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(AZCentral)   NTSB blaming a 2010 helicopter crash on a 5 year old girl   (azcentral.com) divider line 115
    More: Strange, National Transportation Safety Board, Cave Creek, plane crashes, Transportation Safety Board, helicopters  
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18335 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Nov 2012 at 3:29 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-10 07:39:32 PM  
The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.
 
2012-11-10 07:48:46 PM  

Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.


I agree.
 
2012-11-10 08:05:07 PM  
"Despite this length of time, there are many questions that remain unanswered, not the least of which is that the NTSB's conclusion is at odds with every single eyewitness," it said. Also, the statement said, "the conclusion is wholly inconsistent with the way Rick Morton commanded the helicopter and the respect Tom Stewart gave his pilots in the cockpit."

From the report:

A ranch foreman who observed the flight preparations saw the helicopter owner board the helicopter through the left forward cockpit door and occupy the left front cockpit seat. The helicopter owner's 5-year old daughter also boarded the helicopter through the left forward cockpit door and sat on her father's lap. ... Operator personnel revealed that the helicopter owner's daughter had sat on her father's lap occasionally during flights, that the owner liked to fly the helicopter, and that it was common for him to fly.

Sounds kind of consistent with witness reports to me. Letting a kid sit in your lap when there's also a collective stick between your legs shows something of a wanton disregard for safety on the case of the owner, and a lack of willingness on the part of the pilot to tell the boss what wasn't okay to do.
 
2012-11-10 08:07:22 PM  
A rapid up and down movement of the collective? Wouldn't it be the cyclic to cause that? How could rapidly changing the pitch of the blades cause the main rotor to collide with the tail rotor?
 
2012-11-10 08:52:46 PM  

vossiewulf: A rapid up and down movement of the collective? Wouldn't it be the cyclic to cause that? How could rapidly changing the pitch of the blades cause the main rotor to collide with the tail rotor?


I used the wrong term.. NTSB figures the kid stepped in the collective and pushed it to full down, and then the pilot raised it back to full as well as inputting full aft on the cyclic.
 
2012-11-10 09:51:02 PM  
Thus proving fidgety little brats on flights are a big problem.
 
2012-11-10 11:43:21 PM  

costermonger: Sounds kind of consistent with witness reports to me. Letting a kid sit in your lap when there's also a collective stick between your legs shows something of a wanton disregard for safety on the case of the owner, and a lack of willingness on the part of the pilot to tell the boss what wasn't okay to do.


and a lazy ass who wasnt willing to spend a little time and take some lessons?
How hard would that have been???

/darwin rules
 
2012-11-10 11:44:11 PM  
The real question is: Did she like gladiator movies? 
i305.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-11 12:05:41 AM  
From the Article:

The NTSB found that Stewart allowed his daughter, Sydney, to sit on his lap on a trip from his northern Arizona ranch to his home in Scottsdale, the Phoenix suburb where SGA is headquartered. It was "highly likely" that the child suddenly pushed down with her foot on the copter's controls, according to the Nov. 7. Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

WHAT THE fark?!

I mean, I could understand doing this if you were in a Cessna or something, but a helicopter? Holy shiat, man.

Reading further....

The report's conclusion was immediately challenged by the lawyer for the pilot's family, who has blamed a faulty rotor blade for the crash, and by Stewart's company."That's their interpretation, and it does not comport with what our experienced investigators believe happened," said Gary C. Robb, a Kansas City, Mo., attorney who specializes in aviation accidents. Robb has sued Eurocopter and others involved in repairing one of the helicopter's blades after a previous mishap. He said he believes the repair was faulty and the blade came apart in flight, causing the crash.

The NTSB found no evidence of that. It concluded that the repaired blade hit the tail rotor drive shaft and broke.

Eurocopter helped the NTSB investigate the crash and ran simulations that concluded that only a rapid down and then up movement on a control called a "collective" could have caused the accident.


Aha. So it comes out. That report is an inconvenience in their little lawsuit against Eurocopter America.

We Fly AS350B-2s from American Eurocopter at our service. Nice little machines. But I sure as hell wouldn't want a five year old setting in the cockpit seat of one. We're supposed to land if our patients become combative, even, until we get them restrained and sedated for safety reasons.
 
2012-11-11 12:21:44 AM  
i0.kym-cdn.com

Disaster girl is getting a real innocent kick out of this thread.
 
2012-11-11 12:56:27 AM  

quatchi: [i0.kym-cdn.com image 500x375]

Disaster girl is getting a real innocent kick out of this thread.


That took way too long to show up.
 
2012-11-11 12:59:03 AM  

Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.


Agreed, but the NTSB is in the uncomfortable position of finding causes for a crash. My best friend was an airline pilot and died in a crash in 2004, and absent any mechanical failure they blamed the crash on him and his co-pilot because they were talking about things besides landing the plane under 10,000 feet on approach. They literally tried to land the plane 3 miles early. NTSB took a year and came up with "pilot error" because there wasn't any other reasonable explanation.

It took me a long time to come to terms with it. My friend wasn't an idiot. Neither was his co-pilot. The weather was bad, so I figured the altimeter has malfunctioned and they thought they were higher than they were. But after reading the report, there were two altimeters, and they missed/ignored the readings during descent. Either they were running visual, or they were mistaken about where they were. It was a commuter plane (11 people died) and it didn't have a low altitude warning system because it wasn't required at the time. Of course, after that crash the low altitude warning became mandatory.

The NTSB is very thorough - they interviewed me for the report because I had been out with him for dinner two days before the crash. They wanted to know if he could have been drunk/high during the flight because his body was so badly burned they couldn't test it. I let them know for the ten years he was flying he wouldn't drink if he had to fly to next day, because rules were rules. He was better than good about it - FAA rules were his bible.

Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that. My friend weighed 225 lbs alive, but the funeral director told me he had less than 60 lbs of material to work with when the body came in. Obviously, open coffin wasn't an option.
 
2012-11-11 01:05:43 AM  
Man, some people are pedantic.

/but are they shallow?
 
2012-11-11 01:21:27 AM  

puffy999: Man, some people are pedantic.

/but are they shallow?


Shut up Griffon.
 
2012-11-11 01:21:43 AM  
Could've been worse: it could have been an A310 over Siberia

/there's an episode of Mayday/Air Crash Investigation you can watch about this crash if you're interested
 
2012-11-11 01:36:04 AM  
The NTSB is notorious for declaring accidents to be pilot error that otherwise have unknown causes, but this report seems outrageous even for them.

If there is no eye witness that the girl ever kicked the collective in the past, I find it difficult for them to blame the crash on the kid. The statement it is "highly likely" seems outrageous. If they want to state their theory of unknown collective input, that's one thing, to go from there to kid must've done it, seems gross.

It also seems irresponsible to have a government agency make that statement with such little evidence when there are pending lawsuits.

That said,

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
 
2012-11-11 02:43:33 AM  

RoyBatty: The NTSB is notorious for declaring accidents to be pilot error that otherwise have unknown causes, but this report seems outrageous even for them.

