Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

FireHawk Blade Strike

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

FireHawk Blade Strike

Old 9th Aug 2020, 08:00
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Beyond the black stump!
Posts: 1,370
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
FireHawk Blade Strike

Interesting event and response.
https://fireaviation.com/2020/08/07/...ring-training/
Cyclic Hotline is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2020, 09:33
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Inside the Industry
Posts: 876
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very interesting response. Hard to see the area from the video but not what I would have done.
industry insider is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2020, 10:52
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Wild West... and Oz
Posts: 844
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It stuns me that they flew it away... How do you know it is not going to come apart...
Looks like a large enough clearing they pass at -15 sec on the video.
BigMike is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2020, 11:14
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lost again...
Posts: 743
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
They may well have had no choice but to fly away from the location where they had the strike - a forced landing at that spot may have been impossible. But as Mike says they do seem to have passed potentially useable forced landing grounds.

That said - None of us were in the seat seeing what they saw and felt. It's all well and good to say that there's a landing spot in a video we've watched several times - it may not have been what they saw or they may have been past it by the time they saw it.

Either way - Glad they got it down in more or less one piece.
OvertHawk is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2020, 11:45
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Wild West... and Oz
Posts: 844
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maybe, but wouldn't you be looking for the nearest spot the moment you lifted from the strike? How do you know the blade is not about to let go...
BigMike is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2020, 12:42
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: London/Atlanta
Posts: 389
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
The first open area they flew over where cars are parked has a wire strung through the middle of it so that probably wasn’t a great option for landing! That noise is horrible they must have been sh**ing themselves, Glad they got it down safety could have been a whole different story.
nomorehelosforme is online now  
Old 9th Aug 2020, 16:41
  #7 (permalink)  
Below the Glidepath - not correcting
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,835
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Very similar to this discussion:

QG Air AW139 blade strike
Two's in is offline  
Old 9th Aug 2020, 23:35
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Lost again...
Posts: 743
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Originally Posted by BigMike View Post
Maybe, but wouldn't you be looking for the nearest spot the moment you lifted from the strike? How do you know the blade is not about to let go...
In truth i imagine i'd be concentrating on escaping from an area where a crash would men death. By which time i'd then probably have overshot the are you suggest as perhaps being suitable

My point is that what appears suitable to us in our armchairs viewing from a different perspective and with the benefit of time and hindsight may well have seemed different to those who were at the pointy end at the time.

A little professional courtesy to fellow aviators is due here methinks.
OvertHawk is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2020, 01:10
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 2,570
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Can somebody explain to me what the training value was in what they were doing? Particularly in the fire fighting context.
gulliBell is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2020, 01:34
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: US
Posts: 168
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
In the early 80s, our corporate flight department had a 222. This was just as the awful problems with the PT wheels and bearings on the LTS 101 were in full bloom. One rainy night, the chief pilot executed 2 missed approaches all the while a red ( not the yellow engine chip light but the red one) was glaring at him and the co-pilot was getting more and more adamant about wanting to bust minimums due to an emergency, which it surely was. CP also would not roll back the sick engine as the FM demanded. They did get on the ground the 3rd time. The next morning, maintenance went out and pulled the chip detector for the #3 bearing and it looked like one of those jokes they do jn the shop when they drag a magnetic chip detector through the drill press shavings and show the boss. The DOM said we'd have to find a hangar to change the engine. The bad judgement didn't end there. The next day, unbeknownst to anyone, the CP fired up the "good engine" and did a rolling takeoff, flew back to base OEI and swears he didn't pull the guts out of it landing on the company base pad.

I think if all the LA pilot might have done is fly past a marginal landing spot but get on the ground as soon as they could after that, he deserves lots of slack. A plastic bag, even a small one stuck on a rotor blade makes a gawd awful sound. I'd love to see what the damage actually was and hear whether or not the crew was experiencing severe vibrations or changes in control. Given it's public use, I doubt we will unless LA County decides it is a learning experience and lets the rest of us in on it. In my experience, if the video had not been made and there were no ground witnesses, we probably would not be hearing about it. The pilot may not deserve a medal but I'm sure they deserve to have no guilt beyond maybe hitting the rock in the first place. His snorkel wasn't extended and I wonder what they were doing in such a tight spot.
roscoe1 is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2020, 04:27
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 4,751
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
A single engine ferry can not be called "bad judgement" in and of itself. Have seen it done with a stranded S-76 on an oil rig with the approval of the regulator, not putting words into John Dixons mouth, but think Sikorsky gave a thumbs up as well - corrupted between the ears hard drive I'm afraid, was a very long time ago.
megan is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2020, 05:03
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New Zealand
Age: 50
Posts: 395
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having been in a situation where i thought it best to land as soon as possible, i can guarantee you that when you have the A/C slowly descending towards what looked like a suitable landing spot, there was no way i was going to dump the collective, and rip off a big flare at the bottom to land somewhere closer. My thinking at the time was, it hasn't flown apart yet, if i don't change anything, hopefully it holds together until i grease it on...
SuperF is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2020, 21:13
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: global
Posts: 30
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Before we arm-chair critics throw too many stones in this incident, the B'Hawk blade design does have some very well thought out features making it a fantastic utility machine....combat or peacetime.

