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#233276 - 10/05/11 03:51 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
In my last training/qualification swim, I had to swim underwater to the "door", manipulate various door latches, open the door and swim through. Your qual seems to have been for a specific aircraft where you always sat next to the door. I've never had a survival swim qual that easy.
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#233279 - 10/05/11 04:22 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: airballrad]
Colourful Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 11/14/07
Posts: 86
Loc: Yukon
Dit it have inflatable floats?

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#233280 - 10/05/11 04:31 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: Russ]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7369
Loc: southern Cal
Quite true. We were typically flying Bell Jet Rangers or smaller, and you were always next to a door. The training was not particularly taxing (although way better than nothing).
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#233283 - 10/05/11 04:43 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: airballrad]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
I just thought it was imprecise writing yesterday, but as I read a couple more articles today, it really does seem that the helicopter hit the water upside down, according to the eyewitnesses, instead of tipping over after hitting the water. It seems impossible that the aircraft could be upside down when it hit considering that it had just lifted off, so perhaps a rotor tip caught the water on the way in and that then flipped the aircraft over into the water?

In any case, the eyewitnesses also mentioned that the aircraft was spinning around before the crash, making it even more nightmarish for everyone on board.

Anyone ever had dunk training where they spin you around the vertical axis, then flip you upside down and then slam you into the water on your head? Scary.

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#233284 - 10/05/11 04:45 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: Russ]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
Originally Posted By: Russ
In my last training/qualification swim, I had to swim underwater to the "door", manipulate various door latches, open the door and swim through. Your qual seems to have been for a specific aircraft where you always sat next to the door. I've never had a survival swim qual that easy.


Ours was a Blackhawk sized fuselage and we packed it full. The doors were closed and we had to get out after it rolled over. It was quite interesting, and we all came out with bruises and cuts, but we all got out without aid from the safety divers. It was very realistic; we did not have seats (as is normally done on operations), we were in full kit and it hit the water hard. We did have inflatable flotation devices for once you cleared the door.

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#233285 - 10/05/11 05:06 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: gonewiththewind]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
Sounds like fun wink The first helo dunker I did (circa 1986), we had seats and were all strapped in. They did the crawl, walk, run thing, which meant you needed to go through the process multiple times. 1) any window/door, eyes open; 2) any window/door, wearing opaque goggles; 3) (everyone) main cabin door, eyes open; 4) (everyone) main cabin door, wearing opaque goggles.

I tended to take my time and wait for the feet to clear. Being able to relax and take your time under water is huge. Once panic sets in your clock starts running much faster.
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Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
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#233287 - 10/05/11 06:00 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: airballrad]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Wow, the water egress training you guys describe sounds daunting. Of course I am uninitiated but even with rescue divers, it seems like the risk of a student getting hung up and sucking down a lungful of water is high. What kind of accident rates did you see in those evolutions?

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#233288 - 10/05/11 06:27 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
Personally I never saw any instance of rescue guys having to pull students, but the Naval aviation groups I was with had already been through earlier training/testing and students with issues were weeded out early. Nonetheless, the rescue swimmers were always there. They wouldn't even begin the real testing before I demonstrated an ability to meet certain benchmarks. They are very careful, but I have no doubt there have been accidents.

The last time I did this I was literally the only "student"; there were four instructors on the sides evaluating, with two rescue swimmers and me in the water. Without the lines created by having lots of students, it was all over in an hour and was a real work-out. In prior quals there was time between tasks to catch your breath, but it took all afternoon. In the pool at 8 AM and done by 9 AM was a vast improvement and probably more realistic.
_________________________
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

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#233292 - 10/05/11 07:05 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: Arney]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Quote:
It seems impossible that the aircraft could be upside down when it hit considering that it had just lifted off, so perhaps a rotor tip caught the water on the way in and that then flipped the aircraft over into the water?


I don't know anything about that crash (or helicopters), but according to the info below, I'm wondering if the rotors stop for some reason, the helicopter would FALL upside down?

From The Space Review [quote][/quote]

"Because the heaviest part of a helicopter is the engines mounted over the cabin, most helicopters immediately tip over when they hit the water and crews are trained to exit a sinking upside down helicopter."

Also (same source): "And one of the dangerous aspects about helicopters is that bad goes to worse very quickly."

Sue

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#233295 - 10/05/11 07:19 PM Re: Helicopter Down in NY East River [Re: Susan]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: Susan

I don't know anything about that crash (or helicopters), but according to the info below, I'm wondering if the rotors stop for some reason, the helicopter would FALL upside down?


I don't know much about helicopters either, but I've heard repeatedly from several sources that DO know much about helicopters that loss of engine power don't mean you loose controll. Obviously, you go down, but you can pretty much control where and how you land the thing. The principle is called autorotation: As the helicopter falls, the movement relatively to the air causes the rotor to spin at great speed, which gives you enough lift to slow the descent to survivable speeds and also gives you limited control over the heli.

Once in the water the heli flips over, yes.

And there are probably a bunch of other things than engine that can go wrong with a heli.

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