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Crusty last won the day on July 14 2014

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  1. No Canadian content in buying a machine built and supported in the States and since the UH-1Y isn't built in Mirabel....in a riding where Canadian politicians live...chances of Canada buying it are slim and none...meaning the logical purchase choice for an appropriate replacement for the CH146 will never happen. All Bell military helos are built in the USA and Mirabel builds some Bell civ helos (the CH146 was an anomaly), so moving jobs to Canada is a non-starter for the Americans. The CH146 Griffon is well on its way to becoming the army aviation version of the Sea King...in 2035 it will be 43 years old...
  2. Reference: "CH146 Griffon Capability Replacement: Informed By The Past, Prepared For The Future", author LCol JKA Fountain, DND Paper published 2016 Below find an excerpt from the Ref paper. There was also an agreement in place between the US and Canada that allowed the US to offer surplus military equipment at greatly reduced costs (to its allies). The rumour at the time was that the US was offering Canada, at the time of the Griffon purchase, Model A Blackhawk helicopters for $1 million (US dollars) per airframe. Apparently this was disregarded by the government for political reasons (explained in the excerpt below). "In November 1991 a study cosponsored by ADM(Mat) and Commander Air Command was initiated to explore the cost benefits of replacing all utility helicopter fleets with one aircraft type. The study concluded that doing so would be a cost effective measure, 2 however, it did not consider loss of capabilities. The prioritization of funding within the RCAF without adequate consideration of the loss of Tactical Aviation capability sets was the first error that occurred in the decision process to rationalize tactical aviation assets. The misguided prioritization of funding left tactical aviation community with a one fleet option; however, minimal military input was accepted regarding what platform should be used. The politicians had decided to purchase the Griffon before the CAF was able to draft the Statement of Operational Requirement (SOR). In April 1992 when the contract for the Griffon was announced two politically favourable outcomes would occur. First, the cries of favouritism towards Ontario would be silenced following the recent large purchase of armored vehicles built in London, Ontario. As well, the future of the fledgling Bell manufacturing facility would be stabilized . The Defence Minister, Marcel Masse, a minister from Quebec with a history of directing favourable defence contracts to his home province announced an untendered $1.3 billion dollar contact in April 1992 to be awarded to Bell Helicopter for the production of 100 Bell 412CFs, known to the CAF as the CH-146 Griffon. While it was recognized that a utility helicopter purchased under the Canadian Forces Utility Tactical Helicopter (CFUTTH) project would lack capability in the reconnaissance, firepower and transport missions, the Land Force wished to cover as much of the tactical aviation tasks as possible. As well as traditional air mobility tasks the Commander Force Mobile Command (Land Force Commander) specifically mentioned reconnaissance, fire support coordination, command and liaison and surveillance as important aspects to cover. Even though the CFUTTH Statement of Requirements (SOR) was reverse engineered from the decision to buy the Griffon, it still acknowledged the deficits above and accepted that “there would probably not be enough aircraft procured to do all tasks (required by Comd Force Mobile Command)… simultaneously”. It was clear that the CFUTTH project would not provide the numbers of aircraft or the capabilities required. The second error therefore occurred when the existing procurement process was ignored in favour of a politically directed, one-for-one platform replacement. Stove-piped decision making and ignoring established procurement processes resulted in the Auditor General reporting in 1998 that the Griffon was more costly to operate than its predecessors, had inadequate lift performance, and a limited reconnaissance capability6 . The CFUTTH (SOR) stated “the UTTH has neither the maneuverability of the light observation helicopter nor the single aircraft lift capability of the CH147”. Helicopters magazine highlighted that the Griffon was “woefully inadequate” in its ability to conduct troop transport and reconnaissance. Additionally, Jane’s Defence Weekly correspondent Sharon Hobson added that the Griffon procurement demonstrated how “too often decisions are made on the basis of shortterm political opportunism without a view to the long-term implication for the Canadian Forces and the Canadian Public”.
  3. I would suggest a 2-piece flight suit (shirt and pants). Makes going to the bathroom a lot easier (especially in winter) and you can always remove the shirt when the temperatures dictate.
  4. I was flying a 212 with a FN support crew out of the Elbow Fire Base some years ago. It was getting near the end of their 21-day rotation and one of their older guys came up to me after the morning checks and asked me something. The conversation went like this: George: I was wondering if I can ask you something? Me: Sure. Go ahead. George: I was thinking that maybe we can get Tiny up in the helicopter today. He's been driving the support truck all the time and wants to go flying. Me: Sure. That shouldn't be a problem. I have time to talk to him and give him a safety brief. George then goes away and returns shortly with Tiny. To my astonishment, Tiny was anything but...tiny. I pegged him at 6'3" or 6'4" with a considerable girth. A mountain of a man that I would estimate weighed in the area of 300+ pounds. With the operating elevation of the fire base, DA, crew weights, gear and fuel calculations I gave myself a small margin of wiggle room to stay within the aircraft operating charts. I pulled George aside. Me: George, I can put Tiny in the back, but you have to tell me which 2 guys he's going to replace. George: Replace 2 guys? Why? Me: Tiny's a big boy and I can't add him to the crew without removing something. Since we can't remove fuel or equipment, it'll have to be people. George: (thoughtful for a few seconds) Tiny, back to the truck. No flying for you and don't ask me again.
