Boac wrote: ↑
Mon May 29, 2023 8:59 am
Flower choice noted (but it is hoped not required).
If you found time to read the link to the accident that occurred in the Mathew Harding case posted above, you will have noted that a high time ex-army helicopter instructor (no doubt a far better and more experienced helicopter poler than me) became somewhat unsure of his position, and this was a contributory cause to the subsequent loss of control and crash in the "Squirrel", a far more stable aircraft than the Crusoe (there, you have me hooked). You will have noted the AAIB notes about charts, lack of availability of stability augmentation system etc.
Oh yes, I had found 'time. That accident had nothing to do with 'charts' but was sheer incompetence. An accident waiting to happen. No night qual, no instrument capability and an obvious (?commercial?
- deliberate emphasis) pressure to 'press on'. A dreadful shame he took others with him.
Following your explanation of the '2 second death window' in the control or otherwise of a Crusoe, how do Crusoe drivers cope in that limited time with things that beset others like frequency and squawk changes, and assuming Crusoe drivers are 'human' (and most here have finished breakfast), nose-picking/wiping and bum scratching?
Does one need to thoroughly clean the flight controls on taking over a Crusoe?
With care, in stages, quickly but smoothly and efficiently, with attention and a fervent wish that the rubber band doesn't let go as one lazily takes time out to scratch one's arse, or let one's mind focus for too long on the cartographical beauty while manually faffing around with a chart!
I see that you have gone for the "death window" metaphor, as opposed to the 30 degrees rocking side to side death tube. Sadly too many people have been killed by mast bumping or loss of RRPM in Frank Robinson's aircraft over the years for me to laugh about this rather morbid, albeit overly dramatic notion.
Due to its light weight and low inertia rotor system, the R22 is not forgiving of pilot error or sluggishness. After an engine failure, real or simulated, you and the instructor will have 1.6 seconds to lower the collective and enter an autorotation. Any delay beyond 1.6 seconds will be fatal as the rotor speed, once decayed below 80 percent, cannot be recovered. Frank Robinson did not design the R22 to be a trainer; he designed the R22 for a fast cruise speed and fuel efficiency. The R22 thus has a fast cruise speed, high fuel efficiency, and is a terrible trainer. Why do so many flight schools use the R22 for training? It is cheap to operate.
For the R44 read 4 seconds at worst.
I must admit I haven't flown in a helicopter at night, but have used the current format of 1:500:000 charts for VFR fixed wing navigation at night many times, and the colour scheme (as highlighted in the link posted above) particularly in low lighting doesn't lend itself to easy assimilation, let alone for map reading if the charts have not been precisely pre-folded to allow easy reference. Having to change charts en route, in flight, is something that has to be very carefully done in a helicopter. In a fixed wing aircraft one has more seconds to re-appraise and consider what one is looking at, than in an R22 for example.
As for the case under discussion, I guess the pilot's failure to navigate properly, without the appropriate use of available nav aids, like GPS, VOR etc. and not having the relevant charts to hand was one of the reasons he became worried about high ground, that may or may not have been, in front of him, as he was unsure of his position, this leading to further errors that led to spatial disorientation that led ultimately to loss of control etc. As usual, a Swiss cheese. I am not going to call the guy incompetent, so much as overconfident of his abilities!
Although the pilot did not have a commercial instrument rating you will note that he was not flying illegally and in fact was probably never in IMC conditions at all. I agree that commercial pressure was a big factor in this accident