Firefighting Helicopter suddenly loses control.

  1. I took a course in safety engineering and the instructor who was a safety engineer said "helicopters are just aircraft looking for a place to crash." I don't think I'll ever get in a helicopter.

  2. My father was a helicopter mechanic for many years but eventually landed a teaching job as a professor at our local college. He said the stress of being a mechanic kept him up at nights and he would often go back to the hanger to double check his own work. (Sorta like going back home after you just left to make sure you locked the door.) One mistake and the whole aircraft could crash and kill everyone. He preferred teaching for sure. My dad is awesome.

  3. I remember playing some NES video game with my buddies' dad (helicopter pilot) and saying, "this is so unrealistic, a machine gun can't blow up helicopters." He responded, "well, I saw a little girl take one down next to me with just a pistol in Vietnam...Or, it might have just been it's day to crash."

  4. When I was real young, my father was studying to be a helicopter pilot. He has/had his small private plane license (sorry if I'm butchering this. I know zero terms or whatever).

  5. That's what it makes it so mind boggling for me to understand. People always say even the slightest chip on the blades can ground the helicopter. How is it that they can still use them in combat situations with enemies firing bullets.

  6. Saw a video of a guy approach a helicopter that had just landed without first ducking, it did not end well for him RIP.

  7. My dad was a chemical engineer at Bell Helicopter for 12 years. He was much smarter than most people I’ve met and he said the most important thing he learned about helis in 12 years was to never get in one.

  8. The only reason helicopters fly is because they're so ugly the earth repels them (I actually like them, but it's funny).

  9. Wow, that crash looked totally survivable. I'm really sad to hear they all died. It exploded before it even hit the water. I wonder what went wrong.

  10. Was it the initial impact that killed them? Drowning because of the initial impact caused too much physical damage or because they couldn't get out from the debris?

  11. I am certainly no expert in this, but it looks to me like that tail rotor loses power. I'm guessing pilot jettisoned the bag (is that a fire fighting water bag?) to attempt recovery, but just couldn't get it in time.

  12. I'm not familiar with that specific aircraft (I worked on the Seahawk), but there may be a gearbox right there where it flamed out, or at least some kind of other coupling for the tail drive shaft (it's been decades so I'm rusty on the parts). Something probably went wrong with that, caused the drive shaft to lose power from the engine, which would cause the tail to lose rotation, making the main rotor start to apply spin to the body of the helicopter. Then the engine was still applying power to the broken part, causing it to overheat, and then, poof.

  13. Im no expert either, but in normal helicopters, the top part spins around and the whole thing goes up. In this one, the bottom part spins so the whole thing went down.

  14. Yeah he def should have dropped the bag, for whatever reason that didn't happen. Also it didn't appear to nose over and fly out of it like he should've. Of course it'd be a very disorienting experience, so who knows.

  15. Not an expert either, but from the way it pitched into the counter-rotation near the beginning of the video, it appears yee overtook yaw until haw became the dominant vector, and from there it was just yee-haw all the way down.

  16. I think he turned to fast and the weight of his load caused him to spin out of control. He's basically a flying pendulum rn. The tail never stops it just syncs with the frame rate while the copter turns. Probably tried to correct and the still swinging bag cause him to veer upward which was the end

  17. Oh wow. Something in the driveshaft assembly went poof on that one. I'd heard of this happening, but never saw it in person before (I used to work on helicopters in the military).

  18. when they rolled really hard the last time, I think the main rotor catches the cable on the bucket and pulls it through the fuselage. I think that is probably what sealed their fate, they lost all lift to auto rotate at that moment and entered a free fall.

  19. I don't see any indications that this was necessarily caused by damage to a TGB or an IGB on the helo. (Tail Gear Box or Intermediate Gear Box).

  20. Worked on EC-135s, MH-60Rs and MRH-90s, those birds are just shrapnel makers and fire starters. I personally haven’t witnessed many accidents, but for those that I have, a Crash On Deck is almost certain to be fatal to the crew.

  21. Everything you say makes sense, but what’s the deal with the structural failure / explosion right before it hit the water?

  22. I would think forward airspeed would help since you should need less tail rotor power. There's a reason they have a vertical stabilizer, and at cruising speed even if they completely lose the tail rotor typically they still retain a fair amount of control. At that point without a tail rotor you could then autorotate down safely. Unless you were just trying to say if they have forward airspeed while already in a spin, but really the forward airspeed should help to prevent the spin.

  23. Why do they not simply create a helicopter that has ample power to cover the job without having to be a rocket scientist to fly it?

  24. I mean, that is possible, but I don't see how you would possibly know that. If they are doing firefighting ops, you'd think there would be enough experience there to know to check you power availability for any empty bag/full bag.

  25. I think that's an optical illusion. Helicopters are bigger than people think, making them appear closer to the observer and thus to the ground than they really are. That thing was in near-freefall for a good while. Helicopters are also light and hollow, which means an impact with water would have arrested all downward momentum, killing the crew via massive impact trauma, similar to crashing a car into a wall.

