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Helicopter crash Scotland: Pilot prosecuted. VERDICT

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Helicopter crash Scotland: Pilot prosecuted. VERDICT

Old 1st May 2003, 00:31
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Three hurt in helicopter crash near Edinburgh

From the BBC:

"Three people have been taken to hospital following a helicopter crash in Midlothian.

The aircraft came down at Crichton, about five miles south east of Dalkeith.

Emergency services said one person was being taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary by air ambulance.

Two others were being taken to hospital by road."


BBC page here:

BBC news page

Hope all are OK.


cur
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Old 1st May 2003, 02:12
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BBC now has more info:

Lib Dem helicopter crashes

helicopter has crashed just hours after carrying the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace on
the final leg of his election tour.
_
Three people have been taken to hospital following the accident at Crichton, about five miles south of
Dalkeith in Midlothian.
_
Emergency services said one of the injured is a Liberal Democrat election campaign worker, whose
condition has been described as "walking wounded". The helicopter took off from Greenock on Wednesday
morning with Mr Wallace and Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore on board. Their first stop took them to
Glasgow, where they landed briefly at a playing field in the Toryglen district to speak to activists.
It flew on to Perth and then to Aberdeen, where the men got out about 1pm, Mr Wallace to head for his
constituency in Orkney.
_
_
_
A party spokesman said the crash happened when the aircraft was on its return journey, Emergency
services were alerted at about 3.30pm when it came down on Longfaugh Farm. Eye-witnesses said the
helicopter plunged 150ft into a hillside after hitting a power line and damaging its tail rotor. Scott
Riddell, a member of the family running the farm, said the helicopter had come down in a hilly field.
He described the aircraft's occupants as "shaken, but not seriously injured". The Scottish Ambulance
Service said a man, aged 31, was taken by air ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with neck pains.
Mr Wallace is interviewed beside the aircraft
_
_
_
A second man, aged 47, complained of back pain and was suffering from shock, while a third, aged 39
escaped injury. One was flown to hospital by air ambulance, the other two were taken by road. A
spokesman for Mr Wallace said: "Obviously Jim is very concerned and will be monitoring developments
very closely." Two fire engines, a heavy rescue tender and a support unit went to the scene and sprayed
a foam blanket around the helicopter to absorb escaping fumes. Firefighters remained on scene as a
safety measure to keep watch on the helicopter and the damaged overhead power lines. Air accident
investigators are to launch an inquiry.
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Old 1st May 2003, 05:55
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Helicopter crash in Scotland

from the BBC
"The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace has spoken of his shock after a helicopter crashed just hours after he was on it.
Three people were injured, including a Liberal Democrat election campaign worker, when the aircraft crashed into a field at Crichton, about five miles south of Dalkeith in Midlothian.

The helicopter was being used by the party on the final leg of their election tour.
The injured were all taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

As Mr Wallace arrived in his Orkney constituency on Wednesday night, he described the crash as "a sobering incident".
He named the Lib Dem campaign worker who was injured in the crash as David Webster.
Mr Wallace said: "Mr Webster and the pilot have minor injuries such as scratches and wounds but have been taken to hospital for observation. "The co-pilot is somewhat more seriously injured but I have heard that his injuries are not life-threatening."
Mr Wallace added: "They are very much in my thoughts and I would wish them all the very best recovery, and I certainly would like to speak to each of them as soon as is appropriate."



The helicopter, understood to be operated by Lothian Helicopters, took off from Greenock on Wednesday morning with Mr Wallace and Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore on board.
Their first stop took them to Glasgow, where they landed briefly at a playing field in the Toryglen district to speak to activists.
It flew on to Perth and then to Aberdeen, where the men got out about 1300 BST, Mr Wallace to head for his constituency in Orkney.
A party spokesman said the crash happened when the aircraft was on its return journey.

Emergency services were alerted at about 1530 BST when it came down on Longfaugh Farm.
Eye-witnesses said the helicopter plunged 150ft into a hillside after hitting a power line and damaging its tail rotor.
Scott Riddell, a member of the family running the farm, said the helicopter had come down in a hilly field. He described the aircraft's occupants as "shaken, but not seriously injured".
The Scottish Ambulance Service said a man, aged 31, was taken by air ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with neck pains.
A second man, aged 47, complained of back pain and was suffering from shock, while a third, aged 39 escaped injury.
Two fire engines, a heavy rescue tender and a support unit went to the scene and sprayed a foam blanket around the helicopter to absorb escaping fumes.
Firefighters remained on scene as a safety measure to keep watch on the helicopter and the damaged overhead power lines.
Air accident investigators are to launch an inquiry.
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Old 1st May 2003, 06:15
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Well at least they all made it out alive, thats the important thing.
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Old 1st May 2003, 15:26
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And what have we just been discussing on Coning angel's thread?
Fortunately all survived this National Grid assisted quickstop - WIRES KILL!!
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Old 1st May 2003, 16:28
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A picture from happier days...


http://www1.airpics.com/showimg.php?imgid=36475
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Old 1st May 2003, 16:41
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Nice to know they dont mess about when it come's to travelling...buzzing around by chopper..I wonder how much that set them back $$$

I wonder if these politicians are the type to also rally against local airfields citing noise polution etc but then actually like to have someone nearby that can whiz them around when campaigning..or am I getting cynical in my old age
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Old 1st May 2003, 17:14
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Having just "survived" one incident, it seems kind of inappropriate to take the injured to hospital by "air ambulance".

