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Kiwi
11-23-2011, 02:47 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ2EOmtAVs4
very luck to walk away from this and the guy on the ground, This happened not far from me. we use this firm to fly use in the our hunting blocks in the Kaimanawa's. not a good year for them it's a shame he is highly regarded as very good pilot

dockrat
11-23-2011, 02:57 PM
I replayed the moment of impact 20 times and cannot see that he hit anything with the blades or tail rotor. Was any reason for the crash given on the news?? the write up on the video says it appeared to hit a cable but I couldn't see that either

wbleeker
11-23-2011, 02:57 PM
Yes, very lucky indeed! I saw it on the news last night.
Will

Evan
11-23-2011, 03:31 PM
How to ruin your entire day in just four seconds flat. I will bet that he was very much in need of new shorts after that. It sure looked violent for his neck vertebrae. I suspect he has a serious whiplash injury that will show up in the next few days.

Rookie machinist
11-23-2011, 03:46 PM
I don't understand why he was flying so close to the ground. I have seen a few of these types of lifts over the years and there has always been a long enough cable to allow the chopper to stay above obstacles. At least nobody got seriously hurt.

mlucek
11-23-2011, 04:32 PM
HOLY SH*T !!!! The pilot sure had a guardian angel that day along with everyone else on the ground there. WOW ! Could have EASILY killed/injured many folks, not to mention turning into a fireball ! Looks like the pilot had his safety harness on, else would have been thrown out, you can seem him being bounced round and hanging from the seat !

Had a chopper crash while lifting something at one of my work's buildings. Don't know much of the details, except some guys got the pilot out safely.

Mike

winchman
11-23-2011, 04:36 PM
I'm with dockrat. I can't see any of the cables in the scene being disturbed as the chopper comes apart.

Why is it that the tail always breaks off as soon as the rotor hits something? I've seen several chopper crash videos, and that always happens.

armedandsafe
11-23-2011, 05:12 PM
I'm with dockrat. I can't see any of the cables in the scene being disturbed as the chopper comes apart.

Why is it that the tail always breaks off as soon as the rotor hits something? I've seen several chopper crash videos, and that always happens.

There is a spinning drive shaft running down the fuselage to the tail rotor. When you break the tail rotor, that shaft takes off spinning at an angle. Think about having about 3 or 4 feet of 1/4" rod sticking out the back of your lathe and dialing in 2500 rpm. Don't reach out to grab it. :eek:

Pops

Evan
11-23-2011, 05:36 PM
Why is it that the tail always breaks off as soon as the rotor hits something? I've seen several chopper crash videos, and that always happens.

It's the sudden torque reaction that happens when the blades hit something. The entire airframe is suddenly trying to spin around the mast and the tail boom can't take the load since the tail rotor is still preventing it from rotating. If you watch the video frame by frame you will see the boom is the very first thing to fail the moment the blades hit and the airframe begins to counter-rotate. The tail rotor and drive are just fine at that point even as the tail boom begins to bend. In normal operation there are never such sudden torque loads imposed on the boom.

alanganes
11-23-2011, 06:38 PM
A comment posted (not by me) on Metafilter, concerning this video:


Mayor: "Hey guys...we need to find a way to install the town Christmas tree? I'm open to suggestions."
"Well we could find a crane."
Mayor: "Nope, too pedestrian. Next."
"Use some ropes. And..."
Mayor: "NO. Come on people...think creatively, think DANGEROUSLY!"
"Flying Monkeys?"
Mayor: "Simpson...you're fired, but nice try. Next."
"How about a helicopter?"
Mayor: "I like it...that spot is cramped, filled with all kinds of metal, buildings, structures. I like it ALOT! Let's do it."

sasquatch
11-23-2011, 06:42 PM
Kind of a coincidence,, this morning i heard a radio interview concerning the "Sikorsky" helicpter that crashed into the ocean a few years ago while flying 18 men to an offshore oil drilling rig.
Cause of the crash was a bad seal that lost all the trans fluid from the rotor shaft trans as i understand it.
What amazed me about this is the thing is "SUPPOSED" to run for 30 minutes with "NO" oil, the crashed one only lasted 11 minutes.
Amazing the trans could run for 30 minutes without any oil!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:

vpt
11-23-2011, 06:48 PM
I'm with dockrat. I can't see any of the cables in the scene being disturbed as the chopper comes apart.

