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22 year old killed by tail rotor

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22 year old killed by tail rotor

Old 30th Jul 2022, 16:21
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Our Flight Surgeon discussing helicopters at the beginning of our training:
”The noise of a helicopter is of such volumn and frequency so as to impede our ability to think.
Moreover, in the hover, airflow recirculates exhaust gasses so as to contaminate the air you breath. Therefore you are basically stupidly wallowing in your own excreta!”
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Old 30th Jul 2022, 16:36
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Originally Posted by mickjoebill View Post
It takes many years of parental guidance to teach kids how to cross a road, yet we expect the public to be fully cognisant of the risk under a helicopter with an unaudited verbal safety brief.
Yes, because that's the difference between a child and an adult!
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Old 31st Jul 2022, 09:57
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Originally Posted by paco View Post
I rely on PPRuNe to be the last bastion against woke behaviour
I'm not sure what being alert to injustices in society has to do with a tragic helicopter accident - posted on the wrong thread, perhaps?
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Old 31st Jul 2022, 15:41
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Political correctness, call it what you will.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 00:03
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by compton3bravo View Post
Reminds me of the Australian golfer Jack Newton who was seriously injured when he walked into a propeller. People in the golf club were wondering if he got a free drop!
At the time, it was said that Arthur Beetson, Australian Rugby League captain & Qld coach, wanted to sign up the prop that hit Newton.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 06:48
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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You do wonder why folk do the things they do. Would you lay on the ramp to check the gear given the space available, as this young copilot apparently did, one would assume he would have been cognisant of the risk.

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Old 1st Aug 2022, 12:02
  #127 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ApolloHeli View Post
If we were talking about an experienced helicopter pilot who is acutely aware of the dangers of a helicopter I would agree with you, but it is entirely likely that a typical passenger will have no idea that there is a second rotor at the rear of the aircraft that is (in the right lighting conditions) almost invisible, and for the uninitiated, impossible to aurally distinguish from all the other noisy bits of the helicopter, so I disagree that the blame is at all placed in the direction of the victim here. As mentioned on this thread before; typical 'safety briefings' can make little difference if rushed through, spoken unclearly, or given at times when the passengers aren't paying attention.

There is a video of a person ducking under the tail of a squirrel and walking into the tail rotor (killing him) in Nepal from a few years ago, which I am reminded of from this incident (I recall reading a report that states the victim in Greece ducked under the tail to cross and met the tail rotor in this way - that seems to be the most plausible to me), and I wouldn't say stupidity or 'lack of common sense' played into the case in Nepal either, but rather a lack of understanding of the risks in the situation, especially when your eyes (which we derive most of our situational understanding of the world around us from) tell us that the path in front of us is clear.

(my bold added for emphasis). Always happy to be corrected.
Not the same outcome but, jo public and stupid go together. I was in Belize in 84 and we had to drop a couple of pax off on a jetty in the south of the country. We were in a Gazelle and landed across it so the guy in the right seat could warn if anyone was coming that way, on the left at the end of the jetty was a small ferry. When I opened the left door to let the pax out I got the shock of my life when I saw bodies rolling under the tail boom to get to the ferry. We weren’t shut down blades everything going at ground idle. Big lesson was learnt that day, don’t trust anyone !!!
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 13:22
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Granted, there have not been enough incidences of tail rotor tragedies to warrant a industry wide rethink For instance, there were numerous R44 fatalities due to post impact fire before fuel cells were adopted.
​​​​​That being said, has a clutch just for the tail rotor ever been adopted?

Mjb

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Old 1st Aug 2022, 14:18
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Every component in a tail rotor drive system has the potential for catastrophic failure. Introducing more components increases the risk; so, no.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 14:58
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gsa View Post
Not the same outcome but, jo public and stupid go together. I was in Belize in 84 and we had to drop a couple of pax off on a jetty in the south of the country. We were in a Gazelle and landed across it so the guy in the right seat could warn if anyone was coming that way, on the left at the end of the jetty was a small ferry. When I opened the left door to let the pax out I got the shock of my life when I saw bodies rolling under the tail boom to get to the ferry. We weren’t shut down blades everything going at ground idle. Big lesson was learnt that day, don’t trust anyone !!!
The lesson you SHOULD have learned is at minimum you need to brief the passengers (I doubt you did or you would have mentioned it) and (if possible) have an escort or shut down. You should have learned not to trust passengers around a helicopter long before this. This one is on you.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 15:04
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Originally Posted by mickjoebill View Post
​​​​​That being said, has a clutch just for the tail rotor ever been adopted?
And add one more thing on a helicopter that can break? (Just noticed that Duncan covered this a bit more technically).
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 19:34
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jim59 View Post
Why don't they fit safety guards around the tail fan to prevent such accidents? Helicopters often embark/disembark passengers with rotors revolving so are a greater risk to passengesr than most fixed wing aircraft.
Should they fit them to airplanes too? Pax walk into aircraft props too. FYI they are called “Tail Rotors” and the term is “Rotors Turning” or “Rotors Running”.
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 21:31
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Just a short notice about the investigation - not the purely technical aspect:

Investigators of the Greek AAIB keep calling the fellow pax of the victim since the night of the accident and the get the message "the phone is off please call again later"
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 21:34
  #134 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by helonorth View Post
The lesson you SHOULD have learned is at minimum you need to brief the passengers (I doubt you did or you would have mentioned it) and (if possible) have an escort or shut down. You should have learned not to trust passengers around a helicopter long before this. This one is on you.
I don’t read gsa ’s post that it was his pax; he would seem to have landed to drop them off and others were going under the (fenestron) Gazelle which has a low tail boom to get to the ferry, before he had opened the door for the pax.

