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N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

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N72EX (Kobe Bryant) Crash Update-

Old 31st May 2021, 03:56
  #301 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by JimEli View Post
you get what you pay for.
What's the saying, if you think training is expensive try having an accident, or, penny wise pound foolish. We had an oil company advisor who saw no value in sim training for the S-76, yet he attended yearly, when the company did relent it was once every two years, captains only, not co-pilots.

Gulli, the aircraft can have all the features in the world but unless you are using them on a regular basis you can't readily lay your hand to them, muscle memory, can recall trying to get the thing to couple for an ILS, took a while for the penny to drop. On the infrequent 412 trip always initially got caught out reaching for the heading knob where it was placed in the 76. Then again, was never the sharpest knife in the drawer.
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Old 31st May 2021, 05:04
  #302 (permalink)  
 
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Sure learned about a new 'gotcha' in this space, who asks how current the pilot is with the plane s/he shows up in?
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Old 31st May 2021, 05:28
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The foundations should be laid on the pilot initial type course. For the S76 that would be 10 full days in ground school, followed by 10 hours of dual instruction in the aircraft. Coming out of that training pipeline the newly minted S76 pilot should be in no doubt that you don't fumble about flying that thing manually in clouds, especially single pilot. Even a zoom climb to get visual above a layer. Use the tools you've been given in the way they have been designed. Sure, maintain your stick and rudder hands instrument flying when you have an instructor to monitor and check, for maintaining recency. In this case I suspect the accident pilot might not have had a sufficiently thorough type technical training foundation to rely on. And again, pure speculation, probably hadn't logged much crew room down time when the weather had clagged in with the RFM on his lap and refreshing memory from front cover to back. Everything you need to know about that autopilot is written in that book (and the Honeywell manual), and the practical application of that knowledge should be demonstrated in the aircraft on the pilot initial course.
And a more general observation. I am bewildered when pilots arrive on a $25K recurrent sim course not knowing aircraft limitations, and not knowing ECL memory items, not having seized any initiative to do an hours reading in the days prior to the course starting.
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Old 31st May 2021, 06:43
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Sure learned about a new 'gotcha' in this space, who asks how current the pilot is with the plane s/he shows up in
The question to ask is current in the task to be undertaken in that particular aircraft. For the role when Gulli and I flew together in the 76 it was day VMC, pax, sling loads and winching only. Flying at night or any IMC was a no, no, they had to be crewed by two captains, which brings a whole new set of problems too lengthy to go into here.
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Old 31st May 2021, 09:10
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Having flown the S76 for a couple of thousand hours, thinking I knew the basics of what I needed to know reasonably well, it wasn't until I got on an instructors course where I had to qualify as a S76 SFI before I realized I didn't know anywhere near enough and as good enough as I needed to know. And there's the catch, not knowing that you don't know. Then when I started to do recurrent training (135.293/299) with customers who are experienced pilots you come to realize the general standard of knowledge as a cadre of S76 pilots, on average, is not where it should be. And if a check airman gives you a 36 minute annual check ride, that is something to squeal about because you're getting short changed on what you need to do your job properly.
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Old 31st May 2021, 09:21
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
...For the role when Gulli and I flew together in the 76 it was day VMC, pax, sling loads and winching only. Flying at night or any IMC was a no, no...
I do recall once launching into the pitch black of night to evacuate the Tuna platform. When we got there it was as bright as the sun, so much gas was being vented/flared it felt like the perspex crew windows would melt. But yeah, if it was pitch black on arrival out there, better you than me.
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Old 31st May 2021, 10:34
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I started flying the S76 offshore in the North Sea in May 1980. It was a single pilot operation, the only limitation being that you added 200 ft. to your ILS decision height. Day, night, come Hell or high water you went. After one just made it to the coast short of fuel because a platform had refused him permission to top up with fuel did we change to two pilots on standard rig trips.

We had a secondary task known as the FART team. (Fast aircraft rescue team). This involved flying out with engineers and/or spares to rescue 332s so one had to fit a S76 onto a helideck beside the errant 332. Another was emergency oil tools to anywhere, anytime.

