Forums: Skydiving: Incidents:
Premature from a helicopter

 

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yoink

Jul 9, 2013, 12:20 PM
Post #76 of 107 (4316 views)
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Re: [CornishChris] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

CornishChris wrote:
We have compulsary flight line checks in the UK so can guarantee he had a pin check prior to enplaning.

That's a good point. Most 'pin checks' are a visual only... many jumpers get upset if you start prodding at a pin to see how tight or loose it is, and in my view, that's the responsibility of the jumper / packer, not the person doing a pincheck.

Certainly when I gave a pincheck I was looking to see that the pin was fully seated and routed right.


(This post was edited by yoink on Jul 9, 2013, 12:23 PM)


Dobby1

Jul 9, 2013, 6:10 PM
Post #77 of 107 (4077 views)
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Re: Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

Iím the jumper in this incident and would like to share my view on the events and my thought processes throughout. Itís my hope that sharing this information will provide a clearer picture of what I believed to be my available options and what options I didn't even consider as well as identifying any possible weaknesses in my knowledge that may also be present in other relatively low experience jumpers, no matter what the ultimate cause of the incident was.

This was my 72nd jump (jumped later that day and next so now at 75) and itís correct that before my 70th jump I had been on a break for around 8 months. The gear being used was rental equipment and Iím unaware of who packed it.

Before kitting up I performed all the usual checks, including a check on the pin. An important point here is that I didnít push the pin to gauge its tightness, although this makes sense after being taught about the importance of a tight closing loop, it wasnít something that really connected in my head until now nor was it something I have ever been taught to do. This was followed by a pin check before boarding (along with all the other checks) by another qualified individual however, the check was only visual once again.

Inside the helicopter was very cramped and being on the edge of the seat made me feel a little uneasy below 2k, I used my right foot to push lightly against the door to keep myself secure in my seat. I kept to little movement and am quite certain the pin wasnít subject to a knock when fastening or un-fastening my seat-belt, I donít dispute the possibility of the pin being knocked at a different time during ascent however.

Upon exit of the heli I felt what I thought at the time was a tap on my shoulder but I believe it was an effect of the risers receiving a tug. I turned around and heard ďWhat the fuckĒ at about the same time, seeing my canopy it took me a couple of seconds to realise what was happening and realising that I was actually seeing my main in the early stages of deployment. I sat there for a couple of more seconds trying to think what options existed and then was told ďcut it away, cut it away!Ē. I was actually aware of my RSL but knew I had to cut away fast, I also recognised that if I didnít disconnect my RSL I would have to jump quickly before the canopy could have a chance to rip the risers away and make everything a shit load worse for everyone (disconnecting after cut-away didnít even cross my mind). After I actually cut away I shout twice ďIíve got to go!Ē, get confirmation in the form of ďfuck it, just jumpĒ and jump, itís a little quieter in the video, but you can hear what Iím shouting.

I didnít give any serious thought to disconnecting my RSL before cutting away, it crossed my mind but I was more concerned with getting that parachute detached as quickly as possible and I realised there wasnít tension on my risers. This has been the main area of my thinking since the jump, although it turned out well cutting away and jumping to my reserve, would have it been better to disconnect my RSL first (and perhaps not even jump!)? As it turns out this did get the canopy detached very quickly and meant it could be hauled in quickly too, but Iím sure some people imagine disconnecting the RSL would have been worth the time and risk (falling off with canopy still attached and jerking the heli, something getting caught in rotors, wasting time and the canopy inflates while Iím pissing about with the RSL or just accidently pulling the reserve with the RSL)?

I do also think that looking back, obviously not wanting to jump, I wasted a couple of seconds telling people ďIíve got to goĒ before actually jumping. This was after cutting and Iím a bit disappointed I didnít just piss off straight away as those wasted couple of seconds could have either been critical or my reserve couple have popped. I knew I had the RSL so why I felt it was so important to tell people about the fact I was going anyway is slightly puzzling to me now and I canít remember why I did it. Honestly I can only place it on the fact that I wasnít very keen on jumping on my reserve and was probably being a bit of a pussy and hesitating to put it bluntly.

A lot of people have mentioned I should have jumped because of limited space, just to make it clear however this wasnít actually something that crossed my mind. I only jumped because I believed I had to GTFO after pulling the cut-away handle with an RSL. If I didnít have an RSL, unless told otherwise I donít imagine I would have jumped.

Shortly after being under canopy the first thing I did was to check for the heli which I managed to see still flying but didnít keep sight of it for too long as it went out of my view pretty quickly so I looked for the DZ.

