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-   -   SAR S-92 Missing Ireland (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/592162-sar-s-92-missing-ireland.html)

HeliComparator 17th Mar 2017 23:25


Originally Posted by Same again (Post 9710048)
HC, not every airfield is Aberdeen - or has an ILS. Of those that do some have higher minimums than 200'. I have landed at many hospitals but not one has an ILS approach. Any competent IR rated pilot can safely fly an ILS solo or monitor the helicopter doing so.

SAR operations often involve letting down to a vessel or cliffs in the pitch dark using auto-pilot SAR modes, search radar, FLIR and NVG as a combined 4 crew operation. Once the SAR Op is complete we still have to return to base or the hospital and, if the weather is below 'normal' limits, this will also involve a pre-determined and practiced Poor Visibility Approach again using SAR modes, search radar, FLIR and NVG.

We all maintain IFR approach currency but SAR night/low-vis approaches are much more difficult and carry higher risk. Therefore these are practiced more often and hence SAR crews who operate in the low-level environment prefer to practice in this environment, or, as you put it 'wazz around at 200 feet'

Don't specifically disagree with any of that except:

But when there is an ILS, why not take the safer option and do an ILS? (There was at the base I'm talking about).

Yes, the "SAR stuff" is more difficult and carries higher risk, and thus needs more training and practice time. But not 100% of the training and practice time.

"Any competent IR pilot ... ILS" etc - to be competent, you need to practice. Your dismissal of this point is exactly the problem I'm referring to.

jimf671 17th Mar 2017 23:34


Originally Posted by Una Due Tfc (Post 9710075)
Just to clarify, I'm a civilian ATCO who works with ex military ATCOS who worked with these guys. According to a previous poster, CHC crews have had NVG for over 3 years.


The plan that was reported as being in place a couple of years ago was that full NVG was being introduced and would be operational across the fleet at some time during early 2016. Maybe somebody could confirm whether that plan was indeed completed.


(That doesn't mean there was no NVG before that. For instance, when this aircraft was at Sumburgh at Oscar Charlie, it was not flown on NVG though I believe goggles were available up the back for searching, as happened with Bristow on UK GAP-North until recently.)

SASless 17th Mar 2017 23:39

Old days on the North Sea were pretty much done as low as required to maintain contact with the surface in the day.....and low enough at night to avoid ice in the Winter.

But then it was single pilot for a lot of us too.

Times change and technology improves!

Ber Nooly 17th Mar 2017 23:41

1 Attachment(s)
Which navigation suite is installed in the S92? My SkyDemon does not show up Blackrock or the larger Duvillaun More island at all. Is it possible that it doesn't show up in the S92 too? ("An Fd Dubh" is Blacksod)

SkyDemon
http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/attac...8&d=1489711248

Ordance Survey

http://www.pprune.org/attachment.php...1&d=1489790424

FC80 17th Mar 2017 23:44

HC - I understand your point and largely agree with you in relation to a predisposition for 'self-contained' let downs, flying around in marginal VMC, etc. on SAR but I'm not sure it's particularly relevant to this incident.

The average let down on SAR is usually as safe or even safer (especially at night) than the average ARA to an oil rig in my opinion, having done both.

With the advantages of NVG, FLIR, AIS and another couple of pairs of eyes and ears on the aircraft tuned in to what's going on, SA and indeed the visual sight picture are often significantly improved.

Of course, there are the awful, dark, foggy, stormy, [insert further terrifying adjectives here] approaches, scraping in to the significantly reduced mimima that SAR is granted which obviously - necessarily - expose the aircraft and crew to increased risk but these are the expection rather than the rule.

I think any implication that the crew here were pushing the limits or operating at an increased level of risk seems misplaced - an overwater letdown on what (as far as I can see) wasn't a particularly awful night weather wise is bread and butter for a qualified crew and a necessary part of the job.

