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-   -   Mont Blanc helicopter rescue (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/617060-mont-blanc-helicopter-rescue.html)

Nige321 8th Jan 2019 22:32

Mont Blanc helicopter rescue
 
Sloping ground... :eek:


atakacs 9th Jan 2019 04:17

I wonder how much clearance was available for the rotor blades.

The pilot was quoted claiming this was somewhat routine stuff. Interresting job they are having!

Sikpilot 9th Jan 2019 05:48

Wow. Just wow.

[email protected] 9th Jan 2019 06:15

Since they had a winch and used it to recover the casualty - why on earth would you put the aircraft in such a hazardous position to pick up the first pax?

I know nose-in landings are routine and often the only way to get the job done but in this case it seems an unnecessary risk.

Some skillful flying to be sure but risk vs reward balance???

HeliHenri 9th Jan 2019 06:52


Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 10355704)
Since they had a winch and used it to recover the casualty - why on earth would you put the aircraft in such a hazardous position to pick up the first pax?


Because that's just a training session, so they use both methods (the title of the thread is not accurate).
.

industry insider 9th Jan 2019 06:55

Crab wrote


Since they had a winch and used it to recover the casualty - why on earth would you put the aircraft in such a hazardous position to pick up the first pax?

I know nose-in landings are routine and often the only way to get the job done but in this case it seems an unnecessary risk.

Some skillful flying to be sure but risk vs reward balance???
My thoughts exactly

gsa 9th Jan 2019 07:08

Thereís no fog or roads involved so thisíll only be one page then.

Nice bit of work though.

[email protected] 9th Jan 2019 07:56


Because that's just a training session, so they use both methods (the title of the thread is not accurate).
fair enough - thanks for clearing that up:ok:

mmurray 9th Jan 2019 08:13

Suggestion here

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-...ntain/10703580

that it is a real rescue with people involved named. You also get a longer video. The helicopter off loads 4 rescuers nose-in who sort out the
injured guys leg, then it picks up some of them nose-in and then it winches out injured guy and last rescuer.

[Disclaimer: I know stuff all about helicopters. I'm not a journalist.]

HeliHenri 9th Jan 2019 08:26

My mistake.
You're right mmurray, I've just received a message confirming it and saying that I'm becoming senile :(

mmurray 9th Jan 2019 08:32


Originally Posted by HeliHenri (Post 10355786)
My mistake.
You're right mmurray, I've just received a message confirming it and saying that I'm becoming senile :(

No worries! Thanks. So the nose-in drop-off and pick-up is just because it's quicker than winching 4 people down ?
Seems like it would be more hazardous but see Disclaimer above :-)

SASless 9th Jan 2019 12:08

I hate to be a spoil sport here....but there is much flatter ground shown in the beginning of the video.

In a real rescue....would it not make far more sense to package the victim....and move him a few hundred meters to a spot nearby that would afford a much less demanding landing and perhaps prevent the need for any winching at all.

If the extreme landing practice was desired....why not do it with no one but the crew aboard?

I mean what could possibly go wrong?


For Example:



Drav 9th Jan 2019 12:22

wow indeed

roybert 9th Jan 2019 13:13


Originally Posted by HeliHenri (Post 10355715)
Because that's just a training session, so they use both methods (the title of the thread is not accurate).
.

Training session or not with a winch equipped aircraft why place it in a high risk situation even for a real rescue.

Roybert

[email protected] 9th Jan 2019 13:55

As it now appears to have been a rescue rather than training it does call into question the wisdom of using nose-in landing instead of hoisting just to save a couple of minutes.

JB-123 9th Jan 2019 14:54

Because he is pilot only for the pick up, the winch op is on scene.
He picks up crew then does the winch tx

[email protected] 9th Jan 2019 15:21

No - you can clearly see that there is someone still in the door once the aircraft has dropped off the other 3 persons.

mickjoebill 9th Jan 2019 15:28

Time pressure of clouds closing in?
mjb

JB-123 9th Jan 2019 15:36

I stand corrected - you can see the winch ops feet on the run in

cyclic 9th Jan 2019 16:35

One gust, one autopilot malfunction and a bloke with an injured leg will seem trivial. He would need all his superior skill to get out of his demonstration of superior skill. They put the winch on for a reason.