Watching the video back Iím so thankful for the camera guys quick reactions and handling of the situation. Without him pulling the lines in initially I may not have had slack on my risers (or worse) and cutting-away with an RSL attached probably wouldnít have been an option. His speediness of also recognising I had to GTFO and pulling in the canopy was brilliant.

Reading comments of people suggestions, some of them ring true as possibilities. The only point Iím scared as hell by are the number of people suggesting cutting the lines and/or canopy (I know some people have suggested sensible cutting such as the PC).

I donít know nearly enough about the physics of a helicopter to comment about forward speed etcÖ

Summary of my thought process (it was actually quite a simple thought process):
1. Identifying that yes, thatís actually happening
2. Considering possibilities
a. Disconnect RSL and cut (didnít get further down this thought path)
b. No line tension, cut & GTFO
3. Advised to cut away. agreed so cut away
4. Shouted ďIíve got to goĒ and jumped

Anyway, I hope this provides a little more of an insight and Iím interested to hear what people have to say that might be constructive on the matter.


normiss  (D 28356)

Jul 9, 2013, 7:01 PM
Post #78 of 107 (4049 views)
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Re: [Dobby1] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

"Upon exit of the heli I felt what I thought at the time was a tap on my shoulder but I believe it was an effect of the risers receiving a tug. I turned around and heard ďWhat the fuckĒ at about the same time, seeing my canopy it took me a couple of seconds to realise what was happening and realising that I was actually seeing my main in the early stages of deployment. I sat there for a couple of more seconds trying to think what options existed and then was told ďcut it away, cut it away!Ē. I was actually aware of my RSL but knew I had to cut away fast, I also recognised that if I didnít disconnect my RSL I would have to jump quickly before the canopy could have a chance to rip the risers away and make everything a shit load worse for everyone (disconnecting after cut-away didnít even cross my mind). After I actually cut away I shout twice ďIíve got to go!Ē, get confirmation in the form of ďfuck it, just jumpĒ and jump, itís a little quieter in the video, but you can hear what Iím shouting. "


AWESOME!

Thanks for sharing and thanks for a very well written account.
It appears you clearly thought this through afterwards.

Given what you folks had to deal with, I say you did well.

I am also one to agree with getting any sort of cutting involved. I guess that's all hindsight now anyway.
Good on you for not getting dead. Or getting the others dead too.


DBCOOPER  (D 24112)

Jul 9, 2013, 7:26 PM
Post #79 of 107 (4032 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

Four and a half minutes. I would have had that thing on the ground in two...


oldwomanc6

Jul 9, 2013, 7:26 PM
Post #80 of 107 (4030 views)
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Re: [Dobby1] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

First off, thanks for coming on and giving your recollections of the jump. Kudos to you. Smile

I've got ~40 helicopter jumps, not the most here, certainly, but, enough to comment that you did well.

Amazing job to those who were left behind, on containing the rest.


ixlr82  (C 33491)

Jul 9, 2013, 10:07 PM
Post #81 of 107 (3980 views)
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Re: [oldwomanc6] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, thanks for sharing. Your incident and ensuing discussion may save a future life. I have zero helicopter jumps but now have a little more safety knowledge for when I do make that pre-second jump.


HUPRA  (D 5203)

Jul 10, 2013, 12:45 AM
Post #82 of 107 (3912 views)
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Re: [Dobby1] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

Good post Dobby, you did a great job of getting off that mess.

The deciding point seems to be the RSL; if I had given you the opportunity to remove it you would have had the option of cutting away and climbing back in, with other jumpers leaving to make space.

On the flip side this would have taken more time, with the risk of something elso going wrong in that time.

The chance of your reserve getting entangled with the rest of the mess is quite scary and I honestly dont know which option is the better one.


(This post was edited by HUPRA on Jul 10, 2013, 12:46 AM)


catfishhunter  (D 28796)

Jul 10, 2013, 10:30 AM
Post #83 of 107 (3701 views)
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Re: [Dobby1] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a general reply...How many folks here have been through this? Raise your hands?...Thought so, so STFU Sly Great job handling a shit storm that none of us let alone any of you that went through it has had to deal with. You made quick rational decisions and followed through without making the situation worse. Congrats on not dying!

Anyone can Monday morning quarterback but what you guys did took guts and clear thinking. I was surprised all of you stayed. The only thing I might possibly say to do different was to send that young lady out the other side while you two men got the shit under control and that's just the chauvinist in meWink


robinheid  (D 5533)

Jul 10, 2013, 11:34 AM
Post #84 of 107 (3676 views)
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Re: [catfishhunter] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

catfishhunter wrote:
This is a general reply...How many folks here have been through this? Raise your hands?...Thought so, so STFU Sly Great job handling a shit storm that none of us let alone any of you that went through it has had to deal with. You made quick rational decisions and followed through without making the situation worse. Congrats on not dying!

