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Deadly Stupid Stunt !

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Deadly Stupid Stunt !

Old 22nd Jan 2003, 07:23
  #1 (permalink)  
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Unhappy Deadly Stupid Stunt !

On monday a medical rescue helicopter crashed near Uelzen in northern Germany. It was a Boelkow Bo 105 owned and operated by the german automotive club ADAC. While the pilot and the co where rescued, one emergency physician was killed when he couldn´t get out of the helicopter sinking into a channel and drowned in the wreakage, leaving a wife and a four week old child behind.

The sadest fact about all this, was the crash was caused by the pilot flying under a little more than 5 meter (16 ft) high bridge.

For those able to read german, here is a link to a local Newspaper Report

condolences to all involved
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Old 22nd Jan 2003, 08:40
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What a terrible and unnecessary waste of a life.

There was about 5 metres clearance under the bridge and the aircraft was nearly 4 metres high. The pilot actually got away with going under the bridge, but a skid caught on the ice. The doctor was trapped by his clothes, and drowned.

What on earth was in the pilot's mind?
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Old 22nd Jan 2003, 14:50
  #3 (permalink)  
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How can you protect people from stupid stunts like that? My deepest sympathy for the relatives and friends.
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Old 22nd Jan 2003, 18:23
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Very sad indeed! What's this pilot's experience? I am not a rotorhead, but this doesn't sound like professional behaviour.
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Old 22nd Jan 2003, 19:05
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Very sad.

There is an online German to English convertor available at


Then enter the URL of the German online newspaper from the link above and it will translate the page.


dmdrewitt is offline  
Old 23rd Jan 2003, 07:42
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According to the news report, pilot Jens-Olaf Strecker was moonlighting at Euroheli as a stunt pilot in violation of ADAC employment rules. So I guess this was not the first time he executed this manouver. Probably would have got away with it had he not snagged an ice flow with his skid.
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Old 23rd Jan 2003, 08:30
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German newspaper report this pilot as a former military heli-pilot, now with ADAC rescue heli department since 10 months.
Reminds me to that recent crash of a Bell UH-D1 also in northern Germany, also in use as a rescue heli, because of the (remaining alc later found) pilot made a (turning very fast) maneuvre which was reported as "exceeding the limits" of that type of heli.
Poor little baby (mother), lost its father (husband) because of a complete stupid action of someone else. . .
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Old 23rd Jan 2003, 23:59
  #8 (permalink)  
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Sounds like manslaughter to me?
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 09:32
  #9 (permalink)  
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Thumbs down

And now should anyone wonder why everyone in the community is afraid of helicopters. The worst of all, the pilot walked away, and the doc drowned. It should have been vice versa.

At the same time I apologize if my response to this tragic accident is below the beltline. I don't know what else to write. It is aggrevating and outrageous what kind of characters pilot aircrafts these days.
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Old 25th Jan 2003, 21:37
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If everything reported is true, it's a disgrace to the helicopter community.
Unfortunately, in single pilot ops, the pilots need much more discipline than in 2 crew ops, where there is instant feedback from a fellow pilot if rules are bent. The paramedics simply are not trained and experienced pilots, and as such less likely to pick up on the development of bad habits. Perhaps this aspect should be looked at?
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 10:52
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Absolutely crazy and never to understand.
The pilot was a former captain in an anti-tank-helicopter squadron. It was his SECOND day on the HEMS operating base Uelzen. Seems to be a little bit overtrained or needs such stunts for himself to be sure he's the most hot shot in town.
The automotive club counts on psychological tests before hiring a pilot. But you can buy such tests and you could be trained on such test by several schools. That makes no sense.
It's the third deadly helicoptercrash in HEMS business in germany within 12 months. All occured due to pilots error (drunken pilots killed in Hamburg 5 persons, 1 Copilot dead after weather mismanagement or self constructed IFR approach north of Berlin and the bridgestunt).

