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2022-03-05: Derriford Hospital: Woman dies in helicopter landing incident

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2022-03-05: Derriford Hospital: Woman dies in helicopter landing incident

Old 11th Mar 2022, 11:09
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Originally Posted by [email protected]

Having an HLS in the middle of a car park is sadly too common as the income from the car parks is so important to the hospitals.
I had to attend Southampton Hospital recently for treatment, and the HLS there is right in the middle of one of the car parks - the pad is marked 14,6t, and cars are parked right under the perimeter net !
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 12:13
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The Southampton one was not well thought out - one way in and the same way out (over the cemetery) giving a very poor go around option on arrival and usually a downwind component on departure.

Ironically I see that Benny Hill is buried in the cemetery, perhaps he was part of the design team.......
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Old 12th Mar 2022, 12:55
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
The Southampton one was not well thought out - one way in and the same way out (over the cemetery) giving a very poor go around option on arrival and usually a downwind component on departure.

Ironically I see that Benny Hill is buried in the cemetery, perhaps he was part of the design team.......
That very depends on whose landing site directory you use. Each company has its own which could have entirely different approach criteria. I feel this should be part of AAIBs investigation - were there risks identified in one version and not another?
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 12:01
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Helipad approaches don't seem to vary much from type to type for PC1, especially in the last 100' or so, so why would different companies have different criteria?
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 14:14
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Helipad approaches don't seem to vary much from type to type for PC1, especially in the last 100' or so, so why would different companies have different criteria?
A Bell 429 goes diagonally for PC1 for a start, an H145 (with the right kit) can do vertical from LDP and an MD902 is far shallower than an EC135. So plenty of variation. And the military don't do PC1 at all. Above 200' there are indeed pretty identical. Below that, not so much.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 15:23
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I had to attend Southampton Hospital recently for treatment, and the HLS there is right in the middle of one of the car parks - the pad is marked 14,6t, and cars are parked right under the perimeter net !
Before that it was actually the consultants' car park. I landed there and a colleague gave me a consultant parking permit to put in the cab!

The NHS has historically had little interest in and even less knowledge about landing pads. In the past the issues have been location and difficulties with patient transfer - distance, slopes etc etc. As larger aircraft become more common on HEMS this incident may be a wake up call to also review safety
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 17:15
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And the military don't do PC1 at all.
I must have been dreaming when I was teaching it on AS365 then.............

My point is that whatever profile you fly, I've done 365 and 139, the obstacles at Southampton mean you are going to the pad whether you want to or not.

139 had diagonal or straight in helipad profiles but with buildings in front of you your LDP would have to be very high.
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Old 13th Mar 2022, 21:19
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
I must have been dreaming when I was teaching it on AS365 then.............

My point is that whatever profile you fly, I've done 365 and 139, the obstacles at Southampton mean you are going to the pad whether you want to or not.

139 had diagonal or straight in helipad profiles but with buildings in front of you your LDP would have to be very high.
Fair point, I forgot the Dauphin/A109 - most mil guys using the RAF HLS wouldn't have the first clue about PC1 though.

But on your specific earlier point about Southampton, I know at least one version of that HLS description that has 3 ways in and out which are possible due to the types used. But it wouldn't be suitable for a big Heli, hence different versions for different companies / types.
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Old 14th Mar 2022, 02:27
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by homonculus
... ...
The NHS has historically had little interest in and even less knowledge about landing pads. ... ...
Even in a territory where the NHS runs the air ambulance fleet there are persisting problems with HLS for HEMS and SAR at some key locations.
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Old 14th Mar 2022, 07:14
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer
It doesn’t take much for an elderly person in their 80’s to fall over. There are many fall related fatalities or serious injuries that occur at home, before you even consider the contribution downwash can make.
Before leaping to conclusions, this may have been avoidable or it may just be very bad luck.
How many people pay attention to level crossings? I doubt a helipad would be treated with much more attention.
You can’t protect everyone, all the time. Some times people have to take responsibility for themselves.
Nice bit of victim blaming. You expect elderly people, worried about their health, treatment, “where do I park, where do I go, am I late” to take responsibility for their safety around aircraft when they have no experience of them at all and then say “may be just very bad luck”. No. This was an avoidable accident. Heads should roll.
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Old 14th Mar 2022, 09:39
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Originally Posted by Blackfriar
Nice bit of victim blaming. You expect elderly people, worried about their health, treatment, “where do I park, where do I go, am I late” to take responsibility for their safety around aircraft when they have no experience of them at all and then say “may be just very bad luck”. No. This was an avoidable accident. Heads should roll.
I am generally someone who takes the view that individual responsibility should be at the fore and that common sense should be applied. I particularly don't like the way that the phrase "victim blaming" gets wheeled out on every possible occasion

In this case however I am inclined to agree strongly with Blackfriar here.

This is a hospital car park which by definition is a place where elderly frail and infirm people will routinely be found. It is simply not reasonable to expect them to be aware of this risk - or even if they are aware of it to respond to it effectively when a helicopter appears on short finals.

