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Social Media vs the Super Puma

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posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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Within hours of the latest North Sea helicopter crash, oil workers took to social media, in a campaign dubbed "Destroy the Super Pumas". Almost 40,000 people have given their support to the campaign. According to the Facebook page, oil workers are afraid to fly in the helicopters, due in part to them being difficult to escape from if you aren't sitting next to a window or door.

The ban on them that was put in place after the latest crash has already been lifted. At the time of the accident, the aircraft had only recently begun flying again after a nine month ban, after problems with the vertical shaft in the main gearbox were discovered.

The HSSG said:


The HSSG says it is “satisfied that there is no reason to believe there is an inherent mechanical problem with any of the AS332L/L1, AS332L2 or EC225 helicopter types.” CHC, which returned AS332L2s to operations outside the U.K. Aug 29, says: “From what we know so far about the Sumburgh incident, as well as tens of thousands of hours of experience with this aircraft, it is apparent there is not a fundamental problem with AS332L2 aircraft that led to this accident.”



There have been five accidents of Super Puma helicopters in the last four years, with 20 fatalities between two accidents.

At least one company has temporarily hired ships to move the crews, but the long term viability of that is not good. Interestingly Norway also flies the types mentioned, but has a much better safety record when you compare the two (no word on sortie numbers though).

Social Media vs Super Puma




posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 11:51 AM
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Social media can be a very powerful tool, just think of the Kony outbreak a couple of years back... Can't say that I blame them though, I would be very wary of travelling in those helicopters.

Surely CHC must be a bit worried about flying them when obviously the gearbox problem isn't fixed when they thought it was?? According to the super reliable wikipedia, those things are $15.5 million per helicopter. That's $77.5 million in the last 4 years. Very soon, no one will insure them or their insurance costs will go through the roof.

I'm sure I heard somewhere that the oil/gas companies have been telling their employees that they should have been aware of the risks of travelling on helicopters and basically to deal with it or lose their job. I'll have to hunt out the source for that.

Edit:

Found the source, although it's the Daily Mail, so I dunno how reliable it'll be...

Source
edit on 31-8-2013 by Florasaurus because: Source added



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 11:53 AM
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reply to post by Florasaurus
 


That wouldn't surprise me in the least. The airlines have pushed their pilots into situations that led to accidents, and then said "We never said to do that." so it wouldn't surprise me if the oil companies basically said "Deal with it." to their workers.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:19 PM
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Social media jump whenever is blood/deaths.

Remember the F-104 Starfighter widow makers saga in the 1960 and 1970´s?
Well, the spanish Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) operated 21 one them during seven years of service with no loss.

Portuguese Air Force operated 13 SA.330 Puma (the forerunner of Super Puma/Cougar family) until recently (since 1970) without crashes. Only 2 suffered accidents but returned to service.
They did missions on Angola during Colonial war and SAR missions over the Atlantic (wich is pretty nasty during winter) operating from Lajes AB (Azores) and Portugal´s mainland for about 20 years.

Eurocopter Puma/Super Puma/Cougar family has a reputation of being reliable and though machines.

Both french and british forces still operate their first generation Pumas (SA.330B / Puma HC.1) and plan to mantain a modernized force of some 45 examples each country. They have been using it operatonally since early 1970`s.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by meaningless333
 


What gets really interesting is when you compare the British and Norwegian ops with the same helos.

Removing lightning strikes, and damage that could have happened to anyone through uncontrollable means, when you look at 1990-2013 the stats are interesting.

UK:

Fatal Accidents: 5
Non-Fatal resulting in damage:13

Norway:
Fatal Accidents: 3
Non-Fatal resulting in damage: 6

You can remove one UK fatal, because it was lighting to the tail rotor, which makes the fatal accidents statistically insignificant in their differences. But the non-fatals are staggering with the difference.

If you go just from 1998, the year after Norway suffered a fatal accident that claimed the crew of an AS331, it's even more staggering.