HeliComparator 17th Mar 2017 23:52


Originally Posted by SASless (Post 9710100)
Old days on the North Sea were pretty much done as low as required to maintain contact with the surface in the day.....and low enough at night to avoid ice in the Winter.

But then it was single pilot for a lot of us too.

Times change and technology improves!

Times change and, mostly, expectations of safety improve. This is why N Sea aviators no longer go VFR when the conditions are too bad for IFR.

HeliComparator 17th Mar 2017 23:59


Originally Posted by FC80 (Post 9710105)
HC - I understand your point and largely agree with you in relation to a predisposition for 'self-contained' let downs, flying around in marginal VMC, etc. on SAR but I'm not sure it's particularly relevant to this incident.

The average let down on SAR is usually as safe or even safer (especially at night) than the average ARA to an oil rig in my opinion, having done both.

With the advantages of NVG, FLIR, AIS and another couple of pairs of eyes and ears on the aircraft tuned in to what's going on, SA and indeed the visual sight picture are often significantly improved.

Of course, there are the awful, dark, foggy, stormy, [insert further terrifying adjectives here] approaches, scraping in to the significantly reduced mimima that SAR is granted which obviously - necessarily - expose the aircraft and crew to increased risk but these are the expection rather than the rule.

I think any implication that the crew here were pushing the limits or operating at an increased level of risk seems misplaced - an overwater letdown on what (as far as I can see) wasn't a particularly awful night weather wise is bread and butter for a qualified crew and a necessary part of the job.

Yes you are absolutely right, my points may well be completely irrelevant to this accident. However in the vacuum created by waiting for any concrete cause, we might as well talk generalities. If it does transpire that, for example, they mistakenly made an approach to the wrong place, then my contention is that it is time to challenge the whole paradigm of SAR Ops to ensure that safety margins are only slim when they absolutely need to be, and maximised at all other times, something I feel is not always the case at the moment. But be careful - just because something is "bread and butter" doesn't mean it is always the right thing to do.

Ber Nooly 18th Mar 2017 00:00

This is the 1 am synop report for Belmullet, 30 m northeast of Blackrock. Overcast @ 300 ft, visibility 3 km.

AAXX 14011 03976 47130 /2210 10106 20099 30242 40254 55003 7818/ 88///
333 88/03==

Visibility: 3 km
Wind: 220 (SE) @ 10 m/s (19 kts)
Temp 10.6 C, Dewpoint 9.9 C
Sea level pressure: 1025.4 hPa
Pressure trend past 3 hours: almost no change
Weather: rain showers
Cloud: Overcast with base at 300 ft

At Mace Head, 80 km to the southeast, conditions were similar, with cloud Overcast at 400 ft, lowering to 200 ft by 2 am.

Aquila1 18th Mar 2017 00:05


Originally Posted by Ber Nooly (Post 9710102)
Which navigation suite is installed in the S92? My SkyDemon does not show up Blackrock or the larger Duvillaun More island at all. Is it possible that it doesn't show up in the S92 too?

SkyDemon
http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/attac...8&d=1489711248

Ordance Survey

http://www.pprune.org/attachment.php...1&d=1489790424

What's the source of that second Ordnance survey map? I ask because Black Rock is clearly shown on that map you have posted yet as per my last post, it or it's lighthouse doesn't appear at all on OSI mapping at 1:50,000 which seems to be very much an anomaly as far as I can see.

jimf671 18th Mar 2017 00:11

So you've found an aviation mapping system that doesn't show Black Rock and a report of cloud base around the top of the lighthouse.

Makes me shudder.

[email protected] 18th Mar 2017 00:37

Yes, very unpleasant conditions but well within the remit of a well-trained SAR crew - which these guys and gal were.

No - it's not Oil and Gas and it's very disappointing that HC chooses to tar all SAR crews with the same brush based on what went on in the N Sea many years ago - not mil or CG SAR btw! Move on and accept that just because it's not Oil and Gas doesn't make it dangerous, gash, unprofessional or 'just tooling around at 200''.

