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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 16th Jan 2023, 01:23
  #401 (permalink)  
 
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If this can happen to an organisation ,on the surface well run and well managed and considered as just plain bad luck, then the only way to avoid such things in the future is to stop all scenic flights out of Sea World.
Lookleft, an honest thorough review of all relevant factors is indeed essential, but surely there's a possibility that no significant systemic problems will be found? Sometimes things just do happen, and not every occurrence warrants changes being made to systems.

I'm not saying that's the case here - there may well be important changes needed, and of course it's loss of human lives we're talking about, with all the terrible ramifications of that. My point is that safety systems should certainly have robust examination and ongoing improvement built in, but I believe there's a tendency for organisations, and outsiders, to conclude that 'something' must be done for the safety system to have done its job. The conclusion that no changes are necessary, even if it's supported by the investigation, often doesn't fly for those seeking answers.

That can be a good thing, if it roots out bad practices, but can also lead to institution of counter-productive (in the safety sense) measures, and in some cases, a smoke-screen warm and fuzzy feeling that 'we did something, so now we can forget about it.'

Edited to add: 'we did something' is also too often translated into 'we were seen to do something.'
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 02:23
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The conclusion that no changes are necessary, even if it's supported by the investigation, often doesn't fly for those seeking answers.

That can be a good thing, if it roots out bad practices, but can also lead to institution of counter-productive (in the safety sense) measures, and in some cases, a smoke-screen warm and fuzzy feeling that 'we did something, so now we can forget about it.'
AOTW I don't disagree with you but there are posters here who have spoken of the flying being conducted by a very good operator with a professional CP. There have also been those who have mentioned that the frequency of the scenics was increased due to demand. That already suggests that the dynamics of the operation had changed. How it was managed by Sea World and the helicopter company will be part of the investigation I would imagine. You can't rule out that it was all done IAW the Company SOPS, CASA Regulations, that it was a unique event that will never happen again and nothing needs to change. In that case then it can only be classified as pilot error but IMHO I doubt that will be the finding.

I don't know about the relationship between Sea World Helicopters and Sea World theme park but the Dreamworld fatal accident (non-aviation) may provide an insight into how these parks operate and are managed. Once again it just leads me to think that organisational issues will be at the centre of this accident. The bolding is mine:

The Queensland Coroner, James McDougall, released a report on 24 February 2020 detailing "irresponsible", "dangerous" and "inadequate" safety practices at the theme park that contributed to the four deaths, while recommending the Queensland office of industrial relations consider a prosecution. The ride had endured frequent breakdowns in the days leading up to the accident, and had several design and construction issues which contributed.[28]
Mr McDougall told a Brisbane court Dreamworld had a reputation as a "modern, world-class theme park" yet its safety and maintenance systems were "rudimentary at best".[29]
and that: he would refer Dreamworld's parent company, Ardent Leisure, to the Queensland Office of Industrial Relations. He said Ardent Leisure "may have committed an offence under workplace laws".[29]
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 03:12
  #403 (permalink)  
 
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Lookleft,

In a conversation with a CEO of a large US Based Part 135 Operator who was expounding about how safety conscious his operation was and the very high emphasis it placed upon safety....I let him finish and then asked him what it felt like to be the CEO of a business that had never gone a year without a fatal accident and what did he think when he looked at his Pilots did he ever think about which one was next to die in his employ. To his credit he admitted he was troubled by that sad fact and tried to understand why that sadfactnwas so.....and I believe he was sincere. His background as a helicopter pilot included a serious accident of his own due to a catastrophic failure of an aircraft.

Your point about an Operator's Safety Case is very true....unless the Management is sincerely dedicated and willing and able to spend the money and corporate assets that wonderful Safety Management System that is found in the Files requires.....there is no Safety Program but rather a false facade that looks like one.

The best example of that concept was the City of New Orleans Emergency Management Plan that failed so disastrously when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

On paper the plan looked great.....the School Bus fleet would be used to evacuate residents ahead. of the Hurricane.....only one Bus was used and it was stolen by a Citizen who used it to do just that.

People coming to the Convention Center would bring three days supply of food, medicines, bedding, and water......that did not happen.

Of course....the City water system failed.....with all that meant to the Thousands of people stranded at the Convention Center and all through the City.

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Old 16th Jan 2023, 04:07
  #404 (permalink)  
 
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In post #100, nikoel wrote: "Because there are two operators in close proximity, the radio calls are definitely not 'perfunctory'. I have never had a situation where one of the pilots failed to respond to any one of my radio calls. And I have made thousands of them".

The Wikipedia description of the Pan Am / KLM 747 take-off collision ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenerife_airport_disaster ) mentions, under the sub-heading "Communication misunderstandings", about simultaneous radio calls causing mutual interference on the radio frequency, which was audible in the KLM cockpit as a three-second-long shrill sound (or hererodyne). Not saying this is the case here, but how is this sort of 'over-transmission' issue managed now? Do the pilots who transmitted become aware their messages have become scrambled?

