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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 3rd Feb 2023, 13:40
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Just been browsing this thread for the first time in a while, and noticed:
EG “Climb to 2 thousand”. (Which would require a read back.)
I'm retired from flying, but am pretty sure that this transmission would be EITHER " climb twenty-two thousand feet " (not something too many rotary drivers would expect) OR " climb two thousand feet " depending on the controllers requirements, thus avoiding ambiguity. I don't miss the "stepped-on call" experience one little bit, especially when one of the people transmitting seems to like the sound of their own voice so much that they go on... and on...
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 11:54
  #422 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure if it's been shared, but 60 Minutes in Australia has now broadcast the full video taken from shore of the surviving helicopter landing. Unbelievable
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 13:52
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Old 5th Feb 2023, 16:46
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Originally Posted by Bravo73
It’s tragic and sad, but I can’t help feeling some of the content is priming for a litigation case. All the crying about the grandchild, saying “please God help us” before the collision! I once had an airprox that I filed in the report as 50’ horizontal and 20’ vertical, separation, and I really thought I was about to die. But I certainly wasn’t thinking of anyone else or talking to God!
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 00:23
  #425 (permalink)  
 
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The link to the 60 Minutes episode shared by Bravo73 may be unavailable to those of us in Australia, but the episode can now be viewed on 9now.com.au.

The footage from onboard VH-XH9 taken from back right seat by Riaan Steenberg was this time shown continuously from the moment that VH-XKQ first came into view on the video (apparently as it was just moving away from the departure helipad, with its turning rotors now seen much more clearly) until the moment of collision. This took only around 12.5 seconds. It really is quite rapid if you watch it and try to put yourself into the position of those on board the helicopter like Edward Swart who tried to warn the pilot.

I thought I might post some summarised key transcripts from Edward and Elmarie from this episode:

Edward Swart (sitting in one of the back centre seats): "I noticed the helicopter on the landing pad and… it was sitting there and the rotors were going and you didn’t think much of it… you’d think most probably… it will just wait until we land. So as we turned left to… come down to land, that is when I saw it took off and that is when I tried to reach the pilot to grab his attention… to tell him… there is another helicopter coming our way, but it was just too quick… You don’t know how to react in that situation, I just knew I had to warn him but… I think deep inside myself I knew it was too late… it came up with such a speed... From the point I saw him on the pad and the point that he took off and hit us it was just so fast, it was unbelievable…"

Elmarie Steenberg (sitting in front centre seat):
"I was looking at the views… and then I heard from the microphone and somebody saying: “on your left, on your left” and I thought it was something beautiful and I looked at the left and I saw the helicopter underneath me and I knew we were in serious trouble…"

In the footage by Riaan, it is now also more clearly seen that the LCD screen above the instrument console is displaying the view of the helicopter as seen from what must be the outer tip of the left horizontal stabiliser looking forward over the body and skids. The Wikipedia description of the accident also indicates there were three 'lipstick cameras' attached to the departing helicopter so presumably that was likewise the case for the arriving helicopter. 60 minutes also showed further distant footage of the collision, perhaps from a webcam or security camera somewhere as it was at a low frequency of images. So ATSB isn't likely to be short of any visual material to piece together the flight paths, blind spots etc.

Noting the interview with Elmarie, I am wondering if the pilots are able to isolate themselves from the discussion by the passengers over the intercom (to focus on air traffic communications)? If so, in this case, perhaps that was unfortunate.

Last edited by helispotter; 6th Feb 2023 at 00:48.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 01:43
  #426 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 212man
It’s tragic and sad, but I can’t help feeling some of the content is priming for a litigation case. All the crying about the grandchild, saying “please God help us” before the collision! I once had an airprox that I filed in the report as 50’ horizontal and 20’ vertical, separation, and I really thought I was about to die. But I certainly wasn’t thinking of anyone else or talking to God!
I wonder what your thoughts would have been if you did have a collision.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 03:46
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Originally Posted by 212man
It’s tragic and sad, but I can’t help feeling some of the content is priming for a litigation case...
212man: I think you are more cynical than I am. Not only did two of them see it coming, but then the chaos that would have been the impact and the emergency decent where they had no idea the helicopter was still under control or how it would end. I have a lot of time for them that they are even able to font a camera to talk about what happened. Not sure I could do that in same situation. You should also watch from 19:20 onwards. Elmarie says: "Not after someone to blame... I also want closure... if they made a mistake then they have to get their things right so that don't happen again". Personally, I would also be looking for (and expecting) that. Lets hope the investigation and implementation of recommendations at least gives them that.

Last edited by helispotter; 6th Feb 2023 at 09:45.
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Old 6th Feb 2023, 22:44
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Originally Posted by 212man
It’s tragic and sad, but I can’t help feeling some of the content is priming for a litigation case.
Originally Posted by helispotter
212man: I think you are more cynical than I am. ... Elmarie says: "Not after someone to blame... I also want closure... if they made a mistake then they have to get their things right so that don't happen again". Personally, I would also be looking for (and expecting) that. Lets hope the investigation and implementation of recommendations at least gives them that.
Remember these people are New Zealanders (of probably South African extraction), and so come from an environment where there has been a universal, compulsory no-fault accident compensation system since 1973, and under which it is impossible by law to sue for personal injury.
Kiwis are therefore unlikely to think of litigation in their situation, as they just can't sue in their home environment.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 06:37
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Originally Posted by kiwi grey
Remember these people are New Zealanders (of probably South African extraction), and so come from an environment where there has been a universal, compulsory no-fault accident compensation system since 1973, and under which it is impossible by law to sue for personal injury.
Kiwis are therefore unlikely to think of litigation in their situation, as they just can't sue in their home environment.
You may well be correct. It was just and impression that was formed.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 06:40
  #430 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by helichris
I wonder what your thoughts would have been if you did have a collision.
Pretty sure I would have ceased to have any conscious thoughts! The other aircraft was a B206, slightly low in our 1 o'clock and we were in his 7 o'clock converging and descending, and I think its MR blades would have messed us up pretty badly. I was in a jump seat, yelling at the crew to turn left.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 12:14
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The vast majority of all helicopter involved mid-air collisions are fatal to the occupants of the helicopter(s) thus making any reasoned thought a very fleeting thing.

