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French Lighthouse Ops incident, 6 July 2022

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French Lighthouse Ops incident, 6 July 2022

Old 8th Jul 2022, 11:06
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Check out this skillfull recovery

Good day everyone.

Since I did not find an entry regarding this incident in the forum, I had do post it.

And since I am too low on posts I can’t publish links.

So if you please google

Phare de la Vieille helicopter

you will find the video documenting an amazingly skillfull manoeuver.

(I have an image but the system doesn’t allow that either)

Last edited by Heinrich Dubel; 8th Jul 2022 at 11:27.
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 11:40
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Here is the subject video:

A number of the comments appear to offer explanations for what happened, which seems to have involved a sling load.

Mods may consider moving this to Rotorheads (I checked there earlier to see if there was any discussion of this video, but I did not see any).
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 12:26
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What is the smoke by the skids after the recovery? Did they activate some pyro to deploy floats?
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 13:10
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 15:36
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Originally Posted by zambonidriver View Post
What is the smoke by the skids after the recovery? Did they activate some pyro to deploy floats?

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Old 8th Jul 2022, 15:37
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Looks to me as if that smoke is coming out of the engine exhaust - possibly because the pilot has pulled the hell out of it trying to recover.

The floats are activated by a small pyrotechnic squib but it would not produce smoke like that. Sometimes the floats are packed with chalk powder to protect against chafing and that can make a cloud of dust when you pop the floats but it does not look like that either.

I think that the engine has been massively over-torqued / over-temped and the smoke is the result of that.

Lucky / skilful recovery.

Looks as though perhaps the underslung load or the longline became snagged?
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 15:43
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Smoke

Originally Posted by zambonidriver View Post
What is the smoke by the skids after the recovery? Did they activate some pyro to deploy floats?
My non-expert guess is that engine and/or transmission experience sudden – uhm – stress surge, maybe oil is burning up?
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:00
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1. Must have taken a crowbar to get the seat cushion out of the ass of that pilot.

2. At least one, if not two changes of underwear. required.

3. Nice save.

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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:21
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AS350 close call - France

A very close call for this pilot: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ighthouse.html

The helicopter was flying towards the Vielle Lighthouse, which is undergoing renovations, half a mile off France's most westerly point of Pointe du Raz in the region of Finistère.

it suddenly lurches wildly into a heart stopping ninety degree angle before diving.

It loses altitude catastrophically as the rocks close in but the pilot manages to bring it back level and avert an immediate crash.
Apologies for the source and VERY over-the-top journalism; smoke from the engine, but hardly bursts into flames. However looks a very close call none the less, and would certainly have got the pilots attention!

h14
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:35
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That “wine shear” can be very tricky, as can having your “rear capable” break.

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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:55
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Awesome save! I would not be surprised if there was a main rotor blade(s) strike on the tailboom during that pull up!
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 16:56
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Saw the video on reddit. There's a pop, the nose dives, he pops the floats, then recovers.

Definitely a trouser soiling moment!
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 17:27
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Don't know the layout of the cyclic on the Ecureil, but I suspect the load-pickle and float-deploy switches are pretty close together. Unexpected pitch-down? Push every button within reach, pronto...
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 17:59
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Floats are packed with powder lubricant. Could be the puff of 'smoke'.
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 18:22
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There is a noticeable emission of somethibng (dark smoke/dust?) from the skid area immediately as the excursion occurs.
The helo then enters a violent pitch-down spiral from which it (just) recovers until the floats inflate and a large amout of white vapour comes from the engine exhaust.

I can't see that white vapour as anything but engine related, it seems clear where it's coming from.

To my view the float inflation is not connected with the white vapour, I think they are two seperate issues.

The white smoke? How about a flameout (the dark puff - FOD?) initiating a desperate pilot induced pitchdown for survival, blowing the floats commendably fast, and the relight system relighting an engine full of fuel and vapour with governor wide open as a result of a panicked "up to the armpit" pull on the lever?

Skilful recovery, or sphincter-based? I'd call it a reflex action supported by an astonishingly forgiving airframe.

There. That's my speculation for the week.

Last edited by meleagertoo; 8th Jul 2022 at 18:45.
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 19:49
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In treadigraph's post #4 above, it appears something falls of the top of the light house just before the rapid drop??? At about the 4 second mark of the video
And as noted, it might have been during a sling operation?
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 20:02
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Originally Posted by mnttech View Post
In post #4 above, it appears something falls of the top of the light house just before the rapid drop??? At about the 4 second mark of the video
And as noted, it might have been during a sling operation?
It is a person standing in an elevated position. After the initial mishap the person jumps in two steps down to the platform. This was already described in the original French article, before the close-up video appeared online. In the close-up there is also some activity at the lower left corner of the outer structure of the lighthouse platform, faintly visible, but if one looks closely it appears to be the line, or part of it.
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Old 8th Jul 2022, 23:24
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You can see a loop of something flop around the pillar thing on the top corner of the lighthouse - and later see a cable of some sort from the loop? Maybe it tripped the helo around the skids to cause the nose down?
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 09:20
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Originally Posted by zambonidriver View Post
What is the smoke by the skids after the recovery? Did they activate some pyro to deploy floats?
The source is the exhaust, so a 'lever round your ears' manoeuvre together with a 'half-crown/sixpence' moment, a rugged powerplant and an airframe/rotor system of 'brick-built outhouse' standard. "Have the new moleskin trews ready for arrival, Jeeves !"
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Old 9th Jul 2022, 12:09
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half-crown/sixpence

Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
'half-crown/sixpence' moment
Never heard that phrase. I guess I get the meaning in this context, but where does it come from? You care to elaborate?
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