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Baton Rouge PD R-44 fatal 26th March 2023

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Baton Rouge PD R-44 fatal 26th March 2023

Old 26th Mar 2023, 19:55
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Baton Rouge PD R-44 fatal 26th March 2023

https://www.wbrz.com/news/two-killed...e-sources-say/

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 27th Mar 2023 at 19:06. Reason: Hyperlink
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Old 26th Mar 2023, 22:57
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Here is another link

https://www.wbrz.com/news/baton-roug...in-wbr-parish/

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/309793

Authorities say the BRPD helicopter crashed into a cane field off North Winterville Road, just off U.S. 190.

According to flight data, the helicopter took off from Baton Rouge Metro airport at 2:26 a.m. and crashed in a field nearly three miles away from the Omni airport 12 minutes later. Sources told WBRZ the helicopter was found around 11:30 a.m. after the pilots did not come home from work.

Sources said the helicopter was pursuing a vehicle that was running from police when the crash happened.

Two pilots, who are also BRPD officers, died at the scene. It is unclear if anyone else was on board.

During a press conference Sunday afternoon, Chief Murphy Paul said the names of the officers will not be released Sunday. He refused to take any questions about the accident.

Last edited by nomorehelosforme; 26th Mar 2023 at 23:28.
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Old 26th Mar 2023, 23:25
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Originally Posted by nomorehelosforme
the helicopter took off from Baton Rouge Metro airport at 2:26 a.m. and crashed in a field nearly three miles away from the Omni airport 12 minutes later. Sources told WBRZ the helicopter was found around 11:30 a.m. after the pilots did not come home from work.
If that part turns out to be true the Baton Rouge police department is (rightfully) in for HUGE problems. It infers no reliable method or SOP re flight following, which, nowadays, is unthinkable and unforgiveable.

(A recent helo accident in Canada comes to mind wherein the pilot and pax were not found for many hours for similar reasons. And at least one of those people lived for several hours, then died due to the delay in SAR.)

Damn...
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 09:28
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Originally Posted by grizzled
If that part turns out to be true the Baton Rouge police department is (rightfully) in for HUGE problems. It infers no reliable method or SOP re flight following, which, nowadays, is unthinkable and unforgiveable.

(A recent helo accident in Canada comes to mind wherein the pilot and pax were not found for many hours for similar reasons. And at least one of those people lived for several hours, then died due to the delay in SAR.)

Damn...
I agree that is shocking! It reminds me immediately of this accident (http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/fil...T_1998_008.PDF) 26 years ago, where the report says:
At 08.20 hrs on the next day, 13 December 1996, the CAA Examiner, who was to perform the Instrument Rating Test with the PNF, arrived at the handling agent's facility at Aldergrove and found that the helicopter had not arrived. Initially ATC were unable to contact the company of the operator, and checks were made at local hotels and other airfields to see if they had knowledge of the helicopter. At 09.00 hrs the owner's company was contacted and they stated that the helicopter was on its way to Aldergrove. When it had not arrived by 09.35 hrs, the Examiner contacted Aldergrove ATC who replied that their last contact with G-HAUG was the previous evening at approximately 18.13 hrs; due to the previous report that the helicopter was on its way to Aldergrove, they had ceased to be concerned. At this point the owner's company reported that the pilots' beds had not been slept in and over-due action was initiated.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 09:31
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The report says they were airborne at 02:30 so it was a night time accident - do we know if they have NVD in the BRPD?
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 12:29
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In the past....the Maryland State. Police Aviation Unit had a similar experience with a Bell 206....were the aircraft crashed and was not missed resulting in a major change in their Safety Environment.

A large UK based helicopter operator lost a Bell 412 during a night emergency call out in one of its overseas operations and its failure to arrive at the destination was triggered when the receiving hospital called asking for an ETA many hours later.

These things happen....and when they do the Operators's Safety Culture should be carefully examined to determine what went wrong and why.....and be fixed.

For a. Police Helicopter being dispatched to participate in a Car Pursuit and not be missed does sound a very odd thing to happen.

Someone must have called for the dispatch of the airborne unit and should have been expecting a call from the Aircraft.

Standard practice would have the Crew reporting landing and the location and the crew reporting their status to dispatch. (End of Duty, Standby, or return to ground patrol).

But.....as we are reading only the initial news article.....perhaps there are some missing details that might frame s better narrative.

Crab, the on-file photo shows the aircraft having a FLIR System. mounted beneath the nose of the aircraft.

Perhaps over time information re NVG's will be found.

Of note.....there is also a Louisiana State Police Aviation Unit based at Baton Rouge as well (based upon a google search...but no first. hand knowledge).

Last edited by SASless; 27th Mar 2023 at 12:40.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 16:50
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Food for thought:

Interesting flight path:




Right before the final turn, there is a tower on the chart---incidentally, the red circle is a TFR centered on the tower to keep aircraft out:



Here is what it looks like zoomed in on Google Earth---you can even see the tower's shadow between my pin and the word "tower"



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Old 27th Mar 2023, 17:59
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Night ops in an R44? Come on!