Why is it that the tail always breaks off as soon as the rotor hits something? I've seen several chopper crash videos, and that always happens.



Watch strait above the main rotor. Right before the helicopter starts to shake you can see a line winding around the main rotor.

Evan
11-23-2011, 07:40 PM
VPT is right. I single framed through it and finally spotted it. It swings in from the left to right. It isn't visible until just as it swings in from somewhere and it is very thin. You will probably need to watch it on the highest resolution to see it.

It runs vertically as marked by the arrows. It must swing into the rotor disk and is then snagged by a blade hard. I don't think it is winding around the mast until after the damage is done.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/heliwire.jpg

I wonder who the wire belonged to?

dockrat
11-23-2011, 07:51 PM
Thanks Evan. I see it now.

flylo
11-23-2011, 07:56 PM
I can't believe it! While the youtube is showing the heli crash, up pops a google ad right in the bottom of the youtube screen selling RC helicopters.:(

vpt
11-23-2011, 08:02 PM
I can't believe it! While the youtube is showing the heli crash, up pops a google ad right in the bottom of the youtube screen selling RC helicopters.:(



RC is a good way to start out small and learn not to fly near wires, buildings, and stuff because sh%t happens.

wierdscience
11-23-2011, 08:03 PM
What was that,about $2-3million in 10 seconds?

Carld
11-24-2011, 09:48 AM
There is a guy here that is as crazy as that pilot and he nearly got killed landing in close quarters something like that stupid pilot did. He lost his license thank goodness. That pilot needs to loose his license for good also.

Forestgnome
11-24-2011, 10:59 AM
There is a guy here that is as crazy as that pilot and he nearly got killed landing in close quarters something like that stupid pilot did. He lost his license thank goodness. That pilot needs to loose his license for good also.
Flying in close quarters is why we use helicopters in the first place. A pilot needs to keep a close watch on the entire envelope, and think things through ahead of time. Don't know where that cable came from, doesn't look like the sling cable. There should have been a spotter on the ground familiar with helo operations.

Arcane
11-24-2011, 11:21 AM
I think the cable that he snagged is the one used to do the lift with, IF the quick release failed and he was setting down (or trying to) to get someone on the ground to unlatch it. It could be done if it was long enough and he kept far enough away from it but if it was too short, it would have pulled towards the helicopter as he set down.

dockrat
11-24-2011, 11:30 AM
There was a segment about this accident on Daily Planet on TV last night and it happened just as Arcane said. The copter had just placed the tower that is seen in front of it and the lift cable was still attached to the top of it. If you watch it real close you will see that the very first thing that moves in an irregular fashion is the cable attachment under the helicopter.

Evan
11-24-2011, 03:00 PM
Yep. It is very clear what happened once you know what to look for. That is just plain pilot error and is a very stupid mistake. The lift mechanism is supposed to be equipped with an emergency release, either a cable cutter or a method of positively jettisoning the entire mechanism. If it wasn't so equipped it is still pilot error as he shouldn't have flown the job.

I am familiar with the rules regarding this as I once built a ferry tank for a Bell 212 to fly across the Atlantic. The framework for suspending the tank between the skids was equipped with an instant release system. On that design it consisted of a three point suspension for the tank with 2" steel coupling tubes that slid inside larger tubes and were secured with a 1/2" pin each. The pins were connected via 1/4" cables to a pneumatic piston powered by a 3000 psi nitrogen tank. The tank valve was mechanical cable controlled by a ripcord in the cockpit. When activated the pins were pulled with over 16000 lbs of force which sheared off the shear pins holding the support pins in place. The fuel coupling was a standard breakaway coupling.

Carld
11-24-2011, 05:53 PM
It's hard to get the depth perspective from the video but it appears he is to close to the frame beside him and the fact that he caught the cable hanging from it supports the fact he should not have been there.

Who was going to be stupid enough to get under the copter to disconnect the cable? Had they tried they probably would be dead now.

Why didn't he stay high with the cable slack while the ground crew unhooked it?

I suspect he is a cowboy pilot. "Watch this ya'll"

Arcane
11-24-2011, 09:58 PM
Here's another view of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=mexRQhNQdcQ

Evan
11-24-2011, 10:14 PM
Man, that sure goes bad in a big hurry. :eek:

Incredible. How is it possible that the pilot didn't see that coming?