Anyone can Monday morning quarterback but what you guys did took guts and clear thinking. I was surprised all of you stayed.

+1!

Quote:
The only thing I might possibly say to do different was to send that young lady out the other side while you two men got the shit under control and that's just the chauvinist in meWink

- 1!

Silly chauvinist. Wink

The video shows that the young lady was clearly focused in the moment and helping to solve the problem. Hupra can verify but it seems that the extra pair of hands were definitely part of the solution, even if from a chauvinist's standpoint they did belong to a young lady.

Cool
44


catfishhunter  (D 28796)

Jul 10, 2013, 11:41 AM
Post #85 of 107 (3661 views)
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Re: [robinheid] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

LOL yes she was helping but I would have thrown her out. I would hate to spend eternity not having sent her out if we all burned in..


ChrisD  (No License)

Jul 10, 2013, 11:48 AM
Post #86 of 107 (3656 views)
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Re: [catfishhunter] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

catfishhunter wrote:
This is a general reply...How many folks here have been through this? Raise your hands?...Thought so, so STFU Sly Great job handling a shit storm that none of us let alone any of you that went through it has had to deal with. You made quick rational decisions and followed through without making the situation worse. Congrats on not dying!

Anyone can Monday morning quarterback but what you guys did took guts and clear thinking. I was surprised all of you stayed. The only thing I might possibly say to do different was to send that young lady out the other side while you two men got the shit under control and that's just the chauvinist in meWink


-100

If everyone just kept quiet as you advocate, then we wouldn't need any forum or any dialog whatsoever.

(I support anyone, except the obvious posers asking stupid questions so they can set up others here on DZ.com. )

It is thru this dialog that promotes the "what if" scenario and helps others to learn and work out procedures and at least a plan if something like this should ever happen to them.

Kudos to all of you that have risked this type of stupid ridicule to advance your theories and suggestions, this is how we learn. Wink

Or perhaps we should all just shut the fuck up so that some can lead you down the road to an incident?

That's right keep your mouths shut!

Don't ask questions.

Just do what your supposed to do!


O'h by the way:

WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO????

C

Keep up the Monday morning quarterbacking, it saves lives and promotes thinking...

Obviously that is too much for some???




ntrprnr  (B 28397)

Jul 10, 2013, 1:13 PM
Post #88 of 107 (3592 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

Jesus. That scared the living shit out of me.




frankpilot

Jul 14, 2013, 1:43 PM
Post #90 of 107 (3286 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

I`m a helicopter pilot and also a senior instructor in a Norwegian skydiving club that regularily jump helicopters. The pilots mostly being my old instructors or co students, the safety issues always needs special and specified address. Pilots view and skydivers usually slightly casual view on whats hot and whats not, differ greatly without in necessarily being obvious even to the seasoned.

On ground during runup. A loose item such as a glove or a pilot chute may definitely be sucked into the turbine. At best, extremely expensive and dangerous. The risk of this will reduce with downdraught from the main rotor.

On ground or in hover in ground effect, recirculation is extreme. Snow, dust, plasticbags or other loose items tend to recirculate back into the rotor, or be sucked into the tail rotor on its way back via the main rotor disc. This may cause structural failure which is usually catastrophic, but will definitely aerodynamically unbalance the rotor and screw up trackin, and the vibrations will at best allow you to land without crashing if you are lucky. If the helicopter rolls during landing, expect perhaps 40% casualities or more if you are not in a 5p harness with flame retardent flightsuit, gloves and a heli helmet. Best case scenario, an extremely expensive repair but do not count on that amount of luck.

Flying at 10k feet is usually at the limit of max hover altitude. That is in ideal conditions. ISA atmosphere ie -15 degrees C etc. Unlikely the case with more jumpers than seats etc. The heli would be hard to control, danger of overtorquing the gearbox and drive assembly etc. In other words, no hover, no backwards flying, just a maintained slow forward speed just above ETL (effective translational speed), maybe a very slow descent. If you land this unrecovered mess, it will definitely resiculate into the rotor, tailrotor and or engine as soon as the heli gets into hover IGE, and that would be catastrophic.

