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  • The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.
  • Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.


    I agree.
  • "Despite this length of time, there are many questions that remain unanswered, not the least of which is that the NTSB's conclusion is at odds with every single eyewitness," it said. Also, the statement said, "the conclusion is wholly inconsistent with the way Rick Morton commanded the helicopter and the respect Tom Stewart gave his pilots in the cockpit."

    From the report:

    A ranch foreman who observed the flight preparations saw the helicopter owner board the helicopter through the left forward cockpit door and occupy the left front cockpit seat. The helicopter owner's 5-year old daughter also boarded the helicopter through the left forward cockpit door and sat on her father's lap. ... Operator personnel revealed that the helicopter owner's daughter had sat on her father's lap occasionally during flights, that the owner liked to fly the helicopter, and that it was common for him to fly.

    Sounds kind of consistent with witness reports to me. Letting a kid sit in your lap when there's also a collective stick between your legs shows something of a wanton disregard for safety on the case of the owner, and a lack of willingness on the part of the pilot to tell the boss what wasn't okay to do.
  • A rapid up and down movement of the collective? Wouldn't it be the cyclic to cause that? How could rapidly changing the pitch of the blades cause the main rotor to collide with the tail rotor?
  • vossiewulf: A rapid up and down movement of the collective? Wouldn't it be the cyclic to cause that? How could rapidly changing the pitch of the blades cause the main rotor to collide with the tail rotor?


    I used the wrong term.. NTSB figures the kid stepped in the collective and pushed it to full down, and then the pilot raised it back to full as well as inputting full aft on the cyclic.
  • Thus proving fidgety little brats on flights are a big problem.
  • costermonger: Sounds kind of consistent with witness reports to me. Letting a kid sit in your lap when there's also a collective stick between your legs shows something of a wanton disregard for safety on the case of the owner, and a lack of willingness on the part of the pilot to tell the boss what wasn't okay to do.


    and a lazy ass who wasnt willing to spend a little time and take some lessons?
    How hard would that have been???

    /darwin rules
  • The real question is: Did she like gladiator movies? 
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  • From the Article:

    The NTSB found that Stewart allowed his daughter, Sydney, to sit on his lap on a trip from his northern Arizona ranch to his home in Scottsdale, the Phoenix suburb where SGA is headquartered. It was "highly likely" that the child suddenly pushed down with her foot on the copter's controls, according to the Nov. 7. Either Stewart or his pilot then quickly pulled up on the controls, causing the helicopter's main blades to bend and strike the aircraft's tail, the report said.

    WHAT THE fark?!

    I mean, I could understand doing this if you were in a Cessna or something, but a helicopter? Holy shiat, man.

    Reading further....

    The report's conclusion was immediately challenged by the lawyer for the pilot's family, who has blamed a faulty rotor blade for the crash, and by Stewart's company."That's their interpretation, and it does not comport with what our experienced investigators believe happened," said Gary C. Robb, a Kansas City, Mo., attorney who specializes in aviation accidents. Robb has sued Eurocopter and others involved in repairing one of the helicopter's blades after a previous mishap. He said he believes the repair was faulty and the blade came apart in flight, causing the crash.

    The NTSB found no evidence of that. It concluded that the repaired blade hit the tail rotor drive shaft and broke.

    Eurocopter helped the NTSB investigate the crash and ran simulations that concluded that only a rapid down and then up movement on a control called a "collective" could have caused the accident.


    Aha. So it comes out. That report is an inconvenience in their little lawsuit against Eurocopter America.

    We Fly AS350B-2s from American Eurocopter at our service. Nice little machines. But I sure as hell wouldn't want a five year old setting in the cockpit seat of one. We're supposed to land if our patients become combative, even, until we get them restrained and sedated for safety reasons.
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    Disaster girl is getting a real innocent kick out of this thread.
  • quatchi: [i0.kym-cdn.com image 500x375]

    Disaster girl is getting a real innocent kick out of this thread.


    That took way too long to show up.
  • Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.


    Agreed, but the NTSB is in the uncomfortable position of finding causes for a crash. My best friend was an airline pilot and died in a crash in 2004, and absent any mechanical failure they blamed the crash on him and his co-pilot because they were talking about things besides landing the plane under 10,000 feet on approach. They literally tried to land the plane 3 miles early. NTSB took a year and came up with "pilot error" because there wasn't any other reasonable explanation.