Tony Ennis
11-24-2011, 10:52 PM
You can see which rotor blade hit the cable, too.

Evan
11-24-2011, 11:38 PM
In the second part taken by the camera further back you can see that the guy with the camera by the fence sure saw it coming. To heck with always getting the shot, I'm outta here! I don't think that pilot will be flying again after a mistake like that. He will probably have his license suspended.

The Artful Bodger
11-24-2011, 11:41 PM
I am so impressed, so many experts in one place...:(

Evan
11-24-2011, 11:57 PM
I have spent a lot of time around helicopters AB. Fixing aircraft used to be my day job and I was trained on helicopter airframe repair by the US military. I have seen a lot of sling load work including helicopter logging right in this valley. I am also a pilot. I have flown on a number of rotary wing types although never at the controls. I also have friends that are both rotatry wing and fixed wing water bomber pilots with whom I have discussed aspects of air operations.

I also created and hosted the web site for a good friend of mine who is one of the top fire bosses in Western Canada, Firetech Management. We have spent a lot of time discussing the merits and strategies for attacking fires with aircraft and in particular the safety strategies for work very much the same as this.

Why don't you give Hugh Freeman a call and see what he thinks about my knowledge?

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 12:19 AM
Like I said, we are lucky to have such expertise here to advise us....:rolleyes:

914Wilhelm
11-25-2011, 12:36 AM
When I was dating my wife we went on a heli tour in Kauai. I was absolutely terrified with the cowboy ride and kissed the ground when we landed. I thought the pilot took fantastic chances with the ride and felt with a simple gust of wind we would have been toast. We not over flew over and then down steep ridges and then did a slow hovering rotate in the fissure of a rocky outcrop. A month later I read this: http://archives.starbulletin.com/98/06/26/news/story1.html I'll probably never go on a tour heli again.

Edit: It was our pilot.

Evan
11-25-2011, 01:34 AM
Some maneuvers that seem very dangerous really aren't and some that seem perfectly safe may be dangerous. For instance, landing a helicopter in dead calm conditions by hovering straight down may be very dangerous. It can develop into an uncontrollable descent called settling with power. The aircraft sinks into its own downwash. To recover requires enough altitude to fly down out of it since climbing is impossible.

Maneuvers that may seem dangerous such as a sudden descent over the edge of a cliff are usually quite safe although can be very unsettling for novice passengers.

The great majority of aircraft accidents are the fault of some person, usually the pilot. It's no different than automobile "accidents" in that respect. That isn't surprising. What is surprising is when an experienced pilot makes a rookie mistake that even a rookie is taught to avoid.

It doesn't require an expert to figure out what was wrong with that operation. The pilot should have simply pushed the emergency backup button after waving off the ground personnel.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/nzcaa.gif

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:zP6jzKffgeEJ:www.caa.govt.nz/rules/Rule_Consolidations/Part_133_Consolidation.pdf+helicopter+operations+w hat+to+do+if+a+sling+load+fails+to+release&hl=en&gl=ca&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESh2LeaXHN_nTHj3X_EJskoU99Y4hx_SzqZ-TJs9GY-zd2JlTBuVVajV1yUXdOFsiSP9WCbXPfADdlUbVXVNi5KRiYMi0 o56dSvr4Uj7IQ9OEqv1weE6IUYk-ZRYn7_yLE2_uE23&sig=AHIEtbRZ2xXWvSKrMMu050KVPATMsqk-Aw

In the event that both fail the load is made free and the pilot puts it back where it was picked and lands.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 02:43 AM
Nice diversion, where is the indication that the release hook was in any way involved in this accident?:rolleyes:

Evan
11-25-2011, 03:10 AM
The bloody wire is still connected to the helicopter. Also this:


There was a segment about this accident on Daily Planet on TV last night and it happened just as Arcane said. The copter had just placed the tower that is seen in front of it and the lift cable was still attached to the top of it. If you watch it real close you will see that the very first thing that moves in an irregular fashion is the cable attachment under the helicopter.

He is still hooked up to the load. So why is he landing???

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 03:12 AM
The bloody wire is still connected to the helicopter. Also this:


You are making the unfounded assumption that it should not be...