If an old lady falls over in her house and bangs her head - then that can be put down as "one of those things"

When she gets knocked off her feet by a helicopter whilst crossing a hospital car park then as Blackfriar says this was an avoidable accident and someone should at least be made to account for it (not the Helicopter crew, but rather whoever within the organisation signed off on the Risk Assessment).

I imagine that this is now an AAIB investigation so that should go a fair way towards opening up the can of worms (unless they limit themselves to the direct aviation aspects and refer the organisational / planning matters to someone else).

Very sad for everyone - Very tough for this crew.

OH
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Old 14th Mar 2022, 15:11
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Originally Posted by Blackfriar
Nice bit of victim blaming
Nice bit of internet outrage. Now sit down, and take a deep breath before you fall over.

The point I was making is that context is important, as are details, and many, myself included, have no clue what risk mitigations have been taken here.
Obviously life shouldn't be lost in a hospital carpark, that's what hospital beds are for.
It is easy to jump on the "burn them at the stake bandwagon", but you should also consider if the individuals contributed to the outcome.

We regularly see people having to be rescued despite them being told that what they are doing is dangerous, people, especially older ones, can be stubborn. Not saying that is the case here, just an observation of human behaviour.
Many variables must intersect for a fatal accident, it is rare for all of them to belong to one party.
We live in a society that is plastered with warnings and health and safety notices, to such an extent they become background noise.

It is sad and unfortunate what happened, and hopefully they can de-risk the environment with greater success to prevent it happening again, preferably without costing more lives by inhibiting a critical service.
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Old 16th Mar 2022, 22:25
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Originally Posted by Bell_ringer

....We regularly see people having to be rescued despite them being told that what they are doing is dangerous, people, especially older ones, can be stubborn. Not saying that is the case here, just an observation of human behaviour.....
You're not getting this, are you. This was a member of the public, in a public place, doing nothing dangerous.
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Old 19th Apr 2022, 04:51
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Originally Posted by John Eacott
Melbourne's The Alfred helipad had three pedestrian incidents, and following this one a further two were identified at other sites. All 3 at The Alfred involved an AW139.

ATSB Report AB-2021-028
A bit more on the issue here. Apparently they currently have a pedestrian controller on the pavement when helicopter movements are occuring, out on Commercial Road.
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Old 20th Apr 2022, 04:57
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Got to feel for the crew on this one, they must be mortified.

That being said the state of hospital landing sites up and down the country is appalling. Even modern, purpose built sites aren’t always up to task.

Some of the older sites about are desperately in need of repair or replacement, there’s no BO105s landing on them anymore.

For those pads that have been built in car parks or near hospital entrances, pad security needs taking more seriously. Maybe a 4-5t 145 going in isn’t too bad but slap a 13t S92 and you have all sorts of problems.

Pad security awareness and training may stop this in future but sadly so few have a grasp on the destructive effects a helicopter can have.

I’ve even been told of a pad with a brittle bone clinic next to it that had a picnic bench added outside so the patients could watch the aircraft, all about 20ft from the pad and under the flight path, no the pad isn’t elevated…..

For HEMS what is supposed to be the safest part of the flight with guaranteed PC1, it’s not always as safe as it could be for Joe Public.
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Old 3rd Nov 2023, 10:30
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Woman killed by downwash from hospital helipad

BBC, and others, reporting an incident at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth

It set me to wondering how many other approved helipads are adjacent to car parks or areas where the public might be at risk. I'm assuming that there is an approval process by the CAA, at least for public transport operations eg air ambulances.
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Old 3rd Nov 2023, 10:42
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That happened last year, there was an update the other day on the findings of the investigation.
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Old 3rd Nov 2023, 10:48
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AAIB update

https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/airc...y-s-92a-g-mcgy

Helicopters used for Search and Rescue and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) perform a vital role in the UK and, although the operators of these are regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the many helicopter landing sites provided by hospitals are not. It is essential that the risks associated with helicopter operations into areas accessible by members of the public are fully understood by the HLS Site Keepers, and that effective communication between all the stakeholders involved is established and maintained. Therefore, nine Safety Recommendations have been made to address these issues, and these are listed in paragraph 4.1 of this report.

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 4th Nov 2023 at 22:59. Reason: Threads merged
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Old 3rd Nov 2023, 10:49
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AAIB report

https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/airc...y-s-92a-g-mcgy

Helicopters used for Search and Rescue and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) perform a vital role in the UK and, although the operators of these are regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, the many helicopter landing sites provided by hospitals are not. It is essential that the risks associated with helicopter operations into areas accessible by members of the public are fully understood by the HLS Site Keepers, and that effective communication between all the stakeholders involved is established and maintained. Therefore, nine Safety Recommendations have been made to address these issues, and these are listed in paragraph 4.1 of this report.
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Old 3rd Nov 2023, 10:56
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There you go, thanks SWBKCB
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