If there is no eye witness that the girl ever kicked the collective in the past, I find it difficult for them to blame the crash on the kid. The statement it is "highly likely" seems outrageous. If they want to state their theory of unknown collective input, that's one thing, to go from there to kid must've done it, seems gross.

It also seems irresponsible to have a government agency make that statement with such little evidence when there are pending lawsuits.

That said,

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?


I don't know, since they apparently didn't believe a health event caused such a reaction, they probably exhausted as many possibilities to create their hypothesis.

I mean, just a guess, but they may have had a slight idea as to the location of the bodies at the time of the crash.
 
2012-11-11 02:48:19 AM  
And perhaps it's a stretch to suggest it was her direct action that caused the crash. I agree that agencies sometimes look too much for a specific "thing" when sometimes it's just a set of circumstances and a random accident.
 
2012-11-11 03:11:57 AM  

Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.

Agreed, but the NTSB is in the uncomfortable position of finding causes for a crash. My best friend was an airline pilot and died in a crash in 2004, and absent any mechanical failure they blamed the crash on him and his co-pilot because they were talking about things besides landing the plane under 10,000 feet on approach. They literally tried to land the plane 3 miles early. NTSB took a year and came up with "pilot error" because there wasn't any other reasonable explanation.

It took me a long time to come to terms with it. My friend wasn't an idiot. Neither was his co-pilot. The weather was bad, so I figured the altimeter has malfunctioned and they thought they were higher than they were. But after reading the report, there were two altimeters, and they missed/ignored the readings during descent. Either they were running visual, or they were mistaken about where they were. It was a commuter plane (11 people died) and it didn't have a low altitude warning system because it wasn't required at the time. Of course, after that crash the low altitude warning became mandatory.

The NTSB is very thorough - they interviewed me for the report because I had been out with him for dinner two days before the crash. They wanted to know if he could have been drunk/high during the flight because his body was so badly burned they couldn't test it. I let them know for the ten years he was flying he wouldn't drink if he had to fly to next day, because rules were rules. He was better than good about it - FAA rules were his bible.

Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that. My friend weighed 225 lbs alive, ...


Ouch. I guess your friend was beyond caring, if that's any consolation. Did the funeral home charge extra for the weights? I'll bet they did.
 
2012-11-11 03:25:32 AM  

RoyBatty: The NTSB is notorious for declaring accidents to be pilot error that otherwise have unknown causes, but this report seems outrageous even for them.


The problem is that they have to blame SOMEONE. They are dicks. But, they're a Government organization tasked with finding blame and identifying preventable factors. They're going to be.

When Wing 5 crashed in Memphis in 2010, Doug Phillips - the pilot, was given the blame for the crash for taking off in unsafe weather. The cause of the crash was, literally, a freak storm which appeared suddenly over them and caused a sheer microburst right ontop of the aircraft. These are weather phenomenons which are incredibly difficult to predict, and can bring down jumbo jets. The storm appeared so fast their WeatherLink hadn't even had a chance to update, and they were two miles from the landing pad for their base when it brought them down. Their relief crew was actually outside watching them come in when they went down.

It was a one in a million cause for a crash, with no preventable actions even possible, and the flight had been completely clear until they got hit. Yet they still blamed him. It caused a lot of white knuckles and grinding of teeth among everyone who knew him. This was a pilot who had been flying for the military, and for aeromedical, for decades. He had thousands of hours of safe flying behind him.
 
2012-11-11 03:31:35 AM  

ElizaDoolittle: Did the funeral home charge extra for the weights? I'll bet they did.


Another thing I learned from that whole scenario: the airline pays for the funeral services for the dead, and they don't challenge the cost. The airline paid for services for all of the victims as well.
 
2012-11-11 03:34:10 AM  

ElizaDoolittle: Ouch. I guess your friend was beyond caring, if that's any consolation. Did the funeral home charge extra for the weights? I'll bet they did.


And just for the record: way to be a dick, asshole.
 
2012-11-11 03:36:08 AM  
So kinda like this but with the tail instead.
 
2012-11-11 03:44:15 AM  
NTSF SD SUV

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-11-11 03:46:02 AM  

Lsherm: Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that.


If I die and there's no body, I will haunt anyone who puts a coffin there.

I don't get that. My grandpa was cremated. He's in an urn. At the funeral, we had the urn and a picture. A full on coffin with weights in to fake a body seems silly.
 
2012-11-11 03:55:59 AM  
Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

I know nothing about aviation, but that kinda seems like a design flaw. I mean, we have anti-lock brakes but we don't have "anti-blades chopping the tail off" technology?
 
2012-11-11 03:57:10 AM  

doglover: Lsherm: Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that.

If I die and there's no body, I will haunt anyone who puts a coffin there.

I don't get that. My grandpa was cremated. He's in an urn. At the funeral, we had the urn and a picture. A full on coffin with weights in to fake a body seems silly.


Not every religion allows cremation. I'd assume the weights are there for a symbolic reason.
 
2012-11-11 04:02:34 AM  

davidphogan:
Not every religion allows cremation. I'd assume the weights are there for a symbolic reason.


They're there to give the pallbearers some form of comfort. If the coffin is unnaturally light combined with a closed casket, they're going to know that person died really, really horrifically.
 
2012-11-11 04:09:49 AM  

BronyMedic: davidphogan:
Not every religion allows cremation. I'd assume the weights are there for a symbolic reason.

They're there to give the pallbearers some form of comfort. If the coffin is unnaturally light combined with a closed casket, they're going to know that person died really, really horrifically.


Makes sense. I've actually wondered about that.
 
2012-11-11 04:09:51 AM  

fusillade762: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

I know nothing about aviation, but that kinda seems like a design flaw. I mean, we have anti-lock brakes but we don't have "anti-blades chopping the tail off" technology?


Nope, not really. Redbull has a specially designed helicopter with rigid blades that can fly inverted, but almost every other helicopter has rotors that flex. You don't do rapid up-down movements because of that - you can chop your own tail off (or mast, in a R22)
 
2012-11-11 04:16:37 AM  

Lsherm: ElizaDoolittle: Ouch. I guess your friend was beyond caring, if that's any consolation. Did the funeral home charge extra for the weights? I'll bet they did.

And just for the record: way to be a dick, asshole.


That was not my intention. I don't like the way funeral "homes" rip off people, but I never intended to be mean to you. I apologize.
 
2012-11-11 04:16:37 AM  
The way I read the NTSB report, it seems to me this 5 year-old girl was probably plotting this for months, if not years. She was obviously a murderous, callous little girl who got tired of torturing garden ducks and was moving on to the big time. It's all in the report. She had mapped out the plan in crayon - a "slip" of the sippy cup and then - jump, bam, kill them all. Oh, she was a heinous sort. With her little kiddie plot for murther and her devious after-plan to ruin EuroCopter. Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! She's laughing at us all now. From Hell.
 
