The NTSB is supposed to release the preliminary report pertaining to the Air Evac crash today. I saw on the news that it is supposed to be posted on their website today www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/month.asp , I just checked and have been unable to find it yet. Channel 19 also reported that the the ntsb stated that they found nothing mechanically wrong the the helicopter. How can this be?
Original Post
Haven't heard that...why would he be shooting at a helicopter that was trying to rescue him? ...unless he was firing a shot so they could see him/get their attention better...but you would think he would shoot away from the copter.

As far as no mechanical problems....weather, wind drafts, pilot error any of these could have played a factor. It was such a tragic thing.
So sad when things as this happens, the rumors or gossip flys like a wild fire !! I have no ideal who the hunter is, but if noone of this is true , as to him shooting , Rumors or gossip among your friends & family is a normal thing, but to post rumors , gossip on here , & my "Opinion" only -- is not fair to the family's or the hunter & his family , let the ones trained to investagate this type thing finish their jobs, then maybe everone will know . My heart goes out to all the family & friends . When our son was killed, all kinds of RUMORS & yes a few got back to us, very Hurtfull & you know , they wasn't any of them True !
Please keep in mind that the initial report released by the NTSB is the preliminary report and doesnt contain any forth-coming information. The early indication is that they have not found a mechanical failure at this point. That just means basicly looking at the initial wreckage and sifting through things at the scene. The investigation in the lab will take more time. The engine is back at the Rolls Royce lab which is seperate from the lab in Atalanta where the helicopter was taken. The process will take a while and the facts will lead them to a conclusion. The final report will contain known facts and conclusions drawn from the investigative process.

There are only two facts about the crash at this point...It was not weather related and the aircraft did not strike power lines. There are no indications at this point that the hunter fired at the helicopter.....I am sure that possibility will be investigated and again at this time there are no indications he did. Rumors will only make things worse for the families.

Trust me, we are on the edge of our seats wanting to know what happened. Waiting for the final report is very difficult knowing that it will take so long but it is better than jumping to conclusions and getting it wrong.

Air Evac has suspended all SAR missions (search & rescue) through out the entire country until the Safety committee can re-evaluate our mission profile. I suspect if SAR is still an option it will be extremely restricted and available only in the day time.

we use night vision systems, terrain avoidance systems, Sky-trac flight following, Radar altimeter, Doppler weather radar and conservative weather minimums to make our night operations as safe as possible........We have all been through crew resource management and classes on situational awarness. We have 2 safety briefings each day and 1 safety class each month. Our mechanic checks the aircraft each morning, as well as, the medical crew and pilot.....It would not suprise me if a mechanical failure is not found. I dont know what happened but we should let the NTSB complete it's investigation.

I would like to thank everyone for their concern. We all want to know what happened but the only thing we can really do is continue to pray for the families, support them and wait for the investigation to be completed.

Thanks guys...

Bruce Carson
Flight Paramedic Supervisor
Air evac 16
I DONT' BELIEVE THAT IS WAS ANY SHOOTING GOING ON. MY SON IS A POLICE OFFICE IN COLBERT CO. HE WAS JUST DOWN THE WAY WHEN IT HAPPENED AND HE WAS IN CONTACT WITH PEOPLE ON THE SCENE, THE HELICOPTER WAS HOVERING ABOVE THE GROUND SPOTTING A LIGHT ON THE VICTIM, THE HUNTER, WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN IT JUST SHUT DOWN, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT COULD BE NOTHING BUT MECHANICAL TROUBLE. THE PILOT WAS MUCH TOO EXPERIENCED TO HAVE MADE THAT BIG OF A MISTAKE, AND THERE WERE NO LINES AROUND FOR HIM TO GET INTO. IT HAS TO BE A MECHANICAL FAILURE, AND THAT ONLY!
"WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN IT JUST SHUT DOWN, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IT COULD BE NOTHING BUT MECHANICAL TROUBLE"

Your information is not correct. It did not just shut down....The engine pitch will change as power is being added or taken away. If the pilot is adding power or lowering the collective the engine pitch (sound) may have been changing. There are a number of things that can cause loss of control. Being a little more familiar with the operation of a helicopter may help you understand. I would suggest a Google search for conditions known as "settling with power" and "loss of tail rotor effectivness" (AKA "LTE"). As you may find out those conditions can occur without a mechanical failure.