Evan
11-25-2011, 03:16 AM
???? Then why is he landing???

You never, not ever get below the sling.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 03:20 AM
???? Then why is he landing???

Sorry, but I decline your kind invitation to make unfounded assumptions.


You never, not ever get below the sling.
Is this another attempt at diversion? Who is below what sling?

Evan
11-25-2011, 03:24 AM
You are making no sense. The helicopter is below the sling. Can you not see it in the video?

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 03:33 AM
You are making no sense. The helicopter is below the sling. Can you not see it in the video?


The sling usually refers to a net that hangs below the helicopter. You seem to be refering to the cable that he used to lift the load which could also be called a sling, yes, I can see that, and so could the pilot judging by the way he was descending.

Now getting back on track, what makes you think the release hook was involved in this accident?

Evan
11-25-2011, 03:36 AM
The sling cable is still connected to the tower and the heli. You can see in this image that I have enhanced to make it more visible. It is very definitely connected because you can see the line swing as the helicopter moves.

http://ixian.ca/pics9/nzheli.jpg

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 03:40 AM
You still havent told us why you think this is wrong.

Evan
11-25-2011, 03:41 AM
The sling usually refers to a net that hangs below the helicopter.

No, it refers to the cable. The net, if used, is called a net. A sling load is any load suspended by a cable under the helicopter and has nothing to do with nets. Nice diversion.

Why is the sling still connected to the tower? The pilot has control of that.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 03:47 AM
No, it refers to the cable. The net, if used, is called a net. A sling load is any load suspended by a cable under the helicopter and has nothing to do with nets. Nice diversion. Thank you but entirely unintended thats why I called you back on track.




Why is the sling still connected to the tower? The pilot has control of that.
More diversion? You dont know if the pilot has control over the connection of the cable to the tower. He does however have control over the connection of the cable to his aircraft.

Your responsibility at this time is to tell us why you think there was something wrong with the pilot's control over the attachement to the helicopter?

Evan
11-25-2011, 03:54 AM
Your responsibility at this time is to tell us why you think there was something wrong with the pilot's control over the attachement to the helicopter?

Sorry, but you still are not making any sense. Take some time to review the previous posts. It isn't my responsibility to tell you anything. I suggest that you watch the video. Then this thread may make more sense.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 03:58 AM
Sorry, but you still are not making any sense. Take some time to review the previous posts. It isn't my responsibility to tell you anything. I suggest that you watch the video. Then this thread may make more sense.


So you want to cop out now eh?

You made unfounded assumptions about the pilot's intentions, you cast aspersions on the competency of the pilot and the airworthiness of his craft and the best you can say is that I am not making any sense?

Jim Doherty
11-25-2011, 07:07 AM
Hey Bodger are you just trying to ride Evan's camel?
If Evan is wrong how about you telling us what happened to the pilot and his aircraft.
Seems to me Evan and others are making valid assumptions based on what is known and the evidence presented via video and pictures.
I'd be interested to hear your explanation for the accident.

Thanks, Jim

Evan
11-25-2011, 09:14 AM
AB is in NZ and may even know the pilot. He is being defensive about what appears to be a massive screwup. The simple well founded fact is that the pilot engaged in a maneuver that has no reasonable explanation and resulted in disaster. With few exceptions there isn't anybody to hand out citations when a pilot does this. Most often it costs them their life and sometimes others as well. In this case a small miracle occurred and nobody was even seriously injured let alone killed.

I will be very interested to hear the results of the inquiry that is bound to follow this incident.

Carld
11-25-2011, 09:54 AM
Artful, your just jerking Evan and our chain aren't you. Tell us the real reason your being so obnoxious.

The cable is attached to the tower AND the helicopter and is obvious in the videos. The fact that you can't see it or don't want to see it leads me to believe your just trying to get Evan mad or have some ulterior motive.

Well, it isn't working and it's making you look foolish.

At this point we don't know if the pilot was aware it was still connected but the ground crew sure as hell should have known what was going to happen and yet no one waved him off from coming down. It's obvious the man videoing the event saw what was going to happen and got the hell out of there.

I think there is blame to be shared with everyone at that site and perhaps the pilot had assumed the cable had dropped from his copter and was safe to land. It's obvious no one told him the cable was still connected.