2012-11-11 04:17:49 AM  

Hector Remarkable: The way I read the NTSB report, it seems to me this 5 year-old girl was probably plotting this for months, if not years. She was obviously a murderous, callous little girl who got tired of torturing garden ducks and was moving on to the big time. It's all in the report. She had mapped out the plan in crayon - a "slip" of the sippy cup and then - jump, bam, kill them all. Oh, she was a heinous sort. With her little kiddie plot for murther and her devious after-plan to ruin EuroCopter. Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! She's laughing at us all now. From Hell.


I know this is meant to be satire. Fail.
 
2012-11-11 04:20:15 AM  

doglover: Lsherm: Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that.

If I die and there's no body, I will haunt anyone who puts a coffin there.

I don't get that. My grandpa was cremated. He's in an urn. At the funeral, we had the urn and a picture. A full on coffin with weights in to fake a body seems silly.


Agreed.
 
2012-11-11 04:20:25 AM  

ElizaDoolittle: Hector Remarkable: The way I read the NTSB report, it seems to me this 5 year-old girl was probably plotting this for months, if not years. She was obviously a murderous, callous little girl who got tired of torturing garden ducks and was moving on to the big time. It's all in the report. She had mapped out the plan in crayon - a "slip" of the sippy cup and then - jump, bam, kill them all. Oh, she was a heinous sort. With her little kiddie plot for murther and her devious after-plan to ruin EuroCopter. Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! She's laughing at us all now. From Hell.

I know this is meant to be satire. Fail.


Well, more mockery I'd say, but everyone's a critic.
 
2012-11-11 04:21:37 AM  

Hector Remarkable: ElizaDoolittle: Hector Remarkable: The way I read the NTSB report, it seems to me this 5 year-old girl was probably plotting this for months, if not years. She was obviously a murderous, callous little girl who got tired of torturing garden ducks and was moving on to the big time. It's all in the report. She had mapped out the plan in crayon - a "slip" of the sippy cup and then - jump, bam, kill them all. Oh, she was a heinous sort. With her little kiddie plot for murther and her devious after-plan to ruin EuroCopter. Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! She's laughing at us all now. From Hell.

I know this is meant to be satire. Fail.

Well, more mockery I'd say, but everyone's a critic.


Too soon, man. Too soon. You gotta wait 22.5 years, then it's funny.
 
2012-11-11 04:23:47 AM  
big respect for helicopter pilots. i'm told it takes both hands, both feet and a lot of wide awake knowledge to pilot those unwieldy birds. not an easy task even on a clear day.
 
2012-11-11 04:25:19 AM  

BronyMedic: Hector Remarkable: ElizaDoolittle: Hector Remarkable: The way I read the NTSB report, it seems to me this 5 year-old girl was probably plotting this for months, if not years. She was obviously a murderous, callous little girl who got tired of torturing garden ducks and was moving on to the big time. It's all in the report. She had mapped out the plan in crayon - a "slip" of the sippy cup and then - jump, bam, kill them all. Oh, she was a heinous sort. With her little kiddie plot for murther and her devious after-plan to ruin EuroCopter. Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! She's laughing at us all now. From Hell.

I know this is meant to be satire. Fail.

Well, more mockery I'd say, but everyone's a critic.

Too soon, man. Too soon. You gotta wait 22.5 years, then it's funny.


Oh, well. It's probably funny in non-linear time too. They're basically saying the little girl is responsible for five tragic deaths. It's just...ridiculous.
 
2012-11-11 04:28:38 AM  

Hector Remarkable: BronyMedic: Hector Remarkable: ElizaDoolittle: Hector Remarkable: The way I read the NTSB report, it seems to me this 5 year-old girl was probably plotting this for months, if not years. She was obviously a murderous, callous little girl who got tired of torturing garden ducks and was moving on to the big time. It's all in the report. She had mapped out the plan in crayon - a "slip" of the sippy cup and then - jump, bam, kill them all. Oh, she was a heinous sort. With her little kiddie plot for murther and her devious after-plan to ruin EuroCopter. Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! She's laughing at us all now. From Hell.

I know this is meant to be satire. Fail.

Well, more mockery I'd say, but everyone's a critic.

Too soon, man. Too soon. You gotta wait 22.5 years, then it's funny.

Oh, well. It's probably funny in non-linear time too. They're basically saying the little girl is responsible for five tragic deaths. It's just...ridiculous.


She was probably just as aware as Mrs. O'Leary's cow.

/and just as guilty
//that's why it's called an accident
 
2012-11-11 04:32:34 AM  

quatchi: [i0.kym-cdn.com image 500x375]

Disaster girl is getting a real innocent kick out of this thread.


Stopped by for this. Leaving satisfied.
 
2012-11-11 04:33:56 AM  

Hector Remarkable: Oh, well. It's probably funny in non-linear time too. They're basically saying the little girl is responsible for five tragic deaths. It's just...ridiculous.


I took from that article they're doing what they always do, blame the pilot for anything they can.

In this case, he allowed an untrained, unlicensed operator to get behind the controls of an aircraft with his five year old daughter in his lap, unrestrained, and operate it.

The pilot is ultimately responsible for five deaths. The little girl just helped.
 
2012-11-11 04:35:30 AM  

Biff Spiffy: something or other, and then,

She was probably just as aware as Mrs. O'Leary's cow.

/and just as guilty
//that's why it's called an accident


I really can't see it as being any more likely than anything else that might possibly have occurred, and is just simply a terrible thing to lay upon the legacy of an innocent little girl. They really have no way of knowing. The pilot may have picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue for all anyone really knows.
 
2012-11-11 04:40:36 AM  
It's one of those legal things, whereby the "cause" of the accident is not the cause of the accident.

In this case, the actual cause of the accident--the first action in the chain of events that culminated in the helicopter striking the ground--was the little girl's foot contacting the collective (or whatever control it was). Like it or not, that's what started the whole mess, what law students are taught to call the "but-for" cause: "But-for" her foot striking that control, none of this would have happened.

Now, does that mean she's RESPONSIBLE for the accident in the moral or ethical sense, or legally responsible as in she intentionally or negligently caused it? Of course not. Is her dad? Of course not. It's an accident. Nobody could have foreseen such an awful chain of events, even in hindsight. I mean, I SUPPOSE you could have seen that a little girl who normally sits still in daddy's lap on a short chopper flight and whose feet are normally far away from the controls MIGHT have kicked out at them in such a way as to cause an abnormal movement in the craft and the pilot would have overcorrected...and so it goes.

But in the NTSB's report, where they have to write in "What is the cause of the accident?" the answer is "girl's foot contacting surface of control panel" since that's what began the chain of events. In a very objective and non-judgemental fashion. To everyone but the survivors' attorneys who needed an "undetermined" or "mechanical" cause to continue their lawsuit against the helicopter manufacturers, but you can't please everyone.
 
2012-11-11 04:41:38 AM  

Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.


Definitely this. I'm sure he meant for her to have fun. At 5 years old, she was not in a position to know it was stupid. Billionaire father, 64, with 5-y-old daughter, paid the price. As did the daughter and everyone on board.
 
