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November 2nd 2022 - BBC report heli down in Wales

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November 2nd 2022 - BBC report heli down in Wales

Old 2nd Nov 2022, 23:37
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Update on the story (serve me right for posting so early, it didn’t have pictures at 6am when I first came across it): link
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 00:19
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Viewing the BBC article that was linked.....gazing past the paddock gate with the helicopter hiding in the wood line to the right.....away in the distance is wha appears to my old eyes to be a rather odd looking tree with what appears to be a lot of bark missing and it leaning on about a 45 degree angle.

Do others see the same thing?

As we have no credible information at this time and we are all working on pure supposition......I would say that looks odd and let it go at that for the time being.
I think what you are seeing is a small branch on that gate in the foreground , had to put ma specs on for that one.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 00:23
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Originally Posted by hargreaves99 View Post
no, but it was another onshore accident with an experienced pilot, where weather/decision making as the cause.
Obviously and more than one bad decision was made leading up to it, as is often the case.

(I’m of the opinion that the final bad decision in the events leading up to the Vauxhall accident possibly occurred because the sole pilot was led to believe, from a text received, that Battersea heliport had opened, ie the weather had begun to improve there. He possibly then thought he was looking at a gap in the weather at Chelsea Bridge, rather than Vauxhall Bridge where the tower and crane lurked. This is in no way excuses the decision to let down over a congested area in very poor visibility).

We are getting well off the title subject so I’ll leave it there and if yesterday’s accident was a mechanical failure on departure, all this conjecture is irrelevant anyway.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 09:56
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This looks like a confined area departure at dusk although the video makes it look like proper darkness - is this another poor captaincy decision or an unfortunate mechanical issue?

Night confined areas without NVG? No thanks.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 10:03
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Any link to the video? I can't find it
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 10:08
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It's in the initial BBC report in the first link - video has been added
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 10:18
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
It's in the initial BBC report in the first link - video has been added
So it is, thanks
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 11:06
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woman in news video says it caught the tree upon takeoff
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 13:19
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
This looks like a confined area departure at dusk although the video makes it look like proper darkness - is this another poor captaincy decision or an unfortunate mechanical issue?

Night confined areas without NVG? No thanks.
Welcome to the real world outside of the RAF; that field doesn't look particularly confined in any case. However, night CAs was a routine exercise for military helicopter crews prior to NVG. Arguably, it was even more dangerous when PNG were first used by the RAF in the late 1970s before NVGs became available.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 13:59
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They may not be obvious but are lights required on the ground for an onshore helicopter landing site unless on NVIS? SAR does not require them due to obvious reasons but curious if this is commercial trip.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 14:05
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Anyone able to identify the actual location from the video/photos....?
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 14:06
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Shy is right on this.

Being a Dinosaur in this business of flying helicopters but blessed to have flown with NVG's after all those years using just the MK 1's in field operations from no lights beyond a single shrouded flashlight or hand held strobe light in the middle of some of the densest jungle and mountainous areas of the World.....NVG's are the absolute best aid one can use.

To offer a for instance.....we regularly trained in night ops at a remote place in the Southeast of the United States....with no external lights to be seen when we were out at unit authorized VMC minimums.

The LZ was a small flat open area with lots of broom straw field grass which is a light tan color....surround by 80-100 foot tall Pine Trees.

On a zero Moon overcast night....it was black dark out. With NVG's, even at the worst light level it was very easy to fly the circuits and do the landings, hover, and take offs.

We still did them without the NVG's...with no landing lights or nav lights....but it was a very hard thing to do.

Add Nav lights and as you approached the hover the grass would begin to show up visually.....add the rotating beacon and it got better yet.....and of course with the landing lights we were back to normal night ops.....and with the Night Sun on White Light....no problem at all.

With NVG's.....just the Nav Lights. on and it seemed the Landing Light was on when using just bare eyes.

With NVG's using the IR Filter over the Night Sun and the Light tweaked to the Flood Light mode.....again it was very easy.

After you fly with NVG's you do begin to wonder how we ever did it without them.

With practice and learning the limitations of NVG's....using them becomes quite a natural thing.

