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Helicopter crash kills 5

DonM

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I once accompanied a New York Ranger (NHL) on a helicopter ride from Hartford, Connecticut directly to Madison Square Garden. It was a night game, the weather was very rainy and windy, with extremely poor visibility. But there was no other choice due to time constraints. We reluctantly got on the flight, and it was by far the most nerve racking flight I have ever been on. Even the pilot seemed tense.

Who was the player and how did he play that night?
 

siesta

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Who was the player and how did he play that night?
they won, he didnt play, they needed him dressed as a backup and on the bench(goalie), called him up from the wolfpack.
 

tompalm

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Today's paper reported that the helicopter hit the side of the mountain 1000 feet above sea level and that there was a lot of rain, clouds and bad weather at the time of the accident. It is very sad for all the families that this happened. My heart goes out to all of them.
 

dmharris

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The honeymoon couple were from Pittsburgh, both worked as nuclear engineers for Westinghouse. The young woman's father is a VP at Westinghouse and from what I understand a 'regular' guy who was very relatable to the average employee as a VP. So today was probably a very rough day in the corporate headquarters for the Westinghouse family.
 

CapriciousC

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There are just too many helicopter crashes in Hawaii - you will never see DH and I on a helicopter tour. :bawl:

Completely agree. DH and I are both aerospace engineers and our jobs involve flying on experimental test aircraft. However, we know the test pilots we fly with very well and also know what to expect. The failure scenarios for helicopters (even if you leave out pilot error, which causes the majority of accidents) are frightening.

As others have mentioned, the only way I'll willingly fly on a helicopter is if it's either a medevac flight, or the Navy or Coast Guard is plucking me from a sinking ship.
 

daventrina

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Preliminary Accident & Incident Data

The weather reported at Molokai, if the flight was really at 1000 feet , the (clouds/rain) doesn't seem that bad except for the strong wind strong at 17 gusting to 27. Vis was reported at 8 miles, scattered at 2600, scattered at 3100 broken at 4500.
About the last as our last flight along the north coast of Molokai.

http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/preliminary_data/events01/media/02_11QV.txt

********************************************************************************
** Report created 11/14/2011 Record 2 **
********************************************************************************

IDENTIFICATION
Regis#: 11QV Make/Model: EC13 Description: EUROCOPTER EC 130 B4
Date: 11/10/2011 Time: 2230

Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N Missing: N
Damage: Destroyed

LOCATION
City: MOLOKAI State: HI Country: US

DESCRIPTION
N11QV BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS FLIGHT 42 EUROCOPTER EC130 B4 ROTORCRAFT
CRASHED UNDER UNKNOWN CIRCUMSTANCES, THE 5 PERSONS ON BOARD WERE FATALLY
INJURED, MOLOKAI, HI

INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 5
# Crew: 1 Fat: 1 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Pass: 4 Fat: 4 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

WEATHER: 102154Z 04017G27KT 8SM SCT026 SCT031 BKN045 24/19 A3008

OTHER DATA
Activity: Aerial Observation Phase: Unknown Operation: OTHER


FAA FSDO: HONOLULU, HI (WP13) Entry date: 11/14/2011
 
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MuranoJo

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Several years ago, while passing time on our last day waiting for the red-eye home, I told DH I always wanted to do a helicopter ride over Kauai. (He wasn't interested due to past bouts with motion sickness.) We'd had quite a bit of rain and it was March, so I figured the waterfalls would be flowing.

Anyway, I took an 'Inter-Island' tour from Port Allen that was breathtaking. This one had open doors and 2 seats front, 2 back. I got to sit up front next to the pilot (who looked very young, and I asked him about that, but he assured me he was 'military trained'). Pretty spooky with the open doors, but we were belted in and soon I was hanging over the side with a video camera.

Glad I did it this once, as I'm not sure I"ll ever do this again. Reading all these stories would make me think twice.
 

daventrina

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The panel inside N11QV
N11QV.jpg

It has GPS, but appears placarded for IFR reference only and may not have terrain.
Ground warning system not installed.