2012-11-11 04:42:29 AM  

Gyrfalcon: But in the NTSB's report, where they have to write in "What is the cause of the accident?" the answer is "girl's foot contacting surface of control panel" since that's what began the chain of events. In a very objective and non-judgemental fashion. To everyone but the survivors' attorneys who needed an "undetermined" or "mechanical" cause to continue their lawsuit against the helicopter manufacturers, but you can't please everyone.


DING DING DING.

We have a winnar. Step on up and claim your prize.
 
2012-11-11 04:44:05 AM  
My mate's dad was an army pilot until he reached Lt Col rank - then they wouldn't let him fly on his own -> he quit.

There is a reason why (example) the President and the VP don't EVER fly in the same plane.

(Oddly whole families drive in the same car -> some of the most horrific accident results any of us could imagine.)

But on the plus side - at least they all went together *innocent look*
 
2012-11-11 04:45:57 AM  

Langdon_777: My mate's dad was an army pilot until he reached Lt Col rank - then they wouldn't let him fly on his own -> he quit.

There is a reason why (example) the President and the VP don't EVER fly in the same plane.

(Oddly whole families drive in the same car -> some of the most horrific accident results any of us could imagine.)

But on the plus side - at least they all went together *innocent look*


Explain what you're getting at.
 
2012-11-11 04:49:52 AM  
What they're saying is that if you're a helicopter pilot and don't want to die, best practice for the future will be don't put your preschooler near the controls. Sounds like good practice.
 
2012-11-11 04:52:32 AM  

Gyrfalcon: In this case, the actual cause of the accident--the first action in the chain of events that culminated in the helicopter striking the ground--was the little girl's foot contacting the collective (or whatever control it was). Like it or not, that's what started the whole mess, what law students are taught to call the "but-for" cause: "But-for" her foot striking that control, none of this would have happened.


They literally have no evidence the girl kicked, or fell, or in anyway came in contact with the collective.

"It was "highly likely" that the child suddenly pushed down with her foot on the copter's controls, according to the Nov.7 report."

There is no evidence the girl was involved at all. They believe a rapid down and then up movement of the collective could cause the damage they found in the rotor. It is complete speculation as to what caused that rapid up and down movement of the collective.
 
2012-11-11 04:56:47 AM  

RoyBatty: They literally have no evidence the girl kicked, or fell, or in anyway came in contact with the collective.

"It was "highly likely" that the child suddenly pushed down with her foot on the copter's controls, according to the Nov.7 report."

There is no evidence the girl was involved at all. They believe a rapid down and then up movement of the collective could cause the damage they found in the rotor. It is complete speculation as to what caused that rapid up and down movement of the collective.


Occam's Razor. There's no evidence of mechanical failure of the blade, and it was common knowledge that this man - who was NOT a pilot - made it a practice to do this.

This is what the cockpit of an AS350 (B2) model looks like.

www.airteamimages.com

That's the non-medical passenger model. The medical model with the stretcher mount has a different configuration. There's not a lot of room there at all. It's hardly inconceivable that a five year old could whip the stick hard.
 
2012-11-11 04:58:15 AM  
I just remote-viewed the helicopter at the time of the crash and it turns out the father actually was the one who hit the collective with his knee. Woops.
 
2012-11-11 05:10:47 AM  

ElizaDoolittle: Langdon_777: My mate's dad was an army pilot until he reached Lt Col rank - then they wouldn't let him fly on his own -> he quit.

There is a reason why (example) the President and the VP don't EVER fly in the same plane.

(Oddly whole families drive in the same car -> some of the most horrific accident results any of us could imagine.)

But on the plus side - at least they all went together *innocent look*

Explain what you're getting at.


Mainly that it is dangerous to travel as a mob who all belong to a small group, esp. when you let the kids drive (how many soccer teams has the world lost due to ignoring this basic rule?)
 
2012-11-11 05:11:52 AM  
My ability to rationally process the article was interrupted by the headline at the bottom telling me Jenny McCarthy farked a tree.
 
2012-11-11 05:14:30 AM  

davidphogan: doglover: Lsherm: Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that.

If I die and there's no body, I will haunt anyone who puts a coffin there.

I don't get that. My grandpa was cremated. He's in an urn. At the funeral, we had the urn and a picture. A full on coffin with weights in to fake a body seems silly.

Not every religion allows cremation. I'd assume the weights are there for a symbolic reason.


Those same religions forbid everything worth doing in life.

My threat stands. Considering my unnaturally relaxed attitude towards taunting wild bears, a full coffin seems unlikely.

I'd like to be memorialized in effigy as a bas relief with a nice big crotch bulge the ladies can grind for good luck in love and marriage. Also, I'd like the party to be 9000 martinis and enough beer to flood out a midgets' wedding.
 
2012-11-11 05:22:50 AM  
Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.
 
2012-11-11 05:25:37 AM  

the801: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.


amcaerospace.com

Those blades dip and flex, they're not rigid; and they're only about two to three feet above the tail. All it would take is a violent jerk combined with wind to bend one of those rotor blades. And it doesn't take a hard lick, just a glancing blow.
 
2012-11-11 05:57:45 AM  

the801: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.


Aren't most Fords designed to do that?
 
2012-11-11 06:46:36 AM  
The National Transportation Safety Board reviewed the crash that killed Services Group of America founder and owner Thomas Stewart, 64, for nearly three years...

It took nearly three years for the killing process to be completed? Some people just don't know when to pull the plug.
 
2012-11-11 06:48:50 AM  
Like the dumbass Russian pilot who let his kid into the cockpit. The kid unknowingly took the plane off autopilot and it smacked into a mountain.
 
2012-11-11 07:02:11 AM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: the801: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.

Aren't most Fords designed to do that?


No, that's a GM standard feature.
 
2012-11-11 07:17:15 AM  
How was he killed for three years? Was he reanimated?
 
2012-11-11 07:17:42 AM  
Reason #5 Not To Fly: Kids!
 
2012-11-11 07:20:30 AM  

KrispyKritter: big respect for helicopter pilots. i'm told it takes both hands, both feet and a lot of wide awake knowledge to pilot those unwieldy birds. not an easy task even on a clear day.


They fly in 100kph winds to offshore platforms. Passengers have to wear survival suits.


Imagine that on a commercial airline.
 
2012-11-11 07:25:35 AM  
Chapter 5,280 of Too Stupid to be Rich!

/Darwin always wins.
 
2012-11-11 07:25:56 AM  
Let the 3 year old sit on your lap flying a helicopter.

Sounds like a DarWIN.

www.crystalinks.com
 
2012-11-11 07:42:11 AM  

shotglasss: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: the801: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.

Aren't most Fords designed to do that?

No, that's a GM standard feature.


Driving and flying work differently. See Link.
 
