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Huey crash Anna Bay 6/9/19

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A restored Bell UH1 crashed into the sea off Anna Bay wit the loss of five people.

This was a long distance flight, and could have some important en route Meteorology lessons for us.

One TV report suggested very high wind conditions.

There will be an ATSB report, so we'll be able to get the facts in due course.

 

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Very sad, getting late in the day with no doubt failing light and very poor flying weather.

First found was tail rotor which does not sound good.

RIP and condolences to family and friends.

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The front hit cowra hard at about 4.30pm with raised dust. The accident happened  about 6.13pm 10-20 minutes after last light. The aircraft may not have been equipped for night  VFR, Leigh Creek deja vu. We need to learn from those who have gone before us.

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Isn't there a big car-park at the end of the GanGan rd just before the sand-dunes ?.

Would seem a better alternative.

spacesailor

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I find it incredible that a pilot with a supposedly 30 yrs of experience would do this - push on into deteriorating weather and dust conditions that he obviously never studied in depth, pushed on after last light, and pushed on over water, when he had a machine that could land virtually anywhere. As a Vietnam Veteran, I know what Hueys can do, they are virtually unbreakable. 

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Facthunter, are you trying to say that the age of this Huey (1966 build) had a major bearing on the crash? I think that may be a little premature.

I see a pilot who pushed on beyond any reasonable weather and light limitations. But I guess the ATSB report will produce any evidence needed.

Edited by onetrack
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 It HAS to be a possible factor. The factory is the best place to build one with all new stuff and some sub-assemblies are pre tested.

    I've  test flown several extensively overhauled aircraft and they are often at their least reliable condition just after a big layoff and refurb. I can't recall ONE that didn't have issues, New aircraft are a  bit the same They often have niggly  "problems" that get sorted out in the first 20 or so hours. It's called shakedown period.  (Like the first 25 hours flown of in RAAus planes) There's an awful lot of mechanical stuff in choppers.  You wouldn't just jump in something straight out of the workshop without a  suitable testing programme  and follow up checks.. Remember not ONE of the group of choppers that Carter? sent to Iran made it across the desert. and they would have been America's best.   I'm NOT suggesting this IS the situation . Just something to consider. Nev

Edited by facthunter

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A Huey went down near Kiandra following power loss. One engine and, as I agree with Nev, a lot of complex machinery. Ghastly when one goes down in circs. where possibly avoidable. Fate is the Hunter.

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If you look the statistic for the Vietnam war on the Huey you will find that just about half the loses were operational. and a lot of those were new.

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Your choice would be not go over water NVFR on a dark night. If Willy was active then they might have sent the Huey out over the water as part of a clearance. Sounds like the conditions were hazardous to any rotary not just an old one. 

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Aw, C'mon shafs64 - the operational losses of the Hueys in 'Nam have to be taken into context with the style of use and abuse.

There were little operational limits on the Hueys, they were used as troop carriers, resupply carriers, gun platforms, medevac choppers - and suffering from overloads more often than not.

Miniguns and M60 MG's applying constant recoil vibrations to the airframe. Hard landings under fire, constant small-arms damage, which was often just patched and then the Huey was sent out again.

The Huey had weights in the rotor tips to facilitate vegetation slashing - and vegetation slashing, they did, virtually every day. Imagine the impacts to the airframe and rotor head, as the rotor tips slash tree branches?

You need to read Chickenhawk, by Robert Mason, if you haven't already. And if you have, you need to read it again.

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30 minutes ago, onetrack said:

Aw, C'mon shafs64 - the operational losses of the Hueys in 'Nam have to be taken into context with the style of use and abuse.

There were little operational limits on the Hueys, they were used as troop carriers, resupply carriers, gun platforms, medevac choppers - and suffering from overloads more often than not.

Miniguns and M60 MG's applying constant recoil vibrations to the airframe. Hard landings under fire, constant small-arms damage, which was often just patched and then the Huey was sent out again.

The Huey had weights in the rotor tips to facilitate vegetation slashing - and vegetation slashing, they did, virtually every day. Imagine the impacts to the airframe and rotor head, as the rotor tips slash tree branches?

You need to read Chickenhawk, by Robert Mason, if you haven't already. And if you have, you need to read it again.

You mean the book were the truck pulls up to his back door and asks how many baby's do you want. or are you talking about when he shot a hole in one of the instruments. is that the book you are talking about. how many hours do you have in hueys

 

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4 hours ago, onetrack said:

 

The Huey had weights in the rotor tips to facilitate vegetation slashing

Most, if not all helis have weights in the blades. These are to provide inertia for autorotation, they just happen to help if you encounter vegetation. But I agree with you very much so that use and abuse and the associated combat losses  can hardly be compared to this incident.

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 Very lightweight rotors make successful autorotating very difficult. These helicopters certainly proved themselves pretty useful in very demanding circumstances where so much was expected from them, (and the pilots).. Nev

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