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Two helicopters collide - Gold Coast, Queensland - Sea World 2/1/2023

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Two helicopters collide - Gold Coast, Queensland - Sea World 2/1/2023

Old 5th Jan 2023, 16:38
  #241 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Torquetalk
Never seen an aircraft return on wx radar.
It surprisingly works - if you're bored it's great to try. Over land at typical helicopter altitudes it might not be possible to discern from ground clutter, but out over the water I've had a crossing (at 90į) S-92 return (1000' below, perhaps 7-8nm away) make it's way across the radar display before - the greater cross section likely helped. We couldn't believe it at first, but it was backed up by a lone TCAS diamond in the vicinity of the radar return, as well as us eventually visually identifying the aircraft outside.

Last edited by ApolloHeli; 5th Jan 2023 at 16:51.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 17:22
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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I have seen radar returns that seemed to be caused by another helicopter using the same make/model of radar as installed on the receiving aircraft....but nothing empirical to back that up.

But all indications it was another company aircraft operating in our area and along our track offshore.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 18:30
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Originally Posted by ApolloHeli
It surprisingly works - if you're bored it's great to try. Over land at typical helicopter altitudes it might not be possible to discern from ground clutter, but out over the water I've had a crossing (at 90į) S-92 return (1000' below, perhaps 7-8nm away) make it's way across the radar display before - the greater cross section likely helped. We couldn't believe it at first, but it was backed up by a lone TCAS diamond in the vicinity of the radar return, as well as us eventually visually identifying the aircraft outside.
S92 crossing your track is quite a big target so maybe paints easier. Tried it on reciprocal tracks in IMC a few times (high closer rate; lower mass targets). Iíll twiddle a bit more to see if something paints cross-track.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 18:43
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I see all is not lost concerning the cause of this tragedy.
Our beloved aviation " Expert " ,GT , reckons he knows what caused the collision!!!
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 18:48
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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This post is not a criticism of operator or crew practices.
Passenger seat belts, *nothing unusual* to be seen in these pictures, but should we expect better design, can we do better?

The picture suggests that the waist worn life vest interfered with optimal seat belt positioning, by forcing the locking clasp upwards. This is not uncommon, it is normal practice.

The higher the position of the seat belt clasp:
1/ the shoulder belts move inwards from shoulder toward the neck.
2/ The lap belts no longer "pin" the pelvis against the seat cushion.

https://www.faa.gov/pilots/safety/pi.../seatbelts.pdf


Consider the effects of ill-fitting belts on the occupant during a partially or fully inverted impact.
The life vest is only useful if the passenger, pilot or co-passenger remains conscious to deploy it.


Life vest versus seat belt

A high clasp position moves shoulder belt into neck?

Pilot helmets.
The video portrays the explosive effect of the impact. Fortunately the pilot was not blinded or concussed by the debris and so was able to land. He was also filmed pulling a passenger from wreckage. What do we think of flight helmets for pilots in single pilot, commercial passenger ops? Law enforcement, media and medevac ops have transitioned to helmets. It seems a small price to pay to replace a slice of swiss with cheddar?

Mjb

​​​

Last edited by mickjoebill; 6th Jan 2023 at 00:50.
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 22:38
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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The video indicated that just after the tap on the shoulder, there was impact showing debris coming in from the front passenger's right seat. I realise that the ascending helicopter was to the left of the descending helicopter, but the debris to the front right might indicate that the ascending helicopter had passed under and collided on the right cabin of the descending helicopter.
Approach was from the left and below and contact was made by the ascending blades on the front right of the cabin.
Reasonable ?
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Old 5th Jan 2023, 22:58
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It appears to me,(50 years LAME, Commercial licence) . that the greatest change in the operation prior to this event is the change in command seat from right to left. The first machines operated with this configuration?Entirely different visual environment for the pilots.Maybe a factor in the sequence?
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 00:43
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Weíre either of these aircraft equipped with ADSB?
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 02:14
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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The first machines operated with this configuration?Entirely different visual environment for the pilots.Maybe a factor in the sequence?
Well, the first machines were like the Bell 47, with the pilot plus 2 across a bench seat. They had to put the pilot at the left so he could use the collective.

Machines with only 2 in the front in separate seats can have the collective at the RHS seat - thus the pilot can keep his hand on the cyclic while twiddling radio knobs with the left. But put a bench seat in the front, and he is on the left again.

​​​​​​​Not a factor, except for the blind spot from the pillars, common to a seat on either side, and something which GT actually got right.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 02:30
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The A pillar vision block is a factor not only for aircraft but automobiles as well. And it's does not matter which side you fly from. It's good practice to get the head moving around more when in the circuit or traffic area, lean forward/back or even put in some yaw pedal to check behind the pillar. Especially if you are in base leg and someone could be on final. I've had a C172 on final that I did not see until later than I would have preferred as he was closing in behind the A pillar.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 03:19
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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Never seen an aircraft return on wx radar.
Radar works a treat, flying 212, 412, 76 could paint the guy in front (rear aspect) at twenty miles, used it for ensuring separation on crap days if going the same direction, also ensuring separation if the other was crossing traffic, ours was a cough, cough, VFR operation.
What do we think of flight helmets for pilots in single pilot
Necessity irrespective of the number of pilots, in a 412 event the aircraft developed a severe vertical, pilots had helmets but both their heads went through the overhead windows above even though they were tightly strapped in, vertical was such that engines tore loose from bearers. Then you can have that cooling fan atop your head make an entrance into the cockpit. Some offshore chaps wear them. One 76 accident had the aircraft impact in a left wing down and the chap in the right seat hit his head on the broom closet. He exited and helped rescuers extract the trapped copilot, 45 minutes after the crash he collapsed and died, result of head impact on broom closet.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 03:24
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Never seen an aircraft return on wx radar.
Done and seen it plenty of times.
Also have had the radar altimeter go off as a DC9 passed under us. We had a 1000ft separation and we had the RA set to 2500ft
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 06:47
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Originally Posted by Keith.
The video indicated that just after the tap on the shoulder, there was impact showing debris coming in from the front passenger's right seat. I realise that the ascending helicopter was to the left of the descending helicopter, but the debris to the front right might indicate that the ascending helicopter had passed under and collided on the right cabin of the descending helicopter.
Approach was from the left and below and contact was made by the ascending blades on the front right of the cabin.
Reasonable ?
The rotor blades on an EC130 rotate clockwise when viewed from above, with tip speeds of 420kts. The main impact forces appear to be from the blades of the ascending helicopter impacting the fore-right section of the cabin on the descending helicopter - note the failed door frame pillar on the right side of the cabin but the intact pillar on the pilot's (left) side in photos of the wreckage.

Even if the relative motion of the ascending helicopter is from left to right as viewed from the perspective of the descending helicopter, the high tip speeds of the main rotor mean that the retreating blade still moves from right to left relative to the descending helicopter's nose, causing the impact and debris to appear from the right as seen in the video.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 07:03
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Interesting mention of helmets.
There is a strong argument that a visor in front of the pilots eyes can greatly improve the passengers chance of survival in some, not uncommon (enough) circumstances.

Thankfully not an issue in the crash under discussion, but had the pilots eyes been full of plexiglass/smashed Raybans……..
(As mentioned: the tap on the right shoulder may have saved him from that - head turning right at the moment of impact - which must have been like a bomb going off in the instrument panel!!)

I don’t think a helmet, with visor down, should be mandatory, but it should be encouraged.
(Often actively discouraged as it has the appearance of signalling that the operation, a scenic flight in this case, must be “dangerous”.)
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 08:16
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Originally Posted by Twist & Shout
I donít think a helmet, with visor down, should be mandatory, but it should be encouraged.
(Often actively discouraged as it has the appearance of signalling that the operation, a scenic flight in this case, must be ďdangerousĒ.)
I built and fly an RV-9, and to that end wear one of those 'police-style' tactical vests when I fly. It's got a bunch of goodies in various pockets, from my 406 PLB, first aid kit, [email protected] pointer to a small survival kit, etc. It's not about "looking cool", but recognising the fact I do have a somewhat dangerous passion and I want to do all I can to tip the odds in my favour. It does generate an occasional question at the bowser, but so far as I'm concerned, we had 'em in Army Aviation where we had factory-built birds and professional maintainers - not just a plane some bloke put together in his back shed - and If I could get a helmet to fit under the canopy, I'd have no hesitation in wearing one of those too to better my chances of surviving a prang.

Statistically, the take-off and landing are more dangerous than cruise, and Sea World has their frequent operations down to a fine art - and I speak as a passenger on one of their longer joyflights a couple years back. But one must ask when does PPE (a helmet) become unpalatable in an OH&S context just because it's 'a passenger operation' - given there's documented history of birds coming through helicopter canopies including on the Gold Coast and helmets are proven to minimise injuries in even relatively minor accidents.

Given the choice of two identical operators, one with a pilot in a Nomex flying suit, work boots & helmet, the other in shirt sleeves, Rayban's and deck shoes, I'd pick the former every time, for the simple reason they're demonstrating not just saying they take safety seriously and 'at any cost' and go that little bit extra to try to make sure they go home to the wife & kids at the end of the day. But then again, the KRviatrix does frequently tell me I'm not right in the head so YMMV....
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 08:28
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan
Radar works a treat, flying 212, 412, 76 could paint the guy in front (rear aspect) at twenty miles, used it for ensuring separation on crap days if going the same direction, also ensuring separation
Well every day is a skool day. Time to tweak anew.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 08:49
  #257 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by megan
Radar works a treat, flying 212, 412, 76 could paint the guy in front (rear aspect) at twenty miles, used it for ensuring separation on crap days if going the same direction, also ensuring separation if the other was crossing traffic, ours was a cough, cough, VFR operation.Necessity irrespective of the number of pilots, in a 412 event the aircraft developed a severe vertical, pilots had helmets but both their heads went through the overhead windows above even though they were tightly strapped in, vertical was such that engines tore loose from bearers. Then you can have that cooling fan atop your head make an entrance into the cockpit. Some offshore chaps wear them. One 76 accident had the aircraft impact in a left wing down and the chap in the right seat hit his head on the broom closet. He exited and helped rescuers extract the trapped copilot, 45 minutes after the crash he collapsed and died, result of head impact on broom closet.
who was doing your 412 maintenance if this was a genuine concern in house to wear a helmet for?

Btw, Iím a proponent for helmets anyway.
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 09:25
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In a maritime environment such as this and with a light plexiglass windscreen such as fitted to the 130 (which is not bird-resistant) I would wear a helmet with visor down for bird strike protection alone, never mind crash survivability.

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Old 6th Jan 2023, 10:11
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by havick
who was doing your 412 maintenance if this was a genuine concern in house to wear a helmet for?

Btw, Iím a proponent for helmets anyway.
I don't read that they wore helmets because they had concerns about maintenance - just that they were wearing them anyway, when a maintenance related event occurred.

Btw, Iím a proponent for helmets anyway
Me too
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Old 6th Jan 2023, 11:32
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Originally Posted by Tickle
Just twigged good friend of mine flew for them on his off days and weekends form his other job of flying a 76 and 139 few years back before covid kicked off..

RIP deceased and speedy recovery of the survivors.

I have flown the H130 in the states, after years of being pax at downtown Vegas with Maverick. One is thankful this has not happened in and around busy McCarran ramp / Grand Canyon heliport.

If my memory serves me correct theres quite a few tour operators stateside or asia where pilots do wear helmets when flying the tourists around...but cannot think offhand who they are.

All the Best


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