I was called for one in the late afternoon with the warning that I may have to night stop in Unst, which is as far north as you can go in the UK.. The cargo was a massive drill bit about two feet across. It arrived still glowing from the re-tempering so there was a delay whilst it cooled down sufficiently to be loaded without slowly cooking me. It was dark when I launched for the Murchison some 180 miles or so but the weather was going to be bright and moonlit all the way. There I was to unload, refuel if necessary and night stop at Unst. All went well and the tool was unloaded.

En route to Unst I spoke to Scottish Information who seemed a bit surprised that I was going to Unst. Because of the distance I lost contact with them and so I called up Unst; no answer. I tried the company at Unst; no answer. The island was painting nicely on the radar and it came into sight in the moonlight and in no time I was downwind in effective VMC in the full moon. I could see the runway and also the apron by the lights of the company hangar because the doors were open so I started an approach.

The air traffic controller lived over the road from the tower and he had heard me. Putting two and two together he hoofed over the the tower, switched everything on with the cry "aircraft on finals you are clear to land" I carried on and legally landed.

I positioned the helicopter outside the hangar, shut it down, chocked it and went into the hanger. In the office was the night shift having tea and butties for their break. The ripple of jaws hitting the floor was a sound to behold. They thought, having not heard a S76 before, that I was a late Dash 7 landing.

I shacked up in the Baltasound hotel and next morning flew back to Aberdeen where the crap had hit the fan. The Aberdeen controller, as they found out when somebody had enquired as to why I had not been booked in with Unst, had a severe alcohol problem and had completely forgotten about me when I took off.

He was reassigned for a short time before he left the company's employ. We carried on flying single pilot until about January 1983 before two pilots, with a bit of resistance, was imposed.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 31st May 2021 at 11:25.
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Old 31st May 2021, 14:42
  #308 (permalink)  
 
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Gulli and Megan in the same cockpit.....now there's a thought once imagined cannot be erased!

Single pilot at night on the North Sea.....been there done that....but not for long...one night arriving back to Sumburgh in some grotty weather enjoying the simplicity of Decca 19 where a chart change and Key Change were required....cruising along at 300 feet to stay out of ice....flying with my knees.....we have progressed from those times.

Enough for the nostalgia.

I ran across this CFIT Work Sheet at the Air Safety Foundation the other night and found it interesting.

I will admit the practice of using such a Check List came late into my flying career which was first seen as being just so much eye wash and box checking.

That was until I attended a very good Safety Course put on by the HAI and I saw where having a good Safety Climate could be effective and I began to use those principles.

One of which is if you include Risk Assessments in your SMS...you actually use them and procedures set forth in the Safety Program...no matter who the Pilot is.

One of the things I fault the NTSB for in this Investigation of how that was done by the Operator and Pilot on the day of the crash....but in the years before the crash.

The Operator has had other events that could have been fatal accidents except for the blessings of good fortune.

As I worked my way through this Risk Checklist....knowing what we do from the NTSB Accident Investigation....one thing became quite clear to me....they were an accident waiting to happen,

Do that yourself and see what results you come up with at the end of this one Check List....but remember in order for these Lists to be effective guides.....they must be used and the procedures governing their use by Operator SOP's MUST be followed or it becomes just another Box Ticking exercise.

As you go through that Check List...be careful to attribute positive marks only when you know that practice to be done and not just be done on paper alone and not be effectively done....as in the 36 Minute Check Ride.


Looking back....I am sure FED, Megan, and Gulli would agree our early experiences would have not done well on this check list either.....beginning with it would never have seen the light of day. where we were emplioyed in those days.

After all....the customer had to have the morning papers and the replacement copying machine (one such night flight in genuinely rotten weather I recall with much warmth).

https://flightsafety.org/wp-content/...cfit_check.pdf
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Old 31st May 2021, 15:05
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Gulli and Megan in the same cockpit.....now there's a thought once imagined cannot be erased!
Never once did we have an engine explode when crewed together. megan always saved those more exciting flights for others. He always got the ship safely home whomever he was crewed with, even when the weather was almost VFR
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Old 31st May 2021, 18:06
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Honestly, this discussion is not confidence building. I'm just SLF, but have been happily freighted around in helicopters in the LA area, as well as around the Hawaiian Islands.
Wonderful experiences, but perhaps I should have been much more skeptical of the capabilities of the service providers.
Certainly GulliBell and SASless both suggest that the standards required are not up to their professional requirements. People have gotten killed as a result.
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Old 31st May 2021, 18:19
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Et,

The helicopter industry as a whole does in general try to fly safe....if for no other reason the Pilot's like to get home for dinner, the Operators like to stay profitable, and the customer's like to get to and from safely.