  5. Hello Ice. It all depends on how it's treated and what kind of shape it's in. If: a. The shell is cracked anywhere (including edge cracks) it's u/s (the shell is the primary force absorber and it can't be compromised); b. The shell has been dropped and there is a soft spot or indentation on the shell surface, it's u/s (see above); c. You have a Styrofoam liner and it's badly gouged, cracked, or dented, replace the styrofoam liner (the Styrofoam is the secondary force absorber and will be "activated" for heavier impacts - it can't be compromised); d. You have a "bubble" skull cap liner and the "bubbles" have flattened, replace the liner (you should have at least 2 layers of the bubble liner minimum to augment impact protection - one layer doesn't cut it. The bubble liner works in conjunction with the Styrofoam liner for heavier impact absorption); e. Some paints will eat into the Kevlar/carbon shell material and compromise the structure (makes it soft). Not an issue unless your helmet was re-painted by "Bob down the street"' f. Visors are scratched, replace them; g. Chinstrap or attached webbing is frayed/damaged, replace them; h. Earcup shells are cracked, they're u/s and replace them (earcups are the primary force absorber for helmets whose shells don't cover the earcups; and earcup shells are secondary force absorbers for helmets that have shells extending over top of them - they can't be compromised). If the helmet was involved in an accident/incident and used in anger (ie it saved your skull), retire it and replace it with a new one. It's like an airbag, one use and done, no matter how "minor" the damage appears to be.
  6. Very tragic. My heartfelt condolences to family and friends of those who died. RIP.
  7. It sounds like an Ivory Tower directive from Transport Canada, especially with the unbelievable statement "even for the purposes of saving human life." I see the potential for law suits if: (a) a patient dies and ( the helicopter crew/company can prove that the patient delivery could have been done safely to the H1 helipad IAW the flight manual. In the end this becomes a moral decision on the part of the aircraft captain - save a life or don't break a TC regulation to save a life - sounds like my aviation tribunal would be front page news in the papers because I broke a regulation to save a human life. How would TC look then?
  8. R0T0R - I did not upgrade my liner. I used the existing fitting pads and liner assembly. By looking at the Oregon Aero liner, it may be a little thicker than your existing liner, so you may have to play slightly with your helmet adjustment for a while until you give the new liner a "memory".
  9. I have an AE helmet with rigid dual visor assembly (incl NVG mount). My personal opinion is that it's the best helmet I've ever worn. I have a rather large melon and bought the max size - no complaints about comfort. Visor quality, area coverage and visor mechanism are all outstanding. I particularly like the feature of the adjustable tension earcups/seals for donning/doffing the helmet and the ratchet adjustment for the nape is a first rate design feature. I also have the volume control knob installed on the left side of the helmet. I've used flex mics before and don't like them, so the articulated wire boom mic was the way to go for me. The mic cord is the curly type plugged into the middle of the back of the helmet - helmet cord never gets in the way. Yes it is a larger profile helmet, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in my opinion. I'm 6'1" and was flying a 212. Hope this helps.
  10. Gentlemen and ladies, This post is beginning to turn ugly with some dangerous finger pointing that could lead to something regrettable. Rumours and innuendo can cause much damage. Was the tragedy shocking? Yes it was. Was it preventable? Possibly, if someone had gotten involved at the right time? When was the right time? Weeks ago? Months ago? Years ago? No one will know. In this small industry there is regrettably an unwritten code amongst pilots, perhaps among AMEs as well. Certainly amongst the old-timers. How many times have any of us witnessed a pilot (or even an engineer) who was under the influence (including hangovers) but nothing was done? Why? We want to be seen as a good guy. Maybe we were too new in the industry and were afraid of making waves. Maybe we were too new in the company and didn't know the players and were afraid of losing our job. Maybe at some point in our younger days we pushed the boundaries as well and felt hypocritical saying anything now. Maybe the guy was some folklore God and we dare not say anything. This is indeed a sad, sad event. But thankfully the loss wasn't greater than it was (other crew/passengers). Perhaps the next time this happens, it will involve greater loss of life and will impact so many more people. There will be a next time, mark my words, because unfortunately we're only human and mistakes are repeated. But it is incumbent upon us to strive to ensure that the next time isn't on our watch - while we're with the same company, while we're at the same Fire Base, while we're listening to the stories of what's his name and what he did last night. All it takes is guts and balls to do the right thing. And we all know when that time is because we've all been there, been in the situation where - Christ! I should've said something! Oh thank God nothing happened - boy do I feel better! Phew! I hope I don't ever have to go through that again. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20....It's not just drinking. It's the cowboy pilot, the pilot that takes unnecessary risks, the engineer who shortcuts, the guy whose in over his head. The Rap Attack guy that slides down the rope who takes the "odd" toke to take the edge off. Pontificating is not one of my strong points, but I would be remiss in not saying that I too was one of those guys that didn't say something when something should have been said - would've could've should've... Let the professional investigators determine cause. In the meantime, lets look after each other and the people who fly in the back of our machines.
