Medivac helicopter almost crashing at Ski Apache yesterday

Discussion in 'General Skiing' started by Core2, Sep 30, 2018.

  1. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    Wild vid from Ski Apache yesterday. This pilot and crew are lucky to be alive.

     
  2. CalG

    CalG Getting off the lift Skier

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    Cannot load Facebook SDK. Disable any adblocker or tracking protection and try again.

    OK, some things are not worth knowing...
     
  3. Andy Mink

    Andy Mink I am a half fast skier. Moderator

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    Amazing they didn't catch the rotor on the slope. That would be instant self destruct.
     
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  4. Jwrags

    Jwrags Aka pwdrhnd Skier

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    Very lucky.
     
  5. SShore

    SShore Resident Curmudgeon Skier

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    What I don't get is they had that parking lot feet away, why try and land on that slope?
     


  6. Thread Starter
    TS
    Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    That first bounce was from the upper parking lot area. He ended up in the lower parking lot. Still doesn't make sense because the lower lot is way bigger.
     
  7. wutangclan

    wutangclan Getting on the lift Skier

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    The approach angle/speed and sound/pitch of the rotors in the seconds just before/after the bounce all imply "settling with power", aka "vortex ring state". More info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_ring_state. The most famous occurrence of this was the loss of a "stealth" Blackhawk in the Bin Laden raid.
     
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  8. mister moose

    mister moose Instigator Skier

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    I'm not so sure. Look at the flagging tape fluttering in the wind in the lower foreground. Look at the rate the visible rotorwash dust is blown and the direction. This looks like a downwind landing, which indicates different issues to me. Wouldn't settling with power require less airspeed, ie flying in your own rotorwash? And look at the slight flare at touchdown with what looks like little additional disc loading. Also watch the descent rate in the last 10 seconds, it appears to be checked twice, ie some control authority.

    *Edit:
    Looking a little further, the base elevation is about 9,500 feet. Hover out of ground effect for an AS350 (If that's what this is) is 9,450. (HIGE is 11,650) Likely he was well under gross, but what was the temperature? Density altitude could have been higher. Translation for non aviation minded - these were not standard conditions, was in temperature/altitude flight conditions where performance was significantly limited, and there were contributing pilot errors.

    I smell inexperience/poor judgement or a combination of both, with toroidal flow as a possible contributing, but not single/major causational factor. Most aviation accidents are a gathering snowball, not a single factor.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  9. Bad Bob

    Bad Bob old n' slow Skier

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    Lost his depth perception to the landing spot? With the dust swirling it would not be hard to do.

    They were fortunate. Wonder how many on that bird were ready to walk back to town?
     
  10. RuleMiHa

    RuleMiHa Getting off the lift Skier

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    But first, a change of pants.
     
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