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Gazelle crash

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Gazelle crash

Old 26th Nov 2002, 15:03
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Helicopter down in Essex?

BBC Essex website is reporting a helicopter force-landing at Hadleigh (near Southend). They said its a Gazelle and the pilot was uninjured but the 'copter is destroyed. Any further news/details? Hope everyone is ok?
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 15:11
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Gazelle crash

Glad to see no injuries.

Copter pilot escapes crash

A 53-year-old pilot has escaped with minor injuries after a helicopter crashed in a field.
The privately-owned Gazelle helicopter crashed in Hadleigh, Essex, said a police spokesman.
The pilot, who lives locally, walked away from the scene of the crash, the spokesman added.
Police said military firefighters attended the scene.
Striking firefighters also left picket lines to make themselves available, but did not assist servicemen once they realised that no lives were at risk.

Story filed: 14:23 Tuesday 26th November 2002

Last edited by Smoketoomuch; 26th Nov 2002 at 16:02.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 15:37
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Don't open that tin of worms.......don't even go there......next you'll be talking about competency/ability to stay proficient on high performance helis as opposed to Robos etc.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 16:08
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My apologies, and you're right EESDL. I've edited my post and changed its 'tone'.
If I ever find the time / money I would dearly like to fly the magnificent whistling chicken leg so I'd better not jeopardise its prospects
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 16:12
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The Gazelle should not be allowed to be flown by Private Pilots. It should be restricted to professionals who have sufficient hours and experience to handle it. If PPLs want to fly a turbine then they should stick with the 206 because of its relatively benign handling qualities.

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Old 26th Nov 2002, 16:19
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This from the BBC Site :

A helicopter has crash landed at Hadleigh near Southend.
Striking fire fighters from a nearby station have left their picketline to attend, alongside army response vehicles.

The helicopter is reported to have crash-landed in a field at Poors Lane just before one o'clock.

Police say the single engined Gazelle helicopter developed a fault as it was landing. The aircraft got caught in boggy ground, flipped over onto its side, and caught fire, although the pilot was able to walk away with minor injuries.

A fire-engine from nearby Hadleigh Fire Station went to the scene. An army green Goddess, and two specialist rescue units were also dispatched.

Police have contacted the Air Accident Investigation Branch to look into the cause of the accident.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 16:39
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Pleased you changed the tone of your post Smokey. For a moment I thought you were trying to get talent-spotted as a tabloid headline writer. (I've changed the topic title to match your new version)

From a reliable source:

Incident happened as the owner was in the process of landing in his garden.
Not mechanical failure
Not loss of tailrotor authority
Pilot uninjured
The Gazelle is a write-off
AAIB has been told what happened and do not consider it necessary to investigate further.

Why not restrict them to R22's - well-known for their "benign handling qualities."
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 18:54
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For "specialist rescue units" read RAF firefighters on Op FRESCO.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 19:00
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are you saying that all private pilots dont fly enough hours /experience or

all profesional pilots fly sufficent hrs so they must be ok.

i fly more hours than most military pilots , more that some commercial pilots , i am a private pilot flying a turbine why should i fly a 206 i fly a 600 and enjoy every hour of it
Is that a suitable helicopter for me to fly?

[i still need a spellchecker ]
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 19:34
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Let's not get too smug. I'm told by CAA sources the accident rate for one ex-military helicopter (Scout) is one hundred times higher in civilian hands than it was in the military. The accident rate for the Gazelle was ten times higher before today's mishap.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 21:02
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was he a ppl ?
is he ex-mil ?
was he low time ?
was it an ex-mil gazelle ?
really hope it was not Flying Lawyer ?
should he be given time to deal/speak about the ordeal ?

I am not interested in your opinions I am interested in facts in which I do not know enough about this incident to comment.
What I do know is that the pilot is ok (thank God) and that the Gazelle is a very robust machine that stands up well to abuse and
impact damage.
I think the last thing the pilot needs right now is that sort of remark.