2012-11-11 07:54:24 AM  
Reminds me of years back, I saw a father letting a young boy drive his truck (kid couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old) and put him in his lap and let him drive, and he was weaving all over the road as the old man was laughing

This was not on some dirt country road but a very well-travelled public street
 
2012-11-11 08:10:43 AM  

ToxicMunkee: Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.

I agree.


Except that the Pilot in Command should not have allowed the situation, so he should get the blame.
 
2012-11-11 08:35:57 AM  
FTA: "The NTSB laid some blame on the pilot for not controlling his cockpit"

Since the dawn of time man has struggled, often in vain, to control the cockpit.
 
2012-11-11 08:43:50 AM  
What happened to the bit about the PIC being ultimately responsible for safe operation of the aircraft?

In any event, sounds like the trophy wife is the big winner here...considering the owner was 60-ish with a 5 year old brat.
 
2012-11-11 08:49:29 AM  

Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.


No, if the accident happened as the NTSB concluded, then the pilot is to blame for allowing an unsafe condition in his cockpit.

BronyMedic: Aha. So it comes out. That report is an inconvenience in their little lawsuit against Eurocopter America.


Except it's not even an inconvenience. NTSB reports can't be used at trial. Eurocopter probably perfers that the NTSB find someone else at fault for publicity and future sales, but it won't make a difference at trial.

RoyBatty: If there is no eye witness that the girl ever kicked the collective in the past, I find it difficult for them to blame the crash on the kid. The statement it is "highly likely" seems outrageous. If they want to state their theory of unknown collective input, that's one thing, to go from there to kid must've done it, seems gross.

It also seems irresponsible to have a government agency make that statement with such little evidence when there are pending lawsuits.


The NTSB's job is to find the probable cause, to help improve safety. Their job is not to be a fact finder for trial, or to consider the feelings of the families of the dead. Their job is to protect the lives of the living. If the only plausible explanation is that the kid did it, then they should say so.

Could they be wrong? Sure. But companies and regulators need the best information possible to correct any faults in aircraft, pilot training, or the air traffic system. If the NTSB withheld their opinion out of a sense of fairness to the family or the girl's memory, some pilot down the road might repeat the tragic mistake.
 
2012-11-11 09:00:26 AM  
So, billionaires haven't found a way around the laws of physics?

Yay.
 
2012-11-11 09:03:59 AM  
"Javascript must be enabled on your browser to view this site."

Yeah, no. Why would i need javascript to read a page of text?
 
2012-11-11 09:19:43 AM  
if the child did sit in his lap occasionally maybe it wasn't big enough to touch anything in the beginning. and then one flight she realized hey cool i can reach out and touch this thing.
 
2012-11-11 09:22:43 AM  

the801: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.


I've always been pretty nervous of helicopters, having flown in them maybe a dozen times.
The knowledge that at least some of them are designed with the main rotor and tail rotor not far enough apart to avoid contact with only jerky movements of the controls doesn't make me feel any safer.
 
2012-11-11 09:28:46 AM  
My wife works for FSA in Scottsdale. Tom Stewart relocated us from Seattle when he moved his headquarters down here... He was good to his employees.
His helicopter crashed close to our house. It was a tragedy. He was hardcore Republican, but his generosity made up for it.
 
2012-11-11 09:39:04 AM  
Rich, entitled cocksucker millionaire thinks he's above the rules and that his kids should get everything they want. And they all died because of it. This was 100% the father's fault.
 
2012-11-11 10:02:23 AM  

KrispyKritter: big respect for helicopter pilots. i'm told it takes both hands, both feet and a lot of wide awake knowledge to pilot those unwieldy birds. not an easy task even on a clear day.


So maybe they should have hired one.

FTA: "Stewart liked to fly the craft even though he wasn't licensed for helicopters."
 
2012-11-11 10:18:28 AM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: the801: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.

Aren't most Fords designed to do that?


I know about rotor flex etc. and the unfortunate reality of flight physics means unless you wanted a helicopter that handled like shiat because it has an extremely long tail section, or really high rotor (or short blades), it's always going to be a problem. But it's still bad design.
Unfortunately, someone needs to get cracking on designing impulse engines...
 
2012-11-11 10:36:01 AM  

PiperArrow: The NTSB's job is to find the probable cause, to help improve safety. Their job is not to be a fact finder for trial, or to consider the feelings of the families of the dead. Their job is to protect the lives of the living. If the only plausible explanation is that the kid did it, then they should say so.

Could they be wrong? Sure. But companies and regulators need the best information possible to correct any faults in aircraft, pilot training, or the air traffic system. If the NTSB withheld their opinion out of a sense of fairness to the family or the girl's memory, some pilot down the road might repeat the tragic mistake.


This is why it annoys me when people get all snarky about the NTSB seeking to blame pilots. There's no 'seeking' involved - they report on what they believe the most probable cause of the accident was. It could be wrong, but if there was more compelling evidence to support a different conclusion, that'd be the probable cause.

The pilot is often a factor because whether or not they caused the situation, their reaction to the situation can also come into play. The only time a pilot isn't a contributing factor is when something entirely beyond their control goes wrong, and they then deal with it in the best possible way.
 
2012-11-11 10:38:39 AM  

Kthulu: What happened to the bit about the PIC being ultimately responsible for safe operation of the aircraft?

In any event, sounds like the trophy wife is the big winner here...considering the owner was 60-ish with a 5 year old brat.


Nope, she went down in the crash, too. Next of kin, or whoever can claim it. He was sole owner of a 2.5 billion/year business.
 
2012-11-11 10:50:42 AM  
At least they died doing what they loved to do......
 
2012-11-11 11:10:58 AM  

RoyBatty: The NTSB is notorious for declaring accidents to be pilot error that otherwise have unknown causes, but this report seems outrageous even for them.

If there is no eye witness that the girl ever kicked the collective in the past, I find it difficult for them to blame the crash on the kid. The statement it is "highly likely" seems outrageous. If they want to state their theory of unknown collective input, that's one thing, to go from there to kid must've done it, seems gross.

It also seems irresponsible to have a government agency make that statement with such little evidence when there are pending lawsuits.

That said,

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?


The job of the NTSB is to find the most likely answer--they are looking to improve safety, not allocate blame. As such, I think they did their job. The kid was on his lap, there was an input that made no sense followed by an overcorrection. What else should you figure besides the kid?
 
2012-11-11 11:37:37 AM  

PiperArrow: The NTSB's job is to find the probable cause, to help improve safety. Their job is not to be a fact finder for trial, or to consider the feelings of the families of the dead. Their job is to protect the lives of the living. If the only plausible explanation is that the kid did it, then they should say so.


And yet, it certainly seems in this case, their decision will certainly be used in trial.

Could they be wrong? Sure. But companies and regulators need the best information possible to correct any faults in aircraft, pilot training, or the air traffic system. If the NTSB withheld their opinion out of a sense of fairness to the family or the girl's memory, some pilot down the road might repeat the tragic mistake.

It still seems irresponsible for pilots, passengers, and companies to assign causes when you cannot legitimately, scientifically, cannot find one.