Let's hope the immediate treatment for the physical injuries suppressed any unnecessary thoughts of the patient in this direction!

And to forestall the comments of those who may read this the wrong way, I KNOW this is a potential life-saver!

Best wishes and speedy recovery to all involved.
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Old 1st May 2003, 18:01
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Corrections and Omissions Excepted

Were not those clever people at MD Helicopters Working on a forward looking electromagnetic detection system, that could advise pilots of their proximity to power lines.
I realise that the mark one eyeball should be in top condition.
But does the pilot work load demand that such devices be mandatory.
Please don't shoot, just educate me politely!
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Old 1st May 2003, 19:20
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Angry

Same thing happened on the 25th or 26th in Norway, a pilot flying an AS350 with load under, doing a recon, hit the line and landed upside down apparently.
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Old 1st May 2003, 23:31
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There is such a device from Amphitech in Canada, and it's approved by Transport Canada for installation. It's on a tour in the Northeastern States right now. Pretty clever - uses millimeter wave radar and a swivelling head to look for wires. The display to the pilot is simple and intuitive - a series of small LCDs on the top of the instrument coaming. If it senses a wire that might be of concern, it shows a green light in the appropriate location. Wire of more serious consequence (there is a good probability you will hit it in the next minute), the light turns to amber, and an extremely serious probability of hitting it turns the light red.
Not cheap (about US$100,000, methinks), but if you regularly work in that environment (EMS, Police) it would probably pay for itself in reduced insurance payments pretty quickly.
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Old 2nd May 2003, 00:33
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That's too expensive for the likes of the UK police units to commit to, I suspect. We already have TCAS, but I notice, no-one in the Air ambulance world carries one, again due to the fact that they are charitable and cannot afford such niceties.

I believe there is an alternative in that the moving map systems we fly with offer an option to 'warn' when flying near marked wires on their maps. Don't know anyone who has one ...yet.

The take up on these is slow I suspect because of the good stats for emergency services helos. Touch wood, all those flying 'normally' and within laid down guidelines, have not had occasion to conflict with wires. [I chose my words carefully].

That's not to say we could never hit wires, it is just a rare phenomenon... long may it last, please
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Old 2nd May 2003, 00:49
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Im not so sure about how well this em detector would work. I have a feeling that at the lower altitudes where unmarked wires are more of a problem, this thing would be giving you warnings left and right, so the pilot may stop really paying it any heed. Although could probably also solve the problem by flying a tad higher.

Just my 2c guys, admittedly i dont have any experience flying in these kind of conditions (workin on my IFR). But I think that for this thing to give you any sort of warning it would have to be very sensitive, and that would also increase the amount of warnings you might get from say, regular appliances I would think.
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Old 2nd May 2003, 02:50
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Crab
I'm surprised that a man of your obvious experience should jump to conclusions so quickly before the facts are known.

kissmysquirrel
Yes crab, it's so bloody annoying and tragic that people continue to do this."
I appreciate you're at the opposite extreme of the experience spectrum from Crab, and assume you either didn't read Speechless Two's post or learned nothing from it if you did read it .

Speechless Two
Thank you for trying to inject some intelligent comment. Sadly, it seems to be wasted on some posters.

Last edited by Heliport; 3rd May 2003 at 01:03.
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Old 2nd May 2003, 06:33
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Deja Vu?

This is the second incident I'm aware of in which a campaigning politician has had a nasty incident in a helicopter...

In 2001, remember William Vague? His S76(?) was transiting south of Shawbury when they had an airmiss with a Squirrel conducting either an IF UP, or an IF PFL.

Luckily that one didn't result in casualties.

Commisserations to yesterday's injured.

PS: Its quite un-nerving taxiing under HT cables! I'm glad I don't do that wacky stuff any more.
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Old 2nd May 2003, 16:20
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Heliport, I must take issue with you on your remarks above - I have not jumped to any conclusions either privately or publicly - the aircraft hit wires and came down and whatever circumstances brought it about will be investigated by the CAA.

My point on this thread and throughout the other (very muddied) one from coning angel is that wires are dangerous- pure and simple.

I am not pointing a finger at anyone, just trying to get an important flight safety message across!
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Old 2nd May 2003, 19:26
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Hi,
As a non-rotorhead, could someone please explain to me how wire cutters fitted to the front of helicopters work? Are they effective?
Why don't more people have them fitted? Is it just cost?
Thanks,
GA
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Old 2nd May 2003, 23:41
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Wire cutters cater for certain wires of specific diameters. They 'guide' the wire down their lengths of carbon steel to a 'cutting' section which is reinforced and designed to 'snip' the cable neatly in two

The operating arc of a perfect wire cutter kit should be from immediately below the tip path plane of the rotor blades to the lower edge of the undercarriage. In reality there are unprotected spots. of course, the kit is only designed to protect from wires ahead

I would imagine the main users are bush/cattle/ wire survey/camera etc operators. Thos who do NOE (nap of the earth) flying. UK emergency operators don't as a precedent, use them because our stats show us to be fairly quiet in the accident dept regarding wires...long may it last.
A wire cutting kit for an EC135: 30,000 sterling+ fitting.
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Old 3rd May 2003, 01:06
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Crab
Thanks for clarifying.
Your flight safety point is obviously well made.
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Old 3rd May 2003, 02:02
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Can anyone tell me what the weather was like at Edinburgh at the time of the accident?
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