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Cadors Number: 2014C3858 Occurrence Category(ies):
  • Low altitude operations


Occurrence Information Occurrence Type: Incident Occurrence Date: 2014-09-19 Occurrence Time: 2020 Z Day Or Night: day-time Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 Canadian Aerodrome ID: Aerodrome Name: Occurrence Location: 17 NM north of Lindsay Lake Province: Saskatchewan TC Region: Prairie and Northern Region Country: Canada World Area: North America Reported By:
  • Transportation Safety Board of Canada
AOR Number: TSB Class Of Investigation: Class 5 TSB Occurrence No: A14C0147
Occurrence Event Information


Aircraft Information Registration Mark: FBVH Foreign Registration: Flight #: Flight Rule: Aircraft Category: Helicopter Country of Registration: Canada Aircraft Make: HUGHES Aircraft Model: 369D Year Built: 1980 Amateur Built: No Engine Make: ALLISON Engine Model: 250-C20B Engine Type: Turbo shaft Gear Type: Land Phase Of Flight: Hover Damage: Minor Owner: Oceanview Helicopters Ltd. Operator: OCEANVIEW HELICOPTERS LTD. (8536) Operator Type: Commercial CARs Subpart:
Aircraft Event Information
  • Propeller/rotor strike


Occurrence Summary Date: 2014-10-01 Further Action Required: No O.P.I.: Narrative: TSB Report#A14C0147: The Ocean View Helicopters Hughes 369D, C-GBVH was engaged in power transmission line construction. The helicopter, with two linemen aboard, was in the process of transferring the linemen to a tower. As the first lineman began the skid transfer the main rotor came in contact with the top of the tower. The pilot manoeuvred the helicopter away from the tower. The second lineman remained in the back seat while the first lineman remained attached to the helicopter by the fall arrest system. The pilot was able to land the helicopter without further incident. The helicopter sustained damage to all 5 main rotor blades and the tail boom fairing.
Please note that for the most part, CADORS reports contain preliminary, unconfirmed data which can be subject to change.

 

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Glad everyone made it out ok. Good job staying cool and collected!

 

"the first lineman remained attached to the helicopter by the fall arrest system" - I hope the poor guy wasn't dangling underneath the bird the whole way down!

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Skid transfers when done properly, are one of the safest quickest methods, with the least exposure, of putting PPL's on towers. Including all the twin engine winching and HFRS that is fashionable now.

 

Is it simple training. THE TOWER GOAT HEAD SHOULD NEVER EVER BE ABOVE EYE LEVEL IN THE 500. If it is, the boys have to climbe that particular tower. Or another conventional method used.

Be careful and ''do'nt bump into things''.

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There is a new power line going up just west of my house (east of Calgary). I watched that 500D running back and forth, dropping workers off on towers, bringing tools, stringing cable. These 500's were owned by the contractor putting up this section of towers. They are based out of Washington, and the helicopters were N registered. Interesting to watch. I was always wondering how that fall arrest sequencing worked. You fly up to the tower hooked to the helicopter. Do you then clip a second harness to the tower before unhooking the fall arrest from the helicopter?? If so, what if the engine hiccups at the moment you're hooked to both? Maybe I got it wrong, but being in the construction business, you don't unhook from one object before being latched on to another.

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The equipment usually used by the PPL is called a wishbone which attaches to the dorsal D on their harness. It either has a breakaway rating of 210lbs or 300lbs depending on if the client has purchased the aluminum or stainless steel options. It has two ends, one coloured red and the other grey. The red side always gets attached to the helicopter and the grey to the tower. If there is a hiccup halfway through the transfer and both ends attached, to the heli and the tower, the red will break away with enough said force by releasing the slide pin stitched into the wishbone. Both lanyards are approximately 2 1/2 feet long, so the PPL would be then pulled tight in opposite directions then likely launched back to the tower with force once the red breaks away. All round a bad situation but 99.9% survivable. I wouldn't say it is the safest quickest method to put a guy/gal on a tower with the least amount of exposure time but when done with two individuals with experience it is very efficient especially with a 500. It passes my personal risk assessment with competant and trained PPL's, that being said it is not my preferred method of doing it. Class D, dual hook and CAT A is by far the safest method just not the most economical preferred method for the clients. The safety measures put in place for the lineman did its job and the individual will be going home to his/her loved ones at the end of the day.

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These discussions are interesting when most include options of extremes. If the safest method of accomplishing this task is Cat A, dual hooks, class D then the second would then be Cat B dual hooks, class D, third a powerful single, dual hooks, class D,, etc? I think so. And thus far down the list is single doing hover exits. Personally having done a lot of class d in mountains doing rescue, I would take a single doing class d than a twin doing hover exits near steel. I would think most would chose even the 500 doing class D over 500 doing hover exit near steel. I would not want a trim motor going to extremes or a slight decel next to the tower if given the choice to class D. But alas Class D below the skids is not permitted with single doing operational work, only filmmaking, rescue, saving lives, firefighting. Anyhow.

 

Efficiency is often a word used which describes speed sadly. The definition I use is; efficiency is the percentage of ability to accomplish a job with minimum expenditure of time and effort. There are videos on the net which show the hover exits onto towers and if one were to take for example a 500 picking up the linemen within sight of the tower accomplishing a fairly quick ascent to the top of the tower with little hesitation and one smooth continuous approach as efficient. But as we are contracted by law to accomplish our tasks with the first priority being public safety and safety of passengers(PPL as you put it) then we have to by moral and legal obligations put that into the equation. So the smooth climb up to the tower with no hesitation may be efficient time wise but if we do an approach with has options for aborting due to wind change, customer demand(I forgot my grips), and possible emergency then this approach has to be modified. Also since the power is higher due to steep climb and pilot workload being high is this efficient. It is ONLY efficient if you look at the dollars per hour it takes to accomplish the task. This to me is where the lack of efficiency equals the lack of safety and the lack of safety equals the lack of efficiency. I used to do this job with a 206 and my crew would sometimes take up to two minutes getting their crap out of the back seat in the meantime I held the machine sitting on a platform that would no way hold the aircraft if the engine were to fail. My cross shift(the awesome Bob Thurston) would tease me about being a "suicide jockey" ha ha but when I come back from time off HE was doing the towerlandings, but would only hover maybe 30 seconds. I asked how he got the crew to be more organized, "I only put in the back what they need on THAT tower" he was smarter and safer and more efficient than I. But his approach to tower was exactly the same as were taught, slow smooth, 45 degree angle never climbing. Food for thought.

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