As mentioned in UH60 Bad Blade UH-60 with "bad" rotor blade Dixson sheds some additional light on the original design concepts and considerations worth reading. Fortuitously, this thread has just surfaced yet again on another issue for ease of reference just below.

I think some of these design features do need to be considered when flying our machines...this is one of the many elements euphemistically called "experience" but so many people fail to understand...its not all about the number of flying hours necessarily, but what you understand about the machinery you are flying and responsible for. In many of our careers we are called upon to make "valued judgments". It used to be called "captaincy"....a concept which seems to be disappearing into the distant past as we seem to be overtaken be the need to fell more trees to create an A4 "risk assessment" sheet before every flight.

The B'Hawk tip cap is a very light composite structure providing an aerodynamic cover and extension, almost 12inches out from the main blade structure and in particular, it's span tip weights. It is quite conceivable that the tip cap could well have been shattered and flailed in the slipstream, making that ever familiar whoosh/whoosh or slap/slap sound that those of us who have experienced - or the rest of you that will experience it, will hear when you pick up a plastic bag/material or palm frond or other soft material on the blade. It certainly sounds like it on the video sound track...quite impressive.

If the Tip cap is simply shattered and flailing in the slipstream, it is quite conceivable that there would be minimal change in lateral vibration - even if the Tip cap disappeared totally. Providing the main structure and in particular the span tip weight package was still in tact.

You will notice the B'Hawk tip cap is attached with quite a number of flush screws to the main blade structure. See the link below and see a more detailed picture of the blade and tip cap structure. Note the extend the Tip cap extends beyond the main blade structure. The link below may shed some light on both the tip cap and the effects of rotor blade balance.

https://www.rwas.com.au/blade-balancing/

Perhaps going lower and completing a landing in situ would have resulted in far greater and more catastrophic damage,...difficult to say from the camera angle and field of view presented in the video.
ring gear is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2020, 22:32
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
Posts: 879
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
Ring gear makes the main point, i.e., that the tip weights are not in/on the tip cap but at the outboard structure where the tip cap is mounted.

Somewhere out there some 60 pilot has smashed a tip cap into a tree I’d guess, but not I. One day tho’ I was sitting in the front seat of the S-67 making part of that movie one can find on line. This part didn’t make the final cut: we’re flying down the shoreline of the lake on the West Point Reservation and Kurt ( Cannon-S-67 Project Pilot and a great one ) cut it a bit close to the treeline and whacked a decent sized limb. Created a significant 1P ( mostly vertical ) and track problem, but otherwise allowed flight. Found a large unoccupied parking lot and had a spare blade delivered from Stratford. That tip cap was a mess and not doing anything good at all, aerodynamically.
( there was a slightly humorous angle: when we hit the tree, Kurt said immediately on the ICS “ what was that “ . His loyal copilot responded “ you hit that damn tree back there, Kurt”. Kurt hadn’t had the advantage of being in the Army for the SE Asia Games. Courtesy of the Army, I had some experience in that area ).
JohnDixson is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2020, 03:14
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Depends on the day!
Posts: 222
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The best thing about that footage is the damaged blade noise demonstrating how slow individual blades revolve in a multi bladed aircraft....... seems way faster usually.
Poor buggers must have got a hell of a fright.
bellfest is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2020, 03:22
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Australia
Age: 59
Posts: 291
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seen blade strikes when I was on Black Hawks, usually not a big deal , tip trashed , blade sent away for insp and repair , the blades were made to take hits from 23mm cannon, hitting a tree with tip not in the same class, years ago a blade strike on a Bell was only a major issue if you found damage , now Bell call it a sudden stoppage requiring a major insp , had a 212 just touched a branch but ripped off the blade end cap , under the current insp criteria that would require major insp and work, back then it was just screw on a new blade end cap.

Last edited by Blackhawk9; 12th Aug 2020 at 04:45.
Blackhawk9 is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2020, 14:58
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lower Troposphere
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Although the camera angle can be deceiving, what terrible management and operation of a $15 mill machine.All involved should be shit canned.
blackdog7 is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2020, 17:05
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Redding CA, or on a fire somewhere
Posts: 1,905
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 1 Post
Originally Posted by blackdog7 View Post
Although the camera angle can be deceiving, what terrible management and operation of a $15 mill machine.All involved should be shit canned.
You have never made a mistake? You do not know the circumstances and you are blaming a fellow pilot and asking for his dismissal, and likely would not get another job... Way to support your peers.......
Gordy is online now  
Old 12th Aug 2020, 00:21
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
Posts: 879
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
The photography is very limiting, but the stills and the video “seem” ( to me anyhow ) to indicate the right hand crewman is looking down, i.e., we are seeing the top of his helmet. Wonder what was going on below that had his attention, rather than rotor clearance issues ( that is, if my interpretation of the photos and video is correct ) ?
JohnDixson is offline  
Old 12th Aug 2020, 20:59
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: EGDC
Posts: 9,552
Received 39 Likes on 20 Posts
Agreed John - no scan to the tips or tail, just fixation on talking the wheels down it appears. I'm sure the surface was tricky to land on amongst the rocks but rotor clearances are day one, week one at crewman school.
crab@SAAvn.co.uk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.