How is aviation advanced here by a statement that they believe the girl stepped on the collective more than a statement that the NTSB believes a control input on the collective for an unknown reason caused the crash?

Indeed, all those times they find pilot error when it was almost certainly not pilot error, how does that help anyone? Seems much more likely to hurt aviation as a whole.
 
2012-11-11 11:43:48 AM  

Loren: The job of the NTSB is to find the most likely answer--they are looking to improve safety, not allocate blame. As such, I think they did their job. The kid was on his lap, there was an input that made no sense followed by an overcorrection. What else should you figure besides the kid?


Do you think police investigations should work this way? Where we demand the police determine the most likely answer?

Do you think science should work this way? Where we take away "unknown effect from an unknown source" from a scientist's conclusions and demand they always list the most likely answer?

Always demanding an answer, regardless of evidence does not seem to be an effective way to progress.
 
2012-11-11 11:49:21 AM  

MacWizard: Stewart liked to fly the craft even though he wasn't licensed for helicopters


Even that seems to be a bullshiat statement.

There was an extremely qualified very experienced licensed pilot right next to him. The FAA makes it sound as though Rick Morton had left the cockpit and was snoozing in a rear cabin speak with the stewardess.
 
2012-11-11 11:50:09 AM  
And by FAA, I mean NTSB.
 
2012-11-11 11:58:46 AM  

GoldDude: I've always been pretty nervous of helicopters, having flown in them maybe a dozen times.
The knowledge that at least some of them are designed with the main rotor and tail rotor not far enough apart to avoid contact with only jerky movements of the controls doesn't make me feel any safer.


Pretty much all helicopters can chop off their tail boom if operated incorrectly. I hedge with 'pretty much all' since there is probably some odd ball one out there that can't, but the amount of flex available in the blades is huge. Twin rotor helicopters such as the Chinook have other issues, the blades can hit each other or can hit the structure of the helicopter.

I fly fixed wing, and know several fixed wing pilots who won't fly on helicopters, including for their own medical evacuation. Fling wings have about a hundred different failure modes where 'everybody dies' is the only outcome available no matter how good the pilot is.
 
2012-11-11 12:04:24 PM  

RoyBatty: MacWizard: Stewart liked to fly the craft even though he wasn't licensed for helicopters

Even that seems to be a bullshiat statement.

There was an extremely qualified very experienced licensed pilot right next to him. The FAA makes it sound as though Rick Morton had left the cockpit and was snoozing in a rear cabin speak with the stewardess.


How many sets of flight controls are in that model?
 
2012-11-11 12:04:37 PM  

RoyBatty: PiperArrow: The NTSB's job is to find the probable cause, to help improve safety. Their job is not to be a fact finder for trial, or to consider the feelings of the families of the dead. Their job is to protect the lives of the living. If the only plausible explanation is that the kid did it, then they should say so.

And yet, it certainly seems in this case, their decision will certainly be used in trial.


From 49 U.S.C. § 1154: No part of a report of the Board, related to an accident or an investigation of an accident, may be admitted into evidence or used in a civil action for damages resulting from a matter mentioned in the report. So no, it won't be used at trial.
 
2012-11-11 12:06:36 PM  
The NTSB doesn't usually use words like "blame"... and in fact, they did not.

Here is the actual report.

Skip to the very last paragraph.

The "probable cause" was the controls being moved inappropriately. A "contributing factor" to the "probable cause" was absence of "cockpit discipline". Everything else is simply a statement of facts. 

//successfull_troll.jpg
 
2012-11-11 12:09:18 PM  

BronyMedic: the801: Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

how is this even possible? it's like designing a car where braking too hard can cause the wheels to shatter the gas tank while simultaneously emitting showers of sparks.



Those blades dip and flex, they're not rigid; and they're only about two to three feet above the tail. All it would take is a violent jerk combined with wind to bend one of those rotor blades. And it doesn't take a hard lick, just a glancing blow.


That helicopter doesn't have any blades...
 
2012-11-11 12:19:03 PM  

RoyBatty: How is aviation advanced here by a statement that they believe the girl stepped on the collective more than a statement that the NTSB believes a control input on the collective for an unknown reason caused the crash?


Ahem.

"For those of you who may be too stupid to recognize that letting a kid sit in your lap when there are also flight controls in your lap.. Allow us to help your out here: that's really farking stupid."

THAT's the benefit to aviation as a whole.

Indeed, all those times they find pilot error when it was almost certainly not pilot error, how does that help anyone? Seems much more likely to hurt aviation as a whole.

Got specific instances of "all those times"? I'd love to see some. Finally, I'd argue that pretending the vast majority of fatalities in aviation aren't>/I> caused by human error is far more dangerous to aviation as a whole.
 
2012-11-11 12:21:36 PM  

RoyBatty: Do you think police investigations should work this way? Where we demand the police determine the most likely answer?


Of course not. But that's precisely why we have impartial investigations of accidents as well as criminal investigations. In the UK we have had the Air Accident Investigation Branch for many years, and that way of working has been copied for the R(ail)AIB and M(arine)AIB as well.

All these have making things safer as their principal aim, and they therefore identify likely and probably causes as much as beyond reasonable doubts ones. The police have a different aim; they are trying to establish whether there was criminal negligence and work, therefore, to a much higher standard of proof.

As a recreation pilot, though, I don;t just want to know what people did that was criminally wrong to kill themselves. I want to know what they probably did wrong, or may have done wrong, so I can try and avoid doing these things myself.
 
2012-11-11 12:32:20 PM  

Charlie Freak: How many sets of flight controls are in that model?


"The pilot, who had accumulated 11,045 hours of total flight time, all in rotorcraft-helicopters, 824 hours of which were in the EC135 T1, was already seated in the right front cockpit seat. Both the left and right front cockpit seats were equipped with dual flight controls. Operator personnel revealed that the helicopter owner's daughter had sat on her father's lap occasionally during flights, that the owner liked to fly the helicopter, and that it was common for him to fly. Although the owner held a certificate for airplane single-engine land, he was not a rated helicopter pilot. However, it could not be determined who was flying the helicopter at the time of the accident."

thedumbone: The NTSB doesn't usually use words like "blame"... and in fact, they did not.

Here is the actual report.

Skip to the very last paragraph.

The "probable cause" was the controls being moved inappropriately. A "contributing factor" to the "probable cause" was absence of "cockpit discipline". Everything else is simply a statement of facts. 

//successfull_troll.jpg


The actual report reads much better than the reporting. I still think saying it is "it is highly likely that the child
inadvertently stepped on the collective with her left foot and displaced it to the full down position" is problematical. It's not as bad as the magic bullet, but it's still obnoxious and bureaucratic.
 
2012-11-11 12:34:45 PM  

RoyBatty: MacWizard: Stewart liked to fly the craft even though he wasn't licensed for helicopters

Even that seems to be a bullshiat statement.

There was an extremely qualified very experienced licensed pilot right next to him.


