shared once complete. Here is a screenshot from the video---you can see the wires I hit about 100 ft in front of the helicopter, just above the blades, and yes, this is a real video and not computer graphics.



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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 21:41
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Gordy is one very lucky fellow....if you ever meet him....rub his shoulder and hope some of his Luck rubs off on you!

He should start a Road Show and recount his experience to other Helicopter Pilots.....his account is very interesting and reminds you of just how sinister wires can be.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 22:27
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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SAS
Gordy is one very lucky fellow....
He hit wires and you think he was lucky...
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 23:06
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A couple of questions, how much protection/help do wire cutters provide and should they be standard on all helicopters?

Obviously, The effectiveness of wire cutters depends on the angle that a strike may occur.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 00:26
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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For the cutters to be effective, the helicopter must be flying at speeds greater than 30 knots [14]. The manufacturer states that if a helicopter with a WSPS impacts a wire at an angle less than 60° to the wire, the WSPS may not cut the wire (figure 24). In addition, the maximum pitch angle at which the WSPS should strike the wire and still be effective is ±5°. The system is designed to cut a 3/8-inch steel cable with a breaking strength of 12,000 lb [14].

Taken from this Study: http://www.tc.faa.gov/its/worldpac/techrpt/ar0825.pdf

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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 00:48
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Originally Posted by chopjock
SAS


He hit wires and you think he was lucky...
Yep---normally the outcome is not as good. Once the whole incident has been closed by the powers that be, I will share the full report. Thus far, I am not authorized to share it---however I was found NOT culpable. There was 3 of us on-board at the time...we landed safely and ironically for me, watched Cal-Fire put out the fire started by the live lines hitting the ground.

Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme
A couple of questions, how much protection/help do wire cutters provide and should they be standard on all helicopters?

Obviously, The effectiveness of wire cutters depends on the angle that a strike may occur.
In my case, the blade tips cut the wire---I was "lucky" in that this line was not a steel line, and the span had 450 lbs of tension verses the standard 300 lbs. I would suggest that thiose who fly in the wire environment should have cutters installed, and those who do not, maybe only suggest they do.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 01:21
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Truth be known....Gordy was trying to drum up some business by starting a fire (normally he uses a Drip Torch or Flaming Ping Pong Balls).
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 15:32
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless
Truth be known....Gordy was trying to drum up some business by starting a fire (normally he uses a Drip Torch or Flaming Ping Pong Balls).
Ha, you know me too well.....Same helicopter btw

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Old 24th Aug 2019, 10:08
  #49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by muermel
That is exactly the 1 Mio. USD question everyone here keeps asking. In my company we were briefed about this location, including saving the location of the wires as waypoints into our ipads that we use. I don't know about the other companies and their SOPs. That area is regularly used as a landing area so the wires are a known factor. What pisses me of is that the electric company refueses to put markings on them.

Didn't the FAA conduct a study about wire strike accidents and found out that an astonishingly high number of them included wires that the pilots knew about and their locations?
What surprises me, is that this kind of event doesn't happen more often when flying single pilot for these "private, so called VIPs" customers. You have to deal by your own with too often whimsy, capricious almost bipolar organizers and/or passengers. The induced stress may rise in a matter of minutes all comes together; phone calls,text messages, destination changes, unexpected volume of bags, timing, slots at airport, catering, weather.... Being "private" (NCC) no real operation department to assist you, sometimes with the help of a non qualified "safety pilot" (who can be anyone wearing a white shirt with shoulder stripes)
The workload may quickly become unbearable and make you forget your priorities management. I can't count the times that I've seen experienced pilots texting an ETA or a departure message sms on their one or two of their cellphones when taking-off! This kind of behaving can easily make you forget a power line you already know. When you talk about Class performances and take off profiles, the best you can get is a polite smile.
I've flown many different type of helicopter flights in my career, from crop spraying, long line to offshore ....but "private VIP"(in oppostion to a proper CAT/AOC operator) is without doubt, to me, a "brute job"
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 15:58
  #50 (permalink)  

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....but "private VIP"(in oppostion to a proper CAT/AOC operator) is without doubt, to me, a "brute job"
Indeed it is. When the chap paying your salary is sitting right behind you, at times it takes a certain strength of character to do what a captain needs to do, not what HE thinks you should do..
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 00:43
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PC1 should only apply to high capacity and hostile pads, and it is not a profile.
i do not know Greek rules, or what the exact operation was, so not sure if PC2 might be required.
Regardless, Cat A profiles would have had him protected from OEI but not from the wires because he did not see them.