Tango and Cash 9th Jan 2019 17:14

Hero since it worked, zero if it had gone poorly.

gazpad 9th Jan 2019 17:29

I'm wondering about the clearance he estimated to have and actually had left with the rotortip... 10, 20 maybe 30 centimeters? If this is your comfortzone I'm impressed.

Bell_ringer 9th Jan 2019 18:03


Originally Posted by gazpad (Post 10356241)
I'm wondering about the clearance he estimated to have and actually had left with the rotortip... 10, 20 maybe 30 centimeters? If this is your comfortzone I'm impressed.

Mobile phone videos leave much to be desired when trying to guage perspective and depth.
It may look a lot worse than it is.
Probably too much to consider that the crew are professionals using their judgment.

[email protected] 9th Jan 2019 19:50


Probably too much to consider that the crew are professionals using their judgment.
There is no doubt about that nor that the flying is anything but skillful - is their decision to operate nose in when you have a winch justified though?

There is so little margin for error that a person with a hurty knee really doesn't justify the exposure of the aircraft and crew like that (nose-in) when a safer alternative is readily available.

if speed was of the essence - casualty bleeding out or needing CPR for example - then I might have a different opinion but there was no urgent lifesaving here.

bront 10th Jan 2019 00:53

May be they have the pointy things on the front of the skids to make it easier to judge if they will have clearance or not. If the top of the pointy thing is going to touch first then no but if the bottom or the whole thing then good to go. To me it looks like the driver has done this many times before and it's all in a days work. I fly a BK and my normal landings are slower than this, so I take my hat off to this guy. Beautiful, silky smooth piece of flying in my opinion.

Tickle 10th Jan 2019 01:37

Amazing flying indeed! Are there sensors available much like parking sensors on cars which can indicate how close to something ahead the helicopter is?

NRDK 10th Jan 2019 03:26

When the 'Proverbial *^"! hits the fan' as it eventually does... well lets say it will be messy.:ugh:

John Eacott 10th Jan 2019 05:15

Having done similar pick ups in the Australian Alps during searches in my BK I have little issue with the nose-in pickup, it was done smartly without fuss and IMO safely. It could be argued that a winch of three persons would expose the aircraft unnecessarily in the hover over hostile terrain for a longer period than it took for a stable hover pickup.

Picking at nits, I would prefer to see all on the hoist recovered into the cabin before leaving a hover. Let alone the spirited pedal turn and fly away as the double winch passes the skids; but that may be deemed acceptable by the operator and is only an observation from one who knows of fatals where the winch weight has separated from the winch and dropped too far to the surface.

Photonic 10th Jan 2019 05:15

I keep thinking about the granite boulder or rock face that might be just a few inches below the snow layer. On the other hand, without more context, it could be that this pilot knows the area very well and it's perfectly safe. One video isn't enough information.

Same again 10th Jan 2019 05:25

Wonder if the crew did their HAPS checks, 3 H's and E's and were safe single engine throughout? Good job they are French and EASA rules do not apply ;-) If I had flown away over a drop of what looks like many 000's of ft with winchman and cas dangling on the wire there would have been an interesting debrief.

[email protected] 10th Jan 2019 06:32


It could be argued that a winch of three persons would expose the aircraft unnecessarily in the hover over hostile terrain for a longer period than it took for a stable hover pickup.
but an engine failure (or many other malfunctions) from a winching hover is easily managed with a gentle flyaway - not so from the nose-in position

gazpad 10th Jan 2019 06:58


Originally Posted by Bell_ringer (Post 10356280)


Mobile phone videos leave much to be desired when trying to guage perspective and depth.
It may look a lot worse than it is.
Probably too much to consider that the crew are professionals using their judgment.

No doubts about the competence of the crew flying, it looks smooth and precise.

I agree it is difficult to estimate the clearance from the video!

