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AW109 down Poros, Greece

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AW109 down Poros, Greece

Old 20th Aug 2019, 16:28
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AW109 down Poros, Greece

Just heard from an eye witness who saw this heli 'hit power cables and explode'

Helicopter crashes in sea off Poros | News | ekathimerini.com

A helicopter has crashed into the sea off the coast of the Saronic island of Poros, reports said Tuesday.

According to Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia news agency, the aircraft, said to be a privately-owned Agusta 109 helicopter, tangled in power lines before plummeting into the water.

Early reports said three people – a Greek pilot and two Russian passengers – were aboard the flight.

Authorities were looking for survivors. A team of Coast Guard divers, six Coast Guard vessels and a Hellenic Air Force Super Puma helicopter were taking part in the rescue effort.

The island has reportedly been left without electricity after the accident.

No more information was immediately available.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 21st Aug 2019 at 01:31. Reason: add quote: this helps Rotorheads know what you're posting about!
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 23:15
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Does anyone else have more news, current news doesn’t say much?
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 00:47
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Oh no.

Now I'll start having bad dreams about flying through tangled webs of cables again.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 01:11
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Originally Posted by krypton_john View Post
Oh no.

Now I'll start having bad dreams about flying through tangled webs of cables again.
And there are plenty of them on the smaller Greek Islands, just seen a picture of the aircraft on its side in the water, close to shore and landing gear down.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 08:59
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Given this was single pilot, I wonder how often such 'high-end' operations are performed with 2 pilots? Or at least have the the pilot supported by a 'spotter' It must be a handful flying a complex a/c like this in such a messy environment and easy to loose awareness of hazards. I know that SAR operations that have to routinely get in and out of tight spots have multiple spotters with precisely defined roles. I doubt the wealthy customers would balk at the extra cost.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 09:02
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Originally Posted by krypton_john View Post
Oh no.

Now I'll start having bad dreams about flying through tangled webs of cables again.

Not just me then?

SND
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 09:40
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Originally Posted by Sir Niall Dementia View Post



Not just me then?

SND
Nope - me too!
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 09:52
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Originally Posted by Sir Niall Dementia View Post

Not just me then?

SND
Having been in a situation where, in freezing fog, being obliged to hover taxi over a set of cables over water, which were not marked on the charts, only to suddenly realise there were more cables above us, I can say you are definitely not alone!

Even though it was over thirty five years ago, I doubt I'll ever forget that day.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 10:03
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Double barrel, the A109 isn't officially classified as a complex type. Some operators fly them choose to fly them two pilots but in my experience, most commercial operators don't.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 10:30
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Double Barrel

It must be a handful flying a complex a/c like this in such a messy environment
Not really complex and considered a light helicopter.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 11:00
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Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme View Post
Does anyone else have more news, current news doesn’t say much?
Friend who witnessed the event from a boat described it as catastrophic and unsurvivable. These were big HT lines and he describes it as literally exploding in the air.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 13:09
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A couple of very close calls with wires.....and it really sticks with you!

For that matter.....one close call by itself does!

One set was in the wilds of Alaska near Homer.....one was in a Cherry Orchard that I knew was there....the other was at night landing at a vehicle crash scene where the poles were hidden in the tree lines and the ground crew had not seen the wires when they set up the LZ.

Wires will straight up kill you!
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 13:33
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The sense of deceleration you get in a Puma when you collect a set of LT cables is quite marked.

Flying up a small valley in County Armagh. The end is covered with burnt gorse and a line of trees either side mask the poles. The wires were invisible until they were about thirty yards ahead.

The windscreens collected them first. They then slid up and snagged themselves in the engine intakes. That was were the deceleration was. When the insulation was rubbed off there was a bright flash as the cables shorted and separated. There was little else to do except flare off the remaining speed and land it, albeit downwind.

My crewman was unruffled telling the troops that we had had a wirestrike and were landing immediately. On arrival they streamed out and took defensive positions IAW SOPs.

The damage was two windscreens badly cracked. The wires had demolished half the cockpit roof which had then been eaten by the engines. The intakes had severe horizontal creasing and one blade had been damaged by a loose end of one of the wires.

Over the next couple of hours a defensive circle was set up. A Puma came with ground crew and a spare blade. When fitted we ground ran it to see how much the roof had effected the engines. When this showed negative we loaded up everybody and I flew it back to Aldergrove.

A few years later there was an almost identical wirestrike in the then Rhodesia and everybody on board was killed.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 15:53
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A few years later there was an almost identical wirestrike in the then Rhodesia and everybody on board was killed.
Indeed there was. 27 Dec 1979. I attended the local funerals of the two crew who were my squadron colleagues. The other funeral was held elsewhere.

RIP AC, MS & RH.


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Old 21st Aug 2019, 17:35
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Was the AW109 trying to land to a surveyed coastal helipad, was the pilot just flying along the coast to provide sightseeing?
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 20:11
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Helipad in yellow (but could have been another place closer to the powerlines too), powerlines in red circles.
Originally Posted by tottigol View Post
Was the AW109 trying to land to a surveyed coastal helipad, was the pilot just flying along the coast to provide sightseeing?
According to my boss who is one of the most experienced pilots in Greece and runs one of the big helicopter companies here, he was taking off. According to him the pilot was Air Force, freelancing in the 109. He got the rating in Spring. OVer 6000 hours experience flying mostly Super Pumas and heavy iron. Also according to him the electric company has refused to put high vis markings on those lines for over 20 years now

It could have easily been me or one of my colleagues doing this exact flight....

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Old 21st Aug 2019, 20:14
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Originally Posted by tottigol View Post
Was the AW109 trying to land to a surveyed coastal helipad, was the pilot just flying along the coast to provide sightseeing?
Apparently it had just left the mainland SW of Poros for Athens airport

There is some information here: https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/20...r-video-crash/

And a video here which I assume to be the incident:

And another here:


It's a popular spot with yachts, one might speculate that the passengers had just left a yacht.

Last edited by double_barrel; 21st Aug 2019 at 20:49.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 21:50
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What an utter tragedy. Accidents such as this make me angry as well as sad. The pilot seems to have been totally unaware of the wires.

One has to ask - what sort of takeoff was that anyway? From a car park? Certainly not Class A in any respect.
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 22:12
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Yes....from a car park.

Helicopters have a unique capability of being able to operate from confined areas in addition to heliports and airports.

Why would you think CAT A would be required and would have prevented this tragedy?
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 22:17
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If you understand the requirements of Cat A then you wouldn't be asking.
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