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Dutch Navy NH90 crashes near Aruba

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Dutch Navy NH90 crashes near Aruba

Old 20th Jul 2020, 07:03
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Dutch Navy NH90 crashes near Aruba

A NH90 helicopter from the Dutch Navy stationed on the ZMS Groningen crashed near ARUBA.
4 people crew, 2 got saved, the pilot and another crew member died.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...03b_story.html
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Old 20th Jul 2020, 12:59
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RIP https://nltimes.nl/2020/07/20/defens...fatal-accident
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 19:02
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A botched photo shoot

Investigation Report of the Dutch Safety Board (in Dutch language)
Summary in Vertical Magazine (English language)

This operation had all going for it: First world, new twin hardware, a crew trained to military standards, which as we read on these pages is far more advanced and not at all comparable to the training standards in the civilian or corporate world.

Yet everything goes wrong:

- The guys are training ship landings, yet no instructor on board - Rather have 3 non-pilot crew on board (Tactical Coordinator, Sensor-Operator, Hoist-Operator)
- Airspeed indicator completely ignored - first thing you are normally taught at PPL level is: "Airspeed, Airspeed, Airspeed".
- What do you do when you run out of power in OGE hover: Pull more collective? What about push cyclic forward to go gain translational lift? What about turning into wind? No, rather wait 11 seconds for the inevitable to happen.
...
Actually, the FDR shows that the pilot did not change anything for 11 seconds despite low AGL and - for the last 6 seconds - 1,300 ft/s sink rate. The mishap pilot only yanked up the collective the moment of the impact with the water.
The report confirms that the NH90 had sufficient power to do a OGE hover at the given conditions - Pilot could have just added power in line with reducing airspeed - Normal procedure for a manoeuvre called "landing", and you learn this before you get sent solo.

- Crew didn't have dunker training. They were not even trained in the proper use of the life vests. Instead, the front seat passenger probably deliberately inflated the vest inside the cockpit got trapped and drowned.
- The pilot egressed but got entangled "in a connecting line to the helicopter" and equally drowned. The story about that line is a bit cryptic (well, call it Dutch), but it seems to be a cable between an inflatable dinghy and the pilot suit. And the pilot sits on the dinghy. Anyway, maybe somebody else can shed some light onto this...
- The rescue services emanating from the military vessel the NH90 was trying to land on 'did their best' but also were found lacking in terms of recency training, skills, resources and coordination. For example, they had no rescue divers on board.

The mishap pilot (it was single pilot ops) had 1700 HRS TTRW, and 700 HRS on type in the NH90 (although half of it in the simulator, if I read correctly). So not exactly green neither.

So what happened? They did 7 successful ship-landings already during the same flight. On this 8th one, they wanted to get in photos of the 'foredeck' (I am not a boats person, that's what Google Translate calls it). And as we all know (at least all of us Robbie pilots - refer to Robinson Safety Notice 34 - "Photo Flights - very high risk"), that's when the pilots gets carried away and $hit happens. Of course - as we also read on these pages - this is due to a design flaw of the Robinson product, how else could it be that only the Robinson product carries such warnings .


Last edited by Hot and Hi; 13th Dec 2020 at 20:31.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 19:40
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Hi
long time since I was flying Navy (SeaLynx GB/Germany)
Normal outfit wood be a dry suit, life west.
Life west would be connected to the dinghy after climbing in (in a box, which is used as a seat)
Three connections, one either side and a third onto the "pull line", which is used to inflate the dinghy after egress.
Dunker training was mandatory at least ones a year.
Stay seated and buckled up until all violent movement ceases.
Jettison door
one hand onto the doorframe to know, where to get out
release harness with the other hand
get out, preferred backwards
inflate life jacket
release both quick release fittings of the dinghy box
get the box in front of you, place both feet against the box and pull the lanyard
after inflating, get in (group with colleagues)
get the dinghy dry
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 20:16
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Sea temperature was quite warm at 29C per the report. So they had that going for them as well, and no need for exposure suits.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 20:23
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Originally Posted by aa777888 View Post
Sea temperature was quite warm at 29C per the report. So they had that going for them as well, and no need for exposure suits.
Exposure suits were dependent on water temperature- but flying over the north sea was mostly with.
Still, without dunker drills its easy to panic and get things wrong.
There shouldn't be any crew flying over water without that training.
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Old 13th Dec 2020, 21:07
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Hot&Hi Quote ''- The guys are training ship landings, yet no instructor on board''
It
wasn't training for the pilot but 'training' for the guy on deck to stay current.
Even if it was a pilot training to stay current, that's nothing more than making 3 take off and landings in 90 days. Similar to a Robbie pilot having to fly regularly, no instructor needed unless you've expired.