"THERE WERE NO LINES AROUND FOR HIM TO GET INTO"

Yes there were powerlines on the north side. Again, Google earth may help you get the information before you post.... I am asking everyone to be careful and respectful. please do not represent opinions as facts.


"I read the report but not sure I understand what it is saying. Can somebody explain it to me."

Keep in mind that its still early. The report indicates that they suspect the main rotor blades struck the tail boom near the rear which may have caused seperation of the tail rotor and rear vertical fin. The final report will conclude at what point this may have happened. It would be understandable how this could happen if the pilot was struggling to regain control. Also remember this would create a sound similar to a "pop" and maybe even sparks which was indicated by our friends on the ground. That is why it is important to let them finish the investigation before the assumption is made that it was mechanical failure.

The report also says that visual flight rules were applied. The visibility was 5 miles and mist (light fog or haze). The wind was calm. The dew point and temp were within one point which would mean that mist would be expected. In this case it doesnt mean the same as light rain as most of us use the term. Basicly, they were operating within our weather minimums. "No flight plan was filed" just means that they didnt have a flight plan on file....Under part 91 and VFR they did not have to file an IFR plan. The preliminary report is very basic and vague. The final report will have the answers.....

Bruce Carson
Flight Paramedic supervisor
Air Evac 16
Bruce, thank you for clarifying all of that for us. Maybe that will satisfy the minds of those who might start/kindle rumors. While I was very SADDENED to learn of Allan and Tiffany's(also Mike, but didn't know him) death, we were very, very relieved that you and Wayne were not on board that night. I know you guys have a lot of soul searching to do, but from seeing you guys around two emergency rooms, please know that we're not trying to be selfish in any way when we say WE NEED YOU GUYS. You are SO valuable. You will never know how much your company means to us here in these surrounding counties. We will respect you no less if you choose not to fly again. We thank you for your dedication to put your lives on the line, and take that chance of losing yours to save someone else's.
quote:
Bruce, thank you for clarifying all of that for us.



You are welcome. I just want to make sure that a lack of understanding doesnt fuel rumors and opinions arent represented as facts.

Thank you for your thoughts. Wayne and I are thankful to be a part of such a great community.

Phase 2 of our Critical Incident Stress Debriefing will start tomorrow. The team is from Nahsville and I know it's gonna be tough but should help us get started in the right direction.

If anyone has any questions that I can answer I will be glad to help. I would rather help and get it right than allow rumors to continue going unchecked.

Bruce Carson
The pilot that was interviewed in todays article about the Air Evac crash did a good job. He noted that it was only his opinion and he had only observed what had been posted by the NTSB.

Since I have mentioned the conditions known as "LTE" and "settling with power" earlier I would also like to acknowledge "compressor stall" as well.


This could happen with a dissruption of airflow over the intake into the engine...The most common cause is the ingestion of a bird or foriegn object. But isnt limited to ingestion...It can occur when the airflow is dissrupted for any reason.

Compressor stalls can cause a compressor surge which in turn can cause one or more extremely loud bangs or pops emanating from the engine as the combustion process "backfires". This may be accompanied by an increased exhaust gas temperature (flames), and yawing of the aircraft (spinning) due to a loss of RPM's at the tail rotor.

All compressor stalls result in a loss of engine power. This power failure may only be momentary (occurring so quickly it is barely registered on engine instruments), or may shut the engine down completely.......

Check this out. It is a compressor stall after a bird was ingested through the intake.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7ae_1183872776

My point here is just to elaborate more about what the article was talking about. I would also like to point out that there are so many variables that it would be impossible to conclude what happened at this point. I am only elaborating further on this topic and NOT suggesting it was a compressor stall that initiated the accident....I just dont know.
This is such a sad situation. I have only read the posts on page two of this thread, but It rings a bell with me.
I was born when my dad was in the Air force. He retired from Randolph AFB, near San Antonio TX. For a while we lived in a town named Schertz TX. which is very close to Randolph which is a fighter jet training center. There was always jets flying close to home. I have vivid memories of jets losing power due to birds getting caught in the jet engines on takeoff and the pilots making evasive maneuverer's to keep from hitting residential areas, then ejecting from the craft at the last minute to save their lives.