Have some respect that a professional crew somehow ended up dying in the course of their duties for reasons we can only speculate on - dissing the profession based on personal gripes really doesn't help anyone.

FC80 18th Mar 2017 00:44


Originally Posted by jimf671 (Post 9710123)
So you've found an aviation mapping system that doesn't show Black Rock and a report of cloud base around the top of the lighthouse.

Makes me shudder.

Regardless of that, radar and EGPWS should definitely have been painting Black Rock and I'd be very surprised if the observer's mapping system wasn't running approved VFR charting which would include these obstacles.

HC - it's a fine line to tread IMO. I totally agree that pointlessly pushing on VFR when the weather is marginal and IFR is the easier and safer option is very much an anachronism and should be avoided.

'Minimising risk' at one end of the spectrum to the extent that training is not regularly carried out close to operational limits and/or in weather close to operational limits will start to increase risk at the other end of the spectrum though. If crews are not current or comfortable doing that, then when that horrible approach right down to SAR mins comes along you are piling on extra stress and taking away capacity when it's needed most.

SASless 18th Mar 2017 00:44


Originally Posted by jimf671 (Post 9710123)
So you've found an aviation mapping system that doesn't show Black Rock and a report of cloud base around the top of the lighthouse.

Makes me shudder.

The crew routed to that location it appears from the Track....otherwise that would be a HUGE coincidence.

Radar would be showing the island clearly if the unit was working properly and tuned per SOP.

Perhaps Crab can tell us.....would Procedure require an Offset from the Target in a case like this if Blackrock Lifht House was the intended ( even if mistakenly) point of landing.....or would it be a straight head on approach?

Ber Nooly 18th Mar 2017 00:55


Originally Posted by Aquila1 (Post 9710121)
What's the source of that second Ordnance survey map? I ask because Black Rock is clearly shown on that map you have posted yet as per my last post, it or it's lighthouse doesn't appear at all on OSI mapping at 1:50,000 which seems to be very much an anomaly as far as I can see.

It's from here



Both are clearly shown on the paper 1:500,000 and 1:250,000 flight charts, but the crew would probably not have been using these I'm sure.

Ber Nooly 18th Mar 2017 01:04


Originally Posted by SASless (Post 9710152)
The crew routed to that location it appears from the Track....otherwise that would be a HUGE coincidence.

Radar would be showing the island clearly if the unit was working properly and tuned per SOP.

Perhaps Crab can tell us.....would Procedure require an Offset from the Target in a case like this if Blackrock Lifht House was the intended ( even if mistakenly) point of landing.....or would it be a straight head on approach?

That's been bugging me right from the off. An official from the Coast Guard said that it is standard procedure to pass Blacksod and aproach it from the west, however, I wondered why they would go so far west. 10 NM seems a lot. No one else seemed bothered by it so I thought it was just me. Their path seems more in line what I would imagine an arrival should look like, albeit to the wrong location.

Offshore pilot 18th Mar 2017 01:15

Many theories. Within a few days the CVR / FDR hopefully will be recovered and answer the questions.

Al-bert 18th Mar 2017 01:25

Helicrazi

L2 min range 0.3nm then useless
with the SK3 (raw picture) we practiced to 150yds - moving and fixed targets.

SASless 18th Mar 2017 01:27

Using an offset or target on the nose?

cncpc 18th Mar 2017 01:31


Originally Posted by Al-bert (Post 9710060)
NVG (ANVIS and Nightbird) was one of the biggest changes to night capability and safety that I witnessed and enjoyed during my SH and SAR time. Do you know if the front enders would have been so equipped?

Wouldn't that lighthouse light overpower NVDs?

DOUBLE BOGEY 18th Mar 2017 06:11

I am not familiar with the are but can anyone indicate a refuelling point at the nearest airport with ILS?


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