I fully admit fukc all knowledge of flying and all things flying beyond being cargo however can any of you fly-boys help me out. This accident occurred on a calm sea, excellent visibility and everything hunky-dory. Does this lull the pilot into a false sense of security? Are pilots more alert when say the sea state is more challenging or visibility is poor?
Looks like ditched helo may have had snags before and on the approach. Two crash boats already in the water? Perhaps the fast approach and clumsy, short lived landing were pucker factor rather than showing off.
Nasty. I hate helos but I would like to be at the interview, sans coffee with the pilot who was showing off in the second clip assuming he and his more sensible buddy survived.
Pilot: May day, we're going down.
Controller: Can you tell me the nature (of your emergency).?
This accident occurred off San Diego in 1998 during a USN SF exercise. The facts of the accident are as follows:
- The approach attempted was a 0/0 due to the hot conditions and heavy aircraft being flown. What this means is the pilot did not have the performance to hover, therefore was attempting to land on the deck just as he hit full power, this is a recognised and regularly practiced although difficult technique.
- He missed the spot and was attempting to re position. Once over the deck, the 'cushion' effect of the downwash over the deck would have improved his performance enough to allow him to do this.
- His left rear wheel was caught in the flight deck netting. None of the crew were aware of this.
- The application of power coupled with the 'attachment' of the aircraft to the deck created a pivot point about which the aircraft rotated. This led to an aerodynamic phenomenon in helos known as dynamic rollover. In brief, the aircraft reaches a point where the aerodynamic forces effectively 'fly' the aircraft over despite any inputs to the contrary from the pilot. It is a divergent condition.
- Look at the video again and you will see certain clues. First the ship is moving fast (wake) to generate wind to assist the pilot. They are conducting an offset approach to maximise 'clear' air over th flight deck. Look out for the trapped wheel on lift off. Watch the rate of roll closely, it accelerates.
- The crewman escaped, 19 people perished despite the attendance of the boats.
- These are the facts, I was in the US when it happened. There was no 'unprofessionalism' involved, just a very sad and very avoidable accident.
It's easy to poke fun at our ex colony and I try to every day, but this is an awful example of needless loss of life. The technical description given a couple of posts ago suggests that this was a practice, but God, you don't practice with people in the back. If it was a genuine emergency maneouvre, fine, but what do you tell the relatives when the exercise planners just f**ked up? And presumably the dead were all SF?
Gents, I'm afraid we do practice with people in the back, it's the nature of the business. There is no such thing as a helicopter with so much power the pilot never has to worry about operating it. Even the CH47 struggles for performance in certain conditions with certain loads.
Training gives crews the tools to maximise their available performance while minimising risk to themselves and those who fly with them. However, like all military opetrations to a greater or lesser extent, you can never completely eliminate risk.
CT, to answer your questions, this was a routine approach during a routine exercise - nothing special. Unfortunately, the pilot got it wrong and they then became victims of an unfortunate series of events.
CTD, this was nothing to do with exercise planners 'f***ing' up. Support/Battlefied Helicopters are designed and operated to move troops around in all conditions.
ChiefT, I was probably a bit woolly in my explanation regarding practice. We do practice and teach the techniques with nothing in the back. When we are full in the back or carrying a heavy load, we are doing these manoeuvres for real due to the weight of the aircraft and the consequent diminished performance.
This is true, in general terms, of all helos whatever their flavour. Just ask a bagger what his performance is like when he gets airborne from a CVS with a full fuel load. Likewise ASW drivers.
Just because we have the capability to hover, it doesn't mean we can and we have to have other techniques available to allow us to operate.