Establishes a pattern of the pilot letting the boss do what he wants.. Rick Morton wasn't an instructor, and the guy who owned the thing wasn't a helicopter pilot. That means Rick Morton flies. All the time. Period.

So that's two counts of forgetting what the "C" in PIC means.
 
2012-11-11 12:37:23 PM  
After reading the NTSB report, I find that the rich guy is a douche (flipping switches and taking control when not licensed, not to mention the kid on the lap thing), and the PIC should have quit long before he died in a flaming heap of metal.
 
2012-11-11 12:38:41 PM  

ransack.: That helicopter doesn't have any blades...


And therefore is about as safe as a helicopter can be.
 
2012-11-11 12:41:17 PM  

costermonger: "For those of you who may be too stupid to recognize that letting a kid sit in your lap when there are also flight controls in your lap.. Allow us to help your out here: that's really farking stupid."

THAT's the benefit to aviation as a whole.


orbister: As a recreation pilot, though, I don;t just want to know what people did that was criminally wrong to kill themselves. I want to know what they probably did wrong, or may have done wrong, so I can try and avoid doing these things myself.


NTSB: "The most probable scenario to explain what caused the yellow blade to be in a position to strike the tail rotor drive shaft was that all of the main rotor blades were following a path that would have intersected the tail rotor drive shaft as a result of an abrupt and unusual control input. Further, witness marks that were on the tops of the blade cuffs likely occurred during the accident flight."

So the NTSB seems to be saying they had multiple scenarios, but they believe (it's not clear how they determined most probable scenario, was that a scientific conclusion based on probabilities, or an expert's judgment?) the most likely scenario is this one.

The family and mechanics seem to think it was a blade failure in a repaired blade.

It may be of more interest to aviation to wary of using repaired blades than of keeping your kids off your lap.

I do find it interesting that the NTSB report seems to make no mention of a blade being repaired. I am pretty sure way back in 2010 when the accident occurred, the paper was reporting the blade repairs even then.
 
2012-11-11 01:01:18 PM  

RoyBatty: NTSB: "The most probable scenario to explain what caused the yellow blade to be in a position to strike the tail rotor drive shaft was that all of the main rotor blades were following a path that would have intersected the tail rotor drive shaft as a result of an abrupt and unusual control input. Further, witness marks that were on the tops of the blade cuffs likely occurred during the accident flight."

So the NTSB seems to be saying they had multiple scenarios, but they believe (it's not clear how they determined most probable scenario, was that a scientific conclusion based on probabilities, or an expert's judgment?) the most likely scenario is this one.

The family and mechanics seem to think it was a blade failure in a repaired blade.

It may be of more interest to aviation to wary of using repaired blades than of keeping your kids off your lap.

I do find it interesting that the NTSB report seems to make no mention of a blade being repaired. I am pretty sure way back in 2010 when the accident occurred, the paper was reporting the blade repairs even then.


From the report:

A postaccident examination of the helicopter revealed that the yellow blade had impacted the left horizontal endplate and the tail rotor
drive shaft in the area of the sixth hangar bearing, which resulted in the loss of control and subsequent impact with terrain. All of the
damage at the aft end of the steel section of the tail rotor drive shaft was consistent with a single impact from the yellow main rotor
blade. No preimpact failures or material anomalies were found in the wreckage and component examinations that could explain the
divergence of the yellow blade from the plane of main rotor rotation.


The bold part indicates that the NTSB's engineering branch was able to determine that the blade didn't fail prior to hitting the tail. I am not an engineer, but having seen the kind of forensic investigation they're able to do with components of a badly, badly damaged aircraft, I'm inclined to believe them. If it's a question of whether the blade separated from the hub prior to impacting the tail, the location of the impact point on the blade would be sufficient to allow them to rule out such a possibility.

I can tell you from personal involvement with a fatal air accident that the family of the pilot always has a theory that absolves their lost relative. That their theory was made public in the media, well, that doesn't really concern the NTSB. They're not in the business of responding.
 
2012-11-11 01:10:37 PM  

RoyBatty: I do find it interesting that the NTSB report seems to make no mention of a blade being repaired.


Well, it wasn't repaired - one of the blades was replaced. If you want more info regarding the technical details of the accident, check this out.

Highlights:

All main rotor blade roots remained attached to the hub, and all main rotor blade bolts were intact. A section of the blue main rotor blade separated due to impact forces and came to rest at the main wreckage site. The three remaining main rotor blades (yellow, red, and green) remained attached to the hub but were missing some section of the respective blades, primarily at the outboard tip area.

AKA no catastrophic failure of the rotor. They can't just randomly dip down and take out the tail.

The instructor added that the accident pilot revealed that when the owner (who was not a rated helicopter pilot but was a rated fixed-wing airplane pilot) flew, he would get in the cockpit, flip switches, and go. The instructor reported that he felt that the accident pilot was intimidated by the owner and would not insist that proper aircraft procedures be followed.
 
2012-11-11 01:20:02 PM  
quatchi:
i0.kym-cdn.com

Disaster girl is getting a real innocent kick out of this thread.


Came for this. Leaving happy.
 
2012-11-11 01:32:57 PM  
NTSB says it's sunny, I'll take an umbrella.

/1 wing way over that way
//plane upside down on ground
///pilot error
 
2012-11-11 02:04:06 PM  

costermonger: RoyBatty: I do find it interesting that the NTSB report seems to make no mention of a blade being repaired.

Well, it wasn't repaired - one of the blades was replaced. If you want more info regarding the technical details of the accident, check this out.

Highlights:

All main rotor blade roots remained attached to the hub, and all main rotor blade bolts were intact. A section of the blue main rotor blade separated due to impact forces and came to rest at the main wreckage site. The three remaining main rotor blades (yellow, red, and green) remained attached to the hub but were missing some section of the respective blades, primarily at the outboard tip area.

AKA no catastrophic failure of the rotor. They can't just randomly dip down and take out the tail.

The instructor added that the accident pilot revealed that when the owner (who was not a rated helicopter pilot but was a rated fixed-wing airplane pilot) flew, he would get in the cockpit, flip switches, and go. The instructor reported that he felt that the accident pilot was intimidated by the owner and would not insist that proper aircraft procedures be followed.


Thanks, that's interesting, and thanks for finding for me in the prior post where the NTSB engineering branch absolved blade failure.
 
2012-11-11 02:24:05 PM  

CBob: NTSB says it's sunny, I'll take an umbrella.

/1 wing way over that way
//plane upside down on ground
///pilot error


So.. Wings regularly fall off planes flown according to their limitations?
 
2012-11-11 02:36:49 PM  
Helicopters scare the fark out of me.
 
2012-11-11 02:47:31 PM  

Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.

Agreed, but the NTSB is in the uncomfortable position of finding causes for a crash. My best friend was an airline pilot and died in a crash in 2004, and absent any mechanical failure they blamed the crash on him and his co-pilot because they were talking about things besides landing the plane under 10,000 feet on approach. They literally tried to land the plane 3 miles early. NTSB took a year and came up with "pilot error" because there wasn't any other reasonable explanation.

