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Broward County accident...

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Broward County accident...

Old 8th Sep 2023, 20:03
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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Start your clock.....at the time the Pilot is first aware of any kind of problem then check the time at which he notifies Tower of a problem....then check the time at which the aircraft begins a left turn to begin its return to airport (which is not far away at all)....consider the aircraft is flying fine on the remaining engine....check the time at which the aircraft is pointed back at the airport for Runway 06.

Consider the open areas available to the. pilot tend to be about 300-400 feet long and surrounded by wires....the highways are busy with traffic....city streets are a maze of wires and trees....and the runway beckons so close. What would you really do....especially if you were not aware of a fire that was going to cause the tail boom to fail and cause a catstrophic failure of control? In the meanwhile....trouble shoot the failure(s) and indications, brief your passengers, notify the Tower, carry out emergency procedures.....oh and fly the aircraft and devise a plan to cope with it all.

Now stop the Clock where the tail boom failure occurred.

Who would have the ability to even think the tail boom might fail?

Sometimes no matter how good we are it is still not good enough when the unthinkable happens.

We saw something similar in the Accident Report of the Stadium crash that resulted from a mechanical failure that made control of the aircraft impossible.

Fate hunts us all.

My condolences to the families, friends, co-workers of those lost in this tragedy.



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Old 8th Sep 2023, 22:26
  #142 (permalink)  
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Prelim released. It also stated the aircraft was operated under Part 135.
https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/a...ort/192950/pdf

During an interview, the pilot reported that the helicopter was dispatched to transport a patient from the scene of an automobile accident. During initial climb, west of Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida, about 300 to 400 ft above ground level, the pilot heard a “bang” from the rear of the helicopter and noticed that the turbine outlet temperature (TOT) was rising on the No. 1 engine. He set the No.1 engine throttle to idle, declared an emergency to air traffic control, and reversed direction to return to the airport. He scanned the cockpit instrument panel and noticed that the No.1 engine fire button had illuminated. He pressed the button to activate the fire suppression system; however, the TOT continued to rise on the No. 1 engine. The pilot subsequently heard a second “bang,” and was unable to control the helicopter. It spun and descended into an apartment building.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 03:34
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless
Start your clock.....at the time the Pilot is first aware of any kind of problem then check the time at which he notifies Tower of a problem....then check the time at which the aircraft begins a left turn to begin its return to airport (which is not far away at all)....consider the aircraft is flying fine on the remaining engine....check the time at which the aircraft is pointed back at the airport for Runway 06.

Consider the open areas available to the. pilot tend to be about 300-400 feet long and surrounded by wires....the highways are busy with traffic....city streets are a maze of wires and trees....and the runway beckons so close. What would you really do....especially if you were not aware of a fire that was going to cause the tail boom to fail and cause a catstrophic failure of control? In the meanwhile....trouble shoot the failure(s) and indications, brief your passengers, notify the Tower, carry out emergency procedures.....oh and fly the aircraft and devise a plan to cope with it all.

Now stop the Clock where the tail boom failure occurred.

Who would have the ability to even think the tail boom might fail?

Sometimes no matter how good we are it is still not good enough when the unthinkable happens.

We saw something similar in the Accident Report of the Stadium crash that resulted from a mechanical failure that made control of the aircraft impossible.

Fate hunts us all.

My condolences to the families, friends, co-workers of those lost in this tragedy.

Good post SASless
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 08:04
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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A question for those familiar with the aircraft - does initiating the fire suppression also shut down the engine?

He put the bad engine to idle but didn't shut it down before activating the fire bottle.

Is there an eductor fan that would blow the suppressant out of the engine bay while the engine is still running?
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 08:20
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
A question for those familiar with the aircraft - does initiating the fire suppression also shut down the engine?

He put the bad engine to idle but didn't shut it down before activating the fire bottle.

