BC Air Ambulance clips power lines on take off (1 Viewer)

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Joined
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C'eh N'eh D'eh
.. sorry if the video lags, large file format so this was the only way I could post.. enlarge to 100% and maybe try to veiw again after its run through once.
 
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Wow, glad no one was hurt, that could have been real ugly. How the hell did that the chopper land there in the first place?
You should pass that video onto global news or something perhaps, or at least youtube it :)
 

Granite Grinder

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Cool video
Not sure about posting it though, kind of embarrassing for all concerned. Next thing they'll ban the chopper from landing anywhere but a designated landing button.
 
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:eek: Wow, I guess your cable will be out for a while. Good thing he missed the power lines. That could have been very bad for a lot of people. Pilot error - just for one second but that's all you need in tight quarters like that. Even a sudden gust of wind and your screwed. I am surprised that he didn't shut down right away. Looked like the rotors were turning just as fast at touch down in the field as when the vid ended. Please tell me that he shut down and had the rotors inspected before leaving. I am also surprised that he didn't pick his emerg landing field as his first place to land.

Phil, it may not make the news but it will definitely be fully reported and investigated. I remember from when I was learning to fly fixed wing that regs required that any collision to the aircraft to be reported and inspected immediately.
 
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If it had gone over on its side, which is what they usually do when they clip something, you'd have been in the rotor-throw zone, which could have been much nastier for the observers than those in the helo. Check out the guy on the far side who hightails it into the woods at the first sign of trouble. Smart move!

From the sound it was making there was some tip damage to the blades.

http://www.bclocalnews.com/tri_city_maple_ridge/mapleridgenews/news/118191064.html
 
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The newspaper article claims: "As the helicopter took off, its rear rotor hit an overhead phone line."

I had another look at the video. It is pretty clear that it was the main rotor that hit the TV cable line (phone line is above the cable line and below the power line). If he had hit it with the tail rotor first and damaged it or the drive shaft, it is likely that he would have lost complete control and crashed. This is what happens when you loose a tail rotor:
YouTube - Helicopter Tail-Rotor Failure Crash

Dieseldan, investigators might want to see your video. It it appears to explain what exactly happened. He only drifted about 3'-5' towards lines but that was enough. Not withstanding, a mechanical problem, in such tight quarters, all that was needed was a little gust of wind to screw up that pilot's day.
 
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I thought it was the tail rotor at the time also - you can only tell its the primary rotor when you watch the video..

It was inspected by the tsb overnight where it touched down and left the following day - I'm assuming after they replaced the blades.

Cable was back up in 4 hours. They were all over it!

It was sent to cbc and its on youtube - I would not have posted had anyone been injured so I don't see any reason not to have it out there.

As for ducking for cover - if there had been shrapnel you'd have to have been either superman or lucky to get out of the way in time - She (pilot) f'd up by turning the helicpoter after lift off, clearly should have shifted left before rising and not made any turn whatsoever, which was how it was positioned on landing.

Anway, shoulda coulda woulda..
 
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She (pilot) f'd up by turning the helicpoter after lift off, clearly should have shifted left before rising and not made any turn whatsoever, which was how it was positioned on landing.

Anway, shoulda coulda woulda..
It appears to me more of a drift movement that occurred as the pilot turned the helicopter than a piloted movement. That's why I am assuming a bit of cross wind was what caught her. Her main error was her choice of landing area.

Anyways, that was some amazing video. Hope you make sure you keep your rights.
 
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yep - let my son post it up there after sending to the news networks - its not worth much really - prob not much interest because there is no carnage and death involved.
 
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It appears to me more of a drift movement that occurred as the pilot turned the helicopter than a piloted movement. That's why I am assuming a bit of cross wind was what caught her. Her main error was her choice of landing area.

Anyways, that was some amazing video. Hope you make sure you keep your rights.
Don't see any crosswind, the tops of the trees aren't moving. They rotated while keeping their visual reference stationary (ie the pilot doesn't move forward or backwards), with the result that the long rear end went into the wires. Pure pilot error. Landing in the ungroomed field would probably have been safer in retrospect but then there's the chance of any debris in the field being picked up, or holes in the field that aren't visible; they usually try to land on a hard clear surface if at all possible.Yep, should have crabbed left before rotating to get well clear of the lines.

Did you see how they came in? Probably nose-first from the field then turned and plonked it onto the road. Trouble is you can't go out the same way you came in in this case.
 
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Whoa... VERY dangerous place to land and a really poorly executed take-off.

Impressed that the landing was smooth and safe, and that this didn't go from bad to worse in a split second.

The pilot should have been much more aware of the clearance issues than they were. A straight up take-off would have been a little better, even a slight slide to the left after the initial hover, but putting the tail rotor under the power lines was a potentially deadly error.

~John
 
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They crabbed to the right on landing - seemed straight forward..

Turning was not a good move but again it was the main lift blades that hit the wires and not the tail rotor..
 
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I used to do heli safety and stunt work for tv and film, and had the displeasure of watching a pilot make the mistake of misjudging rotor clearance while filming me... Four people died (himself included) because of poor judgement. As stated, the guy who ran at first sign of trouble had the right idea. I had nowhere to go standing on top of a 10' by 20' serac with crevasses on all sides. The pieces of rotor etc that flew past my head as the thing came apart is something I won't ever forget.

The people onboard that air ambulance were reeeeally lucky...
 

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