It took me a long time to come to terms with it. My friend wasn't an idiot. Neither was his co-pilot. The weather was bad, so I figured the altimeter has malfunctioned and they thought they were higher than they were. But after reading the report, there were two altimeters, and they missed/ignored the readings during descent. Either they were running visual, or they were mistaken about where they were. It was a commuter plane (11 people died) and it didn't have a low altitude warning system because it wasn't required at the time. Of course, after that crash the low altitude warning became mandatory.

The NTSB is very thorough - they interviewed me for the report because I had been out with him for dinner two days before the crash. They wanted to know if he could have been drunk/high during the flight because his body was so badly burned they couldn't test it. I let them know for the ten years he was flying he wouldn't drink if he had to fly to next day, because rules were rules. He was better than good about it - FAA rules were his bible.

Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that. My friend weighed 225 lbs alive, ...


:( Wow. That spectacularly sucks.
 
2012-11-11 03:31:34 PM  

Wizard Drongo: I know about rotor flex etc. and the unfortunate reality of flight physics means unless you wanted a helicopter that handled like shiat because it has an extremely long tail section, or really high rotor (or short blades), it's always going to be a problem. But it's still bad design.
Unfortunately, someone needs to get cracking on designing impulse engines...


Is the fact that the rotor is one big gyroscope what causes rotor flex in addition to the fact the blades aren't rigid? You jerk the controls too fast, the rotor wants to stay on their plane because of the forces involved in gyroscopes, so the body of the copter moves but the blades stay put?

I realize I know nothing about helicopters, but I had a gyroscope toy as a kid.
 
2012-11-11 03:55:20 PM  

Deman: Wizard Drongo: I know about rotor flex etc. and the unfortunate reality of flight physics means unless you wanted a helicopter that handled like shiat because it has an extremely long tail section, or really high rotor (or short blades), it's always going to be a problem. But it's still bad design.
Unfortunately, someone needs to get cracking on designing impulse engines...

Is the fact that the rotor is one big gyroscope what causes rotor flex in addition to the fact the blades aren't rigid? You jerk the controls too fast, the rotor wants to stay on their plane because of the forces involved in gyroscopes, so the body of the copter moves but the blades stay put?

I realize I know nothing about helicopters, but I had a gyroscope toy as a kid.


I imagine one of these flying farkers can provide more information, but from my limited knowledge (and imagination) the 'collector' is the lever that controls the helocopter's up and down.
Rapidly moving the control made the helo bounce down then up rapidly.
Imagine holding a yardstick in the middle and moving it up and down so it 'flaps'. That's what the blade did.
 
2012-11-11 03:57:43 PM  

Spirit Hammer: Deman: Wizard Drongo: I know about rotor flex etc. and the unfortunate reality of flight physics means unless you wanted a helicopter that handled like shiat because it has an extremely long tail section, or really high rotor (or short blades), it's always going to be a problem. But it's still bad design.
Unfortunately, someone needs to get cracking on designing impulse engines...

Is the fact that the rotor is one big gyroscope what causes rotor flex in addition to the fact the blades aren't rigid? You jerk the controls too fast, the rotor wants to stay on their plane because of the forces involved in gyroscopes, so the body of the copter moves but the blades stay put?

I realize I know nothing about helicopters, but I had a gyroscope toy as a kid.

I imagine one of these flying farkers can provide more information, but from my limited knowledge (and imagination) the 'collector' is the lever that controls the helocopter's up and down.
Rapidly moving the control made the helo bounce down then up rapidly.
Imagine holding a yardstick in the middle and moving it up and down so it 'flaps'. That's what the blade did.


and re-reading your question, that's not what you asked.
Sorry.
 
2012-11-11 05:16:22 PM  

Spirit Hammer: Deman: Wizard Drongo: I know about rotor flex etc. and the unfortunate reality of flight physics means unless you wanted a helicopter that handled like shiat because it has an extremely long tail section, or really high rotor (or short blades), it's always going to be a problem. But it's still bad design.
Unfortunately, someone needs to get cracking on designing impulse engines...

Is the fact that the rotor is one big gyroscope what causes rotor flex in addition to the fact the blades aren't rigid? You jerk the controls too fast, the rotor wants to stay on their plane because of the forces involved in gyroscopes, so the body of the copter moves but the blades stay put?

I realize I know nothing about helicopters, but I had a gyroscope toy as a kid.

I imagine one of these flying farkers can provide more information, but from my limited knowledge (and imagination) the 'collector' is the lever that controls the helocopter's up and down.
Rapidly moving the control made the helo bounce down then up rapidly.
Imagine holding a yardstick in the middle and moving it up and down so it 'flaps'. That's what the blade did.


I think it is what I asked, I just asked it wrong. I was imagining a pivoting motion back and forth centered underneath the rotor that caused the tail to hit the rotors on its upward movement. If that's what the collector does then you sound right.
 
2012-11-11 05:19:01 PM  

Deman: Wizard Drongo: I know about rotor flex etc. and the unfortunate reality of flight physics means unless you wanted a helicopter that handled like shiat because it has an extremely long tail section, or really high rotor (or short blades), it's always going to be a problem. But it's still bad design.
Unfortunately, someone needs to get cracking on designing impulse engines...

Is the fact that the rotor is one big gyroscope what causes rotor flex in addition to the fact the blades aren't rigid? You jerk the controls too fast, the rotor wants to stay on their plane because of the forces involved in gyroscopes, so the body of the copter moves but the blades stay put?

I realize I know nothing about helicopters, but I had a gyroscope toy as a kid.


Yes, the rotor is a gyroscope, and wants to stay in a given plane. The cyclic controls put a torque on the rotor to precess the plane of rotation, i.e, to tilt the rotor fore and aft or left and right. The collective increases or decreases the net lift on the rotor.

Because the rotor is lifting, the fuselage wants to hang with its center of gravity more or less in line with the lift vector. But if you push down hard on the collective, the lift on the rotor goes to zero (zero-g flight), and the fuselage and rotor become decoupled. If you then pull aft cyclic (the natural response of an aircraft pilot, but not a helicopter pilot), the rotor tilts back, but the fuselage doesn't. That results in a tail strike by the rotor. Pulling hard on the collective during the recovery can exacerbate the problem.

This video explains mast bumping, which is a related problem.
 
2012-11-11 10:11:57 PM  
Stupid, unnecessary tragedy is stupid, unnecessary and tragic.
 
2012-11-11 11:17:19 PM  

Farklee: At least they died doing what they loved to do......


They loved impacting a lake at 100 mph in a twisted ball of metal?
 
2012-11-12 12:22:08 PM  

vossiewulf: A rapid up and down movement of the collective? Wouldn't it be the cyclic to cause that? How could rapidly changing the pitch of the blades cause the main rotor to collide with the tail rotor?


Exactly. It's the cyclic motion that can cause that, not the collective.
3000 hours in helicopters, I do know what I'm talking about.
 
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