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Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

x47c
Grafter
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Registered: 14-08-2009

Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

A round up of all the videos of the recent N.Ireland "incident"
At least with this lot of evidence the AAIB work should be easy to do
I reckon the insurance will decline to pay - landing in a congested area without the appropriate CAA clearances - insurance invalid
It really was a miracle no one on the ground was wiped out by flying debris/rotor blades whatever.
Static pics of aftermath
https://www.flickr.com/photos/endafarrell1/sets/72157653609390394/
Videos
Bad angle of first attempt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEan6XHVhOY
You would have thought they would have decided it really was not a good idea....
But then maybe the pilot was 'egged on' to try it again, as the passenger was a "stunt pilot"
http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/longford-helicopter-survivor-cheats-death-6083109
I wouldn't want to park my car in that space.
Here it is on Google maps:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.583708,-7.65841,3a,75y,65.55h,87.2t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sEL58G22O8-...
The video within this page has the full sequence
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/video-dramatic-footage-of-helicopter-crash-on-banks-of-roy...
Even "better" viewing angle
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL0MiRSfga0
Best of all the alleged unidentified pilot from, it is suspected The Isle of Man, tried to leave the country -  like fast
http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/helicopter-crash-pilot-arrested-at-airport-as-he-tried-to-...
So there ends the life of another Gazelle helicopter - a really lovely French military design, so the rear seats are a bit utilitarian as one might say.
and for another load of idiots:
Pilot " Reckon I can fit through there....
Co-pilot "Nope
Pilot " oh ye of little faith
..................crash
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT0uc5m9bFk

16 REPLIES
nanotm
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

yeah your not supposed to try landing that close to a building for good reason /
gazelles are cheap as chips and largely made of cardboard n Perspex compared to some of the other helicopters around, they are also harder to fly than modern machines not having the auto stabilisers and are prone to falling off the bubble particularly near water when in the hover /
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Talking of helicopters, anyone know the results of the investigation into that police helicopter that fell out of the sky onto a pub a while back?
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pwatson
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

AAIB Report here
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Quote from: pwatson
here

Your link is invalid - this is the html:
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
pwatson
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Now corrected -Thanks
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Quote from: pwatson
AAIB Report here

Having read that from start to end, all I can conclude is that it's 9 pages of "we don't really know what happened".
Helicopters don't just fall out of the sky do they. From what that report says, the engines both flared out, the rotors stalled instantly and the power systems failed all over the helicopter too with no reserve power from the battery. That sort of thing just doesn't happen.
Helicopter blades have a lot of energy even if the power plant fails so those blades should have continued turning for at least half a minute - especially if the pilot was attempting an auto rotation and at just 400ft I'd doubt they could come to a standstill in that falling distance.
When I heard about the lack of radio I did wonder if someone had used some home built EMP and tested it on this helicopter but that would not explain for the rotors stalling so quickly (though it would explain the lack of radio transmissions) and it also wouldn't explain why the pilot had left all the switches in their normal position.
Something really odd about that accident and when you consider the wreckage was pretty well preserved compared to airliners that hit the ground and explode into a fireball, they've had a lot of good quality evidence to examine to try to determine the cause. The fact that they've apparently not found it (or are refusing to publish it) makes it look rather sinister.
They've tested the engines, gearboxes, fuel pumps, oil pumps etc and found them all to be working properly.. so what on earth did happen? What could stop a helicopters blades turning so quickly at 400ft that they'd be stationary at ground level?
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philipr06
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

May I suggest that the OP corrects his original post.
There were no recent helicopter incidents in N.Ireland.
The incident was in the Republic of Ireland which is to all intents and purposes a foreign state so the AAIB have no jurisdiction
Thank you.
nanotm
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

reading the report it looks to be suggesting a combination of pilot error coupled with company policy and a dodgy fuel sender, the fact the company grounded its entire fleet and "found" they were defective and then increased the quantity of fuel required in order to be able ot actually make a landing....
so it would be a pilot continued to fly for several minutes without setting down, despite having multiple fuel warnings and alarms (which together would have triggered the pump to stop pumping fuel to the engine) the fuel sender unit was part of a faulty batch that has an intermittent fault when the fuel level goes below 70kg's, so they will likely blame a combination of pilot error and faulty equipment with the emphasis being on pilot error when the BOI is held, this will effectively permit the company to continue operation of the fleet and not see them grounded until the gremlins are worked out of the system /
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Quote from: nanotm
despite having multiple fuel warnings and alarms (which together would have triggered the pump to stop pumping fuel to the engine)

Thats right because when your whirly bird is warning you of low fuel its more cost effective to stop the engines, crash the bird to save the little bit of fuel left... isn't it  Roll eyes
Low fuel warnings aren't a reason for fuel pumps to shut down and stop supplying fuel to an engine when the aircraft is airborne. If you read the report properly you'll find the pilot didn't even switch things over for emergency descent to use the landing lights etc.
Even if the fuel had run out, the pumps deactivated etc, that would not explain the sudden stall of the rotor head - the investigators found that the blades were not turning when the helicopter impacted the building.
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Quote from: x47c
I reckon the insurance will decline to pay - landing in a congested area without the appropriate CAA clearances - insurance invalid

A relative of mine is a pilot who almost qualified as a helicopter pilot but then stopped short of his test. The last time i spoke to them about this very issue he said they can pretty much land anywhere they like as long as they deem it suitable for a safe landing.
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nanotm
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Certain aircraft have a problem with the gravity feed systems so that the engines can stop working, that sudden unexpected flame out can if the rotors were being driven cause them to stop rotating and then the aircraft drops like a rock, clearly that appears to have happened here as they have changed the advice about how much fuel is required to land with (minimum of 90 kg left after engine shutdown instead if the previous advise of 28kg) since the accident, that's a  big change and clearly indicates a design flaw coupled with faulty parts, but stops short of declaring the current fleet non airworthy....
By comparison other better designed aircraft can (and frequently do) land with zero fuel left in the tanks without such problems, indeed they are designed specifically to perform such manoeuvres, clearly this isn't...
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Quote from: nanotm
Certain aircraft have a problem with the gravity feed systems

I'll agree with that actually but I don't think thats what would have been the issue here in this case. If the helicopter was in a steep dive for instance then I'd be tempted to agree that the fuel shifting around in the tank might not make it down the fuel line but the reality is that helicopters only really change their pitch by a few degrees so i don't see this as a big issue.
Quote from: nanotm
if the rotors were being driven cause them to stop rotating and then the aircraft drops like a rock,

I disagree. Helicopter rotors don't just stop, yes they'll slow down to a stop but that is not instant. Helicopter rotor assemblies are very heavy and this gives them a lot of momentum. Even RC nitro or electric helicopters don't fall to the ground instantly when the power is removed - and they have much smaller rotor heads with far less mass.
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x47c
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

Quote from: 7up
Helicopter blades have a lot of energy even if the power plant fails so those blades should have continued turning for at least half a minute - especially if the pilot was attempting an auto rotation and at just 400ft I'd doubt they could come to a standstill in that falling distance.

Being a twin engined a/c it had a low inertia rotor
nanotm
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Re: Helicopters - where do they find these idiots to fly 'em

They can do under certain circumstances, generally during high torque manoeuvres the conditions required can be met if the engine stalls and they don't have enough altitude for the pilot to enter auto rotate it will stove into the ground..... The real question is why the EC135 ever made it into general service
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you