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Skytrack Malfunction...


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Cadors Number: 2014C4148 Occurrence Category(ies):
  • Other
  • System/component failure or malfunction [non-powerplant]


Occurrence Information Occurrence Type: Incident Occurrence Date: 2014-10-15 Occurrence Time: 2055 Z Day Or Night: day-time Fatalities: 0 Injuries: 0 Canadian Aerodrome ID: Aerodrome Name: Occurrence Location: 570600N 1190500W - Northwest Alberta Province: Alberta TC Region: Prairie and Northern Region Country: Canada World Area: North America Reported By:
  • Search and Rescue
AOR Number: TSB Class Of Investigation: TSB Occurrence No:
Occurrence Event Information


Aircraft Information Registration Mark: GTOM Foreign Registration: Flight #: Flight Rule: Aircraft Category: Helicopter Country of Registration: Canada Aircraft Make: BELL Aircraft Model: 206L Year Built: 1975 Amateur Built: No Engine Make: ALLISON Engine Model: 250-C20R/2 Engine Type: Turbo shaft Gear Type: Land Phase Of Flight: Cruise Damage: No Damage Owner: Canadian Helicopters Limited Hélicoptères Canadiens Limitée Operator: CANADIAN HELICOPTERS LIMITED/ HÉLICOPTÈRES CANADIENS LIMITÉE (11988) Operator Type: Commercial CARs Subpart:
Aircraft Event Information
  • Aircraft navigation/communication equipment
  • SAR/comm search


Occurrence Summary Date: 2014-10-27 Further Action Required: No O.P.I.: Narrative: JRCC Trenton Report#[T2014-02204]: (570600N 1190500W - NW Alberta). Canadian Helicopters dispatch advised that one of their helicopters (Canadian Helicopters Limited Bell 206L (C-GTOM)) transmitted a Mayday through SkyTrack in western Alberta and subsequently did not answer any hailing. Staff checked 440 Squadron in Yellowknife and 417 WG Cold Lake for air assets, 435 squadron Hercules R339 tasked but stood down in transit as the company later confirmed the helicopter was in motion through SkyTrack with no distress. Malfunction with unit aboard helicopter.

Please note that for the most part, CADORS reports contain preliminary, unconfirmed data which can be subject to change.

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Not the first time it's happened.... Friend of mine with a private 206 had the same thing happen, seems a minor glitch in the software.

On the opposite side...I did have a real emergency in a crane stateside once, and the system did not work....USFS did dispatch an Astar out of Boise to come check on us, as we missed our 30 min check in.....:)

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Happened to me the other day too (also in Western AB, funny enough). I don't know if my status was a full "mayday" or just a caution, but dispatch called me pretty quick. Cycling the battery solved the issue.

 

I guess this can happen if the a/c battery is cycled on/off too quickly? (ie. checking fuel level or something while parked).

 

Indeed good to know that the Emergency Response Procedures are being followed!

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Happened to me the other day too (also in Western AB, funny enough). I don't know if my status was a full "mayday" or just a caution, but dispatch called me pretty quick. Cycling the battery solved the issue.

 

I guess this can happen if the a/c battery is cycled on/off too quickly? (ie. checking fuel level or something while parked).

 

Indeed good to know that the Emergency Response Procedures are being followed!

 

Usually, these trackers are programmed to go into Mayday mode for one of three reasons:

 

1 - You hit the Mayday switch (if so equipped)

2 - The aircraft comes to a sudden stop (ie last ping was showing 90kt and then the next stopped, without a "pausing" or "landing" ping in between)

3 - The unit stops sending "pings" when the last ping showed the aircraft as being in flight.

 

The first case is triggered by the unit itself, while the other two are triggered by the base monitoring station (ie Websentinel). Malfunctions do happen on occasion if Websentinel misses several consecutive pings (Irridium network congestion will cause this sometimes), or, if for some reason you cycle the battery in flight. Cases #1 and #2 will go to red on Websentinel (all the bells and sirens go off) while #3 will usually go yellow. Of course, all of these parameters are configurable by the operator. For example forestry may have their base monitoring station set up with different parameters than the operator providing the aircraft.

 

I saw one private helicopter a couple years ago that had the full-on Lattitude setup with the in-dash panel that allows bi-directional text messaging (like "Oops, I hit the Mayday switch. Please disregard." :rolleyes: )and all kinds of bells & whistles, but those must cost an arm and a leg and I don't think VFR operators are likely to invest in those anytime soon...

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