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The crash of Rescue 111: ‘The worst silence I ever heard in all my life’

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The crash of Rescue 111: ‘The worst silence I ever heard in all my life’

Old 8th Jan 2022, 08:15
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The crash of Rescue 111: ‘The worst silence I ever heard in all my life’

The crash of Rescue 111: ‘The worst silence I ever heard in all my life’ (irishtimes.com)
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 09:46
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What a waste of 4 lives.

Crap weather - who would launch in a helicopter to try and find a boat lost in thick fog?

They didn't need to be launched anyway as the boat had been found.

Poor fuel planning and diversion awareness.

Amateurs doing SAR.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 10:30
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The thing is, when you read that story, as you continue to read you just know the inevitable outcome.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 12:04
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Sadly, it is a well known accident as it had been used as a cautionary tale in UK Milsar for many years.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 14:24
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If they’d turned off the landing/search light and flown it coupled to 70 ft on the ILS, there’s probably a good chance they could have got in on a third attempt - after flying the first two to normal minima.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 16:24
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

Amateurs doing SAR.
Is it the Coastguard dispatcher that you are referring to as an "amateur" or the four deceased crew members?

500 Fan.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 18:31
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Some similarities with the more recent S92 tragedy. Where was the operational control and standards? With the boats in heavy fog, why attempt a beach cloud break when there is a perfectly good ILS nearby that can be flown at 60 knots to impact on a flat unobstructed surface?

Thanks 212man, my pet peeve on night ILS in fog or blowing snow is pilots wanting the landing light on because the checklist says so. Probably the same guys that would overshoot at DH despite there being no other better options.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 21:31
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Is it the Coastguard dispatcher that you are referring to as an "amateur" or the four deceased crew members?
All of them and I don't speak ill of the dead lightly.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 21:35
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212man, the only Dauphin I have flown was the N3 and, although it only had a 3-axis autopilot, would fly a coupled ILS to level off at 60' down the runway - did theirs have the same capability?
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 22:38
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A low experience crew in a new, unfamiliar type of helicopter coupled with weather that was probably close to, or beyond even IFR limits. I doubt they had yet learned to take full advantage of the IFR capabilities of the aircraft in any case.

In the past I had to reluctantly turn down a small number of mission requests because I was experienced enough to know that they couldn’t be safely flown due to weather. In one particular instance I was seriously taken to task over my decision. A very senior police officer try to make a big deal out of it and made threats about my continued employment. He apparently then tried to call out two other helicopter units including RAFSAR who also refused to launch, for exactly the same reasons (heavy snow, strong winds and fog). On that occasion the allegedly missing people were not actually in distress at all and didn’t need rescuing, they had planned and were equipped to stay out overnight if needed and returned home unaware.
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Old 8th Jan 2022, 22:51
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
212man, the only Dauphin I have flown was the N3 and, although it only had a 3-axis autopilot, would fly a coupled ILS to level off at 60' down the runway - did theirs have the same capability?
Had 4-axis.
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 03:20
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
A low experience crew in a new, unfamiliar type of helicopter coupled with weather that was probably close to, or beyond even IFR limits. I doubt they had yet learned to take full advantage of the IFR capabilities
Hardly a new type Shy. Introduced to the fleet in 1986. Accident occurred in 1999. There was a considerable media circus surrounding the launch of the 24hr SAR that day. That would certainly have influenced the decision making of the crew, to decline a flight on the first night…
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 04:22
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Formal report, still reading to form a view rather than a knee jerk response.