PixMan
11-25-2011, 09:55 AM
I've watched every video several times and can't come up with any other conclusion other than that which Evan has. It's really quite clear from the video made from the opposite side of the tower that appears to be holding the other end of the cable. The video shown on most TV news programs is done with a long telephoto lens and the perspective is compressed. The second video is a normal perspective, and as an untrained non-aviator civilian I can see the problem pretty clearly.

I may be ignorant, but at least I don't know it. :D

J Tiers
11-25-2011, 10:04 AM
While "everyone" is blaming the pilot for being a stupid cowboy, I suppose it is possible that the cable release did not work...... the pilot hung there for a long time and may have been pulling the release for all you know, and it may not have actually released. Might have worked fine pre-flight, stuff happens.

At that point there might not be many options, unless someone had a handy cutting torch. Cable doesn't saw off well, it's kinda made to be strong.

Someone would need to climb the tower and release the other end, which seems about as good an option as running under the aircraft and beating on the release latch.

Forestgnome
11-25-2011, 10:11 AM
I've done sling work in a helicopter myself, and you just don't fly with a bunch of slack like that.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 01:27 PM
The assumption has been made that the pilot should have released the cable from the helicopter, we do not know that.

The assumption has been made that it was the lifting cable that struck the rotor blades, although it appears more than very likely that it was a cable strike we do not yet know it was the lifting cable that was struck.


So here is my 'expert' opinion of what MIGHT have happened..

The pilot was engaged in building a Christmas tree (tower) that is to be as high as a 7 storey building, we dont know how high it was at the time of the accident.

He was lifting components on a long cable from an area close to the Christmas tree.

He had lifted a tower section and was descending with the cable still attached when the accident occured.

He was descending almost vertically and appeared to be moving slowly backwards while facing the tower.

It appears that his intention was to lower the cable to, or close to, the ground rather than releasing from a height. We do not know what considerations caused him to choose to do it this way.

So what went wrong? Again, this is only my on-line 'expert' opinion...

The cable was shorter than he thought, the tower was higher than he thought, the cable got snagged on the tower making it effectively shorter. A short cable would have had less sag as he approached the ground and would have drawn it closer to the rotor disk.

There are other possibilities, someone on the tower pulled on the cable, somone on the ground pulled on the cable.

Then of course there is another possibility, that is he may have hit a standing wire and the sling cable had no part in the accident at all.

What I dont believe is that this accident shows the pilot was reckless or incompetent or that the aircraft was unserviceable.

P.S. I joined the aviation industry in 1964 and retired from it last year. However this does not make me an 'expert', not on this topic anyway.

wierdscience
11-25-2011, 02:23 PM
Here is another view,it's clear he's still hooked to the load,it's also clear there is no way in hell enough cable length to get anywhere near the ground let alone land.

http://youtu.be/A-EDPScVfiU?t=40s

So the question then is why?No good reason for that maneuver,If the quick release wasn't working there was at least one rigger there in harness who could have climbed the tower and unhooked the sling.

I would like to know just what the thought process was before I ever got within 500' of a bird he was flying.The pilot should be grounded until this mess is investigated.He is the one in control of hs ship,not the ground crew.


One thing is absolutely certain,he wasn't the only lucky one there.A few steps either way and that ground crew would have been mince.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 02:57 PM
Here is another view,it's clear he's still hooked to the load,it's also clear there is no way in hell enough cable length to get anywhere near the ground let alone land.




That is your opinion.

Rustybolt
11-25-2011, 06:16 PM
I wonder if NZ has something like the NTSB that has a report on this accident. It could have been something totally unrelated to the lift.

vpt
11-25-2011, 06:48 PM
Here's another view of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=mexRQhNQdcQ



Not sure if it was mentioned but the guy on the ground right under the helicopter jumped to grab the cable, right when he grabbed it everything went south.

RandyZ
11-25-2011, 07:04 PM
I've done sling work with helicopters as well.

That pilot is an IDIOT!

wierdscience
11-25-2011, 07:25 PM
That is your opinion.

