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NZ Helicopter crash

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by dav, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. If that's the one I think it is I saw that on the news the other day. Prior to the crash it looked like an awfully tight situation for a chopper to be in, particularly for the relatively trivial task of erecting Xmas decorations.

    Pilot was lucky but I daresay there'll be some very hard questions from NZ's equivalent of CASA.
  2. The 'trivial task' was a tall alloy frame that is the centrepiece of the Telstra Christmas tree ;)

    The video shows the crewie pulling on the line as the pilot comes to a hover, and you can see the cargo swing move as the line is pulled anticipating the pilot opening the hook.

    Unfortunately the other end of the line, still attached to the top of the tower, gets pulled as well: into the rotors :eek: The dynamics of the self destruct sequence once the rotors are thrown out of balance is awesome, but how lucky was the crewie as the debris falls all around him!



  3. Trivial as in not worth the risks that are inherent in placing large, marginally stable rotating machinery with people in it close to fixed objects near other people.

    I know helicopters and their pilots are capable of some crazy shit and there are many situations when it's justifiable. But potentially 5 (at least, that I can see in the pictures) deaths from putting up a Christmas tree? Fuck that. Given what happens follwing comparatively minor crane incidents on construction sites these days, someone's going to get their arse reamed for that little stuff up and probably deserves it.
  4. It's OK Pat, they all had their little plastic hard hats on...
  5. And their hi-viz. Makes it easier to spot all the bits after a rotorblade has gone past at chest height :twisted:.
  6. Pat,

    I operated around town for years, and had the full support of WorkSafe who considered helicopter lifts intrinsically safer, quicker and cheaper than cranes. One meeting to put the point to VicPol and City of Melbourne, the WS Inspector was late: he was held up at another crane accident!

    Don't forget the video and accident was NZ, which have very different rules to us. A safe forced landing area for a single engine helicopter is top of the list here, and no one under the lift area. Since the Auckland accident i will guarantee you there have been at least two crane accidents somewhere in Oz: the last helicopter lift accident was.....how many years ago?
  7. Yeah but no but yeah but.... How many crane lifts vs how many helicopter lifts?
    eg: how many container lifts at shipping ports are there a day around Oz you reckon?

    Any lift can be dangerous when carried out carelessly, or not thought out properly - That one in Auckland appears to be a prime example.
  8. And I will guarantee you that neither of those (out of probably several hundred, maybe thousand safely conducted) would have had quite so much potential to kill five (at least) people.

    I don't fly helicopters but I have been involved in organising some heavy crane lifts. Anyone attempting one that could go so bad so quickly and so easily would (quite rightly) find themselves both seriously unemployed and seriously prosecuted in very short order indeed. Sure, NZ's rules are different but it's hardly India or China.

    Incidentally, I'm not disputing that helicopter lifts can be done safely, in spite of my natural aversion to any machinery so intent on self destruction. However, I think the fact that this one went so spectacularly wrong provides fairly good prima facie evidence that this particular one was not. When you've had a full 12 months to plan the lift properly and institute proper procedures and safeguards, there aren't too many excuses.

    And yes, I would be saying exactly the same about a crane accident in a similar situation. Fortunately I haven't been involved in one but I've seen enough on film to be acutely aware that they're not to be taken lightly either.
  9. Telecom in NZ not Telstra :)
  10. iirc, it is telstra now-a-days.

    I used to live there, it's a great place to "crash"
  11. Good to hear I was thinking of dropping down there just before christmas
  12. What was the chopper coming down so low for any ways?
  13. It was a construction site where they were lifting things in to place with the chopper Rob. Christmas decorations I believe.
  14. No I get that. The chopper had delivered it's payload and when it went in, was lowering into an area with obstacles and wires. It wasn't coming in to land though - was there some reason it had to go low to unhook?
  15. The Kiwis do lots of weird and wonderful stuff with choppers that'd get you castrated in the US or here. To some extent, so do the French.

    Many people, much of the time, are poorly qualified to assess what the real risks are. Add to that, a wholesale move from risk management, in say our grandfather's day, to radical risk aversion in the modern world. It never ceases to strike me how bad people under 25 are at mental arithmetic, and risk assessment. They repeatedly do stuff I think is ridiculously ballsy and unsafe, and then wimp out at things I do every day - and tell me in self righteous tones that I'll die and there are no old bold pilots. Well I wish I was a pilot but I'm not, and I wouldn't say that I'm bold because I've known a few professional motorcycle stunt-men and stuff, and I know what a pencil dick pussy I am next to them, and anybody who wants to think I'm old can follow me around Mt Cootha any time they want - just don't expect me to slow down so you can keep up. The modern generation is poor - and getting worse - at risk assessment. It's not a question of lacking courage - I see no change in that over the years, it's a question of living in a world that's become so safe that our spider-sense goes off over nothing. Young people increasingly have no f*cking idea what is 30% dangerous V what is 60% dangerous V what is downright f*cking suicidal.
  16. i spend one month each year in NZ.
    from what i have observed, they have no equivalent. ;)
  17. Rob,
    "Why" is the $64,000 question! Practically, he planned to drop the line when the ground crew had hold of it which necessitated the descent: maybe to avoid the line and shackle swinging back into the tower and causing damage. With hindsight the solution should have been a remote hook (a second hook on the end of the line released via a two core cable along the line) or to have used a longer line and moved further off and drop when safe.

    To allow your line to get above your rotor blades is daft: you just don't do it. Although the driver is reported as having many hours 'experience', there are some glaring anomalies that indicate a low level of lifting expertise. No helmet is the first and worst: I did it in my early days (too hot for a helmet) and was knocked out. Never again!
  18. I think we're actually in furious agreement here Heli.
  19. The Telstra equivelent in NZ is NOT Telstra although Telstra has a subsiduary company known as Telstra Clear in NZ it aint the main Telco.