Agree with all your other statements.
Sad that two lives were lost which could have been prevented, the accident but also the egress after ditching

​​​​​

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Old 13th Dec 2020, 22:27
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Originally Posted by Flying Bull View Post
Exposure suits were dependent on water temperature- but flying over the north sea was mostly with.
Still, without dunker drills its easy to panic and get things wrong.
There shouldn't be any crew flying over water without that training.
The report I read said they had that training.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 19:56
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Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
- The guys are training ship landings, yet no instructor on board - Rather have 3 non-pilot crew on board (Tactical Coordinator, Sensor-Operator, Hoist-Operator)
As mentioned before, the training was to keep the guys on deck current, not the crew in the helicopter.
Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
- The pilot egressed but got entangled "in a connecting line to the helicopter" and equally drowned. The story about that line is a bit cryptic (well, call it Dutch), but it seems to be a cable between an inflatable dinghy and the pilot suit. And the pilot sits on the dinghy. Anyway, maybe somebody else can shed some light onto this...

Correct, it was a connecting line to a dinghy. That dinghy was found inflated next to the helicopter and somehow trapped the pilot against the helicopter. The rescue team had to cut the connecting line, after which the dinghy floated away and the pilot's body was freed. No more details in the report unfortunately.

Originally Posted by Hot and Hi View Post
On this 8th one, they wanted to get in photos of the 'foredeck' (I am not a boats person, that's what Google Translate calls it).
Something like forward deck area or bow. The report uses a quaint Dutch term 'de bak' that probably makes sense to navy guys but I can only guess.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 20:07
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Originally Posted by aa777888 View Post
The report I read said they had that training.
Yes and no,
They had dunker training - but obviously not with the new gear they were wearing and had a different layout to the previously used kit.

Second, Im really wondering, why the had to retrieve the helicopter from 450 meters depth of water.
Haven't they learned from the german Lynx which ditched and went down, when they tried to retrieve it - snapping a cable and sending it to the ground?
The flotation gear is only there to give the crew the chance to get out close to surface - not to keep the helicopter afloat prolonged time.
Nothing easier, than adding buoyant devices by either a diver or to inflate a dinghy in the cabin - to prevent the helicopter to go down the next step...
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 20:18
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Basic errors and 100% preventable.

Basic students are taught to maintain their speed when turning downwind - too much concentration on the target to take the photos, not enough on flying the aircraft.

Flying over the water with safety equipment you have not been trained to use - FFS it doesn't get much more basic.

Smacks of a very lackadaisical attitude to training and safety - sadly it has taken the loss of two lives to shine a spotlight on that.

I wonder if the pilot had the line between her and the dinghy routed incorrectly, perhaps around part of the seat which is why she was trapped by the aircraft.

What a waste. Plenty of supervision issues to address here methinks.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 20:54
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Two state of the art FBW aircraft flown into the water doing opportunistic photo sessions, within a few weeks of each other, it seems. One with too little speed (NH90) and one with too much (CH-148)! Senseless avoidable losses.
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Old 14th Dec 2020, 23:12
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NH90 Caribbean Loss of Control - Inflight, Water Impact and Survivability Issues - Aerossurance
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 16:08
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Thanks Jim for posting the Aeroassurance summary. It clarifies some of the points I made in my initial posts. Namely that they did indeed have some HUET training (as already mentioned and discussed by others), and also that what I called a "probably deliberate" inflation of the safety vest inside the cockpit may well have been an inadvertent inflation.

Regarding the CH-148, the Aeroassurance report seems to indicate that the autopilot and prevailing control laws misguidedly flew the aircraft into the drink?
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 16:30
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Regarding the CH-148, the Aeroassurance report seems to indicate that the autopilot and prevailing control laws misguidedly flew the aircraft into the drink?
I wasn't trying to mix up the events in the same thread, other than to say both were clearly avoidable. The CH-148 autopilot probably did exactly what it was asked to do, having been asked to hold a speed and height whilst the crew were manoeuvering manually at the same time. Frankly, the RCAF statement looks like a load of guff using the BS Baffles Brains approach.
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Old 15th Dec 2020, 17:26
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212man - agreed
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