And the FAA need to ask the French or the Brits to make their VFR charts. They should come with NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION stamped on them.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 18:19
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Originally Posted by Torquetalk
Night ops in an R44? Come on!

And the FAA need to ask the French or the Brits to make their VFR charts. They should come with NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION stamped on them.
Firstly, night ops in any aircraft can be done safely----you were raised under a different system and therefore cannot comprehend ours.

And what is wrong with our charts? Incidentally, I had a hard time reading the Brit charts, but I chose not to blast it publically because I DON'T FLY THERE so I don't care.....
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 18:27
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Hold FAA licenses Gordy and have a fair amount of experience navigating with exactly that kind of chart. As a tool intended for navigation with reference to terrain, they suck. The criticism is specific.

And whilst it is true that night ops can be done safely in any aircraft, the risks are not equal. R44 is unstabilised, with no trim, a goofy stick, no electrical redundancy. Chasing cars at night out from the airport into the gloop? You gotta be kidding me.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 18:35
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Originally Posted by Torquetalk
Hold FAA licenses Gordy and have a fair amount of experience navigating with exactly that kind of chart. As a tool intended for navigation with reference to terrain, they suck. The criticism is specific.

And whilst it is true that night ops can be done safely in any aircraft, the risks are not equal. R44 is unstabilised, with no trim, no electrical redundancy. Chasing cars at night out from the airport into the gloop? You gotta be kidding me.
Navigating---I agree not entirely the best, but one did demonstrate years ago how to do it in order to get licensed, so it can be done. Obviously I use GPS now, but still have a chart backup, and can still navigate by it if I had to.

As for night in an R-44, did it way back in the mid 1990's, but then flew a 407 for a sheriff department, have more night time than day time in that aircraft, it too is "unsterilized, with no trim, no electrical redundancy" and yet the preferred choice of LE helicopter on this side of the pond. Again, it comes down to cultural differences in what we learned with and are comfortable with.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 19:14
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This side of the pond uses helicopters fitted with HTAWS and stuff (terrain & obstacle). I'm sure that the other side also, but... either pilots turn them off or find them useless - until this.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 19:21
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If you have the a lot of night time in R44 and see it differently, it is what it is. Given a choice of platforms, the R44, would be just one notch up from an R22 in my risk assessment for night flying. A B206 I‘d place some notches further up.

FAA have been leading Europe for decades on GNSS (inc approach/dep overlay and access to instrument qualification), but sometimes you need to do it without that aid and use the chart for for detail. The colonialists have the edge there (imh ((and frank)) o).
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 21:25
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Originally Posted by Torquetalk
If you have the a lot of night time in R44 and see it differently, it is what it is. Given a choice of platforms, the R44, would be just one notch up from an R22 in my risk assessment for night flying. A B206 Id place some notches further up.

FAA have been leading Europe for decades on GNSS (inc approach/dep overlay and access to instrument qualification), but sometimes you need to do it without that aid and use the chart for for detail. The colonialists have the edge there (imh ((and frank)) o).
I've got a decent amount of time flying an R22 around a metropolitan area at night. No complaints. I've also done some LE in an R44 (including chasing after a couple of vehicles). Would I do it at night in a 44? Probably not, LE flying sucks.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 22:22
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Per the FAA database, T/R hit a tree and it inverted into the cane field.
https://www.asias.faa.gov/apex/f?p=1...:27-MAR-23,YES
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 22:41
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Originally Posted by Robbiee
I've got a decent amount of time flying an R22 around a metropolitan area at night. No complaints.
Whilst technically at night, may as well be logged as day given the amount of visual reference.
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Old 27th Mar 2023, 23:07
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So....according to the FAA.....the tail rotor struck a tree and the aircraft inverted and crashed.

Exactly how does one do that trick in the dark and not get the Main Rotor blades into the tree?

My first thought seeing the aerial photo was if all of the guy wires for the Mast are still intact and unmarked with R-44 paint and such.

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Old 28th Mar 2023, 00:50
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Originally Posted by the coyote
Whilst technically at night, may as well be logged as day given the amount of visual reference.
Lol, yeah, its called VFR. You wanna fly in a black hole, go IFR.

Anyway, I could be wrong, but I would place a bet that most LE flying is over metropolitan areas.
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Old 28th Mar 2023, 04:27
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Looking at Gordy's #7 it seems they flew right over the tower, wonder if that's what they hit, which raises questions about an obstruction light on the tower?
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Old 28th Mar 2023, 07:13
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If you are flying at night without the use of NVD, you are in a DVE and should be flying a mixture of visual and instruments - done plenty of it in the past in singles and twins, including mountain flying and SAR.

Pretty straightforward over hugely lit metro areas but a different beast away from the lights and a clearly defined horizon.

Now add in an unstabilised helicopter and a task to follow a stolen car away from those bright lights - the excitement of the chase, the difficulty of the changing visual cues as you manoeuvre and the handling qualities of the aircraft - this is not big and clever flying, this is asking for a mishap.

Let's not pretend that something like an R44 is chosen for this for any other reason than cost - how much has that accident cost in equipment and, more importantly, lives lost. False economy.

Just because it happened in the 90's doesn't make it safe or sensible nowadays when alternatives are available.
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