Happy Birthday – 1 Year of News and Comment

Happy Birthday – 1 Year of News and Comment from Aerossurance

One year today we published the first article in our News and Comment series.

Our very first article was: Offshore Helicopter Accident Ghana 8 May 2014 & The Importance of Emergency Response.  We were keen to emphasise the importance of emergency response provision, especially at remote operating sites.  As always we strive to update our stories with new information and in October 2014 we added otherwise little-publicised details released by the accident commission.

Over the past year we have published 190 original articles which we hope our readers have enjoyed and found of use.  Certainly we have been gratified by regular positive feedback, which have confirmed that topical, fact-rich, opinion-lite articles with good links to public domain sources are appreciated.

We post links to all our original content on our corporate LinkedIn page, so if you have comments on our articles please share them.  On the same page we also share other carefully selected safety, aviation and oil & gas news and links.  The mix is eclectic but we hope that if we find them of interest you will too!

So now we can do a countdown of Aerossurance’s 10 most popular stories:

Number 10: James Reason’s 12 Principles of Error Management

Twelve sound principles that are always worth revisiting.

Number 9: Helicopter Ditching Limitations

Topical not only because of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) rule making team on offshore survivability but also due to the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) the CAP1145 report published 20 February 2014 and this year’s CAP1243, Offshore Helicopter Review Progress Report (which have influenced a number of our stories).  Never underestimate the power of the sea:

Number 8: Breaking the Chain: X-31 Lessons Learned

Dramatic flight test video and frank discussion of the lessons learnt make this NASA accident worth close attention.

The Martin-Baker Mk 10 Ejection Sea Leaves the Aircraft (Credit: NASA)

The Martin-Baker Mk 10 Ejection Sea Leaves the Aircraft (Credit: NASA)

Number 7: Accident Report: Fatal Police Helicopter Double Engine Flameout Over City Centre

While returning from a routine patrol over a crowded city both engines flamed out on a police helicopter.  Due to the helicopter’s low altitude and the congested environment the aircraft crashed into buildings with multiple fatalities.  We examine at the accident investigator’s final report and highlight the value of studying accidents internationally.  You might have assumed was the tragic accident in Glasgow, UK, 29 November 2013.  In fact it was an AgustaWestland A109K2 JA11PC of the Shizuoka Prefectural Police in Shizuoka City on 3 May 2005.

Accident Site (Credit: JTSB)

Accident Site (Credit: JTSB)

Number 6: NTSB Report on 2013 S-76 Tail Rotor Blade Loss

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported on a fatal Sikorsky S-76A++ accident.  During a post-maintenance check flight of avionics 2 tail rotor blades separated and the TGB began to disintegrate. All 3 POB died.

Accident Site (Credit: NTSB)

Accident Site (Credit: NTSB)

Number 5: Heli-Expo 2015 Photo Report

Back in March we had a very fruitful week in Orlando.  We had a series of stakeholder meetings on the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) Basic Aviation Risk Standard Offshore Helicopter Operations (BARSOHO) project, got to renew our IS-BAO audit qualifications, met up with friends and colleagues both new and old, and walked the floor the HAI Heli-ExpoUPDATE 27 May 2015: BARSOHO is launched.

X$ launches as H160

Airbus Helicopters H160 (Credit: Andy Evans)

This article covered the unveiling of the visually stunning Airbus Helicopters H160, AW announcing a platform development agreement for the AW609 TiltRotor with Bristow Group, certification of the 7t AW139, Sikorsky recognising Bristow Helicopters’ (then) upcoming launch of the new UK search and rescue (SAR) contract and the S-76D. We published a separate Super Medium Heli-Expo update.

Number 4: When Habits Kill – Canadian MD500 Accident

Habits can be dangerous, for example when circumstances or equipment change.  In this case an apprentice removed the dog-house cover from the helicopter each morning.  A few days before the accident the pilot said he’d do this.

The doghouse cover (Credit: TSB)

On the day of the accident, perhaps distracted and under pressure by the early arrival of his customers, the pilot forgot to remove the cover, or apparently do a pre-flight.  The cover, which was not visible from the cockpit, was drawn into the flying controls and Loss of Control – Inflight occurred.  Four people died.  We examined the lessons from this accident.

Number 3: UK CAA Release CRM Videos

At the time that they reissued CAP737 0n Crew Resource Management (CRM) the UK CAA also released a series of free open-access training videos made with the help of Bristow Group, FlightSafety International and Thomas Cook Airlines.  We hoped our readers would find them useful and the popularity of this news item certainly suggests a lot of interest.

Of course this video was our favourite:

Not only because it features a large offshore helicopter scenario, but because our friends Mark and Tim were sadly missed off the Oscar shortlist 😉

Number 2: NTSB Report on Bizarre 2012 US S-76B Ditching

An overweight helicopter, flown with a known defect, ditched during a poorly executed approach to a GOM drilling rig, chopping of the tail and then water taxying was attempted…  Luckily everyone survived in an accident that shows that sometimes Swiss Cheese has more hole than cheese.

Rear View of Wreckage After Recovery (Credit: NTSB)

Rear View of Wreckage After Recovery (Credit: NTSB)

And the top story of the year, was another ditching:

Number 1: Dramatic Malaysian S-76C 2013 Ditching Video

Dramatic passenger-shot video footage of a helicopter ditching next to a seismic ship and the subsequent rescue off Malaysia.  Perhaps it is not surprising that this article came top by a long way.  Not only does it feature a dramatic video but ditching survivability is a topical safety issue of public interest.  Fortuitously everyone onboard survived.  This article was picked up by several newspapers and industry blogs.

Survivors in the Water (Credit: Passenger Video)

Aerossurance are specialists in aviation safety, airworthiness and successful contracting for aviation services: enquiries@aerossurance.com

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