Heads Up! "The Fifteen Most Likely Scenarios for a Tuna Chopper Crash"

Posted on April 13, 2010

Moggy’s Tunaboat Helicopter Manual

The fifteen most likely scenarios for a tuna chopper crash

Below I offer you merely an opinion. And you know what they say
about opinions. You are strongly encouraged to form your own,
and don’t mind me. But my listing (in order of ranking!) might give you
some food for thought…
(click on the orange hyperlinks)

1.  Tie-down Accidents
  
2.  Faulty landing technique (1) – rolling deck, contact with obstacles,
    tail boom strikes, etc

3.  Faulty take-off technique – hit by ship   (sometimes on landing as
    well)

4.  tail rotor strike during herding (often leading to broken backs)

5.  "Blue-out"   (my phrase)

6.  faulty landing technique (2) – coffin corner; HOGE, etc

7.  running out of gas – failure to assess weather, daylight and headwind

8.  ‘Dynamic roll over’ while dropping radio buoy – line snagged

9.  autorotation down to a glassy sea

9b. autorotation – optical illusion regarding size of floating objects

10. poor preventative maintenance at sea

11. Excessive reliance on GPS; poor situational awareness; poor
    ship/helicopter communication; daylight/night

12. sudden, cataclysmic mechanical failure; use of Military Surplus C18
    engines instead of more modern C20 engines is a factor here

13. sudden, violent turn by ship before helicopter secured; slide plus
    contact with fixed obstacle

14.  Sudden violent wind gust, possible micro burst or thunderstorm;
     slide plus contact with fixed obstacle

15.  contaminated fuel; inadequate monitoring of fuel quality; lack of
     use of Biobor (fungus inhibitor)
  
I’ll also give you one bonus accident cause, and you decide where that one ranks amongst the above fifteen.

??. being an arrogant  idiot… (SEE THE VIDEO ABOVE!)

Notice that missing from this list of most likely accident causes is maintenance ex shore base. The reason for that is, that I’ve seen first hand many of these maintenance shops. Indeed, I’ve worked in one. I don’t think that is where the problem lies.  Those guys are either good or very good. Offshore maintenance is very different. Even the best operator is relying on the offshore (unsupervised) mechanic. Some are good, some are brilliant, and some don’t have the foggiest clue…

Francis Meyrick
     (c)

Last edited by Francis Meyrick on September 5, 2010, 11:05 pm


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