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Helicopter missing in the Med

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Helicopter missing in the Med

Old 19th May 2020, 00:49
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Originally Posted by Ant T
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
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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
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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
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
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)  
 
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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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Old 8th Jun 2020, 19:14
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Update on the investigation via the CBC

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cyc...rash-1.5603172
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Old 8th Jun 2020, 21:58
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Looking at the LSO in the deck photo,has he got his `wands` in the correct hands.......?
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 07:24
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"During this final complex manoeuvring turn to close with the ship, the aircraft did not respond as the crew would have anticipated," said the report.

"This event occurred at a low altitude, was unrecoverable and the aircraft entered a high energy descent and impacted the water astern the ship."
Sounds horribly familiar as a wingover gone wrong.
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 07:38
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Sounds horribly familiar as a wingover gone wrong.
My first thought too. I hope not.
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 13:25
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I wonder what would happen if you are radalt coupled at say 20 feet and you roll on 20 degrees or more of bank?
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 13:38
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Originally Posted by Variable Load
I wonder what would happen if you are radalt coupled at say 20 feet and you roll on 20 degrees or more of bank?
I would hope that the FBW would be sufficiently integrated to recognise this and maintain height. Seems a bit more dynamic than that though.

The comment that intrigues me is that they are saying the aircraft did not respond to control inputs as the crew expected. That must either come from recorded data, or be speculating!
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 16:08
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Or it could be that they assumed whatever manoeuvre they did perform would be completed safely and can't see why it wasn't.

It sounds like they were turning downwind towards the vessel and that is an easy way to screw up recovery from a wingover if you aren't watching IAS carefully. wash off all the speed at the top and wonder why it takes longer for the IAS to build (because you are downwind) then panic because you want to raise the lever but are worried about VRS with low speed and high RoD, shove the nose down further and run out of height and ideas when the sea arrives.

I hope not.
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Old 9th Jun 2020, 19:39
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CH-148 Cyclone FBW Certification?

Are there any other FBW S-92s in service around the world? Was the CH-148 Cyclone’s FBW flight control system certified by the US Government as well as Transport Canada? It appears that the lack significant accumulative experience on the system may be a contributing factor. Wasn’t there a similar incident with an NH-90 early on in it’s fielding.
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