  26. How does falling out the sky in a spinning metal box that explodes before it even hits the surface of the water (which is hard like concrete when youre moving fast towards it) look remotely survivable? Did you think the Twin Towers looked survivable too?

  27. I'm thinking its the explosion that did them in as the crash into the water all things considered doesn't look that bad.

  28. I'm a prior CV-22 Osprey mechanic and I can whole heartedly say that helicopters are not meant to fly. The amount of emergency landings and failures that I witnessed is insane. Lost a friend during the Australian bush fires a few years back. Firefighting aircrafts while help tremendously the weight differencial when hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water is being dumped from the aircraft can cause even the most experienced pilots and flight engineers to crash.

  29. I definitely would've not waited for them to bust out the second battery before high tailing it out of there

  30. It's pretty normal to start a helicopter with an external battery, it takes a lot of power to start a turbine engine. As long as the alternator is working you are A-ok.

  31. When people speak of karma I want to ask then why do four brave men out doing good so needlessly have to die?

  32. Karma is just another tale people tell each other to make the chaotic world seem a little less chaotic, like every other myth and religion.

  33. I'm no professional but I think the rear roters malfunctioned and caused the body to start spinning and unable to stabilize itself.

  34. Everyone on board died?? Damn. Maybe it's just because they didn't land on solid ground but the impact didn't look too bad. Not even one crew member made it out alive? Don't they train for this scenario?

  35. They crashed upside down and at a great speed into water. There's still a lot of concussive force involved and you also have to keep in mind the pilot and copilot are most likely strapped in, so it would be incredibly hard to unstrap and make your way out in murky water. I don't think training would've helped in this scenario, it would've only helped to prevent the lead up but that's about it.

  36. it broke apart at the tail due to extreme stress from rotational force. it might not look that extreme to you on video, but that's a very large helicopter at a distance doing what it's not supposed to do.

  37. Do you think the pilot would have survived in this crash? Even though there's an explosion it wasn't that high and went into water almost instantly. Surely there would be injuries but he must have survived right?

  38. Does anyone know the back story on this crash? Also, whenever we request LifeFlight (FF here) my gut drops every time they come in for landing.

  39. Helicopters seem so fragile. How are they even taken to war? "These things malfunction all the time... let's make it one of the main transportation systems for our troops, where it can now get shot at with bullets and rockets."

  40. Looks like the tail rotor's gearbox failed. That caused the initial spin, and the loss of resistance likely caused components to run way too fast and ignite the lubricant or hydraulic fluid.

  41. ELI5... how come there is no sideways ejection system to blast you out and away from the rotors and for that matter, why isn't there any kind of ejection system in most non-military aircraft, at least you'd have a chance of survival.

  42. Being able to eject sideways would be extraordinarily difficult, as you would have immense lateral g-forces, which would cause major problems to things like the neck (potentially causing fatal damage).

  43. looks like he lost the tail rotor. The tail rotor keeps the helo from spinning. Notice the small explosion at the root of the tail prior to impact.

  44. well for a fire fighting helicopter it couldn't fight the greatest fire of all, the fire inside of us. and inside of it

  45. A helicopter pilot friend says that “flying” is not the right description of what a helicopter does. He says that a helicopter just bears the air into submission. However, helicopters require a LOT of maintenance because there is no glide angle for a helicopter.

  46. "According to recognized aero technical tests, the bumblebee cannot fly because of the shape and weight of his body in relation to the total wing area. The bumblebee doesn’t know this, so he goes ahead and flies anyway.”

  47. What a surprise this happened in China. This helicopter was obviously held to a high standard of maintenance and was obviously constructed with high quality materials assembled by highly skilled workers and knowledgeable engineers.

  48. Dude, lives were lost. They didn't ask to be born in China these firefighters just wanted to help people the best they knew how. What a disgusting comment.

  49. I have no idea how you came to this conclusion. This could have easily just been bad planning rather than anything hardware related

  50. This was just three days ago in Yunnan Dali China. Seasonal fire on Cangshan and the fire fighters helicopter was refilling in Lake Erhai. Luckily no one was hurt.

  51. Is there any context to this video? It sounds odd enough but I very well may know a person who died in this. (If it’s the same crash I’m thinking of)

  52. This was a firefighter helicopter in china trying to refill if I'm not mistaken. I think no one was hurt in the crash.

  53. Because all aboard lost their lives. It's not that we see people die, but all hands were lost, and the NSFW lets people know it's not a happy ending.

  54. My second duty station in the army was across the street from a Helicopter Aviation unit. All you needed was to be in uniform to fly, and any reservist willing to take you up. Went up a few times. Exhilarating.

  55. Awful to see. I work on firefighting aircraft both tanks and bucket choppers. Lots of maintenance and parts and attention to detail sucks to see one go down.

  56. I work on oil rig and have to take Sikorsky's out to the rig. Every 4 years we have to take a helicopter training course. The main emphasis is what to do when you have a controlled landing and a ditched landing and land in the water and have to get out while you are still in your harness. I'd still rather crash into the water than on land.

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