It is take off direction into an unseen obstacle that precipitated the accident, i.e. operating in PC1 or 2 would have most likely prevented this because of the obstacle survey requirements, not because of the CatA capability or profiles of the aircraft, not even if it was a single or multi engine helicopter or one or two pilots or a military pilot not a civvy pilot or an offshore pilot not a HEMS pilot or a SAR pilot and not because of the myriad of other endless irrelevant arguments pervading the prune these days. No, vortex ring, LTE and centrifugal force are also not guilty. ��

the sooner we fit (indeed MANDATE) helicopters with synthetic vision and a proper graphical obstacle database, the better.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 04:19
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by helmet fire
..the sooner we fit (indeed MANDATE) helicopters with synthetic vision and a proper graphical obstacle database, the better.
Yeah, but you get pilots flying aircraft that are full of the latest and greatest technology, like the fatal Air Niugini prang at Truk last year, but the pilots ignore all the technology generated safety warnings, do their own thing and prang the aircraft anyway.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 08:51
  #53 (permalink)  

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the sooner we fit (indeed MANDATE) helicopters with synthetic vision and a proper graphical obstacle database, the better.
In the absence of all that, it would have been OK if someone had told him about the wires....
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 11:05
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Some Markers on the wires would have been cheaper and more effective probably.

Combined with a good lookout and a Map Recon before conducting the flight perhaps.

No matter what....it all gets back to the Pilot driving the machine.

The Pilot is only as good as his training experience, workload, technology, and preparation equip him.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 11:55
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Originally Posted by SASless
..The Pilot is only as good as his training experience, workload, technology, and preparation equip him.
Speaking of which, I found this fascinating reading. You'd think a pilot who flew into cloud, hit a tree, crashed, and killed three passengers would be entirely to blame. Four Judges found otherwise, entirely the fault of the employer, and unanimously so.

https://www.queenslandjudgments.com.au/case/id/306701
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 13:55
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The Judges were all qualified helicopter pilots I assume?

I tried to read the entire Court Decision but found the Judges logic and interpretation of the facts tortured at the least.

I agree that the Operator and the Client both have duty of care issues....but so does the pilot.

As to what degree one offsets the other....is for the Judges to decide.

If you are not on an approved Instrument Approach, with an IFR Clearance, in a properly equipped and certified IFR Aircraft,and current and proficient for IFR flight and you enter cloud/fog to the extent you lose sight of the surface....and crash....you own it!

PNG is not uniquely (using the real definition of unique) prone to such weather conditions....they exist in other parts of the World as well.

PNG has some very tough weather and terrain for sure...but then so do other parts of the World.

This "theory" of "instant" fog....really causes me some heart burn.

What I read suggests to me there was some serious CYA going on by some of the witnesses and experts who testified.

The issue of IIMC by helicopter pilots in PNG and all that line of testimony needs some very close reading by those of us in the Peanut Gallery.

Then we need to compare that to reality.

But....the Court has ruled....who am I to challenge those Learned Counsels.

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Old 25th Aug 2019, 16:21
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“The respondent found himself in cloud that materialised instantaneously “
That demotes LTE squarely down to a distant second place
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 16:51
  #58 (permalink)  

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A bit like the tree that grew much taller overnight, or the one that jumped out in front of a car?
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 20:32
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Yep, wire markers would be cheaper...for that set of wires! How many wires do you mark before a database is cheaper?
yep, telling him about the wires and doing a good map recede is the go. How many people still hit wires? Is that working?
yep, pilots with all the technology hit the ground still. But how often compared to those without?

stop and think.... very very few pilots fly into obstacles they can see in time to avoid. Ergo, give them that visibility. Won’t solve all of these, but it will trend it downwards quickly and cost effectively. But we all keep saying yeah, but.....

Perhaps the PNG accident gets its own thread?
(PS: would they have hit the ground if the pilot could see it?)
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 01:05
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Originally Posted by helmet fire
...(PS: would they have hit the ground if the pilot could see it?)


Well no, a qualified pilot was flying the helicopter when it entered cloud and crashed. The pilot wasn't IFR qualified, and the helicopter wasn't instrumented for flight in IMC. Presumably if he didn't enter cloud he would have seen the tree and avoided hitting it. From what I recall, because I was working in PNG at the time of the accident, the pilot was on his first tour and was not being directly supervised in an unfamiliar and operationally challenging environment. Which I found odd, for the company training pipeline to throw a new hire pilot in the deep end like that. So, whilst it might seem at first self evident that a pilot who flies into cloud and hits a tree might be totally responsible for the ensuing outcome, the Appeal Court unanimously found otherwise.
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