What I read from the discussion is that a short contact of the the rotortip with an uncompacted soft snow surface doesnt necessarily stop the machine from flying as long as there are no rocks?

Regarding autopilot malfunction, do you leave the AP/SAS on for a maneuver like that?

Thanks for the insight from the professionals, I'm just a PPL student who gets nervous with less like 1.5 meters rotor clearance on my S300.

I'm still impressed like an amateur driver watching a racedriver taking a corner at three times my speed.

misterbonkers 10th Jan 2019 07:03

Same Again; Police Ops and SAR are a State activity under EASA therefore CAT/SPO requirements need not apply. Itís only the UK that has a law about flying in accordance with CAT. So itís nothing to do with been ĎFrenchí.

Iíd argue that the quicker option shown here is less exposure than prolonged high hovering? If any of you ski you will have seen a number of nose in rescues like this.

Its a steep slope to say the least; would you want to try and control a 120kg casualty on a stretcher down it to a flatter spot on skis/crampons with unknown snow depths? Itís hard work to say the least.

cattletruck 10th Jan 2019 07:50

Watch this over and over a few times and concluded that they've done it before many times as the execution was very good - and the weather was ideal for being on the piste.

Regarding losing an engine, I guess you can weigh the risk with the time spent in that configuration (less than a minute), I guess there would be more risk on a day like that of someone coming down the mountain for a look and not seeing the rotating bits.

Groquik 10th Jan 2019 08:09

some facts on the operations here
with google translate

and "en francais" with 3 videos (skipped by google translate)

[email protected] 10th Jan 2019 08:32


The nose of the helicopter is stuck to the snowy slope. The blades of the EC 145 of the gendarmerie graze the white coat.
That might be a little too close for comfort for some.

Two winching evolutions (a double lift and a single lift) to put the team down on the slope is hardly excessive exposure.

Nige321 10th Jan 2019 09:00

Now on the BBC with an interview with the pilot...

helimutt 10th Jan 2019 09:24


Originally Posted by gazpad (Post 10356716)
No doubts about the competence of the crew flying, it looks smooth and precise.

I agree it is difficult to estimate the clearance from the video!

What I read from the discussion is that a short contact of the the rotortip with an uncompacted soft snow surface doesnt necessarily stop the machine from flying as long as there are no rocks?

Regarding autopilot malfunction, do you leave the AP/SAS on for a maneuver like that?

Thanks for the insight from the professionals, I'm just a PPL student who gets nervous with less like 1.5 meters rotor clearance on my S300.

I'm still impressed like an amateur driver watching a racedriver taking a corner at three times my speed.


My worry with your statement is that you're happy for less than a 1.5m rotor tip clearance as a PPL. As an ATPL I wouldn't use 1.5m as a comfortable clearance unless doing a job like the above. But seriously, you might want to revise your clearance figures upwards somewhat. I hope you never have a blade contact with anything as your insurer will have a field day after reading your comment above. Just saying. As for AP, yes they'll be in use with SAS im sure.

gazpad 10th Jan 2019 10:15


Originally Posted by helimutt (Post 10356828)
My worry with your statement is that you're happy for less than a 1.5m rotor tip clearance as a PPL. As an ATPL I wouldn't use 1.5m as a comfortable clearance unless doing a job like the above. But seriously, you might want to revise your clearance figures upwards somewhat. I hope you never have a blade contact with anything as your insurer will have a field day after reading your comment above. Just saying. As for AP, yes they'll be in use with SAS im sure.

Thank you for your answer.

My happiness with clearance starts to go down actually around 4-5m. As soon as I get closer than 2-3m to anything with my rotor, I feel the severe urge to fly away from it. At 1.5m I would be probably already in deep panic.
This is for a calm wind day. With some wind or even worse with gusts my panic might as well start at 4-5 meters, impairing how smooth my control inputs are. Of course I hope to never have blade contact with anything as well.

megan 10th Jan 2019 10:24

Isn't it wonderful how we jump in criticising a crew without having the facts that prompted them to act as they did.


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