Something has to be done to make the flights safer.
Wish I knew what that something was.
Sterling
Three more things to make it safer.
Terrain...
Traffic...
IFR certified GPS...

8LK's Panel
8LKpanel.jpg

Dual GPSs
IFR certified GPS
Dual sourced HSI
Terrain
Traffic
Auto Pilot with 180 turn and altitude hold (save our butt button - push and hold and she holds altitude and makes a 180 degree turn flying back to where you came from)
Fuel remaining - gallons, hours, and distance

These multi-million dollar tour aircraft need to be equipped at lest this well.
 
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tompalm

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http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/preliminary_data/events01/media/02_11QV.txt

********************************************************************************
** Report created 11/14/2011 Record 2 **
********************************************************************************

LOCATION
City: MOLOKAI State: HI Country: US

WEATHER: 102154Z 04017G27KT 8SM SCT026 SCT031 BKN045 24/19 A3008

11/14/2011

I think your weather report is for the Molokai Airport that is in the middle of the island where the wind blows clouds across the island and the clouds do not hang around there. Most of the time, the clouds and rain hang on to the mountain with most of the moisture on the windward side and some moisture on the leeward side. This accident happened on the leeward side, or south side and there was rain and clouds in the area. If the helicopter was at 1000 feet, than one can assume that he was just cruising that altitude and on his way home. Today's paper stated the Blue Hawaii helicopter accident that happened in 2000 was a result of the aircraft flying into a mountain during bad weather. This goes back to my first post that the same thing keeps happening over and over again and it doesn't matter which helicopter company you are flying with. The odds are higher of an accident when the weather is bad. The FAA really needs to crack down on tour operators to stop flying in clouds when the weather is bad.

I like your aircraft equipment and GPWS idea. I totally agree that all aircraft that carry passengers have GPWS, or warning built into the aircraft's GPS system. But, I think that the tour helicopters fly so close and so low to mountains or terrain that they would have to turn the warning system off to fly their normal route. Another problem with GPS around the mountains and low altitude is that it is not reliable in receiving a signal. The planes at Air Ambulance used to get a message that sat coverage was not reliable, meaning the signal was lost, but the GPS kept providing guidance info. I assume that was based on dead reckoning within the GPS unit itself. Speculation among some of the pilots around the island is that the pilot flying that ambulance aircraft was using a GPS for VFR navigation and the information was not reliable and the GPS indicated he was over the ocean. The pilot descended right into the side of the mountain because he thought he was still over the ocean. Of course that was about eight years ago and the GPS units are a lot better today. So, maybe the newer GPS systems with warnings would work. But, if it was that easy, all the helicopters would have them.
 
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daventrina

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A couple of showers along the way (but still 1000-1500 scattered and 8+ miles viz)


Safe out turn 90 deg Makai maintain at least 500 feet ...
Without a safe out ... Don't enter...
And we usually have two pilots on board. And we fly just like we dive. It takes two to agree to go... But ONLY ones has to say NO GO (and then we don't go - ask Martha King).
I think your weather report is for the Molokai Airport...
That is likely the case...
I had the same thoughts...
Still wondering if wind was an issue...
I think that the tour helicopters fly so close and so low to mountains or terrain that they would have to turn the warning system off to fly their normal route.
Maybe that is part of the problem.

BTW: be careful with UltraLight flights too:ignore:
Think the fellow from the FAA that gave a safety presentation to us said that they had three accidents in the last year.
If you're just flying around in those and not actually taking a lesson those flights generally are not legal as those aircraft are experimental and can not be used for hire.
 
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tompalm

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BTW: be careful with UltraLight flights too:ignore:
Think the fellow from the FAA that gave a safety presentation to us said that they had three accidents in the last year.
If you're just flying around in those and not actually taking a lesson those flights generally are not legal as those aircraft are experimental and can not be used for hire.

You are 100 % correct. There was an accident recently and both people died. I think the ultralight just came apart, maybe due to wind, or heavy load, but it was not a tour. The passenger had to state that he was learning how to fly. Learn to fly in one trip, I don't think so. It was a tour and not a safe one. Only two people died, so it didn't get a lot of press and only in the paper a couple days.
 
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