http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...2000_011-0.PDF
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 05:17
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Originally Posted by donner89 View Post
Hardly a new type Shy. Introduced to the fleet in 1986. Accident occurred in 1999. There was a considerable media circus surrounding the launch of the 24hr SAR that day. That would certainly have influenced the decision making of the crew, to decline a flight on the first night…
I meant it was new to the crew!
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 06:08
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There was a considerable media circus surrounding the launch of the 24hr SAR that day. That would certainly have influenced the decision making of the crew, to decline a flight on the first night
A quick skim of the report addresses this and comes to the conclusion that all the media hoopla would have had the effect of compelling them to accept the task. Rather than speaking ill of the dead I wish crab would address the report and give us the benefit of his SAR experience by commenting on the facts. Trashing the crew brings no lessons learnt to the table. Sorry.
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 06:16
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
212man, the only Dauphin I have flown was the N3 and, although it only had a 3-axis autopilot, would fly a coupled ILS to level off at 60' down the runway - did theirs have the same capability?
The DH had a very advanced avionics kit for it’s day including a 4 axis autopilot with a Sar modes such as auto hover , trans up, trans down etc. It was actually very good when it all worked. It was however obsolescent at the time of the accident. Re: the 70/70 apch, it was not practiced and was not as straight forward as just letting an AW139 for example, continue down to ALVL on an ILS with an automatic change of coupled modes.

The pilots had nearly 600hrs and 390hrs on type and both had over 2000hrs total. The monthly training requirements for an AC SAR crew at the time more than covered IFR requirements and currency on type.





Last edited by Declan275; 9th Jan 2022 at 06:36.
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 09:31
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Originally Posted by Declan275 View Post
...The pilots had nearly 600hrs and 390hrs on type and both had over 2000hrs total.
Once the fog was so thick you couldn't even see your hand in-front of your face, once the fuel situation did not allow for a diversion no amount of experience would save you from an unfortunate outcome. Experience should be relied on not to get yourself into that dire situation in the first place, rather than be relied upon to get yourself out of the dire situation you got yourself into.
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 10:18
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[QUOTE=Experience should be relied on not to get yourself into that dire situation in the first place, rather than be relied upon to get yourself out of the dire situation you got yourself into.[/QUOTE]

Agreed, I was referring to the comment that the aircraft was new to them or the Air Corps. It had been in service since the mid eighties and would have been very much a known quantity both organisationally and to the crew. There had been a daytime SAR operation in Waterford for years, it was the night element at that base and the location/type mix that was new.
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 11:13
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A quick skim of the report addresses this and comes to the conclusion that all the media hoopla would have had the effect of compelling them to accept the task. Rather than speaking ill of the dead I wish crab would address the report and give us the benefit of his SAR experience by commenting on the facts. Trashing the crew brings no lessons learnt to the table. Sorry.
To start at the beginning of the analysis - this was not a life-saving mission, they casualty vessel was lost and the only medical issue was seasickness.

They were initially called out and then stood down - they did not need to launch.

Having made the decision to launch in pi** poor weather, they did not seem to have made any plan for diversion or considered diversion fuel planning.

Not taking extra fuel on a poor weather search was a major error - always plan for the worst and fuel jettison was possible.

Leaving scene should have happened earlier - the casualty vessel was under tow and close to the harbour.

Having gone around from the first ILS and seeing nothing of the airfield was the time to think about diverting.

Having gone around from the second (probably much lower) the consideration of a trans down to the airfield should have been made.

Electing to make a downwind approach to the coast with no viable escape route was, as it proved, asking for trouble.

An approach on a Northerly heading, to the hover in the bay would have allowed subsequent slow speed manoeuvring to the coast - it would have given a more credible left turn into wind and out of the bay as an escape route.

Long crew duty day with no rest periods, non SAR-Squadron pilots (the unit QM and a QHI) flying more than one type, P1 with limited experience of the area.

Ultimately the Captain is responsible for the safe conduct of the flight and must consider variables such as weather, fuel, possible diversion etc.

The P2 and rearcrew are part of the crew and on SAR should have an equal voice regarding the conduct of mission planning and execution - without CVR we won't know anything about that unfortunately.

The mission was launched 'to let them have some practice' by the tasking authority despite the first decision to be to stand them down - that shows how little the flight needed to happen.
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Old 9th Jan 2022, 11:58
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
...The P2 and rearcrew are part of the crew and on SAR should have an equal voice regarding the conduct of mission planning and execution - without CVR we won't know anything about that unfortunately..
The time for talking was before they launched in the first place. Had there been a pragmatic and sensible and open and inclusive discussion/appreciation at that stage they would have turned the bus around and gone home. Given that discussion didn't happen, chances are it probably wouldn't have happened in flight either. Or if it did, would have been about as useful as the discussion wasn't in the Rescue 116 accident.
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