No that should be an obvious fact to anybody who can judge distance or that has functioning eyeballs:rolleyes:

You honestly can't see the line hooked to the bottom of the chopper that runs right up to the top of the tower?Guess there are two people in NZ that need their eyes checked:D

Arcane
11-25-2011, 07:36 PM
Not sure if it was mentioned but the guy on the ground right under the helicopter jumped to grab the cable, right when he grabbed it everything went south.
Yep! Here's another video that very clearly shows the guy grabbing it at about 27 seconds into the clip. When he pulls down on it, it causes it to slap into the blades.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6023078/Crash-footage-will-shock-pilot-son

Evan
11-25-2011, 08:06 PM
That isn't the cause though. The helicopter should have never been below the top of the tower.

RandyZ
11-25-2011, 08:17 PM
What was his ground man looking at? Wasn't he talking him down?
If they had no radios, they should of been in eye contact with each other.

Even if his lift line didn't release, That is what the window in the floor is for. For the pilot to verify that it is gone and it is safe to land

Kiwi
11-25-2011, 10:55 PM
If you look their is a man nearly crushed by the helicopter it is my belief at this point that he may have pulled a stay cable for the tower into the blades but in all honesty we have to wait for the report to come out as we can just surmise from the pictures
Cheers Kiwi

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 11:11 PM
No that should be an obvious fact to anybody who can judge distance or that has functioning eyeballs:rolleyes:

You honestly can't see the line hooked to the bottom of the chopper that runs right up to the top of the tower?Guess there are two people in NZ that need their eyes checked:D


I have already told Evan I could see that cable.

No need to pass comments on my eyesight....:mad:

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 11:14 PM
If you look their is a man nearly crushed by the helicopter it is my belief at this point that he may have pulled a stay cable for the tower into the blades but in all honesty we have to wait for the report to come out as we can just surmise from the pictures
Cheers Kiwi


I did say that someone pulling the cable is one possibility, of course if the cable he pulled was really a stay cable from the tower that would certainly change the issue of the involvement of the lift cable in the accident.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 11:15 PM
That isn't the cause though. The helicopter should have never been below the top of the tower.


Bah, humbug!:mad:

Evan
11-25-2011, 11:24 PM
It isn't a stay cable. You can see in the video that it is looped under the helicopter. You can also see the the cable mechanism on the heli move as the cable is jerked. Regardless, the pilot is in the wrong place.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 11:25 PM
It isn't a stay cable. You can see in the video that it is looped under the helicopter. Regardless, the pilot is in the wrong place.

Yea, he should have stayed in bed that day.....:mad:

darryl
11-25-2011, 11:35 PM
You can clearly hear the cable whipping, and you can clearly see the guy on the ground trying to do something with the cable. I can't see any reason why that guy would be there unless he was trying to tug the cable loose. Looks to me like there was a problem getting the cable to release. Seems to me also that the pilot knew there was a problem but was out of options to get it to release. Maybe he should have gone high and stayed while someone climbed the tower to attempt to release that end. He may instead have chosen to go low while someone tried to yank the cable loose. Of course much of what I've said is conjecture, but the video plainly shows what wrecked the heli.

What I can't see is where the guy on the ground went when the mayhem started. Another thought I have about him is how many fingers he lost when the cable whipped out of his hands- nothing on the news talks about him really, except to say that he didn't bite the big bullet.

I think that most of those there, including the pilot and ground guy, knew what happened, but nobody is talking. In a case like this, I think it is the smartest thing anybody there could do to keep their mouths shut until forced by law to swear to tell truth. There's livelyhoods hanging in the balance, and insurance company actions and decisions that you would definitely want to be on the right side of.

I have to agree with Evan here- the pilot made a wrong decision about how to proceed. I think he was trying to get the cable to release and it wouldn't- I also think he was in contact with the ground crew and an idea was born about someone trying to yank the cable free. The pilot should have realized that this was too dangerous a maneuver to try, but he buckled upon the advice from someone else on the ground. I know little about protocol in these matters, but it does make far more sense to me that he should not have agreed to try this.

These are my opinions based on my assumptions, and nothing more. But I think that's how it went down.

The Artful Bodger
11-25-2011, 11:52 PM
Doubtless the pilot will get the blame (unless someone else did something to deliberately queer the pitch) so in that respect Evan and others will likely get their wish but making a mistake does not make him guilty of being a reckless cowboy as has been aledged by 'experts' here.

Forestgnome
11-26-2011, 12:40 AM
Like someone else said, they should have had a rigger ready to climb the tower and release the cable. Reel it in, no problem.