212Man....was that a Bell 212 operating out of Warri and a Bell 206 from Escravos?

A couple of those encounters spring to mind where the 206's either did not report or mis-reported their location or crossing near the Warri helibases.

I had one of those myself during the dusty season.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 14:52
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Originally Posted by SASless
The vast majority of all helicopter involved mid-air collisions are fatal to the occupants of the helicopter(s) thus making any reasoned thought a very fleeting thing.

212Man....was that a Bell 212 operating out of Warri and a Bell 206 from Escravos?

A couple of those encounters spring to mind where the 206's either did not report or mis-reported their location or crossing near the Warri helibases.

I had one of those myself during the dusty season.
No, it was a 155 in the PH zone, but one of the same 206s. It reenforced my dislike for the wooden screens we used to install for IF trips - if we’d had them I wouldn’t be here! I was observing the crew, and thankfully other things too!
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Old 9th Feb 2023, 03:44
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Kiki Grey,
Genuine question, has this not just changed with some new laws in NZ about responsibility for corporate accidents? I was in NZ recently and heard some large changes in the way rotary operators had to risk assess or face being sued. It's new legislation in the last 2 years or so?
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Old 18th Feb 2023, 00:46
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Originally Posted by nowherespecial
Kiki Grey,
Genuine question, has this not just changed with some new laws in NZ about responsibility for corporate accidents? I was in NZ recently and heard some large changes in the way rotary operators had to risk assess or face being sued. It's new legislation in the last 2 years or so?
Sorry to be so slow to answer, I never noticed this.
The change to which you refer is the Health & Safety at Work Act 2015, which has made it much easier for the H&S Authorities ("WorkSafe NZ") to prosecute an individual identified as the "Person Controlling a Business or Undertaking", or an organisation, or both, for a statutory offence such as failing to take all reasonable steps to avoid an injury, or even corporate manslaughter. There are few things in my experience that change the atmosphere at a planning meeting more markedly than someone asking "So if <this> happens, who goes to prison?" - it tends to rather concentrate the mind of The Person In Charge, and is in general a welcome development.

However, this is a statutory criminal offence, with prosecution by a Crown Agency.
A suit for personal injury is a civil matter, and is still specifically disallowed in New Zealand courts.

For example, the victims (and NOK) of the White Island/Whakaari eruption would have to sue the company that sold them their cruise ticket in whatever court their ticket contract says, they cannot sue anybody in NZ courts, so they cannot sue the excursion provider.
On the other hand - funded by NZ Accident Compensation - they are entitled to free hospital and rehabilitative care in NZ, to relevant household adaptations if they are long-term injured, and 80% of their earnings for as long as they are no longer able to return to their previous occupation, if they remain in NZ.
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Old 28th Feb 2023, 08:40
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Nearly two months on from the accident and unfortunately medicos have had to amputate the right leg of 10 year old Nicholas Tadros below his knee:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/stat...icopter-tadros

Wouldn't have been a decision made lightly. Wishing him well.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 23:51
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Preliminary report is out. Doesn't say much - but the overlay showing the rotor's intrusion into the cabin space show how incredibly close they came to losing both aircraft - from the looks of it, it would've been clos enough to trim the stubble from the occupants in the front seats.
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Old 7th Mar 2023, 00:16
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Originally Posted by KRviator
Preliminary report is out. Doesn't say much - but the overlay showing the rotor's intrusion into the cabin space show how incredibly close they came to losing both aircraft...
The estimated intrusion of the three rotors shown in the drawing in the report was certainly sobering.

The preliminary report does also make public as much as is currently known regarding radio communications by the various helicopters operating in the area at the time (of which there were four). It also lists plans for safety improvements proposed by Sea World Helicopters, and the large list of investigation tasks related to this accident still ahead for the ATSB.

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Old 7th Mar 2023, 05:26
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As a result of using two separate helipads it meant that the approach and departure paths conflicted.

This in turn put major reliance on alerted see and avoid.
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Old 7th Mar 2023, 13:04
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Had the aircraft both assumed a "race track" like pattern.....taking off in he same direction as all other aircraft on the race track were using....there would have been much less a chance for conflict with all the landing pads being in front of the landing aircraft as it was on final approach.

The two aircraft were headed in opposite directions which seems a bit odd to me.

Also....one aircraft did not have floats which may have played a role in the flight path choices available to that aircraft.

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Old 7th Mar 2023, 16:09
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So, there were two known, potentially conflicting routes established within the pre-planning of one company, at least in the horizontal. The obvious question follows: Were there any height max/min limits in place to ensure vertical separation at or around the crossing point, precisely because the two pre-planned tracks coincide? The interim report makes clear further work is ongoing, so I am sure all such things are being considered. I hope so, on all accounts. If it turns out there were no vertical profiles in place I fear the lawyers will quickly put this one into the 'accident waiting to happen' category, and with some justification, especially given the high-cycle nature of the flight profiles being sold and the ever present 'A-post blindspot' potential affecting all vehicles approaching on anything like a 90degree relative converging path. Several contributors to this thread pointed out early-on that this incident may well boil down to company SOPs rather than anything else. My sense today is they were/are right. But...only time and the final report will decide. For that we must wait.
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