Is there an eductor fan that would blow the suppressant out of the engine bay while the engine is still running?
Someone posted the relevant part of the flight manual here earlier I believe. In short, yes, hitting the button will cut the fuel. Also, the fire supression is smart enough to delay the bottle (if fitted!) until N1 has dropped.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 08:38
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Crab
As lelebebbel says, the EMER OFF SW / FIRE Button closes the fuel valve but this is located just above the fuel tanks so there is a reasonable amount of left in the fuel lines between the valve and the engine. This takes some time to burn off and for the engine to run down (I would guess about seven seconds, maybe longer at idle). The idea, I assume, is to burn as much fuel inside the engine rather than allowing it to feed an engine bay fire, once the engine runs down, the extinguisher will automatically fire if there is still a fire indicated.
There is no fan.
Cheers
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 09:30
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Actually the procedure is to hit the EMER OFF sw immediately followed by a single engine emergency shutdown. Not to let the engine run until the fuel in the line is depleted.

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Old 9th Sep 2023, 09:34
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Thanks guys, I think we can assume therefore that there was some delay between selecting the engine to idle (as a reaction to high TOT and the bang) and then pressing the fire button or it wouldn't have kept burning.

Selecting an engine to idle would normally be a precursor to selecting shutoff, just to make sure you have got the correct engine - wouldn't most pilots have then shut it down quickly given the explosive nature of the failure?
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 10:13
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Originally Posted by whoknows idont
Actually the procedure is to hit the EMER OFF sw immediately followed by a single engine emergency shutdown. Not to let the engine run until the fuel in the line is depleted.
Thanks whoknows idont: Quite true, I meandered into my usual description of why I think Eurocopter/Airbus tells us to close the fuel valve and arm the fire extinguisher before shutting down the engine, rather than shutting down the engine and then shutting the fuel valve. Quite agree, there is no delay shown in the drills and I have never taught a delay in shutting the engine down after pressing the emergency off switch but I do recommend running your hand down the CAD indications of Fuel Valve Posn/Fuel Valve Closed indications to lead your hand to the correct engine control switch.

Cheers
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 11:03
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The idea, I assume, is to burn as much fuel inside the engine rather than allowing it to feed an engine bay fire, once the engine runs down,
Nothing as complex as that, I'm sure. Fuel valves are part of the airframe fuel system and inevitably are a long way upstream of the HP Engine fuel pumps. Their primary purpose is not emergency engine shutdown.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 11:30
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Selecting an engine to idle would normally be a precursor to selecting shutoff, just to make sure you have got the correct engine - wouldn't most pilots have then shut it down quickly given the explosive nature of the failure?
Yes, the single engine emergency shutdown goes IDLE, check indications, then OFF.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 13:34
  #152 (permalink)  
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Just to add, ground idle is about 70% N1 and it takes less than 50% N1 for the fire bottle to actuate. If the gas turbine was still turning above 50% then the bottle would not fire. The emergency switch would only close the fuel shutoff valve in that scenario. And the fuel valve is located about 1 foot below the engine deck on the sidewall next to the aft incline frame where the clam shell hinges are mounted.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 14:53
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Taken from the report
He pressed the button to activate the fire suppression system

This would suggest the aircraft was fitted with a fire system.

The pilot subsequently heard a second “bang,” and was unable to control the
helicopter.


Reading this one does assume these two events were together and the bang was the tail boom failing. It could have of course been the squib firing (he would have heard it in flight, I know this) had the engine gone below 50%N1 and the boom failing simultaneously or very shortly after.

Of course by this time either way no fire bottle could have made a difference as the fire had apparently spread outside off the engine bay.


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Old 9th Sep 2023, 15:39
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Yes, the single engine emergency shutdown goes IDLE, check indications, then OFF.
Thanks whoknows - is that a from memory item in the QRH emerg section?
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 19:41
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by [email protected]
Thanks whoknows - is that a from memory item in the QRH emerg section?
Post #106 - it is a memory item from the RFM.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 23:42
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Yes, as posted by RVDT the memory items are bold on grey background.



