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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Aviation & Flying Activities  |  Topic: 2009 NM State Police Helo SAR crash
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Author Topic: 2009 NM State Police Helo SAR crash  (Read 1120 times)
Flying Pig
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Posts: 5,043

« on: December 11, 2010, 01:10:13 PM »

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/local%20news/Too-many-risks

Sorta parallels this thread as far as SAR aviation goes...  http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=11802.0

This incident happend a couple of years ago with a NM State Police helicopter.  The crew responded and ultimately the pilot and victim were killed and the observer seriously injured.  Might make for some interesting discussion.  I don't have any independent knowledge of the incident nor do I know ANYTHING about the NM State Police  However, this is relevant as a real world discussion for SAR aviation and brings up some things about ORM.  Case in point, the part where they had information that the hiker was not in danger of dying and that a ground team was only a couple hours away.  Sometimes aviation, while very convenient, isn't always necessary. 

The aircraft used in the search was an Agusta 109, a very capable aircraft.  Also, some pilot medical issues that came up AFTER the crash.

Lets face it, fortunately, there are not a lot of SAR related crashes.  So you take what you can get for discussion.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 01:13:17 PM by Flying Pig » Logged
Flying Pig
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 10:27:27 PM »

Hmmmmm.....wow.  Nothing.

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Major Lord
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Posts: 1,817

« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 12:55:35 PM »

Are your chief concerns that the pilot was flying with undisclosed antidepressants on board, or that he was too inexperienced, or that no one else seems to have been in the decision making loop to initiate a mission? I was not clear from the article if he picked up the victim in bad weather or just  flew into bad weather ( and a mountain) on the return leg. It would be instructive to have more information on these kind of things so that they can be explored in terms of lessons learned for the entire AIR-SAR community.

Major Lord
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"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."
bosshawk
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Posts: 1,585

« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010, 01:13:45 PM »

Rob: you probably have heard of the two SAR-related 182 crashes in CAWG, many years ago.  Both have been pretty thoroughly discussed(I believe in CT).  One was weather-related and the other was not.  I happened to be in the Sq from which both crews came, so I have a fair knowledge of how it all happened.  I knew, well, the five people killed. 

If you have detailed questions, either call me or PM me.
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Paul M. Reed
Col, USA(ret)
Former CAP Lt Col
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Flying Pig
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Posts: 5,043

« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 02:48:23 PM »

No my intention was just to try and "stimulate" some discussion using the article as a starting point.  Nevermind. 
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bosshawk
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 02:53:09 PM »

Put a uniform slant on it and you will get all sorts of conversation.
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Paul M. Reed
Col, USA(ret)
Former CAP Lt Col
Wilson #2777
sarmed1
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Posts: 932

« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 08:26:00 PM »


Reading the article reminds me of one that happened back in 2004 when I lived in Florida.  weather and ORM played a big part there too.

Quote
A medical helicopter from Sacred Heart Hospital in south Walton County crashed during the early morning hours Wednesday and the three people on board were killed

AirHeart One was on a flight from Santa Rosa Beach to DeFuniak Springs around 12:30 Wednesday morning when it was last heard from. Severe weather was in the area at the time.

 Sources indicated that the chopper went down in Choctawhatchee Bay several miles east of the US 331 Bridge in the Point Washington area. A pilot, a nurse and a paramedic were on the flight

The bodies of all three have been recovered from the bay east of the Clyde Wells Bridge on US 331.

NewsChannel Seven was told by sources that even though AirHeart One was last heard from at 12:30 Wednesday morning it was never reported overdue.

When the relief pilot went to work Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. he noticed the chopper was missing and sounded the alarm. The search began within the hour. No one had heard from the Helicopter and apparently no one thought to check on it after it reported severe weather in the area.

Sacred Heart Hospital officials, operators of the Helicopter, said the chopper was making a call from its home base in South Walton County and was headed north to DeFuniak Springs when the pilot radioed severe weather over the Freeport area was forcing him to turn back. That's the last that was heard.

Randy Layman, Director of AirHeart Operations was asked by NewsChannel Seven about the almost six hour delay before the aircraft was discovered missing and a search was started. He didn't comment, other than to say it was being investigated.

The crash also grounded AirHeart's other northwest Florida air ambulance and its crew. Sacred Heart suspended indefinitely operations for AirHeart Two, which is based at the Marianna Airport in Jackson County.

It began operations just last December serving a 75 mile radius surrounding the Marianna area.

In the meantime, teams of federal investigators have arrived in Walton County to try and piece together what happened to cause AirHeart One to crash into Choctawhatchee Bay
This first issue was an ORM problem.  They opted to fly on a pediatric patient despite reports of bad weather/fog.  Poor ORM choice; they let the emotion of the call overide they poor weather potential.    The choice to fly a mission needs to be based on a number of factors: the severity or reported severity should never play a part on taking or not taking a mission; things like time of day, weather, projected weather, crew rest, and capabilites should outway any other factors.

Second; they weren't off the pad very long after they opted to abort the flight; the part about 5 1/2 hour period where no one noticed they were missing......yeah supposedly the comm center never verified landing after they reported aborting due to weather.   When the am crew called in asking where the aircraft was, the comm center was like what are you talking about.....?
Illistrates the importance of good communications, I wonder how many of CAP's comm checks, especially with aircrews go unanswered, or how many IC's actually have crews call them when they actually return to base......

The sadest part about this incident is that it is widely believed the medic survived the crash; he was not found in the aircraft at the time of crash discovery, but some 6 hours later in the bay:  without his  helmet and boots.  If I recall correctly he was a former military aircrew member (read in trained in water survival) and many people at the time believed there is no other explanation for him to not be wearing his boots and helmet except that he took them off post crash and attmepted to swim away from the crash.  Earlier discovery of the crash could have led to his being found alive......

mk
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 08:29:05 PM by sarmed1 » Logged
Mark Kleibscheidel
TSgt USAFR
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