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Helicopter Ditches in North Sea


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Yes I've heard of auto-rotation, practiced by the military but relatively recent as far as civilian pilots are concerned.


I don't agree with you there. Autorotations are part of initial training and, as Penfold said, are part of on going training. Commercial pilots will easily carry it provided they have enough of an aircraft left to fly.

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Yes I've heard of auto-rotation, practiced by the military but relatively recent as far as civilian pilots are concerned. Fine as long as the gearbox hasn't been damaged. Don't be fooled into thinking it's a simple procedure to carry out.


It isn't a 'simple' procedure, but one that is certainly trained for, and not just in the military, but any helicopter pilot will do it in their initial training and throughout their career. As Sudden Stop says, if the crew were in a position to do it they almost certainly would've done.


The main problem with fixed wing aircraft these days is that if the powerplants stop working the hydraulics do also so there's little/no control.

This is simply not true. Every aircraft with hydraulic powered controls will have at least three back up systems charged with accumulators, so that even if all the power is lost, control can be retained. Some aircraft like the Boeing series can go back to basics in the case of complete hydraulic failure and fly it mandraulically using direct input through the control cables.


Yes their have been several fatal accidents over the years, but given the number of people that have been carried, in often marginal operational limits, it is not 'unsafe'. In safety terms, I'd fly in a helicopter before cycling along a busy street, any day.

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Well I'm not sure where you get your info from MF but they have been doing Auto-rotations as long as I have been around airports and from before that, I asked someone who has worked in the civilian rotary-wing industry how long civilian pilots had undertaken this type of training and they stated as long as they had been working with Helicopters , which is roughly 34 years. Hardly recent.


Nor did I say that auto-rotation was a cure all for all types of incedent that can befall a helicopter, I was trying to show you that your misinformed posts do little to help the thread and may lead to folk who read it becoming upset and worried, remember that there are quite a few shetlanders who make trips offshore and they and thier families will read this. Folk are aware of the dangers of travel either by rotary or fixed wing aircraft, making throw-away comments on the futility of it all isna helpful. Your entitled to your opinion MF but it seems to be formed by mis-information is all.

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In most autorotation training, pilots receive in-flight instruction on autorotation technique using initial conditions that are well outside of the hover-velocity (H-V) restriction curve of the helicopter flown--and the engine remains powered. Additionally, the entry conditions (altitude, relative wind direction, and especially airspeed) are usually consistent from one practice autorotation to another (within model and instructor). Autorotation training in a simulator is an infrequent event for most pilots, and even the best simulators poorly reproduce the cues required during an actual autorotation. The primary utility of simulators as an autorotation training aid, therefore, is to develop a proficient instrument scan procedure. The likelihood of a successful autorotation performed under actual instrument conditions, however, is extremely remote. Clearly rotary pilots have few resources to help them train toward and maintain autorotation proficiency, so that the autorotation is usually regarded as a `take what comes and pray` maneuver.



And to put anyone elses mind at rest you can confirm here that there have only been 8 fatal accidents involving helicopters in the uk since 1976 (actually all since 1998) out of 16 incidents (again all since 1998)

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Your last post confirms the folly of basing your research solely on what you can glean from the internet, the results shown do not include any of the commerical operators aircraft lost since the date the 1976, they do show light-helicopters lost and which were designed if not built by American companies which would be under the jurisdiction of the American NTSB. They do not show the helicopters involved in North-sea shuttle operations.


The link to your information re: Auto-rotation is to a site regarding the patent for a commercial invention, hardly the grounds to base the arguements for or against specific types of flight training and its use in real situations.


Whilst the internet is a useful source of information it does not mean that everything on it is correct or valid to your arguement MF, none of the statements you have made in your posts are backed either by experience or credible facts in relation to the subject being debated.

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and so it rises...if they're missing they're probably goners too...

goes with the job I guess. I know a few helicopter techs and none of them would fly in one...doesn't that say something?


Well that's a really helpful post for folk who work offshore and rely on helicopters to get them to their work :roll:


Suggest you engage brain before operating your keyboard.


excuse me for breathing....

if you don't like the truth....


I'm sure they have been up in them too, but they wouldn't do it out of choice.


like I said tho it goes with the job, you know the risks involved when you take it on...that's why offshore workers get paid so much. I personally dont begrudge them a penny of it either!


So, let me get your thinking here..


Folk who work offshore are made aware that travelling by helicopter is risky but as they've no other option they get paid more to accept the higher risk?


So for the poor souls that lost their lives yesterday, they've no-one to blame except themselves for gambling risk vs £reward?


The aviation (and offshore) industry goes to great lengths to ensure safety and general public confidence in the business.


What doesn't help is you posting something like this, on a thread as sensitive as this, that completely ignores the basic statistics and undermines all the good work that's been done before.


There's bound to be folk who read this thread who's other halves work offshore, and now thanks to you, have a reason to be seriously worried about helicopter travel because, according to you, the folk who maintain them wouldn't choose to fly on them.



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Might I interject to suggest that MF may himself refrain from using helicopters for transport if he so wish, those who must use them be assured that they are indeed safer than cars statistically and that we allow the matter to drop with respect to the incident in hand, for which no explanation nor resolution has yet been found.


By all means continue later, but for now it seems a bit inappropriate. A "time out", if you will.

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That was just one quote which summed up pretty well all the other postings I found for Autorotation, I found more stats which said there were as many aircraft lost training for autorotation technique as there were lost during actual incidents where pilots had to use autorotation techniques.


As for the crash database I linked to, you obviously didn't read it very well either...


taken from the top of the list of crashes....wasn't that the Bond helicopter that crashed in february?


sorry Njugle, was typing this as you posted...

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I use frquently at work a helicopter. I've watched our one fall out of the sky whilst coming to pick me up. I still have no fears in using it an see it as a perk of my job. I worry more in our works vehicle when some of my colleagues are driving it. I know this is a sad incident, but it is as so many people have said, rare. Air travel by whatever means surely has to be safer than road.

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One should wait for the report from the air accident branch before jumping to conclusions. We weren’t there. As for the safety of aircraft, there are a lot of flights every day all around the world and everyone takes a chance when they fly on them, but there is no headlines about all the flights that have landed safely. How many people die in car accidents around the world in one day? A lot more I suspect than in any incidents in more than 6 months of flying. So the next time you get in your car and go to the shop for your tabloid news papers or run your kids to school. Just remember that people risked there lives every day to get the oil that your cars need to run on.


I would like to give my condolences to all the families of the 16 victims of yesterdays accident

It seems a bit inappropriate. A "time out", if you will.
Well pointed out Njugle
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I work offshore.

I have flown on both the Bond choppers referred to in this thread.

I worked with one of the named victims of yesterdays crash for three years... He was a fine fellow who will be be sorely missed by his family and workmates.

I will be happy to fly on another chopper when I go back to work next week.


MF - Your postings are inane.

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