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Old 10th Sep 2023, 00:58
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Perhaps fixed wing pilots are not intended to understand this but I'll ask anyway - what is the difference between "land as soon as possible" and " land immediately"? To this simple engineeer and fixed wing pilot "land as soon as possible" means that it would not be possible to land any sooner. How can "immediately" be any sooner or more urgent?

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Old 10th Sep 2023, 01:30
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‘Land as soon as possible’ means to proceed to the nearest area that a safe landing can be made. That could involve continued flight to a clearing or airfield.

‘Land immediately’ means exactly that, you put it down straight away, accepting that continued flight may be riskier than landing say in a wooded area or ditching in water.

These scenarios are where a captain earns their corn.
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Old 10th Sep 2023, 02:54
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During an interview, the pilot reported that the helicopter was dispatched to transport a patient from the scene of an automobile accident. During initial climb, west of Pompano Beach Airpark (PMP), Pompano Beach, Florida, about 300 to 400 ft above ground level, the pilot heard a “bang” from the rear of the helicopter and noticed that the turbine outlet temperature (TOT) was rising on the No. 1 engine. He set the No.1 engine throttle to idle, declared an emergency to air traffic control, and reversed direction to return to the airport. He scanned the cockpit instrument panel and noticed that the No.1 engine fire button had illuminated. He pressed the button to activate the fire suppression system; however, the TOT continued to rise on the No. 1 engine. The pilot subsequently heard a second “bang,” and was unable to control the helicopter. It spun and descended into an apartment building.
Taken from the Preliminary Report posted earlier by someone.

The interview closely followed the Pilot being involved in a horrific event that resulted in two people being killed as a result of a violent and tragic experience.

A quick visit to Google Earth and using their measuring stick it appears the aircraft at most was one and a half statute miles (or there about ) from the approach end of Runway 06 which he was trying to return to for an emergency landing.

For sure he was a very busy fellow coping with the situation he was confronted with and I view his quoted statement as being something that will be amended in due time as the investigation progresses and he has a better recollection of events than he probably did at the time of the interview.

I find it quite understandable why he would have elected to return to the airfield as by the time the true extent of the problem was determined......the airfield was close in front of the aircraft and probably only about minute or less away.

One of the things we have to wait for is for the Investigation to determine the sequence of actions that were taken and what effect they could have had on the outcome and whether fire damage prevented then from working as designed.

If we look back to the Louisiana accident where the 139 had the electrical fire that badly interfered with the flight controls of that aircraft we might also see that unanticipated damage can occur due to a fire......such as the tailbone failing in flight,.

All emergencies do not fall nicely into a printed checklist and not all emergencies are in a checklist.

The question that arises is what do you do when the checklist and symptoms do not agree?

Wires melt, electronics fail to work, odd things happen.

Basic actions set forth in checklists are there for guidance but you have to consider that they might not be effective for some reason.

Until the cause of the fire, its location, and extent of damage to the aircraf systems and structure, it shall be impossible to know what the situation really was at the time.

​​​​​​​

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Old 10th Sep 2023, 07:05
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I don't think anyone has an issue with him returning to the field with what ostensibly looks like an engine failure (albeit an explosive one).

It seems that he didn't shut the engine down - just set it to idle - and then subsequently noticed the fire and banged off the bottle. Although it seems the idle N1 would be too high to allow the bottle to discharge.

Elements of the tail boom/TRDS could have been damaged by the engine trashing itself and it might have failed anyway but why didn't he shut the engine down completely?

If he had put it to idle, checked the indications (he said he did this) and then completed emergency shutdown - we probably wouldn't be discussing this as the fire would hopefully have gone out and he would have made a safe OEI landing at the field.

One of the videos shows he flew for over a minute before the tail boom failed - more than enough time to secure the engine properly.

Last edited by [email protected]; 10th Sep 2023 at 07:16.
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