Combined with FLIR.....the combination of NVG's an FLIR really makes night flying much more safe.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 14:36
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NVGs for onshore ops? Will never happen, the training and currency requirements alone would kibosh it, let alone the cost. Even the police in the UK struggle to maintain currency.

I also don't think CastAir have a multi-crew AOC
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 18:04
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Originally Posted by Northernstar View Post
They may not be obvious but are lights required on the ground for an onshore helicopter landing site unless on NVIS? SAR does not require them due to obvious reasons but curious if this is commercial trip.
I've been out of the industry for a while, but it often used to be the case that if they had landed in daylight, it was acceptable to take off at night with limited lighting e.g. car headlights. Not sure if this is still done?

h14

Last edited by heli14; 3rd Nov 2022 at 18:27.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 18:32
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Welcome to the real world outside of the RAF; that field doesn't look particularly confined in any case. However, night CAs was a routine exercise for military helicopter crews prior to NVG. Arguably, it was even more dangerous when PNG were first used by the RAF in the late 1970s before NVGs became available.
I flew my first 14 years in the RAF without NVG Shy and that included CAs and field landings including with a crewman on PNG in NI along with some very challenging RNF flying in Cyprus.

I'm sure you will remember the RAF definition of a CA so that field certainly fits.

My point was that CA's without NVGs ramps the risk up markedly and with fare paying pax on board asks a lot of questions about the legality of it.

Can it be done? Sure, like others I have got the T shirt but is it a sensible thing to do on a commercial operation?
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 18:45
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What's the CatA performance of a 109 like six-up (ie 5 +1)?
Do we have any idea of where they were going/had come from to judge a fuel load?
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 20:51
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Originally Posted by hargreaves99 View Post
NVGs for onshore ops? Will never happen, the training and currency requirements alone would kibosh it, let alone the cost. Even the police in the UK struggle to maintain currency.

I also don't think CastAir have a multi-crew AOC
They do have multi-crew AOC and I’m led to believe NVIS certification from the CAA but that could be for their HEMS operation in Cornwall not their charter.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 21:54
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
What's the CatA performance of a 109 like six-up (ie 5 +1)?
Do we have any idea of where they were going/had come from to judge a fuel load?
All places and times approx.
07:30 Biggin hill towards Chippenham.
08:16 near Bristol towards Caerphilly by 08:40
then northbound past Welshpool to an indicated position west of Wrexham by 09:16
looks like a drop off at the site around 09:16 then up to Chester hawarden area (refuel?) landing there 09:39
lifting Hawarden approx 1350 back to south of Ruthin (landing site)
lifting 17:35? And if routing back same way?

if they all weighed 90kg (they won’t if one was a jockey) do we know if two crew?
with 30kg in the boot and 400kg fuel they’d be at approx mauw. Low temps. Strong wind.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 22:54
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Originally Posted by heli14 View Post
I've been out of the industry for a while, but it often used to be the case that if they had landed in daylight, it was acceptable to take off at night with limited lighting e.g. car headlights. Not sure if this is still done?

h14
If CAT - AMC2 CAT.OP.MPA.110(b)(2) “For night operations, ground lights should be available to illuminate the runway/final approach and take-off area (FATO) and any obstacles.”

For NCC see AMC3 NCC.OP.110,
For NCO see AMC1 NCO.OP.110.

They all say the same thing, ground lights are required regardless of the type of operation, sufficient to light the FATO and any obstacles.

The only caveat is SPA.HEMS.125(b)(4) which allows the required lighting to come from the aircraft or ground based lights.

Over to you to interpret what is acceptable ‘ground lighting’.
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Old 3rd Nov 2022, 23:01
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it may have been a "private" (ie non AOC) flight


Originally Posted by Aucky View Post
If CAT - AMC2 CAT.OP.MPA.110(b)(2) “For night operations, ground lights should be available to illuminate the runway/final approach and take-off area (FATO) and any obstacles.”

For NCC see AMC3 NCC.OP.110,
For NCO see AMC1 NCO.OP.110.

They all say the same thing, ground lights are required regardless of the type of operation, sufficient to light the FATO and any obstacles.

The only caveat is SPA.HEMS.125(b)(4) which allows the required lighting to come from the aircraft or ground based lights.

Over to you to interpret what is acceptable ‘ground lighting’.
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