Netcare medical rescue chopper crashes in KwaZulu-Natal midlands

bromster

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Guess it's not only SANPARKS that suffers from incompetent pilots.

/s
On the contrary, their Heli pilots are among the most skilled and versatile I've worked alongside.

Their work is obviously time-sensitive. When I was also working from Virginia (a training airfield) being able to position helicopters for a quick takeoff at short notice required exceptional dynamism and fine control over the aircraft, as well as good coordination with the control tower to dash in and out between the busy pattern of training aircraft.

I hold them in such high esteem that I would personally rule out pilot error even before the investigation.
 

Grant

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I wonder how many Bell 430 pilots are employed by Netcare, or sourced. Fatigue is real.
The fiance of a neighbor a few doors away from me is netcare pilot based in Cape Town. If I recall correctly, the helicopters are leased by Netcare and pilots employed by the lessor, with the exception of one helicopter that was donated to netcare. I believe the donated one is in use by the general fleet - its donation serves to subsidise emergency airlifts for general public (accidents etc).
This crashed helicopter was on a scheduled (fully billable) hospital transfer flight. Scheduled flights and the donor helicopter subsidise the cost of mercy flights.
 
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Grant

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On the contrary, their Heli pilots are among the most skilled and versatile I've worked alongside.

Their work is obviously time-sensitive. When I was also working from Virginia (a training airfield) being able to position helicopters for a quick takeoff at short notice required exceptional dynamism and fine control over the aircraft, as well as good coordination with the control tower to dash in and out between the busy pattern of training aircraft.

I hold them in such high esteem that I would personally rule out pilot error even before the investigation.
@bromster
Did you know Vaughan Peacock?
He was our Sikorsky pilot.
 
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ponder

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Thanks. Link requires registration.

My first thought from the photos was that the tail rotor was detached cleanly from the helicopter. Not sure if that was before or during impact.

It's not close to the impact site is my understanding from that post.


Yes avcom requires registration to view the forum. Useful site to register on as there are mostly pilots in the industry on there and someone usually knows someone else possibly involved in incidents.
 

ponder

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The fiance of a neighbor a few doors away from me is netcare pilot based in Cape Town. If I recall correctly, the helicopters are leased by Netcare and pilots employed by the lessor, with the exception of one helicopter that was donated to netcare. I believe the donated one is in use by the general fleet - its donation serves to subsidise emergency airlifts for general public (accidents etc).
This crashed helicopter was on a scheduled (fully billable) hospital transfer flight. Scheduled flights and the donor helicopter subsidise the cost of mercy flights.

This pilot was employed by NAC apparently.
 

Norrad

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On the contrary, their Heli pilots are among the most skilled and versatile I've worked alongside.

Their work is obviously time-sensitive. When I was also working from Virginia (a training airfield) being able to position helicopters for a quick takeoff at short notice required exceptional dynamism and fine control over the aircraft, as well as good coordination with the control tower to dash in and out between the busy pattern of training aircraft.

I hold them in such high esteem that I would personally rule out pilot error even before the investigation.
There were major concerns about corrosion on them as they were apparently grounded by the company that previously owned them. I also highly doubt it was pilot error.

There was a thread linked in the post, but it's dead now as apparently, NAC requested it be taken down just after they received the helis.

Untitled-2.jpg Untitled-4.jpg
 

acidrain

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On the contrary, their Heli pilots are among the most skilled and versatile I've worked alongside.

Their work is obviously time-sensitive. When I was also working from Virginia (a training airfield) being able to position helicopters for a quick takeoff at short notice required exceptional dynamism and fine control over the aircraft, as well as good coordination with the control tower to dash in and out between the busy pattern of training aircraft.

I hold them in such high esteem that I would personally rule out pilot error even before the investigation.

Ok. If you follow on, you will see a reply I made to someone else explaining the comment which actually isn't taking a jab at pilots.
 

ponder

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Netcare 911 helicopter 'broke up in flight', preliminary probe finds (sowetanlive.co.za)

A preliminary investigation by the SA Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed the helicopter which crashed en route to KwaZulu-Natal last month killing Netcare 911 medics and its pilot broke apart in midair and the impact was “not survivable”.

The Bell 430 helicopter took off from Ultimate Heli heliport in Midrand, Gauteng, heading to Hillcrest Hospital in Pietermaritzburg on January 21. On board were a helicopter paramedic, two doctors and a theatre nurse and 12 bottles of oxygen.

“After approximately 1.5 hours in flight and cruising at 725ft [221m, above ground level], the helicopter started to spin uncontrollably, breaking up in flight while losing height rapidly. The helicopter impacted the ground and immediately post-impact fire erupted which destroyed the helicopter. All five occupants on board were fatally injured,” reads the report.
 

Norrad

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The preliminary report goes into plenty of detail about this harrowing incident, but gives few clues as to the cause. Hopefully metallurgical examination of the detached tail rotor should provide some evidence.
If it turns out to be corrosion related then the owners were fully warned and should be held accountable. The company that they were bought from grounded them all after one of them (D2-EYI) was lost in a very similar accident.
 
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