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(LA Times)   Old and busted: Texting while driving. New and busted: Texting while piloting a medical helicopter   (latimes.com) divider line 38
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2938 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Apr 2013 at 5:47 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-10 01:23:06 AM  
This is why the US rotary wing industry sucks. Bad pay, terrible hours and poor training.

Also, the article said the helicopter stalled? Helicopters don't stall, blades can stall but only if you really screw something up.
 
2013-04-10 01:53:41 AM  
roflcopter
 
2013-04-10 05:51:33 AM  
fta The five-member National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday unanimously agreed on Tuesday that the crash was caused by a tired pilot who skipped preflight safety checks that would have revealed the helicopter was low on fuel.

That could be a problem, too, I guess.
 
2013-04-10 05:59:31 AM  
ur hot girl lol omg no gazz g2g yolo
 
2013-04-10 06:01:59 AM  
Sent that biatch a smiley face

/biatches love smiley faces
 
2013-04-10 06:07:08 AM  

Tio_Holtzmann: ur hot girl lol omg no gazz g2g yolo


I just choked while reading that and burned my tongue on some tea.

New tongue please.
 
2013-04-10 06:11:13 AM  
Sorry. Drink whiskey, it's safer.
 
2013-04-10 06:40:03 AM  
Now how exactly did texting cause the crash?
 
2013-04-10 07:01:15 AM  

Roest: Now how exactly did texting cause the crash?


He was too busy sexting his girl to notice he was out of gas?
 
2013-04-10 07:01:17 AM  
Was his phone gas operated or something?
 
2013-04-10 07:29:47 AM  

Roest: Now how exactly did texting cause the crash?


One might surmise, the dead hero might have text his dastardly scheme of blowing off said checks to his hungry g/f. Would that be too much of a shock or a stretch? Now, if he was text'ing while these checks should have been done, could texting be one of the reasons why he didn't get it done? A fuel check seems pretty important for a pilot, telling your g/f you didn't check it clears up the paperwork after you're dead.
 
2013-04-10 07:34:30 AM  
this texting this is just a red herring. he was tired and missed his pre flight check. the copter was not ready for flight. seems like some liability should fall on the ground crew also. not sure how all this is taken care of but more than just the pilot should have been responsible for that copter being fueled.
 
2013-04-10 07:35:11 AM  

change1211: This is why the US rotary wing industry sucks. Bad pay, terrible hours and poor training.

Also, the article said the helicopter stalled? Helicopters don't stall, blades can stall but only if you really screw something up.


they absolutely do stall if they run out of fuel :/
 
2013-04-10 07:38:06 AM  
Texting, no pre-flight, no diversion when realizing he was low on fuel. That's a mighty fine trifecta of bad choices there.....
 
2013-04-10 07:53:58 AM  
"The last text was sent 19 minutes before the crash, according to officials." Non-issue. Granted there is probably more to this than made the article, but itsn't it standard practice to auto rotate down in the event of a predictable loss of power? It's not like they had nowhere to set down; he crashed it into the middle of a field...
 
2013-04-10 08:07:44 AM  
Since one hand is on the cyclic, and the other on the collective, how can you text and fly a helicopter?
 
2013-04-10 08:18:00 AM  
Had a friend that died in this crash-best nurse I ever worked with. He worked with the community, taught courses for ED personnel across the state. Such a farking loss over what appears to be poor preflight safety checks. I believe that pilot was rather new to the team (but not piloting).
 
2013-04-10 08:26:38 AM  

italie: Texting, no pre-flight, no diversion when realizing he was low on fuel. That's a mighty fine trifecta of bad choices there.....

The pilot decided to continue with the patient to a hospital in Liberty, Mo., but changed plans and headed to an airfield 32 minutes away for fuel. The helicopter stalled and crashed about a mile from the airfield.


He did divert. Alas, too late. He should have been a little more decisive and headed for gas a couple of minutes earlier. Of course, as you pointed out, if he hadn't had his head up his ass pre-flight he would have gotten fuel then.

Also: why wouldn't they fuel the damn thing up at the end of their training flight the night before? That's no excuse for this guy's actions, but that seems a little lazy on the part of the previous night's crew. The helicopter was parked at its home base that night. Do they not have fuel at the home base? What if there had been an emergency? Seems like the whole operation was a little slip-shod.

Of course it is the pilot's responsibility to make sure his craft is ship shape before he takes off.
 
2013-04-10 08:45:39 AM  
The tragedy would have been averted if he could only find a runway on which to land.
 
2013-04-10 08:54:42 AM  

gilatrout: Since one hand is on the cyclic, and the other on the collective, how can you text and fly a helicopter?


Autopilot.  Assuming it's available in that aircraft.
 
2013-04-10 09:03:49 AM  

SpikeStrip: roflcopter


soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soil soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi soi
 
2013-04-10 09:05:04 AM  
Bad year for mediflight choppers.
 
2013-04-10 09:13:34 AM  

change1211: Also, the article said the helicopter stalled? Helicopters don't stall, blades can stall but only if you really screw something up.


I don't know about the helicopter in question here but aren't some helicopters capable of pitching or rolling to almost 90° from level flight? In that situation wouldn't it go into a stall?
 