Like any human endeavor....staying in the middle of the road and avoiding the ditches and potholes goes a long way towards achieving that for everyone.

That is why when these tragic events occur careful analysis is valuable in determining what factors played a role in their happening.

The Industry knows the paths to salvation but now and then those paths get covered up with the weeds of neglect or disuse and that sadly sometimes results in bad things happening.

When conditions depart from the nominal and begin to get to the edges is usually when those weeds under our feet trip us up.

They key is keep up with the mowing and weed whacking as best we can.

Look at the improvements in the US EMS Helicopter segment of the Industry....it took an industry wide commitment to improving safety (perhaps forced on it by all of the negative press and sheer loss in lives) but that is how aviation has operated since its inception quite like other idustries.

Ralph Nader made a name for himself in challenging Detroit Automakers for an example and we all benefited from that.

Rest easy...it is still safe to get into a helicopter....but there shall aways be risks....even with the very best of efforts to reduce them as much as possible.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 03:20
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Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
Honestly, this discussion is not confidence building. I'm just SLF, but have been happily freighted around in helicopters in the LA area, as well as around the Hawaiian Islands.
Wonderful experiences, but perhaps I should have been much more skeptical of the capabilities of the service providers.
Certainly GulliBell and SASless both suggest that the standards required are not up to their professional requirements. People have gotten killed as a result.
etudiant, you need to understand that the employer sets the tone of the conduct of operations, not only sets the tone but depending on the company absolutely demands it, good or bad. You can have the very best of crews but it's of little help if the company demands are otherwise.

The company Gulli and I flew for was at the time the worlds largest company, so had deep, deep pockets, in fact could buy and sell governments. We had an operations manual written by the company that said we would operate to charter standards despite being a private operator, we paid no attention to what was written in the ops manual, if you raised the fact you were told being private we didn't need an ops manual so all was good, in all the years of operation we had never had an accident so we must be doing everything right we were told. As an offshore operator the manual demanded land based alternates for all operations, we had all the weather problems of the North Sea to contend with save for icing. Did we provide for alternates? Hell no, we didn't even get weather reports, having to shut down on a platform because home was fogged in was a regular occurrence. So what you going to do if you had an engine failure prior to the notification of home being fogged in? Seven miles away from home was an airfield with an ILS so if you had the fuel you could do a zero/zero approach and I personally was pretty sure that would turn out OK, had practiced it in the sim, but one gotcha was you may not have had the fuel, for the simple reason that flights were planned to arrive home with just the reserve fuel intact, which negated flying the extra track miles necessary to fly the ILS if the failure occurred after departure from your last platform stop. Woe betide you if you suggested alternative ways of conducting business.

One day three crews used the ILS to extricate themselves from weather, they were admonished and told they should have used the radar to get themselves visual on the coast line. Can remember getting to the coast one day and having to hover taxi to get home.

Another issue was captains were staff and subject to a yearly appraisal for a pay rise, co-pilots were provided by a contractor. Being staff was the one of the cruxs of the problem. Mangers were only in their position for about three years before they were moved on to another position (career advancement), they were given a yearly budget and that was their holy grail, coming in under budget dictated their salary increase, the bigger the gap the bigger the salary increase. No one was going to advocate spending money on infrastructure and blowing out their budget on something that we had operated without for the previous XX years.

The regulator had absolutely no interest, their lawyers going to go toe to toe with the high priced company lawyers? Not a chance.