  11. My personal choices, if presented with options: 1. Shoreline water over trees if you could see the bottom (implies shallower) and if the distance from shore to dropoff was not too minimal to accommodate aircraft movement before it touched bottom due to currents/bouyancy under water; 2. Trees over water for deep shorelines, especially if the trees are deciduous because they'll bend (absorb energy) before they break; 3. Trees over water if the water is deep and cold. Entering the water under control with power (as one poster stated for Vietnam) is obviously far different from entering the water with minimal time to prepare. The US Navy did a study of helo water crashes some years ago and they determined that the average time from the onset of the critical emergency to water impact in the low level flight environment was less than 1 minute (i believe 50 seconds). I don't see why this would be any different for any low level helo VFR work including bucketing, bag slinging and so on - even straight and level transit to a fuel cache for example. To complicate water entry, cold water will severely affect breath hold capability due to the initial body shock reaction. if you can hold your breath for a minute in the warm pool, expect no more than 10-15 seconds in very cold water. Less breath hold time = more urgency/panic. Trees are sounding better. What about your pax? Do you brief them on emergency water escape technique? How to punch the left seat door off? Landmarking your exit point so that you're going the right way? I've seen dunker training video of a guy in the left seat trying to get out via the chin bubble because of panic and disorientation. What about the folks in the back? It'a a lot easier to brief/mentally accept an emergency escape out of an aircraft hung up in the trees. Final answer for me? Terra firma and the firma the better.
  12. I have 2 helmets, one a Gentex SPH-5 and the other is my ALPHA Eagle. I bought the Gentex many years ago before the US State Department clamped down on cross-border shipping of kit used for military purposes. My ALPHA was purchased from Helicopter Helmets.com in the USA. I also fly with a Gentex HGU 56/P in my other job. In regards to helmets I rate ALPHA as #1, the 56/P as #2 and the SPH-5 as #3. I had an opportunity to play with a Gallet and it was very nice and I would put it second to the ALPHA. My understanding is that Kitchener Aero is a Gentex distributor and not a tech support facility. Helmets.com provided phenomenal service and after-purchase customer support (they also sell Gentex and Gallet). In regards to Gallet, Vector Aerospace in Langley, BC was a distributor about 3-4 years ago, but I don't know if that's still the case. I rate my ALPHA as top of the list due to dual visor (superb quality polycarb), very slick visor actuator levers, an adjustable ratchet nape strap while wearing the helmet, adjustable earphone volume control, earcup tensioning, first rate chinstrap buckle. It has a larger profile than most other helmets, but it's not any heavier and it's easy to fit. Good luck.
  13. For the 412HP, 100kts both crew doors removed, 100kts crew doors/cabin doors removed, 100kts cabin doors pinned without hi-speed blankets (crew doors installed).
  14. In regards to the disparaging, juvenile and small-minded comments about Mr. Campbell and his daughter Laura, those particular individuals have shown what completely unprofessional morons they truly are. It's a small world this commercial helicopter business, and I firmly believe that what goes around, comes around. I had the opportunity to fly for Mr. Campbell for a couple of years not too long ago. I have absolutely no cause to say anything negative about him or Laura because they treated me well and gave me a fair shake. Completely professional. Perhaps the individuals who slagged Campbell Helicopters should man up and offer a public apology to Mr. Campbell and Laura - but I highly doubt that will happen given their prediliction to spew the retarded vitriol they have.
  15. Cowboy Flying Cowboy Flying Rule 1. Cowboy flying should only be carried out under parameters which ensure the following headline: "Pilot, Sole Occupant of Helicopter, Dies in Crash" Cowboy Flying Rule 2. Cowboy flying should only be carried out under parameters which ensure the following sub-headline: "Witnesses To Crash Unhurt" Cowboy Flying Rule #3. When your son/daughter/spouse asks why the coffin is L-shaped, the response will be: "They couldn't remove the tranny from his head." Cowboy Flying Rule #4: In the event there is no crash and 7 pallbearers are not required for the funeral, it is likely that the helo may have been overstressed or may have exceeeded a parameter or two. This is what the next pilot will inherit.... Breaking Rules In regards to a conscious choice to knowingly and deliberately break rules and regulations, my view on that is as follows: If I'm face-to-face with a MORAL OBLIGATION to evacuate, rescue, search or transport people facing distress, injury, death or imminent danger....I will do everything I possibly could so that I would be able tell that person or their family "I helped today," or if things don't work out like they do in Walt Disney's world..."I'm sorry, but I honestly did everything I could to help him/her/them" My 2 cents.
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