In hindsight, inform and advice the pilot. Reduce forward speed but stay in ETL for controllability and power management causes. Jumper, get back on the skid and hold on. Disconnect LOR or skyhook. Helper, climb out and recover. If not possible, communicate with the pilot and consider staying outside holding the lines and fabric to enable a careful landing and emergency shutdown. All of this being a tall order, a good save and a lot of luck :-)


DeeBeeGee  (C License)

Jul 15, 2013, 11:51 AM
Post #91 of 107 (3068 views)
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Re: [HUPRA] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

HUPRA, have you changed your username since the incident or is this a remarkable coincidence?

nice work on preventing a very bad outcome


frankpilot

Jul 15, 2013, 5:01 PM
Post #92 of 107 (2961 views)
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Re: [frankpilot] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

-5c of course at 10k and disregard other typos :-)






obelixtim  (D 84)

Oct 24, 2013, 1:28 AM
Post #95 of 107 (2132 views)
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Re: [frankpilot] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

 Scary stuff....very lucky to get away with that...9 out of 10 times that would have gone badly I reckon. Having people bailing could complicate the problem, and all hands are needed to grab, hold and sit on material, but ready to bail if it turned to custard. Big Jack the ripper hook knives are your friend...I would have had that pilot chute off quick smart.

Quick and cool thinking and fast reactions are a must in such a situation, because the adrenalin levels would be through the roof, and that makes it very difficult to do the right thing, even if you know what the "right" thing is.

Whats "right" in one scenario could easily kill you in the next one. Luck plays a big part here, but as I've always said, luck doesn't always have to be bad, and I'll take luck any day when options are so limited... But you need to be best prepared, and a decent knife is part of the deal. Make sure a knife of some sort is ALWAYS accessible....we always had one mounted on the pilots rig...

I know an old pilot....was a test pilot who could fly any plane he got into, who told me how he once was flying one of those old ugly Sikorsky helicopters dropping cargo by parachute (not sure why, but it could have been part of a test programme) when the cargo fell down one side of the skid and the canopy deployed on the other side and inflated fully. The loadmaster could do nothing.

He managed to land it without smashing everything to bits, and maintained it was probably the most difficult and scary thing he ever did amongst the thousands of test flights he flew. But I guess thats why test pilots are the best of the best. He might have been lucky that the Sikorsky had quite a high tail boom, and the cargo chute might have been a bit smaller than a personnel parachute....

I bet the beer tasted good after that day of excitement.....


Premier onelawndart  (No License)

Oct 28, 2013, 6:55 AM
Post #96 of 107 (1577 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

Some people were wondering why the forward speed on the heli. Two reasons; Straight down with fabric out is not a good idea. Secondly, the solution to losing a tail rotor is to try and have enough forward speed going that your vertical stabilizer on the tail can help keep you pointed in the right direction, then make a "running" landing. The pilot made the right decision to get moving imo. Also the cameraman did an awesome job of reeling it in.


wicodefly  (B License)

Oct 28, 2013, 9:55 PM
Post #97 of 107 (1326 views)
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Re: [onelawndart] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

Great job in staying alive and keeping calm.

I noticed someone who claimed to be a helicopter pilot on the YouTube comments saying that one possibility for the pilot was to continue to go forward slowly but also tilt a little to left (away from the side with the emergency). This way if the PC or another component had been lost it would be less likely to go into the talk rotor. Any thoughts? I have no idea I am neither an experienced pilot or sky diver (although I'm learning a bit of both).

BTW, don't a lot of the newer helicopters not have a rotor on the tail, but instead use a stabilizer? It would seem that might change things a bit.


ryoder  (D 6663)

Oct 29, 2013, 8:30 AM
Post #98 of 107 (1207 views)
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Re: [wicodefly] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

wicodefly wrote:
BTW, don't a lot of the newer helicopters not have a rotor on the tail, but instead use a stabilizer? It would seem that might change things a bit.

A stabilizer cannot substitute for a tail rotor on a conventional helicopter.
What *can* substitute is an enclosed fan:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOTAR


wicodefly  (B License)

Oct 29, 2013, 10:53 AM
Post #99 of 107 (1134 views)
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Re: [ryoder] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

ryoder wrote:
wicodefly wrote:
BTW, don't a lot of the newer helicopters not have a rotor on the tail, but instead use a stabilizer? It would seem that might change things a bit.

A stabilizer cannot substitute for a tail rotor on a conventional helicopter.
What *can* substitute is an enclosed fan:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NOTAR

Gotcha. Obviously I'm not a helicopter expert. Amazing video and glad it was shared and that everyone made it out safely.


Premier onelawndart  (No License)

Dec 6, 2013, 7:19 PM
Post #100 of 107 (581 views)
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Re: [onelawndart] Premature from a helicopter [In reply to] Can't Post

this is what happens when a chopper loses it's tail rotor with no forward airspeed.

http://iloveskydiving.org/view/videos/friday-freakout-skydiving-helicopter-crash/


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