I have had my rant now, hope you don't take offence I look forward to your future posts,
all the best

Loose Nut.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 21:36
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Thumbs up

It would seem that the Gazelle was a civie one. Fortunately there were no injuries!:o
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 22:14
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I would be very suspicious of the CAA source of those statistics about ex-mil helicopters without a whole lot more detail. One of the real problems with any non public transport flying is you usually have no source of flying hours stats. Without that you cannot get an accurate accident rate.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 22:54
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just glad to hear pilot is ok.

MD600 driver - well said, BUT! you didnt just jump into your MD600, you built up your time on various machines in appropriate stages. Perhaps the chap before you on the list was trying to get at PPLs jumping in feet first, which we all know can be bad.

think comments made about restricting ppl(h)s to certain types are unjustified.

Think there should be more structure into what machines you can fly at certain stages of hours.

Besides, Gazelle is lovely to fly and I only have 160hrs! I've been with a friend of mine to Alderney and up to Mull, over London etc. Fly them properly and your sound as a pound.
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Old 26th Nov 2002, 23:39
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Thanks for your concern Loose Nut, but it wasn't me.
I know the pilot's name, but have never met him and don't know his experience either generally or on type.
What I do know is that he'd gone through a thorough training programme with an experienced instructor when he bought his Gazelle and, most important of all, that he walked away from the crash.
It appears from what I've been told that it was pilot error but, even if it was, we should be very careful about jumping to conclusions about the Gazelle as a type based on a few incidents. Isn't that the sort of thing we criticise the tabloids for doing?
The Gazelle is high profile at the moment because so many have suddenly come onto the market. If this had been another type, would we be having this discussion?

I'm obviously biased, but I don't agree with Brother's suggestion that the Gazelle should be restricted to high hours professionals. I accept there's a world of difference between being a professional and an amateur pilot, but the Gazelle was designed as a trainer and sold to civvy buyers as well as mil. It's fast, but not a complex type and, although not as benign as the B206, is much more forgiving than the type most popular amongst PPLs.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that this was a landing accident. If the pilot made a mistake, we should be synpathetic to him. He's not the first and he won't be the last - PPL or professional.
There but for the grace of God?

Edited for typos. I posted at the end of a very long day.

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 27th Nov 2002 at 09:34.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 05:20
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My view ? Any pilot, whether PPL, CPL or ATPL, is only as professional as their attitude. We don't know about this guy so let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

And even then, lets' accept people can have off days. Indeed a case of "there but for the grace of god . . ."
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 13:05
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Loose Nut

No offence taken whatsoever. Just my view, that's all. I too am glad the pilot is ok but it looks like it may have been his fault.

Flying Lawyer, you are quite right, the Gazell is not a very complicated type but nevertheless has some handling quirks which can be beyond pilots to catch in time, experienced or not.

This pilot was properly licensed to fly the Gazelle. Therefore, any of you could legally have been with him or could have had your nearest and dearest with him. I question whether any of you would have put your family members in this helicopter with this pilot, knowing and being educated to the fact that the Gazelle, in certain phases, can bite hard.

It is obvious that this aircraft was bought as a toy. I wouldn't put my family in a high performance toy which has an inflated accident record in the hands of those who have insufficient experience.

Its like a 17 year old with a Porsche Turbo versus that same 17 year old in a Focus. Which one are you going to put your kids in?

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Old 27th Nov 2002, 14:17
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Brother, have you actually flown the Gazelle?

I have over 3500 hours on them, all courtesy of HM Queen & Son PLC. That included my first ever rotary handling as an ab initio. It was not the basic trainer of all three services by accident, because it is just that - basic. There are no real 'vices' on this gentle lady of the skies - it's smooth, fast, comfortable and stable.

I echo the sentiments uttered above for the most part - you can fix or replace aircraft, but people...
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 14:58
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thoroughly concur old chap - when I think of what we were allowed out to do solo in a Gazelle with a lot less hours than this poor unfortunate chap had....
It rather sounds like he picked a poor landing site (which can happen to anyone) rather than an inability to fly the aircraft.
I'd much rather be in a Gazelle with an average pilot than in an R22 with a great one.
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Old 27th Nov 2002, 17:42
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Does anyone know the registration of the gazelle, as it may have been the one we saw flying around SEN on saturday23/11/02.
Thank you
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