The Artful Bodger
11-26-2011, 12:43 AM
Like someone else said, they should have had a rigger ready to climb the tower and release the cable. Reel it in, no problem.

You are making the assumption that there was some problem with releasing the cable from the helicopter.

Arcane
11-26-2011, 12:55 AM
Only one poster made a comment about the pilot being a cowboy...
I suspect he is a cowboy pilot. "Watch this ya'll"
A couple of other helicopter pilots were referred to as "cowboys" but no one else said he was although several said in no uncertain terms it was plainly the pilot's fault...which it was.

He is the Authority on site once the lift begins and there definitely should have been a written plan for the lift communicated to all workers on site before they started the lift with how they were going to do it, everyone's individual responsibility for their part of it (including those who would not be directly involved in it such as the photographers) and more importantly, what the procedure would be if things did not go as planned...which should have included what they would do if the primary cable release and the backup release (which is required as evidence by material presented in Evan's post, 133.257 Quick release devices) both failed.

If the man on the ground had not grabbed the lift cable, there is the possibility that the pilot could have landed the helicopter safely, but I believe it would still have been too risky to try that. The pilot should have hovered until someone went up the tower and disconnected the lift cable, something that had to be done anyways.

Anyways...I think I know what the pilot said after he was helped out of the wreck and he turned around and looked back on it all..."bugger" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfzUx6PiNd8)

Rookie machinist
11-26-2011, 12:55 AM
If the cable was not stuck and there was no mechanical issue with the chopper there would have been no logical reason to come down with it still attached to the load. The preliminary report is supposed to be out in about 3 weeks. It should be very interesting to see what the cause is suspected to be.

The Artful Bodger
11-26-2011, 01:16 AM
Only one poster made a comment about the pilot being a cowboy...
A couple of other helicopter pilots were referred to as "cowboys" but no one else said he was although several said in no uncertain terms it was plainly the pilot's fault...which it was.

He is the Authority on site once the lift begins and there definitely should have been a written plan for the lift communicated to all workers on site before they started the lift with how they were going to do it, everyone's individual responsibility for their part of it (including those who would not be directly involved in it such as the photographers) and more importantly, what the procedure would be if things did not go as planned...which should have included what they would do if the primary cable release and the backup release (which is required as evidence by material presented in Evan's post, 133.257 Quick release devices) both failed.

If the man on the ground had not grabbed the lift cable, there is the possibility that the pilot could have landed the helicopter safely, but I believe it would still have been too risky to try that. The pilot should have hovered until someone went up the tower and disconnected the lift cable, something that had to be done anyways.

Anyways...I think I know what the pilot said after he was helped out of the wreck and he turned around and looked back on it all..."bugger" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfzUx6PiNd8)


You too are making the assumption that the plan was to release the cable from the helicopter.


We do not know what the plan was so we cannot debate who or what caused the plan to fail.

We may be fairly confident that the pilot expected the man on the ground to take hold of the cable, if not he presumably on seeing the man grab the cable would have kicked the release and got out of there, but he did not.
Now you could claim that the man grabbed the cable when he should not have and that the pilot saw that and the release failed, maybe, but there is nothing to support this 'double failure'.

If I were rash enough to speculate at what was the plan and what went wrong I would say something like this..
"The plan was for the pilot to descend with the cable attached and someone on the ground was detailed to stand near the base of the tower to take the slack out of the cable while the helicopter laid it on the ground" I would further say that "The man on the ground misunderstood the procedure and took the slack out of the vertical instead of the horizontal part of the cable, or made some other mistake in his alotted task"
.........but I wont because that would be pure speculation.


If I was further rash enough to speculate why the pilot wanted to land with the cable attached I would say something like....
"Maybe the pilot did not want to drop the cable because he had no control of exactly where it would land in the congested wharf area or maybe he had some other good reason for not wanting to drop the cable on the wharf"
................but I wont because, again, that would be pure speculation.

wierdscience
11-26-2011, 01:33 AM
It didn't release according to this interview-

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6017775/Chopper-crashes-on-Auckland-waterfront

winchman
11-26-2011, 01:49 AM
There's a new video on MSNBC showing someone "flipping the cable to a better position" just before the crash.

http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/45440592/#45440592

Evan
11-26-2011, 01:50 AM
People had to be under the helicopter to fit the new section in place. It is no extra risk for them to go back up and either disconnect the cable, cut it with a purpose made cable cutter that should be on hand for this circumstance, or even unfasten and de-rig the tower section just put in place and and let the pilot fly off with it to a safe spot where he can lay it down and land.


