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GOM Fatality

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GOM Fatality

Old 31st May 2003, 08:33
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Unhappy GOM Fatality

Another fatality in the GOM. At 0320 local time, a Robinson R44 crashed offshore, killing the pilot. This is the second fatality for this company flying single-engine/single pilot offshore at night. Weather apparently wasn't a factor in this case.

FAA Preliminary Accident Data
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Old 31st May 2003, 21:35
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Offshore work in an R44?

I thought that only turbines flew offshore or was this a quick one-time ad hoc charter?

Where they under contract from a large oil or exploratory firm?
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Old 31st May 2003, 22:06
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We were given to understand that the Gulf of Mexico was a well regulated area with a good safety record.
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Old 31st May 2003, 22:13
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Angry

I'm amazed to hear of a piston helicopter in use offshore.

Operator was TARLTON HELICOPTERS INC (R44s & B206s)

Previous night time accident with 206
at http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?e...05X00032&key=1

I'd also be curious as to who owns BA133.
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Old 31st May 2003, 23:02
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What part of "NO!" do you not understand?
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 07:13
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EH?

No to what SAS........ me don't understand.
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 15:35
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Whether it's a single-engined turbine or single-engined piston, if the one donk fails you're going in the water. There have been previous discussions about turbine / piston relative reliability, and I'm not going there.

What surprises me is that the implications on the payload being carried, in that I think the R44's payload is lower than the B206 (having no experience on the 206 I've no firm figures).

And the flying hours are a surprise to someone from Europe - 108 hours in a month ?

Lastly, PT flight at night in a S/E machine or P/T flight over water out of auto range of land isn't allowed in the UK.

And even more lastly - good job he wasn't French (over 60 for those elsewhere) !!

Last edited by The Nr Fairy; 1st Jun 2003 at 16:41.
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 16:23
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Nr Fairy

Whether it's a single-engined turbine or single-engined piston, if the one donk fails you're going in the water. There have been previous discussions about turbine / pistion relative reliability, and I'm not going there.


Not quite correct.....have a look at SASless's, Single Vs Twins Thread!!

If you operate and load the Twin in a typical offshore manner [excluding the GOM here] then you have every chance to get a twin back home if you loss one "Donk".
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 16:47
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OMR :

In a twin, perhaps. In a single engined machine, if the donk fails, there's not much option at any weight, which was what I was referring to.

My point was that in the GoM, routine operation of singles over water and/or at night would be something not allowed by regulation here due to the risks involved. I've had a trawl for the singles-vs-twins thread but can't seem to find one which fits the bill - any chance you can post the link to it ?
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 22:28
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Nr...page two of this forum threads...Twins operating without....

Splash training at a land based canal or pond are a blast....rare that one does not do a successful autorotative landing....open water autorotative landings are not as successful in the day time...ask the Air Log boys about the five they put down in a very short time...seems two disasters of five...one uh oh...and two ok. The thought of doing that at night with only a landing light....seems the odds are going against you big time on that!
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 22:54
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...only one landing light and not even a radalt.
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 23:08
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Had a private message on this.....interesting perspective the writer had.

Question: Do older, more experienced pilots have a moral obligation as "Professionals" to mentor younger, inexperienced pilots and if need be, point out the foolhardiness of their conduct in matters like these? Do we have an obligation to report such events to the FAA, Newspapers, Insurance companies, and anyone else who will listen and could work to make a change?
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Old 1st Jun 2003, 23:15
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SAS - all pilots have a responsibility to each other and their industry to report. Anonymous reporting is best, whistle blowing to the press is worst.
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Old 2nd Jun 2003, 07:19
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Zalt, BA133 is operated by Apache, I believe. Most of the platforms have multiple owners.

MMS Platform Data
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Old 5th Jun 2003, 08:02
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Angel May he rest in peace.

NTSB Identification: FTW03LA163
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, May 29, 2003 in Brazos Blk 532, GM
Aircraft: Robinson R44, registration: N7188K
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On May 29, 2003, approximately 0400 central daylight time, a Robinson R44 single-engine helicopter, N7188K, was destroyed when it impacted the water while maneuvering near Brazos Block 532, Gulf of Mexico. The airline transport rated pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries. The helicopter was registered to and operated by Tarlton Helicopters, Inc., Houston, Texas. Dark night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 un-scheduled, on-demand air cargo flight. The flight departed the William P. Hobby airport (HOU), near Houston, at 0320, and was destined for an offshore platform located at the Mustang Island Area East Addition, Block A-133, in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Tarlton Helicopters company dispatcher, the 73-year old pilot departed HOU with a load of parts for an offshore platform. For the flight from HOU to the platform, the pilot estimated an en-route time of 1 hour and 30 minutes and estimated a total fuel on board of 2 hours and 30 minutes. The destination, Mustang Island Area East Addition, Block A-133, was located approximately 70 nautical miles southwest of HOU.

On May 29, 2003, approximately 1100, the body of the pilot and debris from the helicopter were located by the U.S. Coast Guard, at 28 degrees 19.15 minutes north latitude, and 95 degrees 56.2 minutes west longitude. The ocean depth in the vicinity of the debris field was estimated to average from 100 to 120 feet. According to an FAA inspector, the debris that was located included two skid float assemblies, cushions, and miscellaneous items. The helicopter has not been located and is presumed destroyed.

At 0353, the Palacios (PSX) Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), Palacios, Texas, located on-shore approximately 15 nautical miles northwest of the debris field, reported the wind from 280 degrees at 3 knots, 8 statute miles visibility, sky clear, temperature 21 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.03 inches of mercury.

The U.S. Naval Observatory reported at PSX the moonrise was at 0528.

I'm 72 and I feel it. This pilot was 73 years old.

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Old 5th Jun 2003, 17:46
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Not wishing to pre-empt anything, but...

"...temperature 21 degrees Celsius, dew point 19 degrees Celsius..."

...assuming this was not a fuel injected Raven II, that's real carb-ice territory.

Add over-water operation and less than full load operation, ie: partial throttle settings, and you're there. It only takes a momentary lack of sufficient carb heat and...

Hope I'm wrong
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