Preliminary report on helicopter cras...

Preliminary report on helicopter crash released by NTSB

There are 23 comments on the WZZM Grand Rapids story from Jun 4, 2008, titled Preliminary report on helicopter crash released by NTSB. In it, WZZM Grand Rapids reports that:

The National Transportation Safety Board has released their preliminary report on the Aero Med helicopter crash at Spectrum Health last Thursday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WZZM Grand Rapids.

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Since: Apr 08

I am right behind you

#1 Jun 4, 2008
Having read the report, it sounds like a gigantic "oops" to me. That "pop" was his tail rotor hitting the tower and breaking off.

As I figured, it seems like someone flunking their driving test by crashing the car.
Devon

Harbor Springs, MI

#2 Jun 4, 2008
People complain about Devos' helicopters but it is the hospitals that are crashing.
BMG

United States

#3 Jun 4, 2008
What's wrong with this picture? Final report due in 12 - 18 months! What if the problem is something that needs to be fixed on other helicopters, just wait until there are other crashes?
James

Newaygo, MI

#4 Jun 4, 2008
Hard to believe that happened to a senior pilot that I heard described as very experienced.
James

Newaygo, MI

#5 Jun 4, 2008
If they didn't take two years to sit on...I mean complete, their reports, half of the people sucking on the govt teet would have to be laid off!!
Eleven

Grand Rapids, MI

#6 Jun 4, 2008
12-18 months? And I thought FEMA was bad!

“Go Red Wings!!!”

Since: Oct 07

Plainfield Township MI

#7 Jun 4, 2008
James wrote:
Hard to believe that happened to a senior pilot that I heard described as very experienced.
Unfortunately, bad things happen to good people...they are called accidents. Having read the articles, no one can doubt that the pilot was very experienced, and had done a great job for many years. As human beings, it seems to be our nature to want to point a finger, or find some reason to blame something. Sometimes things just happen. I'm very happy that no one was hurt in this tragic accident...things could have turned out much, much worse. I hope that the pilot is back to work soon and helping to save lives again.

Since: Apr 08

I am right behind you

#8 Jun 4, 2008
12-18 months is standard on all NTSB crash investigations, even with the causes staring them in the face.
Mark

Lovington, NM

#9 Jun 4, 2008
Slow News Day wrote:
Having read the report, it sounds like a gigantic "oops" to me. That "pop" was his tail rotor hitting the tower and breaking off.
As I figured, it seems like someone flunking their driving test by crashing the car.
Maybe you need some reading comprehension classes then.

"The pilot reported that he lifted the helicopter straight up during the takeoff. The torque was about 94 percent and "everything was nominal." The helicopter was about 40 feet in the air when the pilot heard a "pop" and the helicopter started to yaw to the right and the helicopter started to vibrate."

So he lifted straight up into a radio tower that nobody had ever hit before in the hundreds of times that they have taken off from Butterworth. Sure.

Try again, mental midget.
Mark

Lovington, NM

#10 Jun 4, 2008
James wrote:
Hard to believe that happened to a senior pilot that I heard described as very experienced.
Read the report yourself, or the quote I took from it. It appears that Slow News Day doesn't know how to comprehend what he\she reads. The 'pop' occurred after lifting STRAIGHT up, which would mean the radio tower was directly above them.

Since: Apr 08

I am right behind you

#11 Jun 4, 2008
Mark wrote:
<quoted text>
Maybe you need some reading comprehension classes then.
"The pilot reported that he lifted the helicopter straight up during the takeoff. The torque was about 94 percent and "everything was nominal." The helicopter was about 40 feet in the air when the pilot heard a "pop" and the helicopter started to yaw to the right and the helicopter started to vibrate."
So he lifted straight up into a radio tower that nobody had ever hit before in the hundreds of times that they have taken off from Butterworth. Sure.
Try again, mental midget.
Read beyond the first couple of paragraphs and read closer to what I noted, Mr. he who has an IQ smaller than a rock.

I read that the helicopter pilot heard the pop, and started having right yaw issues. Looking further, a nurse, another witness, and even a little bit of footage on a security camera noted that the helicopter's tail hit the tower, causing it to disintegrate, and thus causing the yaw the pilot was describing, leading to the main rotor hitting the building, and therefore dropping to the ground.

If you ever were in a helicopter, or seen people in one, typically pilots are wearing headsets or helmets that cover their entire ear. That is to cancel out much of the outside noise, as well as hear other passengers and radio traffic. So, when the copter hit the tower, it could very well sound like a popping sound.

By the way, I read over that report at least 3 times before commenting. If you also look, it notes they also discussed the construction cranes in the vicinity. It is also possible that the pilot was more attentive to that, and forgot about the hazards that he had grown comfortable with, perhaps too comfortable.

Just because the pilot has a clean record doesn't mean he's the world's perfect pilot, either. Case in point:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/03/nat...

The co-pilot had a clean record. But, his actions, along with the pilot's and ATC's, combined to kill 49 people by not paying attention to what runway they were using or supposed to use.

Anything else you want to call me? Just keep in mind, your ignorance makes me better than you :).

Since: Apr 08

I am right behind you

#12 Jun 4, 2008
Also, don't forget two other things... "Straight up" is relative to the point of view... a helicopter can drift very slowly in flight, with little noticeable effect. Second, one's perspective can be partially clouded in such an event, even if they believe they remember it clearly. His account is contradicted by the nurse watching noted she watched it fly backwards until the tail rotor hit the tower.