2013-04-10 09:18:33 AM  
Plethora of responses to you guys:

Why wasn't the helicopter fueled?
Laziness or due too low gross weight restrictions.
In smaller helicopters, sometimes you have to leave with half a bag of fuel because you have a heavy patient and couldn't get off the ground.  it is a lot easier to fuel up then to have to defuel.

Why didn't he do the pre flight?
Laziness or there is the possibility that he is not responsible for it.

How could he possibly text with one hand on the collective and the other on the cyclic?
Trim, collective and or cyclic frictions.  I don't know if his helicopter with so equipped, but they usually have some or all of what I just listed.
Alternatively he used his leg to hold the collective.

And while this is not the case here, it has been necessary to use a cell phone during medivac operations in the past.  Sometimes that is how we had to communicate with the ground guys to coordinate a pickup.
 
2013-04-10 09:20:55 AM  
Sorry, but sending a text 19 minutes before the crash didn't contribute to it. The fact that the vehicle had less than a liter of fuel when it plummeted from the sky did.
 
2013-04-10 09:27:40 AM  
Father chaos, you nailed it.  Sensationalist headline, but the end result was the dude/company dropped the ball in several places.  No pre flight, not enough fuel, poor fuel management, and an unsuccessful auto rotation (I guess, since it sounds like he was empty in the air) to the ground.  Sad world of suck right there.

And whoever made that YOLO comment, you win the internet.  That was some hilarious shiznit.
 
2013-04-10 09:44:56 AM  

Hobodeluxe: change1211: This is why the US rotary wing industry sucks. Bad pay, terrible hours and poor training.

Also, the article said the helicopter stalled? Helicopters don't stall, blades can stall but only if you really screw something up.

they absolutely do stall if they run out of fuel :/


A helicoptor is able to Auto Rotate in the event of a power failure to the rotors (Fogot to fill my farking tank). Sounds like this pilot just farked up big time.
 
2013-04-10 10:02:30 AM  
Proving once again that the ornithopter is the safest mode of aerial egress!
 
2013-04-10 10:29:35 AM  

BetterMetalSnake: The tragedy would have been averted if he could only find a runway on which to land.


It's ok to end a sentence in a preposition....avoiding it often leads to awkward structures.

/Moorons neglect preflight
 
2013-04-10 10:34:28 AM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-10 11:12:36 AM  

Tio_Holtzmann: Sorry. Drink whiskey, it's safer.


This was poetry.
 
2013-04-10 11:29:05 AM  

Arkanaut: change1211: Also, the article said the helicopter stalled? Helicopters don't stall, blades can stall but only if you really screw something up.

I don't know about the helicopter in question here but aren't some helicopters capable of pitching or rolling to almost 90° from level flight? In that situation wouldn't it go into a stall?


Nope. For most helicopters there's a limitation on your angle of bank (usually around 60% because past that you get into aerobatic flight) but I don't think that's what happened here. It looks like the pilot screwed up his pre-flight and didn't enter autorotation when his engine went. If that was the case then yes, his rotor blades could have stalled but that isn't quite the same. Looks like yet another US medi-vac pilot error accident.
 
2013-04-10 11:51:16 AM  
Initially I was told that the scene indicated he came in at too steep of an angle forward, causing the craft to flip several times and eject the passwngers.
 
2013-04-10 12:28:00 PM  
Wait until people figure out their texting device also acts as a phone.
 
2013-04-10 02:21:41 PM  

Sasquach: BetterMetalSnake: The tragedy would have been averted if he could only find a runway on which to land.

It's ok to end a sentence in a preposition....avoiding it often leads to awkward structures.

/Moorons neglect preflight


LOL!!! My original comment ended with a preposition, but since this is Fark I figured I would get shiat for it. Thanks for confirming that, on Fark, the only way to win is not to play.
 
2013-04-10 10:25:11 PM  

usttsdw: Hobodeluxe: change1211: This is why the US rotary wing industry sucks. Bad pay, terrible hours and poor training.

Also, the article said the helicopter stalled? Helicopters don't stall, blades can stall but only if you really screw something up.

they absolutely do stall if they run out of fuel :/

A helicoptor is able to Auto Rotate in the event of a power failure to the rotors (Fogot to fill my farking tank). Sounds like this pilot just farked up big time.


Well, yes and no. If the helicopter is too low/too slow, the lift generated by auto-rotation will be insufficient to counteract gravity. This performance chart is charmingly referred to as the "dead man's curve". My guess is he either ran out of gas or didn't take corrective action until he was below the curve.
 
2013-04-11 12:10:21 AM  
I thought this story was funny till I realized I know the pilot's widow, who was pregnant with their child when he died. Now the story just sucks.
 
2013-04-11 01:56:02 PM  
TFA: "The last text was sent 19 minutes before the crash...Less than one liter of fuel remained in the craft, which lost power due to "fuel exhaustion," according to the findings."

Headline: "Texting contributed to fatal crash of medical helicopter"


So, the helicopter ran out of gas and crashed short of the airfield...because the pilot sent a text message 20 minutes ago?

www.dedoimedo.com
 
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