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Another Bird Down

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First of all, nobody deserves to go through this horrible experience, and certainly not the good folks at Great Slave.



My concern is that the real cause of many of these accidents is not being addressed. Many could be avoided.

Is it training, lack of pilot qualifications, training, poor maintenance, training disconnected/unhappy/frustrated pilots, training and dare I say APATHY. Something is wrong and all the "we can do better" articles published by transport don't seem to be stopping recurring headlines....."Helicopter Crash In ********" or the ever popular "Another Bird Down" WTF !!! We aren't truck drivers, even though some operators would disagree, and when we make a mistake it is usually fatal. That seems to be the only time we get a little emotion showing!!!!!!

But, it has been ever thus and I suspect it isn't going to change too soon here in Canada.


Did you seriously post this on this thread??? Are you drunk or maybe new to this industry??? Please show us some evidence to support this statement: "the real cause of many of these accidents is not being addressed."

"....some operators would disagree...." Which operators exactly are you talking about??? And are you saying they don't hold safety as a high priority?? If so, let's see some hard facts to back up that kind of statement.

All the TSB accident investigations I ever read had found very definite causes for almost every accident.

Those of you who don't think SMS will make this industry safer obviously don't know the first thing about SMS to begin with.


Third, Twinstar, is this not a forum??? Isn't the point of this forum for members to voice their opinions and reply to others, however offensive and/or ridiculous you/we may think some of those opinions are? You want us to read and participate on this forum then let us say what we have to say. Some of the comments on this thread are certainly suprising and in some people's opinions (including mine), inapropriate. However, BeeBee opened up a can of worms with what I think are ignorant comments and as such, we deserve the opportunity to respond.

I personally don't come on this forum to symbolicaly hold hands and sing "kumbuya" with other members. I'm interested in reading what people have to say including the good, the bad and the ugly!



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Helicopter 'disintegrated' in fiery N.W.T. crash: paramedic

Last Updated: Monday, May 26, 2008 | 6:26 PM CT Comments1Recommend8CBC News

(CBC) A Tulita man killed in a helicopter crash near Norman Wells, N.W.T., over the weekend died as a result of the intense flames that engulfed the downed aircraft, according to RCMP and a paramedic who was on the scene.


RCMP confirmed Monday that Alvin Yallee, a passenger on the Sahtu Helicopters Hughes 500D aircraft, died in the Saturday morning crash, which occurred near Doctor Lake, about 70 kilometres northwest of Norman Wells.


The small mining town of Norman Wells is about 700 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife.


They also confirmed that the helicopter's female pilot and another male passenger suffered unspecified injuries. They were flown to hospitals in Yellowknife and Edmonton for treatment.


Co-workers identified the surviving passenger as Don Morrison, a driller working at a mineral claim held by Patrician Diamonds Inc. Morrison was credited with pulling the pilot, who has not been named, out of the wreckage.


"From our understanding, one of the passengers got out of the helicopter and pulled the pilot out of the helicopter away from the scene. And then the second helicopter arrived and assisted them," RCMP Insp. Kevin Violot told CBC News on Monday.


Morrison was treated and released in Yellowknife. The pilot's name was withheld at the family's request.


The aircraft, which belonged to a subsidiary of Yellowknife-based Great Slave Helicopters, was carrying Yallee and his co-worker from the Kelly Lake mining exploration camp north of Norman Wells when it crashed, according to a company news release.


Violot said the crashed helicopter was on fire, and the flames were too intense for the injured passenger to rescue Yallee. A similar account of the incident was given by Ted Soucie, who was one of the first medical responders on the scene.


"The [helicopter] was disintegrated by fire and was smouldering," Soucie told CBC News in an e-mail Monday, adding that Yallee was "cremated" in the burning aircraft.


"The heli fireballed, and the intense heat generated by jet fuel would have radiated some distance," he wrote.


Soucie, who was based at the Kelly Lake camp, said he set out for the crash site around 9:30 a.m. MT Saturday, landing his rescue helicopter nearly half a kilometre from the crash site because of the rugged terrain.


Trio to crash scene

He and two managers from the exploration company hiked to the crash scene, where, Soucie said, he found the dead passenger and two injured people.


"One injured, the drill manager, was able to walk to [the rescue] heli aided by two helpers," he wrote.


"The pilot was put on a spine board, immobilized and carried by basket to heli and [taken by] air to Norman Wells, then Yellowknife, then Edmonton."


Investigators from the federal Transportation Safety Board were at the site Monday trying to find out what caused the crash.


Great Slave Helicopters, owned by Discovery Air, operates in close proximity to oil and gas activity in the Mackenzie Valley and mining operations at Lac de Gras, according to the company's website.


The website says the company's fleet includes more than 75 aircraft and employs more than 200 people.


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fuel bladders suck.

actually all fuel tank designs suck in this industry....how many more senseless deaths until a change is made???


Don't ask me how to make it better though, I have no idea how to retrofit a fleet of aging and inadequate protected aircraft.


It's called a self sealing tank, and they've been using them since before WWII..... You're 100% right though, there's no excuse why we're still flying aircraft around with landers and plastic tanks....




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Bizzo..I agree, good post, I was very upset to learn who the pilot was...I really wish her the best and hope for a good recovery. I worked with her at Churchill for two months and she was a top notch pilot! She knows all the numbers and always flew very safe.


BeeBee.....what do you know? what is it exactly that is not being addressed? I know first hand of the training at GSH, that is not the problem. Sometimes things are just out of our control, despite all the training and scenario's.


condolences to the rest of the victims and their families, it just hits hard when you know the person. :(

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It's called a self sealing tank, and they've been using them since before WWII..... You're 100% right though, there's no excuse why we're still flying aircraft around with landers and plastic tanks....





I've known about self sealing tanks, I know they work well for punctures, but how well do they hold up to catastrophic ruptures?


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I've known about self sealing tanks, I know they work well for punctures, but how well do they hold up to catastrophic ruptures?



I'm no expert on these things, however I do know that there are all kinds of burst/puncture resistant bladders, and there have been for decades....


There is one reason we don't use them - $



Well, actually two. The other being neither the FAA or TC sees fit to mandate crash protected fuel cells. When I first started flying, I remember looking at an Astar during a rebuild, and seeing that plastic tank in there was a bit of a shock.



Imho, it's shocking we don't have legislated protection from post crash fires. That's two accidents in less than a month where fire has been a horrible contributer.


HEPAC, if you want a drum to beat, this might be a place to start.



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