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Helicopter missing in the Med

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Helicopter missing in the Med

Old 19th May 2020, 00:49
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
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Thanks for the compliment, DS. There are just a few former USN/former SA pilots who will be smiling at ex Army guy Dixson being asked about flying over water!
Actually you ask a good question, but in this case, the published information makes it impossible to draw conclusions.
Precautions? If the seas were smooth ( glassy ) altitude control by vision can be asking for trouble, but that one picture indicates the surface was not smooth.
Would they have the ship coupled up? Not if they were going to play Maverick and do a buzz job.
Haven’t seen any authoritative information about their speed,nor,for that matter about their altitude,but, if they were going, say 150 and 20 ft, the person flying had better be paying attention. Again, no detailed information about their flight path has been diviulged.
Stuff happens quickly when you are low. We had a new guy join the gun platoon in the 119th in 1965 and I took him out to do the “dusk patrol”: single ship, low level armed, guns hot, recon around Camp Holloway in the days after the attack. The idea was to spot any unfriendly folks getting together for a replay of what had happened earlier. Anyway, the new pilot was flying and I and the crewchief and gunner were looking. I was looking at something off to my left, when SMASH, the new guy flew into the top of a tree. Sun was out, we were not flying toward the sun, no clouds or rain. His flight path before I looked left was fine. He was a good guy and could not explain how he flew into that tree.

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Old 19th May 2020, 04:32
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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JohnDixson where's the photo of the surface please?

Which begs the question: if the aircraft was on a photographic job and within a couple of miles of the ship why on earth hasn't someone got images of the machine at least prior to the crash, if not the actual event?
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Old 19th May 2020, 09:44
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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‘Morning, John E: I’d thought that pic in Post 52 was it,but upon taking another look after your question, see that it was simply an illustrative of the possibility of a mirage type explanation. Thus,the smooth surface difficulties are in the mix. Thanks for pointing out my mistake.
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Old 19th May 2020, 10:07
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Droop Snoot - at the very least they should have had the rad alt audio warning set at a no-go below height to stop them flying into the sea.

Ideally for a low level flypast over a smooth sea they should have had the rad alt height hold engaged - depends on how impromptu the flypast was.

Unlikely to have had any other AP upper modes engaged though.

At high speed and very low level any inadvertent selection or deselection of AP modes could cause a sufficient departure from the desired flight path to end in a scare or even water contact.
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Old 19th May 2020, 15:43
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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I was burning it up in a Puma over a Norwegian fiord with the radalt set at a safe 30 ft. when a sudden movement caught my eye. It was the radalt needle going to full sweep at about 1,000 ft..

It had pinged through the water and was registering the bottom of the lake.

Inertial navigation systems used to loose track over calm water too.
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Old 19th May 2020, 16:26
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Inertial navigation systems used to loose track over calm water too.
Think you might be confusing this with Doppler...
(Apologies for thread drift)
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Old 19th May 2020, 19:11
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Correction: Doppler systems tend to unlock over calm water.
Thanks. It was a long time ago.
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Old 19th May 2020, 19:13
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ant T View Post
Think you might be confusing this with Doppler...
(Apologies for thread drift)
“drift” - I see what you did there!
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Old 20th May 2020, 05:28
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Doppler systems tend to unlock over calm water.
Yes, and coupled with a single-channel analogue AFCS, it always made for exciting IMC or night SAR letdowns to the hover in glassy conditions. So much easier now with inertial/GPS systems.

We used to get the Wessex rad alt lock onto the sea bed in Cyprus but that was over shallow water - down to about 50' ISTR - can't imagine that was an issue in the Ionian Sea.
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Old 20th May 2020, 09:57
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Crab,did you want to mention the “alternate approach “option left to those H3 anti sub pilots at night when the doppler went u/s due to lack of return from that smooth surface? No lack of skills in that group.
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Old 20th May 2020, 12:06
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yes, and coupled with a single-channel analogue AFCS, it always made for exciting IMC or night SAR letdowns to the hover in glassy conditions. So much easier now with inertial/GPS systems.

We used to get the Wessex rad alt lock onto the sea bed in Cyprus but that was over shallow water - down to about 50' ISTR - can't imagine that was an issue in the Ionian Sea.
‘No Doppler‘ approach was taught and practiced for the Wessex HAS1/3 and the Sea King: any ASW driver would have that as a normal skill set. Time of day or weather was irrelevant except that most IMC didn’t usually produce glassy non-reflective surface conditions.

Back to the accident; there’s a discussion developing here that is unfortunately trending toward crew error without any evidence to date that supports such a theory. Maybe we should step back and consider what we do know, which seems to be the square root of FA other than it was also level phot mission in sight of Mother?
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Old 20th May 2020, 12:47
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
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isnt that the key part here John, the evidence, is in the hands of those who purposely withheld it from day one.
even if it comes out in the wash later on, and they actually are truthful about it, the image is tarnished already.
I am of the belief that the fluff will fly in some report that gets buried as deep as they can in the hopes no one finds it. and if they do, it will be redacted gibberish anyways.
RIP to those that lost their lives/ I hope whatever investigation that happens at least changes things for the better.
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