UK:
Fatal: 3
Non-Fatal: 10

Norway:
Fatal:0
Non-Fatal:2



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I believe that the RNoAF (Norwegian AF or Luftforsvaret) never operated the Puma or Super Pumas.
Mainly, they had Lynxs (Naval variant) and Sea King (built by Westland). That had other like UH-1B´s.

The Swedish did (still operate Super Pumas). Are you refering to Sweden?



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:38 PM
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reply to post by meaningless333
 


No, both the UK and Norway operate them with civilian companies to fly crews out to oil platforms.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:43 PM
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Also british Puma operated on very different scenarios than Norwegian aircraft.

British Puma went to Gulf War I, Belize, they were an important asset for BAOR operation (British Army of the Rhine), those britsih forces permanently stationed at Wets Germany during the 1970´s and 1980´s. And they proved themselves during NATO field exercises on Germany back then (even in the harsh german winter).



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Sorry, I was refering to military operators.
Maintaing the oil stations is important, but I tend to prefer military ops.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:47 PM
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reply to post by meaningless333
 


So do I, but I follow all airborne ops, especially something like this.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:52 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Since we are discussing the role of social media, do you think that the F-35 has an undeserved bad press?



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:54 PM
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reply to post by meaningless333
 


Yes and no. Yes, people have gone overboard criticizing the program, which does deserve criticism, but no, in that it's helped to keep the focus on the program, and kind of kicked them in the ass to get things on track.



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


One of most criticized aspect is its price.
Neither the US or F-16 owners that choose the F-35 will be enough aircraft (at least in the next 10 years) to build a capable force (look at Netherlands, UK ). Others are having seconds thoughts (Canada, Norway and Denmark).

Shouldn´t the USAF be looking to a stop-gap solution?



posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by meaningless333
 


The price has dropped a lot, and is still dropping. They're aiming for under $100M for the A by LRIP 7.

LRIP 6 will have the A around $100.8M, with 7 hitting $96.8M.
LRIP 6 will have the B around $108.5M, with 7 being at $104.2M
LRIP 6 will have the C around $120M, with 7 hitting $115.2M.

Each LRIP batch will reduce costs around 4%.



posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 04:50 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by meaningless333
 


If you go just from 1998, the year after Norway suffered a fatal accident that claimed the crew of an AS331, it's even more staggering.

UK:
Fatal: 3
Non-Fatal: 10

Norway:
Fatal:0
Non-Fatal:2


how many aircraft flying how many hours on how many flights of similar types??



posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 


That was the question brought up when the report came out. I haven't seen the entire report, so I'm not sure exactly on sortie numbers (which I think I even mentioned earlier). The flight types are the same, and I believe similar in duration. But I'm not sure how often the Norwegian flights take place.

ETA:Just got the report

www.caa.co.uk...

Page 67 shows the statistics. By 1990-2009 it was 13.1 million person flight hours to 16.6 for the UK.
edit on 9/1/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 08:48 PM
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UK air safety initial thoughts are that there was no mechanical problem in crash.

Training and operations are a far more likely issue - especially if the apparent difference in accident rates between UK & Norway are real - they use the same equipment (helicopter) in a similar environment (flights across the Nth Sea) so it would seem that the liveware is a more likely source for the differences than the hardware or environment.

the article is mostly behind a subscription, so here's a relevant extract vie Flight Safety Information provided by Curt Lewis & Associates news links:


Based on information available so far, the CAA spokesman's statement said "we do not believe that the accident was caused by an airworthiness or technical problem." That means, in effect, that regulators feel the Eurocopter AS332 L2 variant with 18 people aboard was fit to operate that evening, before it started losing speed and altitude on approach to land at the field.

The latest U.K. government statement appears to shift the focus of the probe toward some type of pilot slip-up, fuel issue, navigation problem or other hazard not directly stemming from an onboard malfunction. The CAA emphasized that its statement came after its experts "have been in close touch" with investigators.

After starting to descend, the helicopter flew about a mile closer to the intended destination, according to investigators, and it was intact and upright when it entered the water. Both pilots survived.
edit on 2-9-2013 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)





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