Exact quotes:

"A hospital nurse reported that she heard the helicopter and went to the window to watch it takeoff. She saw the helicopter as it lifted off the pad and as it flew backwards toward the brick hospital structure and the radio towers on top of the structure. She saw the helicopter's tail rotor hit a tower."

"A hospital security video camera, which was located near the top of the brick structure and overlooked the helicopter landing pads, recorded a portion of the accident flight. It showed the helicopter as it came in for landing from the south and landed on about a 340-degree heading on the north landing spot. The helicopter stayed on the deck for about 3 minutes before it departed. The video showed the helicopter as it lifted off the north landing spot and it flew backwards toward the brick structure while the nose of the helicopter remained pointing to the northwest. It showed the helicopter as it went out of view of the video recorder as it continued to climb. Since it was a sunny day, the shadow of the helicopter and the towers on top of the brick structure were visible on the helicopter pad below. The shadow of the helicopter's tail rotor appeared to strike an object on one of the towers, and the tail rotor immediately shattered and the helicopter went into a right yaw. The helicopter came back into the view of the video recorder as the main rotor blades began to impact the brick structure. The video recording stopped and did not record the helicopter hitting the hospital roof." - Account of what was seen on a security camera. Cameras don't lie.

Notice how both quotes say the helicopter was flying BACKWARD... not straight up as the pilot noted.

Also, you might want to take note the FAA Inspector did not provide any information as to his POV of the incident, other than he had to screw the pedals all the way aft and work his way out of the crashed helicopter.

That's why I read the full PDF, and not the WZZM article.
James

Newaygo, MI

#13 Jun 4, 2008
Agreed Slow News. The PDF was a quick read. Mark is too busy thinking up names to call people to understand. I believe it would be more correct to say the pop occured after THE PILOT SAID HE WAS lifting straight up.
(Mr. he who has an IQ smaller than a rock) LOL
checking in

Fenton, MI

#14 Jun 4, 2008
James wrote:
Hard to believe that happened to a senior pilot that I heard described as very experienced.
Just like an experienced driver can have a car crash!
Reality Check

Granbury, TX

#15 Jun 4, 2008
Are radio towers usually this close to landing pads? Maybe it's time to find it a new home.
Mark

Lovington, NM

#16 Jun 4, 2008
Slow News Day wrote:
<quoted text>
Read beyond the first couple of paragraphs and read closer to what I noted, Mr. he who has an IQ smaller than a rock.
I read that the helicopter pilot heard the pop, and started having right yaw issues. Looking further, a nurse, another witness, and even a little bit of footage on a security camera noted that the helicopter's tail hit the tower, causing it to disintegrate, and thus causing the yaw the pilot was describing, leading to the main rotor hitting the building, and therefore dropping to the ground.
If you ever were in a helicopter, or seen people in one, typically pilots are wearing headsets or helmets that cover their entire ear. That is to cancel out much of the outside noise, as well as hear other passengers and radio traffic. So, when the copter hit the tower, it could very well sound like a popping sound.
By the way, I read over that report at least 3 times before commenting. If you also look, it notes they also discussed the construction cranes in the vicinity. It is also possible that the pilot was more attentive to that, and forgot about the hazards that he had grown comfortable with, perhaps too comfortable.
Just because the pilot has a clean record doesn't mean he's the world's perfect pilot, either. Case in point:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/10/03/nat...
The co-pilot had a clean record. But, his actions, along with the pilot's and ATC's, combined to kill 49 people by not paying attention to what runway they were using or supposed to use.
Anything else you want to call me? Just keep in mind, your ignorance makes me better than you :).
I read it too--the pdf. And it is impossible to know if the pop occurred before or after the radio tower hit--from the nurses perspective. But you would know that, because you're so smart. She didn't hear the pop, just saw it hit the tower. So it is likely from the pilot's account and the FAA official that when they state it started yawing after the pop, that is also when it hit the tower. But you're intelligent enough to know that too.

And gee, I had no idea that helicopter pilots wear helmets, but I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

FWIW, I have been through the Aeromed LZ class a couple times, am certified to land them and have assisted numerous times in landing them. But thanks for the education, since I apparently don't have a clue. I've seen these guys do things that are absolutely amazing with their birds. First hand.

PS I didn't have to think long to come up with the name.
Pam

United States

#17 Jun 4, 2008
How long are we going to hear about this?
JJP

Grand Rapids, MI

#18 Jun 4, 2008
Pam wrote:
How long are we going to hear about this?
12-18 months. And "Mark" and "Slow News Day" will probably still be calling eachother names.

“What's Up?”

Since: Jan 08

Coopersville

#19 Jun 4, 2008
GROW UP PEOPLE!!!! Sheesh!!!

Since: Apr 08

I am right behind you

#20 Jun 4, 2008
Mark wrote:
FWIW, I have been through the Aeromed LZ class a couple times, am certified to land them and have assisted numerous times in landing them. But thanks for the education, since I apparently don't have a clue. I've seen these guys do things that are absolutely amazing with their birds. First hand.
PS I didn't have to think long to come up with the name.
I didn't think long either. Just took me a second longer to type it (since I can do about 74 wpm).

By the way, you sure don't act like you've been through any of those classes, though that would explain why you are the way you are... you're just in denial, that's all.

If you can supposedly land them, can you take off in one without crashing it? Since you've been through their course, I know my life will be in your capable hands should I ever need Aeromed. As far as amazing things, are they doing barrel rolls or loops with their helicopters?

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