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Fatal Crash Broome 4th July 2020

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Fatal Crash Broome 4th July 2020

Old 4th Jul 2020, 09:54
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Fatal Crash Broome 4th July 2020

From the ABC:

Two people have died and two are in critical condition after a helicopter crashed in northern Western Australia.

The aircraft, which has been identified a Robinson R44 helicopter, crashed on Antheous Way, Bilingurr, a northern suburb of Broome, just after 2:30pm.

WA Police said an adult occupant of the aircraft died at the scene from injuries he sustained in the crash.

A young girl who was a passenger in the aircraft was taken to Broome Hospital, but has since died from her injuries.

An adult and child who were passengers in the helicopter remain in critical condition.

Police and emergency services are at the scene and have set up a cordon on either side of the crash site.

The sirens of a large-scale emergency response could be heard across Broome.

"It's a pretty horrific sight," one person said.

"You can hear the sirens from everywhere in Broome.

"I'm not sure if anyone witnessed it, but it looks devastating."

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it would be sending officers to Broome to investigate the crash.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 14:17
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There are a couple of helicopter sight-seeing tour operators flying out of Broome International Airport, located approximately 1-1/2 miles south of the crash site ... possibly one of theirs? It is especially tragic when recreational activities result in fatalities. R.I.P.

Regards,
Grog
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 01:55
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Originally Posted by capngrog View Post
There are a couple of helicopter sight-seeing tour operators flying out of Broome International Airport, located approximately 1-1/2 miles south of the crash site ... possibly one of theirs? It is especially tragic when recreational activities result in fatalities. R.I.P.

Regards,
Grog
Very possibly. The sex/age of the victims indicate it could also be a family. Adult male deceased at the scene. 11yo girl succumbed in Broome hospital. Adult female and another child airlifted to Perth. (All according to the news reports.)
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 02:46
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Horizontal Falls Seaplanes, Robinson R44 according to Pacific forum
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Old 5th Jul 2020, 02:56
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Founder of Horizontal Seaplanes named as one of those on board the R44.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-...crash/12423668
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 08:14
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Tail rotor came off not long after takeoff. Had experienced unusual vibrations in the days before.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-...crash/12443298

A helicopter that crashed in the suburbs of Broome last weekend, killing two people, had experienced "unusual" in-flight vibrations two days before the incident, investigators say.

Key points:

  • Investigators say the helicopter's tail rotor broke apart shortly after take-off
  • People who flew the aircraft in the days before the crash had reported "unusual" vibrations
  • The ATSB advises R44 pilots who experience unusual vibrations to land as soon as possible
The Robinson R44 crashed on Saturday afternoon shortly after take-off, killing 40-year-old pilot Troy Thomas and a 12-year-old Perth girl.

Mr Thomas's 12-year-old daughter, Mia, and Perth woman Maddison Down, 24, remain in a serious condition in Perth hospitals.

In its latest update, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the aircraft's tail assembly had broken apart shortly after take-off.

"The tail rotor gearbox assembly, tail rotor and empennage assembly separated soon after the helicopter lifted off," it said.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-...crash/12443298
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 11:03
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Frightening

https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/news-i...cident-update/


https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...r/ao-2020-033/
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 11:58
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If the TRDS disconnected or the TRGB fell off, I'm surprised at the amount of damage to the TR blades. Virtually a brand new helicopter. The POH says "Hover helicopter close to the ground to verify problem is resolved" but it seems from the preliminary report that only a vibration check and visual inspection on the ground was performed.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 16:29
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What on earth would possess you to take children airborne in a helicopter that had clear vibration issues through the pedals until you were absolutely sure that the problem had been fully investigated and rectified?

A dynamic balance on the ground doesn't replicate the stresses of flight conditions.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 17:19
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Grounding an aircraft was probably too expensive. Easier to risk lives and hope for the best.
No wonder they can’t shake the reputation, yes, yes, its not the aircraft’s fault blah blah.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 18:42
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A dynamic balance on the ground doesn't replicate the stresses of flight conditions.
How else are you going to do it?

Grounding an aircraft was probably too expensive. Easier to risk lives and hope for the best.
The engineers did their best and passed it as fit to fly. The pilot accepted it on the basis that he trusted his engineers.

I feel sorry for the bloke that signed it off.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 18:50
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From the loss of life, I doubt anyone did their “best”, as harsh as that may sound.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 20:08
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer View Post
From the loss of life, I doubt anyone did their “best”, as harsh as that may sound.
What we don't know is if the maintenance performed corrected the imbalance and subsequent vibration in the pedals. Until they determine the failure sequence of the T/R Assy, it's quite possible those engineers did exactly as they were required to do. As to signing off something then have a fatal accident, I would not wish that on any mechanic/engineer as it is the most sickening feeling out there. Sometimes catastrophic failures hide behind the most routine types of discrepancies....
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 21:50
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You guys seem to be making the mistake of thinking the tail rotor was out of balance. Nowhere in the report does it say that. Instead, the mechanics assumed the vibration might have been due to an unbalanced tail rotor so they checked its balance and found it to be within limits. Something else was obviously catastrophically wrong with the tail rotor, shaft, or gearbox, which nobody bothered to check.
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 22:17
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Originally Posted by CGameProgrammerr View Post
You guys seem to be making the mistake of thinking the tail rotor was out of balance. Nowhere in the report does it say that. Instead, the mechanics assumed the vibration might have been due to an unbalanced tail rotor so they checked its balance and found it to be within limits. Something else was obviously catastrophically wrong with the tail rotor, shaft, or gearbox, which nobody bothered to check.
https://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_G...2020-08-10.pdf
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 22:57
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To a non-mechanic's eye, the whole gearbox appears to have rotated 90 away from its position, one of the blades has hit the fin and been smashed and bent, then the whole rear end fell off in 3 bits?
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Old 10th Jul 2020, 23:30
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Originally Posted by CGameProgrammerr View Post
You guys seem to be making the mistake of thinking the tail rotor was out of balance. Nowhere in the report does it say that. Something else was obviously catastrophically wrong with the tail rotor, shaft, or gearbox, which nobody bothered to check.
Curious. How do you know "nobody bothered to check" everything? The report doesnt state that either. Considering they have video of the failure, I'm sure we'll know soon enough. Unfortunately, in my experience, catastrophic failures usually dont give you a 2 minute warning prior to failure, especially if he took off with no vibrations.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 00:09
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
To a non-mechanic's eye, the whole gearbox appears to have rotated 90 away from its position, one of the blades has hit the fin and been smashed and bent, then the whole rear end fell off in 3 bits?
It looks like the TRGB rotated down whilst under power, both TRB whacked the lower fin cutting clean through the outboard one third of both blades. Pilot report of "tapping" in the pedals is not suggestive to me of an imbalance vibration condition. Rather, something was loose or cracked back there and flight loads were feeding back through the pedals as whatever it was that was loose was knocking or tapping in flight. High power take-off and something back there finally broke, quite possibly the TRGB mounting hardware.
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 01:14
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Some similarities with the crash of DQ-IHE. Vibrations, MRB rebalance, then blade failure leading to MRB impact on boom, although the boom did not completely separate. One blade was severed at approximately the same location as this case.

I am not a pilot, but I am curious to know if it is possible to differentiate between MRB vibrations and TR vibrations?

Regards

Blakmax
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Old 11th Jul 2020, 02:32
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In this case the reported tick vibration wouldn’t indicate an out of balance tail rotor to me. Out of balance is normally much more of a buzz through the pedals.

A simple dynamic balance for the reported problem doesn’t seem like the correct maintenance action.
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