Dr. Diane Vaughan developed the term "Normalisation of Deviance" to explain the space shuttle Challenger disaster, it has wide applicability where people are seduced into "this is how we do things around here" despite it not being good practice, unsafe, or plain illegal. All the aircrew were so seduced, me included. One saving grace was the top class equipment and excellent maintenance.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 03:47
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FH likes to bring up the Gulf of Mexico and we know he flew Black and Yellow Bell Jet Rangers of different models during his tenure down in the Gulf.

His outfit had an owner who was one of the early Helicopter Company owners who built a very large business providing offshore oil support.

He also had a reputation, even if not earned necessarily, that was similar to that described by Megan....despite being at opposite ends of the World.

I was sat in a crew room of a smallish oil company in a Kingdom on the non-Persian side of the Persian Gulf one day when the Chief Pilot asked one of the guys if he had ever worked for that Yellow/Black company.....to be told "Nope...not until I hired on here!".

That was no the right answer I judged by the look on the CP's face.

I was so impressed by that operation that I took on my room name of "Sasless"....but that is a yarn for another time.

Megan is right....an Operator's Management sets the tone and rules (written and un-written) that determine the Safety Climate....as we know from old wive's tales....."The Fish rots from the Head!".

Most see real safety as being a direct threat to profitability.... their bonus check and and promotion opportunities.

They can always blame someone else for the crash and point fingers away from them.

Sometimes they sue Air Controllers.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 10:28
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
The foundations should be laid on the pilot initial type course. For the S76 that would be 10 full days in ground school, followed by 10 hours of dual instruction in the aircraft. Coming out of that training pipeline the newly minted S76 pilot should be in no doubt that you don't fumble about flying that thing manually in clouds, especially single pilot..
Interesting point - bear in mind that this pilot was in a regulatory environment that did not require a type rating, let alone an initial type course, on the S76. So, who knows what his foundations were......(not meant to be a catalyst for a discussion about the rights and wrongs of regulator policy, just a statement of fact that might be missed by pilots from other parts of the world, who might have been familiar with a more formal introduction to the type)
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 11:33
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I've always thought it somewhat odd in FAA land that you can have a complex aircraft like the S76 not requiring a type rating, but if its MTOW was only about 800lbs heavier it would. Even if it wasn't as complex. Maybe there are a few S76 pilots out there in FAA land who did the 36 minute quickie in-house course before they were signed off as good to go.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 14:17
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212man......the counter argument which is quite valid is in those other (beginning with the one you grew up within) those authorities might have gone far too far in making their system too burdensome).

I have flown a lot of differrent helicopters (purposely did not use the words "type", "Model", "Mark" or other adjective or descriptive word)....and I have found them all to pretty much fly the same to the extent when you are

leanring Monkey Memory skills it does not take that long as when you move the flight controls the aircraft all respond with the same results.

The real difference in them all (generally) is their systems and how they are constructed and monitored and controlled and the operating limitations.

We. have had that discussion before and each time we in the FAA La La Land point out our industry is thriving and has an accident rate comparable to the other more restrictive and burdensome systems of certifications.

My introduction to the S-76 was a Two Week Flight Safety course that included the full Simulator course and then actual flight in the aircraft.

Can you say that about your conversion course for the Bell 212 done by the outfit that turned you into a 212 Pilot?

Did that same company require all EC-155 Pilots to attend similar two week Initial Training courses as part of their "Conversion Training"?

Mine was under the FAA system and yours was done in a non-FAA system.

It would seem there is a difference in management policies that was the main difference between the two systems....would you not agree?

Gulli,

The FAA is ruled by the Airplane Mafia and the Helicopter side is like a red headed bastard cousin at a family reunion at times.

The Federal Air Regulations (FAR's) have always been tailored towards Airplanes and until recent times were applied equally to Rotorcraft despite the unique differences Rotorcraft possess comopared to Airplanes.

We saw one example of that in the PBA system on the S-76 and the Chinook....and we see it in the "Type Rating" concept.

The FAA reasonably enough saw Cessna, Piper, and other Light Airplanes as being very similar and not very complex thus it settled upon the Weight Limit as being the determinant for requiring a "Type Rating".

The odd way the FAR's are written....when I did my Helicopter ATPL (in those days there was a VFR ONLY version) I wound up with a Bell 47 Type Rating as ATP rides were construed to be "Type Rides".