We do not know what the plan was so we cannot debate who or what caused the plan to fail.

Sure we can. Flying below the tower with a cable attached to the tower and the helicopter was what caused the plan (if there was one) to fail. No matter what the cause of the situation or even what the situation really was, that single action is the root cause of what happened subsequently. No speculation is required, no guesses need be made. The action was the pilot's and he bears the responsibility entirely.

Yow Ling
11-26-2011, 02:10 AM
We arent so judgmental down here. I think NZ has the highest ratio of helicopters to population anywhere in the world, they crash quite often, the good news is they still make them. That Squirrel was 8 years old so maybe its time was up. I guess the shortage of cranes in auckland forced them to use a chopper, all the big cranes are down here demolishing Christchurch.

Im kinda with AB on this one, the CAA will sort through the facts and make an informed decision on the accident.

The Artful Bodger
11-26-2011, 02:12 AM
. Flying below the tower with a cable attached to the tower and the helicopter was what caused the plan (if there was one) to fail..


Sure, sure Evan, have it your way, if only the pilot had the benefit of your advice before the accident.:D
I will ensure someone from the CAA calls you as a witness to the enquiry.

The Artful Bodger
11-26-2011, 02:22 AM
Im kinda with AB on this one, the CAA will sort through the facts and make an informed decision on the accident.


We dont have to wait that long, we have our own 'experts'!:rolleyes:

Arcane
11-26-2011, 02:23 AM
You too are making the assumption that the plan was to release the cable from the helicopter.

Nothing else makes any sense. If the cable was to remain attached at the top and used for another purpose, the pilot would have released it while he was considerably higher than he was. Not at maximum altitude of course but definitely much higher, and much safer, than he was. If it was to remain with the helicopter, he would have remained hovering well above the tower taking almost all the weight off the cable until someone climbed the tower and released it. I can't see a pilot wanting to have a cable hanging underneath him if it was not absolutely necessary and it might very well be verboten to fly with one there if it could be jettisoned.


Here's a couple of pics of a different helicopter with a quick release lifting device. It appears to be much the same if not identical to the one on the copter that crashed.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Arcane/DSCF6251.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Arcane/IMGP0111.jpg

The Artful Bodger
11-26-2011, 02:29 AM
Nothing else makes any sense. If the cable was to remain attached at the top and used for another purpose, the pilot would have released it while he was considerably higher than he was. Not at maximum altitude of course but definitely much higher, and much safer, than he was. If it was to remain with the helicopter, he would have remained hovering well above the tower taking almost all the weight off the cable until someone climbed the tower and released it.


Here's a couple of pics of a different helicopter with a quick release lifting device. It appears to be much the same if not identical to the one on the copter that crashed.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Arcane/DSCF6251.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/Arcane/IMGP0111.jpg

We just do not know the reason for deciding to drop or not drop the cable but in any case I am withdrawing from this discussion.

Evan
11-26-2011, 02:33 AM
Sure, sure Evan, have it your way, if only the pilot had the benefit of your advice before the accident.

It isn't a matter of needing advice. What the pilot did goes against his training. You don't need to be an expert, a pilot or even know anything about flying helicopters to figure out that trailing a line from the underside of a helicopter to a nearby point above the helicopter is a very bad idea. The proof is clear for anyone to see. The pilot intentionally flew into a situation that not only resulted in the accident but had near certain probability of doing so.

Why he did so is baffling and I make no attempt to speculate why.

The Artful Bodger
11-26-2011, 02:38 AM
It isn't a matter of needing advice. What the pilot did goes against his training. You don't need to be an expert, a pilot or even know anything about flying helicopters to figure out that trailing a line from the underside of a helicopter to a nearby point above the helicopter is a very bad idea. The proof is clear for anyone to see. The pilot intentionally flew into a situation that not only resulted in the accident but had near certain probability of doing so.

Why he did so is baffling and I make no attempt to speculate why.


Please send your findings to the NZ CAA immediately so they do not waste any more of my money than necessary determining what you already know.:cool: