Coast Guard helicopter with four crew missing off west coast

Nebuchadnezzar

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LOL.. you're reduced to semantics now..

Earlier in this thread you insisted that the reason that there was no discernable change in R116’s course or altitude following the Winch Operator’s warning was because aircraft don’t respond immediately to pilot control inputs.. now you’re saying that the change in altitude in the last moments are attributable to pilot control inputs during the last moments.. You’re obviously just making it up as you go along.

You also seem to be confusing Barometric altitude with Radar altitude.. and you say you're a pilot..!

The Radar Altitude dropping off was obviously due to the presence of Blackrock Island below the helicopter, not to any control input from the pilots.
Did I ever say there was no discernable change in altitude? That’s your blatantly incorrect claim, not mine. I was speculating on why there may have been no discernable change in heading inspite of the Captain calling “select heading”.

You misunderstand/misrepresent the evidence as laid out in the report and now you misunderstand/misrepresent what I said.

In the post you’re referring to I explained that in order to turn an aircraft you first need to roll in the direction you wish to turn towards....turning involves rotation in the three axes of the aircraft, first about the longitudinal axis (and the lateral axis if the turn is to be a level turn) and then rotation about the vertical axis. That’s the sequence. A change in altitude is a simpler manoeuvre in that it only involves changes about two axes, lateral and vertical and so it is quicker to effect change in direction in that sense. The correct escape manoeuvre in the event of imminent terrain impact is to initially pitch fully back and apply full power and at some point thereafter, as a secondary consideration, establish a turn to avoid the worst of the terrain. That is what seems to have been initiated in the final moments. The report details the parameters recorded by the black box. It shows that prior to impact a number of control inputs were made which resulted in the helicopter pitching up and climbing prior to impact. It also shows a left roll input on the cyclic control stick(but this may just have been in response to the increased torque as the engines powered up....I am not sure about that). You claimed however, that there was “no discernable change in course or altitude of the helicopter during the 10 second time period between his warning and the helicopter’s impact”. The FDR clearly shows that the helicopter climbed from approximately 300’ baro to 350’ baro before impact, it was climbing as the terrain rose up to meet them(hence the rising baro but falling radar altimeter readings. I understand fully the difference between barometric altitude and radar altitude......you obviously do not).

That’s my interpretation of the parameters as detailed in Appendix A of the report.

It’s also the interpretation of the air accident investigators. In their own words, directly from the report.....

In the final seconds, the helicopter pitched up rapidly, impacted with terrain at the western end of Black Rock and departed from controlled flight.
...page 6

The helicopter rapidly pitched nose up during the two seconds prior to the initial impact.
....page 27

Just as the CVR rear crew channel recorded “Come right now come right COME RIGHT”, the HUMS data showed significant inputs on the cyclic and collective data parameters.
....also page 27.
 
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Nebuchadnezzar

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Yet more semantics, where does your link refer to “Cloud”?. a different phenomenon to Fog or Rain..

Anyway the fact remains that Winch Operator Paul Ormsby did see actually Blackrock Island from at least 600m away with his FLIR camera regardless of any rain or fog or cloud so your argument is just the usual irrelevant bluster designed to distract from your lack of lack of any credible argument.
Fog and cloud are the same phenomena....it’s 100% humiditity in a body of air which occurs when ambient temperature and dew point coincide. When that occurs at ground level we term it fog when it occurs above ground level we call it cloud. The effect on IR/thermal imaging systems is exactly the same.

If you make any more basic errors I shall be billing you from now on.
 

TheField

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Has there been any definitive report yet? Particularly as regards the navigation systems and aids on board with particular reference to installed databases and mapping content?
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Has there been any definitive report yet? Particularly as regards the navigation systems and aids on board with particular reference to installed databases and mapping content?
No, there is a preliminary report. The investigation is still ongoing. An interim statement/report should be published close to the annual anniversary if the final report is still not complete.
 

Orbit v2

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Who made those Radar settings unsuited to the prevailing conditions?.. and why did the pilots not change those settings immediately to more appropriate settings upon their situational awareness being challenged by the warning from the Winch Operator and in accordance with the prevailing conditions?..

Not only did I read the report several times, I studied it in detail and came to my own independent conclusions but unlike you I didn’t learn it off by heart only to regurgitate it parrot fashion.
The radar can be set at a short range so that you see close objects sooner, or it can be set at long range when you are looking for objects further away. They weren't expecting to encounter a rock so they had set the radar at long range in order to find the coast line that they were approaching. It's all quite understandable, and in the report.
 

Pabilito

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Fog and cloud are the same phenomena....it’s 100% humiditity in a body of air which occurs when ambient temperature and dew point coincide. When that occurs at ground level we term it fog when it occurs above ground level we call it cloud. The effect on IR/thermal imaging systems is exactly the same.

If you make any more basic errors I shall be billing you from now on.

Look, all electromagnetic radiation (including radar) can be affected to a greater or lesser degrees by the meteorological conditions and medium through which they are propagated be it fog, cloud, mist, rain etc.. the degree to which it is affected (attenuated, reflected, scattered etc) varies dramatically depending on the band of the spectrum and even within the band itself depending on wavelength, e.g. for Cat II fog, the Long Wave LWIR spectral band of FLIR cameras has around four times better range than FLIR cameras using the Mid Wave MWIR band.

Anyway the original point I was making was that although Blackrock Island may not have been visible on the night to the naked eye (in the visible light band), it was definitely visible in the Infra Red Band at a distance of least 600m as evidenced by the Winch Operators timely warning of it’s presence in their flightpath.

My point therefore is that under the circumstances the pilots should have brought up the crucial FLIR display up on at least one of the multiple screens in front of them.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Look, all electromagnetic radiation (including radar) can be affected to a greater or lesser degrees by the meteorological conditions and medium through which they are propagated be it fog, cloud, mist, rain etc.. the degree to which it is affected (attenuated, reflected, scattered etc) varies dramatically depending on the band of the spectrum and even within the band itself depending on wavelength, e.g. for Cat II fog, the Long Wave LWIR spectral band of FLIR cameras has around four times better range than FLIR cameras using the Mid Wave MWIR band.

Anyway the original point I was making was that although Blackrock Island may not have been visible on the night to the naked eye (in the visible light band), it was definitely visible in the Infra Red Band at a distance of least 600m as evidenced by the Winch Operators timely warning of it’s presence in their flightpath.

My point therefore is that under the circumstances the pilots should have brought up the crucial FLIR display up on at least one of the multiple screens in front of them.
No, your original point was that “Blackrock Islands Radar or Therma\FLlR response would have been unaffected by cloud”.

Incorrect.
 

Pabilito

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No, your original point was that “Blackrock Islands Radar or Therma\FLlR response would have been unaffected by cloud”.

Incorrect.
My original comment was in the context of a discussion with pinemartin about the visibility of Blackrock with the helicopter flying under a 300 foot cloud base and within the locality of the Island.

Again you’re deliberately taking what I said out of context in an attempt to score cheap points and avoid the substance of my point which was that the pilots means of identifying nearby obstacles under those specific circumstances wasn’t just limited to the naked eye. i.e. if they had looked at FLIR or setup their radar differently then they would have noticed Blackrock themselves.

The cloud base was very low that night, I think around 300 feet if i remember.
Its possible that the top of the Island with the lighthouse was obscured by cloud with the helicopter flying just below cloud base.
I understand what you’re saying as regards visual ID however Blackrock Islands Radar or Therma\FLlR response would have been unaffected by cloud.
 

Orbit v2

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Well you made the rather silly point that they should have been looking out the window instead of relying on all that technology, which you have been back tracking from. So, it's hard to know where you stand now.
 

Pabilito

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The radar can be set at a short range so that you see close objects sooner, or it can be set at long range when you are looking for objects further away. They weren't expecting to encounter a rock so they had set the radar at long range in order to find the coast line that they were approaching. It's all quite understandable, and in the report.
Are you seriously suggesting that it’s quiet understandable for pilots flying fast and low at night in unfamiliar territory to not expect to encounter potential obstacles.?. who's being really silly now!

“Expecting the Unexpected” is a key tenet of aviation safety:

Expect the Unexpected - Flight Safety Foundation
Expect the unexpected
 

Pabilito

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Well you made the rather silly point that they should have been looking out the window instead of relying on all that technology, which you have been back tracking from. So, it's hard to know where you stand now.
Winch Operator Paul Ormsby was looking out the window with his night vision FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red) and saw Black Rock Island dead ahead with his own eyes.
You know exactly what I meant by that.
 

Orbit v2

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Are you seriously suggesting that it’s quiet understandable for pilots flying fast and low at night in unfamiliar territory to not expect to encounter potential obstacles.?. who's being really silly now!

“Expecting the Unexpected” is a key tenet of aviation safety:

Expect the Unexpected - Flight Safety Foundation
Expect the unexpected
You asked why did they have the radar set up the way they did, and I answered the question.

You're great for regurgitating all the trite clichés though, though I'd be fairly sure one of the conclusions of the final report won't be "expect the unexpected".
 

Orbit v2

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You know exactly what I meant by that.
That wasn't the post I was referring to. It was this one:
Pabilito said:
You’re probably correct,. over reliance and dependence on new technology appears to have superseded reliance on basic aviation principles such as keeping a look out the window to see what obstacles might be ahead.
 

Pabilito

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That wasn't the post I was referring to. It was this one:
You’re probably correct,. over reliance and dependence on new technology appears to have superseded reliance on basic aviation principles such as keeping a look out the window to see what obstacles might be ahead.

I cited “keeping a look out the window” as an example of basic aviation principles compared to over reliance on new digital technology.. and it was a general comment not necessarily specific to R116 that night.

Obviously at night, "keeping a look out the window" means looking at the real time surrounding scene with a real time analogue night vison FLIR camera as opposed to looking at a virtual reality scene rendered from a digital database such as EGPWS.


FLIR is by no means a new technology and is based on old fashioned real time analogue IR cameras:

“the invention of the first forward-looking infrared camera in 1963”

Forward-looking infrared - Wikipedia


I further qualified what I meant in a subsequent post giving the specific R116 example of the Winch Operator effectively “keeping a look out the window” with his old fashioned FLIR while the pilots were up front prioritising their new digital\computerised systems:

My own view is that these indeed are the central questions.
It is clear that the pilots expected all physical obstacles to be in the helicopter database and that the helicopter warning systems would inform them if they were in any danger. This expectation is probably the reason why the captain's reaction to the winch operator's warning was so casual.
You’re probably correct,. over reliance and dependence on new technology appears to have superseded reliance on basic aviation principles such as keeping a look out the window to see what obstacles might be ahead.
Looking out the window? It was dark and there was no street lights.

I think it may come down to how much attention they could or were able to pay to the charts and the extent they would have known that the onboard systems were inaccurate.
Winch Operator Paul Ormsby was looking out the window with his night vision FLIR (Forward Looking Infra Red) and saw Black Rock Island dead ahead with his own eyes.
 
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Pabilito

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You asked why did they have the radar set up the way they did, and I answered the question.

You're great for regurgitating all the trite clichés though, though I'd be fairly sure one of the conclusions of the final report won't be "expect the unexpected".
No, I asked why the Pilots set the radar up in a manner in which it would not show up obstacles in their immediate flightpath and you replied that they didn’t need to because they assumed that there were no potential obstacles in their flightpath and then you went on to further defend and imply that the pilots assumption of no obstacles was a perfectly good one by saying that it was “all quite understandable”.

The radar can be set at a short range so that you see close objects sooner, or it can be set at long range when you are looking for objects further away. They weren't expecting to encounter a rock so they had set the radar at long range in order to find the coast line that they were approaching. It's all quite understandable, and in the report.
 
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Pabilito

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In the post you’re referring to I explained that in order to turn an aircraft you first need to roll in the direction you wish to turn towards....turning involves rotation in the three axes of the aircraft, first about the longitudinal axis (and the lateral axis if the turn is to be a level turn) and then rotation about the vertical axis. That’s the sequence. A change in altitude is a simpler manoeuvre in that it only involves changes about two axes, lateral and vertical and so it is quicker to effect change in direction in that sense. The correct escape manoeuvre in the event of imminent terrain impact is to initially pitch fully back and apply full power and at some point thereafter, as a secondary consideration, establish a turn to avoid the worst of the terrain. That is what seems to have been initiated in the final moments. The report details the parameters recorded by the black box. It shows that prior to impact a number of control inputs were made which resulted in the helicopter pitching up and climbing prior to impact. It also shows a left roll input on the cyclic control stick(but this may just have been in response to the increased torque as the engines powered up....I am not sure about that). You claimed however, that there was “no discernable change in course or altitude of the helicopter during the 10 second time period between his warning and the helicopter’s impact”. The FDR clearly shows that the helicopter climbed from approximately 300’ baro to 350’ baro before impact, it was climbing as the terrain rose up to meet them(hence the rising baro but falling radar altimeter readings. I understand fully the difference between barometric altitude and radar altitude......you obviously do not).

That’s my interpretation of the parameters as detailed in Appendix A of the report.

It’s also the interpretation of the air accident investigators. In their own words, directly from the report.....
They were “Heading” directly towards the exceptionally tall Island of Blackrock so the appropriate avoidance action in response to the timely warning would have been to turn\change course (as the Winch Operator suggested) and not to wait until the last second to initiate a desperate climbing maneuver as you suggest with the Island rising up to meet them faster than they could climb.

You continuously refer to fixed wing aircraft maneuvers as if the exact same principles applied to helicopters.. in fact you seem to be at a disadvantage here with that fixation.

As I pointed out previously, helicopters unlike fixed winged aircraft can slow down to a stop mid air and can even go backwards and turn 360 degrees on the main rotor axis without any change in position. In fact the primary reason helicopters have a tail rotor is to prevent them turning about the main rotor axis.

P.S. I should also mention that your unashamed attempts to retrospectively align your historical posts with the AAIU findings are quite amusing.
 
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Dedogs

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Why is official report not published, must be some devastating human neglect there
100 % mate... they wont be let say a woman pilot done wrong.... 1 thing i was wonderin was did they even check if she was on her period that night???? i use to go out with this bird 1 time that got fierce akword when she was on... and shds ate you if you said a word to her.... mebbe thats why yer woman ignored the winchman when he told her about the rock in front of them!!!!
 


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