This thread has gone in circles from shock/horror that a mature age Rotorhead should make light of a fatality, through somewhat extreme interpretations of what may have happened, to discussions on helicopter modifications to prevent people being hurt. Interesting reading but the element of ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’ is disappointing in a forum which is expected to be populated by those with a degree of knowledge about helicopters.
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 02:49
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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Next time you fly on RPT, have a look around at the lack of attention to the safety demo, very, very few watching, they know it all, but they would very likely be the clowns toting their carry on to the door slides.
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Old 2nd Aug 2022, 12:16
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Takes me back to an incident in the the mid seventies in Germany.
I went as engineer with a Scout helicopter and the pilot. The task was to lift troops on an exercise.
First load all the pax arrived at one door and one decided to go for a different door. Went down the back and ducked under the tailboom.
Pliot saw him go and shut down straight away. Not that that would have saved the guy if he had gone further back.
A discussion was then had with the infantry and it became apparent that they were used to Puma/Wessex and there had been no briefing on the Scout.
I spent the rest of the afternoon briefing each stick prior to boarding.

On a more personal note we were carrying out night ops at Bessbrook with Scouts, there were no lights on the helipad or the aircraft. The refuelling hoses had been laid out to facilitate the refuels.
First aircraft back landed out of position and 90 degrees out.. In the dark I could see nothing and went searching for the hose. I felt the exhaust on me and realised I was somewhere towards the tail.
An unpleasant moment. Being familiar and used to downwash and noise I was still caught out. I still go cold over that one.
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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 11:55
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Originally Posted by Robbiee View Post
They put safety barriers in front of railroad crossings, yet people still insist on going around them to get run over by a train.
RIP to the lad and condolences to his folks and thinking of the crew going through this difficult time....

Classic was this fatal accident at Elsenham near here where the teenage girls ignored the red lights thinking it was for the train and dashed across.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/...wright.uknews4

Network rail got it in the neck and ended up forking out loads and then building overhead bridge.

RIP to the girls but what happens to common sense?

cheers

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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 12:04
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Lots of thoughtless comments on here.

This accident in the 1990’s just proves how easy it is to do something so stupid. Tragic for everyone involved and I remember it well. Humans make mistakes. We’ve probably all dodged death by pure luck at some point.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ir-office.html

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Old 3rd Aug 2022, 12:17
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MechEngr View Post
There are persistence of vision (POV) video displays that use a linear array of LEDs that light the entire circular path they take. It would be (technology wise) easy to add this to the rotor to display a "STAY BACK" or other messages along with video clips of possible results, but that may not be enough if the approach angle is small enough. The tough part is ensuring they all stay in place during rain, bugs, light hail, cold weather, hot weather, and whatever insults a ground crew might bring in cleaning the unit. All the display would require is a power supply through a slip ring, though the wiring to the blade(s) does have to follow the linkage to the blades - the controller and drive electronics would be about 1 ounce and a few grams for the LEDs. I love mixed units. It might even be possible to build a magneto setup so that no slip ring would be required and just run automatically when the tail rotor turns.

Still, people get in the news for falling into a canyon when they slip from top edge of the guard rail or going past multiple "EMPLOYEES ONLY" signs to pet the lions, so that seems like a lot of effort for the rare payout

Maybe a pre-flight video showing passengers what happens to a pumpkin tossed into a running tail rotor? Where's Myth Busters when you need them?
There is a point, and wondering if there are cameras for the pax to see and have their own dvd copy of the flight. Looking at Paradise Helicopters wondering if their 407 have cameras, like Papillon Bell 407?

https://paradisecopters.com/about

https://paradisecopters.com/safety

cheers


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Old 6th Aug 2022, 03:37
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Both Winnerhofer and Jim59 raised use of Fenestron or tail rotor guards. Those thoughts also came to mind when I read about this sad incident. Various helicopter manufacturers have certainly been conscious of the risks related to injury from the tail rotor, and it didn't take any regulations for them to factor this into their designs. Given the Gazelle was the first helicopter to feature the Fenestron, I read on Wikipedia what it said about this feature: "The fenestron, while requiring a small increase in power at slow speeds, has advantages such as being considerably less vulnerable to damage, safer for people working around the helicopter and with low power requirements at cruising speeds, and has been described as "far more suitable for high-speed flight"...". Of course mounting the tail rotor high on a vertical stabilizer such as on the MBB Bo 105 and BK 117 are other options that have been adopted, especially considering their rear loading clamshell doors. NOTAR had also already been mentioned as another way of preventing injury. Again, Wikipedia entry for NOTAR mentions benefits of "increased safety (the tail rotor being vulnerable), and greatly reduced external noise". Then there are also coaxial and tandem rotor helicopters which also dispense with the need for a tail rotor. I wonder whether there would be any rational way of comparing ground accident/injury statistics for helicopters were there is no tail rotor within reach against types where there is such a risk?
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