If this were the case with a helicopter at low altitudes on low speed, one can only imagine how fast things could happen when faced with a similar occurance.

These people who put their life at risk for the better of us all is hero's in my book.
ROTORWASH, I'M NOT FOLLOWING YOU ABOUT THE ROTOR STRIKING THE TAIL BOOM. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE UNLESS THERE HAS ALREADY BEEN A STRUCTURAL FAILURE? CAN THE ROTOR PHYSICALLY TOUCH THE BOOM WITHOUT SOMETHING HAVING ALREADY CHANGED POSITIONS STRUCTURALLY? I'M NOT DISAGREEING JUST TRYING TO UNDERSTAND. ON A FIXED WING PLANE THE PROP CAN NEVER TOUCH THE FUSELAGE UNLESS SOMETHING HAS ALREADY BROKEN OR BENT. COMMON SENSE TELLS ME THE SAME ENGINEERING WOULD GO INTO A ROTOR CRAFT.
quote:
Originally posted by jmzgal:
.why would he be shooting at a helicopter that was trying to rescue him?


This is where it was mentioned that the hunter possibly fired a shot into the air.

http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20080111/NEWS/801110329/0/FRONTPAGE

[Quote]Emergency workers were on the ground, searching for the hunter, and heard a gunshot, presumably a signal from the hunter. They followed the sound and found the hunter's vehicle. The helicopter then used a searchlight on the hunter, the report states. The aircraft was about 100 to 150 feet above the trees.[UNQUOTE]
lbself1, The rotor system on a helicopter is very flexible. The blades are hollow composite material filled with honeycomb. In flight during windy conditions it is normal to see the blades flight path move. Remember they are much longer than an airplane's blades. When a helicopter flies, the pilot is actually moving the rotor disk. The body of the helicopter is balanced to "hang" under the blades. We do not attempt to start our helicopter during a 15 knot wind gust spread due to the possibility of the rotor striking the tailboom during the start-up procedure. Normally this would not be a concern. When the throttle is @ 100 % the RPM's are high, the blades are at their strongest point and more rigid. If the pilot is struggling for control and the aircraft is pitching and yawing it would be possible that the blades could flex under stress and if the aircraft was pitching forward (nose down)with the pilot reacting and pulling back the disk would be pulled up in the front and down in the back before the body of the helicopter could "catch up"......We are only talking about a small area out near the ends of the blade would be able to strike the tail boom, but its enough.

Please keep in mind that these are all just possibilities. I just think that if everyone knows how so many things could have played a role it will help understand why it's so important to let the NTSB finish.

"If this were the case with a helicopter at low altitudes on low speed, one can only imagine how fast things could happen when faced with a similar occurance." unclegus.

AMEN, you are exactly right. Any hiccup at low altitude and no forward airspeed would be almost impossible to recover from....

I hope we all understand what happened in the end.

Bruce
Probably best not to spectulate as to what happened, it only starts rumor's. When that final report comes out, all questions should be answered.
rotorwash, I know this has to be very hard on you & I thank you for coming on here & explaining these things to us.
"Probably best not to spectulate as to what happened, it only starts rumor's. When that final report comes out, all questions should be answered." Taciturn

You are absolutely right.

I want to point out that I do not know what happened. I just felt like there were several people who did not understand how many variables that would be considered in the investigation. By understanding what some of the hazards are will help prevent someone from jumping to conclusions. My attempt was just to explain some of the conditions and by that we could all see how it would be impossible to come to a conclusion before the investigation is finished.

I agree with you and I think most everyone understands....Thanks for your input. Our focus has now turned to rebuilding and the new aircraft should be arriving at the base within the hour. It's coming from Indianapolis.

Bruce
quote:
Originally posted by rotorwash:
You are absolutely right.
I want to point out that I do not know what happened. I just felt like there were several people who did not understand how many variables that would be considered in the investigation. By understanding what some of the hazards are will help prevent someone from jumping to conclusions. My attempt was just to explain some of the conditions and by that we could all see how it would be impossible to come to a conclusion before the investigation is finished. Bruce


Bruce, I'm sorry, what I said wasn't intended for you. Wink
I meant it for the ones that "have heard this or that". You are very much appreciated for explaining things to us the way you have.

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