Originally Posted by KiwiNedNZ
...Surprised you havent thrown in there about the Sea World Long ranger accident as well.
Well I did in #303, but in the context of the otherwise accident free operations in that location over many years. I think it was also mentioned by others in one of the first 20 posts which I can't currently access, and of course it also got a mention in #386...
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 05:54
  #405 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by helispotter
In post #100, nikoel wrote: Not saying this is the case here, but how is this sort of 'over-transmission' issue managed now? Do the pilots who transmitted become aware their messages have become scrambled?
In a nutshell - no. If the transmissions are of equivalent length only a third party on the same frequency will notice "two in together" and depending on the transmission levels received may hear the modulation of one of the parties with the stronger path. If it is noticed by a third party in some situations they will advise. Without a third party noticing and mentioning "two in together", well....................................? Aviation VHF is normally AM Simplex.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 08:57
  #406 (permalink)  
 
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If (or when) there is a collision it won't be bad luck, it will have been inevitable.
If there's an "if" in the sentence, it wasn't inevitable. It's a probability.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 09:38
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The 'If" was for the pedants, the "(or when)" was for the realists.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 10:14
  #408 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RVDT
In a nutshell - no. If the transmissions are of equivalent length only a third party on the same frequency will notice "two in together" and depending on the transmission levels received may hear the modulation of one of the parties with the stronger path. If it is noticed by a third party in some situations they will advise. Without a third party noticing and mentioning "two in together", well....................................? Aviation VHF is normally AM Simplex.
Tenerife was 45 years ago - a lifetime ago in aviation sense. I find it thoroughly shocking that in this age of digital communication that we have a situation where one transmission can 'clobber' another. Digital communications rather than AM simplex should be the way of the future, where each transmitter, regardless of frequency has the entire channel (logically and mutually multiplexed) to themselves, and other transmissions should be artificially muted or at least slightly lower in volume than the main communicators (by design). This is not hard - the industry just has to bite the bullet and do it.

While this may not have been a contributing factor to this incident, it happens so often worldwide that it is a wonder it hasn't been a significant contributor to a number of other near-misses (what a misnomer) or scenes of confusion. Certainly listening to 10 minutes on LiveATC on a busy time will confirm that.

When I stood at the gate at SeaWorld next to the pontoon and watched the helicopter take off and land at short intervals through the wire fence, the thought passed through my mind wondering what could happen if the were multiple aircraft. That was ten years ago, and this incident triggered that memory vividly. Maybe the number of aircraft may have changed due to demand, however the procedures may not have been adjusted to cope. I'm certain this will be one area that investigators will closely scrutinise.

I would be sorry to see the baby thrown out with the bathwater. The location, right at the waters edge next to SeaWorld was the main attraction for spur-of-the-moment short joy flights for tourists, and even the bystanders were impressed by the noise and backwash of a real helicopter so close by. To shut these down completely would be a sorry result.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 10:40
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Originally Posted by Lookleft
The 'If" was for the pedants, the "(or when)" was for the realists.
But nothing is ever 100% safe. We risk manage constantly, both consciously and unconsciously in everything we do. Some risk we accept, some we do not based on our appetite for risk and our tolerance for the outcome should we get it wrong. We play the probability game constantly. And sometimes we do get it wrong. That's not to say we shouldn't minimise risk whenever possible, but there is a law of diminishing returns, where at some point you'll say, I'm happy with that.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 13:23
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As usual...when a discussion gets to this point where we discuss Risk, Probability, Chance, Luck, and even Fate......I suggest folks read "Fate Is The Hunter" by Ernest Gann.

Despite his writing about his experiences prior to and during WWII flying Transport Airplanes, his is an insight and wisdom that still applies today.

I wish I had a Leather bound copy of that Tome as it would be right next to some other books I gain inspiration and wisdom from when reading from them.

Short version is there are risks, real risks, imagined risks, reasonable risks, un-necessary risks, and un-acceptable risks in aviation.

The trick is to figure out what they are and which one you are dealing with at the time.

There is always risk....how we deal with them is important but identifying them is the key.

One short quote from him is "In this game we play for keeps!".
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 19:09
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Originally Posted by SASless
As usual...when a discussion gets to this point where we discuss Risk, Probability, Chance, Luck, and even Fate......I suggest folks read "Fate Is The Hunter" by Ernest Gann.

Despite his writing about his experiences prior to and during WWII flying Transport Airplanes, his is an insight and wisdom that still applies today.

I wish I had a Leather bound copy of that Tome as it would be right next to some other books I gain inspiration and wisdom from when reading from them.

Short version is there are risks, real risks, imagined risks, reasonable risks, un-necessary risks, and un-acceptable risks in aviation.

The trick is to figure out what they are and which one you are dealing with at the time.

There is always risk....how we deal with them is important but identifying them is the key.

One short quote from him is "In this game we play for keeps!".
SASless…I have an original first edition of “Fate Is the Hunter”….I have probably read it 50 + times since I first read it in the “Readers Digest Condensed Book” edition. I have given many copies as gifts and think it should be mandatory for every pilot to read.
I have operated over the area of the search for O’Conner and know where the lake is. 54 20 N 73 30 W.
On a ferry trip to Brazil a few years ago I visited a lot of the airports he mentions in the book.
Also my Uncle was an officer on. the ocean liner Lurline for the Matson Shipping Line which tried and failed to start the airline he worked for post WW2.
Small World.

Last edited by albatross; 16th Jan 2023 at 21:39.
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Old 16th Jan 2023, 21:47
  #412 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless
As usual...when a discussion gets to this point where we discuss Risk, Probability, Chance, Luck, and even Fate......I suggest folks read "Fate Is The Hunter" by Ernest Gann.

Despite his writing about his experiences prior to and during WWII flying Transport Airplanes, his is an insight and wisdom that still applies today.

I wish I had a Leather bound copy of that Tome as it would be right next to some other books I gain inspiration and wisdom from when reading from them.

Short version is there are risks, real risks, imagined risks, reasonable risks, un-necessary risks, and un-acceptable risks in aviation.

The trick is to figure out what they are and which one you are dealing with at the time.

There is always risk....how we deal with them is important but identifying them is the key.

One short quote from him is "In this game we play for keeps!".
Just ordered it from Amazon! Thanks for the suggestion SASless!
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 02:21
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Originally Posted by Thirsty
Tenerife was 45 years ago - a lifetime ago in aviation sense. I find it thoroughly shocking that in this age of digital communication that we have a situation where one transmission can 'clobber' another.
Doesn't read back solve the problem?

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Old 19th Jan 2023, 21:36
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Originally Posted by mickjoebill
Doesn't read back solve the problem?

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Mjb
“Readback” is currently used only for specific parts of a transmission from ATC - Basically essential elements of a clearance. EG “Climb to 2 thousand”. (Which would require a read back.)

I’d imagine the operation in question were at best, advising of their movements. EG “Chopper 1 lifting for a scenic to the south” (Which, I would have thought would have had the inbound pilot looking out “very hard” - lots of head movement to clear the blind spot for eg - not evident in the video. So perhaps there was an issue with this. Potentially the lifting call was “stepped on”.)
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Old 19th Jan 2023, 23:45
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Originally Posted by Twist & Shout
..." inbound pilot looking out “very hard” - lots of head movement to clear the blind spot for eg - not evident in the video. "...
Actually from the start of the cockpit video you can see pilot is in a left turn and looking down and left before looking ahead and straightening up about 6 seconds before impact.

Just before he straightens up he is looking directly in front of the A pillar where the departing helo would roughly be, it's hard to tell from the video but his lips seem to move just after that, I think he makes a call.

I speculate that he did sight the departing aircraft, assumed he'd been sighted and that the departing helo would give way, continues with his descent and calls to confirm.
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Old 20th Jan 2023, 03:28
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Is there a recording of the radio calls made floating around somewhere?
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Old 20th Jan 2023, 10:45
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Originally Posted by havick
Is there a recording of the radio calls made floating around somewhere?
See posts #108 and #128 by Cloudee, but I can't imagine any record of that frequency would be released publicly. I have heard some ATC audio posted on web that was likely on another frequency which appears to be from soon after the accident.
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Old 22nd Jan 2023, 11:08
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Originally Posted by SASless
As usual...when a discussion gets to this point where we discuss Risk, Probability, Chance, Luck, and even Fate......I suggest folks read "Fate Is The Hunter" by Ernest Gann.

Despite his writing about his experiences prior to and during WWII flying Transport Airplanes, his is an insight and wisdom that still applies today.

I wish I had a Leather bound copy of that Tome as it would be right next to some other books I gain inspiration and wisdom from when reading from them.
In the numerous culls of books over the years "Fate is the Hunter" never even gets close.Sits next to a first edition of Chickenhawk.
The part where they are listenening as another crew loses all it's alternates on a pre-war winter night is sobering stuff.
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 11:13
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A preview indicated 60 Minutes on Channel 9 this Sunday will have an interview with some of the passengers from VH-XH9. Clip also on YouTube:


If only the clock could be wound back sometimes.



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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 15:00
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Originally Posted by helispotter
A preview indicated 60 Minutes on Channel 9 this Sunday will have an interview with some of the passengers from VH-XH9. Clip also on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0XJkxkao5I

If only the clock could be wound back sometimes.
Looks like it will contain a lot of unseen (to the public) video.
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