When I did the ATPL (note there is no VFR or IFR added to that) it was in a Bell 412 and I obtained both the ATPL and 412 Type Rating with one check ride....one being a VFR portion followed by an IFR portion.


There is a group of folks that do not understand our system....that seem to think one must have a "Type Rating" on each aircraft you fly....and that is an insistence that is not based upon anything but thinking there is but one true way to salvation.

We get around the "Type Rating" business by the FAR's requiring minimum time in "Type" and a Checkride in that particular "Type" of helicopter....even for those that do not require a "Type" rating.

We get to the same destination but by a different route.....and for those who criticize our system prove they do not fully understand the difference between the two methods.

Over the years I have formed an impression that down in Oz your system of licensing is very complex with official requirements that present a burden rather than a blessing....am I right in thinking that?

Last edited by SASless; 1st Jun 2021 at 14:40.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 14:33
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Sometimes a reasonably free market economy actually exists. In US aviation, the FAA only provides the most basic framework for experience and training requirements. They leave it to the insurance companies and operators to fill in the fine detail. No US operator is going to just throw somebody into an S-76 and say "Good luck!" No owner is going to let them. And, most of all, no US insurance underwriter is going to let them, either.

This system seems to work pretty well, and it is clearly not necessary for the government to regulate every single, tiny aspect of everything related to aviation. It can be difficult to find comparisons of general aviation accident rates between countries. However this Australian report seems to agree at least where US, CAN and AUS are concerned: https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/32897/b20060002.pdf
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 15:02
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(not meant to be a catalyst for a discussion about the rights and wrongs of regulator policy, just a statement of fact that might be missed by pilots from other parts of the world, who might have been familiar with a more formal introduction to the type)
Clearly that was wasted effort.......
Can you say that about your conversion course for the Bell 212 done by the outfit that turned you into a 212 Pilot?
No, I did two weeks systems groundschool with an instructor that normally did the LAEs (Mechanics) training, then about 10 hours in the aircraft. Seemed to work ok.

Did that same company require all EC-155 Pilots to attend similar two week Initial Training courses as part of their "Conversion Training"?
Whilst I was involved, all pilots did the two weeks factory groundschool. Prior to 2004 there was no simulator so practical training was in the aircraft, followed by non-rev hours building on type (as you know). After I left, the training staff introduced some new exercises, such as how to land with the wheels up after a rejected takeoff and how to write off an engine by using the actual 30 second rating, rather than the training mode. I tended to prefer less paperwork......

leanring Monkey Memory skills it does not take that long as when you move the flight controls the aircraft all respond with the same results.

The real difference in them all (generally) is their systems and how they are constructed and monitored and controlled and the operating limitations.
Absolutely correct, of course. Reminds me of my S-61 line training, with a local LTC that had only ever flown the 61 and had never flown with a pilot with so few hours on type - I'd just done 100 hours on the Penzance operation to meet minimum time-on-type, plus add-type TRE. After the first landing offshore, he turned to me and said "that was really great!" I looked back and said "thanks, I've been practicing landing for the last ten thousand hours....."



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Old 1st Jun 2021, 15:04
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They can always blame someone else for the crash and point fingers away from them
Exactly SAS, one of the opening paragraphs in the ops manual was a statement saying it was compulsory for all aircrew to comply with ops manual requirements and regulatory material. I made sure that the company would be unable to take a crew to court if they stubbed their toe and say it was their fault.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 21:17
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Exactly SAS, one of the opening paragraphs in the ops manual was a statement saying it was compulsory for all aircrew to comply with ops manual requirements and regulatory material
You are lucky. In about 1997 our esteemed Chief Executive decided to save some beans by stopping promotion to senior pilot. This was difficult as the career path was written in the operations manual. No problem, being an accountant, he withdrew the ops manual so the evidence didn't exist with the excuse that the ops manual was being rewritten.
About eighteen months later the new version came out; with exactly the same career path.
Guess who retired as a standard captain and missed out on his extra pension.

Not to worry as when I retired I flew for his Chinese partners who saved $10,000s employing me instead of paying him his extortionate rates for a company pilot.
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