Last edited by tecpilot; 27th Jan 2003 at 14:08.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 11:24
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Although, I do generally agree absolutely with you
regarding the irresponsible behaviour of the said
pilot I do think that the incident itself is also
somehow related to the fact that none of the crew
members (paramedic & doc) seem to have attempted
to stop the pilot from doing that maneuver.
The paramedic's excuse "it wouldn't be common to
talk to the pilot in flight" is in my opinion pretty
lame. Besides, it seems to become obvious that such or
similar maneuvers have become kind of a bad habit
amongst rescue pilots-maybe to show how 'hot' they
are and what they are capable of doing with their
machines. At least that's what I've read
and heard from people in Germany reading the local
newspapers. But if rumours about such customs
should really get confirmed it's in my opinion also
clear that other crew members took part in such
maneuvers-either actively by encouraging such
action, or maybe passively by allowing them to happen.
Regardless whether they were only part of it because
of their presence or if they really asked pilots for such
a 'thrill' - those who took part in such maneuvers-for
whatever reason- are in my opinion insofar also responsible
for what finally happend.
Even as non-pilot it should be pretty simple
to prevent the pilot from performing such
maneuvers by telling him that you are going
to talk to his boss.
Cause he's risking his licence - I don't think
someone who's enjoying to fly would really
want to lose his licence.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 14:11
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IF the story's accurate I can't see any professional pilot trying to defend what another professional did but your comments are the sort of thing we get in the bottom of the pile newspapers here.
"And now should anyone wonder why everyone in the community is afraid of helicopters." Everyone in the community isn't tho Hollywood hasn't helped the image and only the fools will link what one pilot did with all helicopters/pilots.
"It is aggrevating and outrageous what kind of characters pilot aircrafts these days." Yeah, we all do what this pilot did most days.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 16:36
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sounds for a case of the rest of the crew being trained in CRM
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 17:15
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Yeah, I agree - CRM might have been one useful thing ...
Another pilot could also have been a factor to
avoid such stupid action ...
But the mere fact itself that the pilot considered
performing such an action is in my opinion also
caused by the fact that he was trained by the
military - and there he was not only trained similar
maneuvers but also expected to perform them properly.
So, pilots who've a military background have certainly
more experience with unusual flight maneuvers than
those who are civilians.
I bet most military pilots can confirm that flying such
maneuvers (that would otherwise not be allowed)
put a certain kind of 'thrill' to the training and flying
in general...R/W itself can be addicting enough - but
such maneuvers certainly add even more adrenaline
to it ...
And as we know meanwhile he was quite successful
flying beneath the bridge ...merely climbing afterwards
caused the crash since he had skid contact with ice...
From that point of view I would personally think
he wasn't a usual dumbass trying something new -
rather he was going to show something that he's
beein trained to do and done dozens of times before ...
Sure, that does by no means justify the fact to
perform something like that in a civilian a/c with
civilians on board without permission - but it does
show why he was being optimistic to manage
a maneuver like that.
And from what I've read, other paramedics that
previously witnessed similar actions of their rescuse pilots
were simply just astonished be the enormously skilled
So, skill and psychological maturity can be two
different things ...

Maybe a mandatory FDR would be a good option
to observe if single pilot machines keep their
cruise course/altitude.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 18:33
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Exclamation For those of us who want to see what we're talking about

Just got these images by mail:

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Old 26th Jan 2003, 19:37
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The automotive club ADAC is without any question one of the experienced HEMS operator in Europe, operating 35 helicopter, with more than 100 pilots. With very good working conditions, duty times and pay, the ADAC tried the whole time to be one of the best HEMS operator worldwide. Sponsored by the members of the automotive club the officials gives a lot of money to reach that target. One of the best training conditions in Europe and the highest standards in maintenance and flight operations above the laws should help. But the pilots on the remote HEMS operating bases are making their jobs self or as seen not controlled. After the accident some other crewmembers reported the same or nearly the same stunts to the public. As usual most of the pilots are former military or paramilitary officers. After 2 deadly chrashs at the beginning in 1974 the ADAC started to test the pilots by the german flight and space agency DLR.

@ standto: Be sure, all of their pilots are very expensive CRM-trained. But " it's impossible to construct a idiot proof system, idiots are to smart" !!! (not from me)

@ agl: you are right, the other crewmembers should be questioned about their role in the dramatic accident

Last edited by tecpilot; 27th Jan 2003 at 14:07.
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 19:55
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Just out of interest, would this aircraft be written off or is it viable to repair and return to use?
Old 26th Jan 2003, 21:13
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I've been told that the ADAC and DRF prefer to hire former military and police force pilots. Perhaps this will make them reconsider their hiring policy?
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Old 26th Jan 2003, 21:53
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As any european pilot knows, a HEMS pilot acting as pilot in command, needs at least 500h flight hours PIC in HEMS or 1000 h as copilot in HEMS. Thanks to JAA! Military or police flight times are of equal value. Additionally required is instrument and night experience. Most of the german non ex-military pilots lacked that experience. Therefore also in the future, most HEMS pilots will come from military or police units. As said the working conditions in HEMS are excellent and some of military or police guys cancel their official contracts with the army or police units to work in HEMS. Mostly they are not interested in other civil (aerial work) jobs.

Last edited by tecpilot; 27th Jan 2003 at 14:11.
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