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Removing Structural Menbers In Flight (almost)

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Sweet jeedzus... of dzus fastner fame... that's exactly what I'm getting at... and for those that say the hill crew just needed training I can only reply that they're not getting it from me. I have been asked countless times to show medics how to remove doors from a Jetranger or Astar to facilitate the loading of a patient... I always respond exaclty the same... I look them in the eye and say "You have one concern and one concern only... the patient... I will handle the helicopter... period..."


End of story...

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This is why on the L... I always keep the ambulance door locked...last thing I want is some bozo opening that thing when its running especially perched on some sh#*ta## pad with people trompen all over it...I am suprise that bell would not have more to say about this as they have placards all over stating not to take structural panels off while the ships is running... not even going to say while it is airborne...but as we all know...some customers will tell you they know way more about what that helicopter can do than that dumba## pilot..and given half a chance they will surely try to show you...I have seen this more than I would like to say...reminds me of the time that that dumb son of a %#@! waves me down while hooking up a load..the next thing I know he jumps up..grabs the skidgear ..as I am almost out of control...wrestles himself up into the aircraft..buckles himself in...and then says ...lets go...like this is the way things are suppose to run....I just about went ballistic...dropped the load...landed....and told him to get the f#$k out of the machine...he couldn't fiquire out why I was so pissed off...and they wonder why pilots get high blood pressure :rolleyes::blink: :shock:

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Let's go back to the beginning of this topic for a moment.........


#1.- Refuelling your own helicopter with the engine running is prohibited but sometimes the safest way to achieve a desired result.........but it would be an extremely rare event !!


#2.- Removing the door frame during a toe-in is (probably) prohibited but sometimes the safest way to achieve a desired result.........but it would be an extremely rare event !!


But I can see no reason whatsoever why someone should be giving a briefing on #2. while you are doing #1. !!!!

If the situation is really critical, you should be trying to slow-down the action a little, not speed it up. As someone alluded to above, hurting more people during a medevac is not helping anyone.


Removing the door frame and loading a stretcher is a difficult maneuver at any time (and especially during a toe-in).

It requires thorough training and regular practice.

During a hot re-fuel is not the time or place!!


Part of that training will include a discussion on how serious the situation must be before a door frame would be removed during a toe-in.

We aren't just helicopter drivers......we are risk managers.

As such, WE must decide when to hot refuel, remove the door-post, long-line the patient, or just land nearby and wait while he walks to the helicopter (because all he has is a broken wrist!!).


The loggers and drillers in our world cannot be trusted to make these decisions (nor should they have to).

But they will be damm quick to blame us if something goes wrong.


It's YOUR decision.....sleep-well with that decision when it's all over.

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hmmm. The just get-er done attitude.


Last year tumbler ridge, slasher falls a 90ft tree onto himself. Radio for medic is made. HETS crew is dispatched immediately. Decision made to extract victim. 2 personal flown in on a line. Victim secured, removed. Police had nearby highway closed ambulance waiting on highway. Victim in ambulance 42 min. The victim had broken back and crushed ribs, punctured lung. There were 5 HETS extraction on that job.


Ohhh and for record the driller who got hit by lighting. There were above the tree line. Walking to the heli-pad. The job was being shut down because on nearby thunder storms. The weather was not 1/2 mile. If you can't do a HETS rescue nobody works and is removed from field.


So ask yourself, with corporate profits at record high's why are we being asked to cheap out and just get the job done. Saving a human life at a random accident is one thing. But having a job site unprepared to do deal with an emergency is another.


All this safety sh*& cost money and I plan to take as much of it as possible!!!! (picturing sail boat now) :up:


My 2 cents

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I need to ask, what's the issue with hot fueling your own a/c??? As long as nobody is in close proximity and the Ops Manual is complied with, there's no issue.


I must do this 500 times a year. Now of course the original scenario here is a no brainer - or one would think!



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Guest sharky

AR, I think HV is referring to the fact that his company prohibits hot refueling your own a/c, as does my employer. We're permitted to hot refuel, but the pilot must be in the driver's seat.

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Guest bag swinnger

Hmmm... just finished having a discussion with another pilot that started to smile real big when the term "toe in" and "Removing of the door & post" came up. I cant believe there are actually pilots out there doing this. with one skid on a stump letting trained/untrained people remove the door and post to insert a patient.

Not that I am judging really, but even a non failsafed longline/billypugh would seem a better choice. That could explain what's up with some of the machines that I have flown that the doors dont close very well on. :angry:

Maybe I have it all wrong and that skill would look good on a resume??

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On the subject of hot refueling a remote airport operator tried to get me violated once...TC called me up when I got home and asked was there anyone onboard at the time which there was not...have a nice day was his reply..end of story...if the controls are locked down...no one in machine and no one standing under the rotors...as far as I've been told you are good to go...even better if you have someone to gas her up for you...just kick the passengers out first...and tell them to take a walk somwhere away from the tailend...some companies do frown on this as do some customers...check first and avoid hassels :rolleyes:

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While doing a select logging job up in Williams Lake oh so many moons ago, it wasn't exactly common every day occurrance but we did do the odd hook ride. HEY! I was a dumb logger back then. Just after I finished one of these rather convenient little stunts, pilot goes and moves another guy after my hotset. Pilot leaves that site empty handed and belly hook promptly failed @ 60 or so kts. Part removed from service. Needless to say we all found a little religion that day.


Fast forward a couple years and I'm still the dumb logger. I bust a knee. Pad isn't that secure and 206 driver refuses to spool down. Conversation with the door comes up and the Strawboss says they'll long line me off with the 61..WITH ONLY A BUGGERED KNEE. Granted it was really really buggerd, but it was ONLY A KNEE. My mind promply reverts back to situation #1 and I give Strawboss a little piece of my mind. 206 driver and 61 engineers talk it through and agree to have door post removed with collective full down but @ 100%. Whether it was legal or not we were fully trained in the procedure and practiced quite a bit actually. That being said it wasn't very pretty and that was on a large if unsecured pad. I still think fondly of that 206 driver, especially knowing what I know now 2500 hours later. Don't know if I'd do it for just a knee. Especially given the fact that I promptly went back logging 6 months later to just go and bust the the other one. I #### you not. LOL



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Let's not get confused about which regulation we are talking about here.

- Pilot leaving the controls with the engine running.

- Refuelling with engine not running......(i.e passengers onboard).

- Refuelling with engine running.


My Company Ops Manual is very clear in the refuelling with engine running section.......

the pilot must be at the controls!!!


If your Ops Manual says something other than this I would be very surprised.

But if it does, please send me the name of the MoT inspector that approved your Manual....

I'd like to meet an Inspector like that......I would move my Company's HQ to his region!!

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