    It took me a long time to come to terms with it. My friend wasn't an idiot. Neither was his co-pilot. The weather was bad, so I figured the altimeter has malfunctioned and they thought they were higher than they were. But after reading the report, there were two altimeters, and they missed/ignored the readings during descent. Either they were running visual, or they were mistaken about where they were. It was a commuter plane (11 people died) and it didn't have a low altitude warning system because it wasn't required at the time. Of course, after that crash the low altitude warning became mandatory.

    The NTSB is very thorough - they interviewed me for the report because I had been out with him for dinner two days before the crash. They wanted to know if he could have been drunk/high during the flight because his body was so badly burned they couldn't test it. I let them know for the ten years he was flying he wouldn't drink if he had to fly to next day, because rules were rules. He was better than good about it - FAA rules were his bible.

    Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that. My friend weighed 225 lbs alive, but the funeral director told me he had less than 60 lbs of material to work with when the body came in. Obviously, open coffin wasn't an option.
  • Man, some people are pedantic.

    /but are they shallow?
  • puffy999: Man, some people are pedantic.

    /but are they shallow?


    Shut up Griffon.
  • Could've been worse: it could have been an A310 over Siberia

    /there's an episode of Mayday/Air Crash Investigation you can watch about this crash if you're interested
  • The NTSB is notorious for declaring accidents to be pilot error that otherwise have unknown causes, but this report seems outrageous even for them.

    If there is no eye witness that the girl ever kicked the collective in the past, I find it difficult for them to blame the crash on the kid. The statement it is "highly likely" seems outrageous. If they want to state their theory of unknown collective input, that's one thing, to go from there to kid must've done it, seems gross.

    It also seems irresponsible to have a government agency make that statement with such little evidence when there are pending lawsuits.

    That said,

    How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
  • RoyBatty: The NTSB is notorious for declaring accidents to be pilot error that otherwise have unknown causes, but this report seems outrageous even for them.

    If there is no eye witness that the girl ever kicked the collective in the past, I find it difficult for them to blame the crash on the kid. The statement it is "highly likely" seems outrageous. If they want to state their theory of unknown collective input, that's one thing, to go from there to kid must've done it, seems gross.

    It also seems irresponsible to have a government agency make that statement with such little evidence when there are pending lawsuits.

    That said,

    How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?


    I don't know, since they apparently didn't believe a health event caused such a reaction, they probably exhausted as many possibilities to create their hypothesis.

    I mean, just a guess, but they may have had a slight idea as to the location of the bodies at the time of the crash.
  • And perhaps it's a stretch to suggest it was her direct action that caused the crash. I agree that agencies sometimes look too much for a specific "thing" when sometimes it's just a set of circumstances and a random accident.
  • Lsherm: Bathia_Mapes: The blame should really go to her father for allowing her to be on his lap while flying the helicopter.

    Agreed, but the NTSB is in the uncomfortable position of finding causes for a crash. My best friend was an airline pilot and died in a crash in 2004, and absent any mechanical failure they blamed the crash on him and his co-pilot because they were talking about things besides landing the plane under 10,000 feet on approach. They literally tried to land the plane 3 miles early. NTSB took a year and came up with "pilot error" because there wasn't any other reasonable explanation.

    It took me a long time to come to terms with it. My friend wasn't an idiot. Neither was his co-pilot. The weather was bad, so I figured the altimeter has malfunctioned and they thought they were higher than they were. But after reading the report, there were two altimeters, and they missed/ignored the readings during descent. Either they were running visual, or they were mistaken about where they were. It was a commuter plane (11 people died) and it didn't have a low altitude warning system because it wasn't required at the time. Of course, after that crash the low altitude warning became mandatory.

    The NTSB is very thorough - they interviewed me for the report because I had been out with him for dinner two days before the crash. They wanted to know if he could have been drunk/high during the flight because his body was so badly burned they couldn't test it. I let them know for the ten years he was flying he wouldn't drink if he had to fly to next day, because rules were rules. He was better than good about it - FAA rules were his bible.

    Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that. My friend weighed 225 lbs alive, ...


    Ouch. I guess your friend was beyond caring, if that's any consolation. Did the funeral home charge extra for the weights? I'll bet they did.
  • RoyBatty: The NTSB is notorious for declaring accidents to be pilot error that otherwise have unknown causes, but this report seems outrageous even for them.


    The problem is that they have to blame SOMEONE. They are dicks. But, they're a Government organization tasked with finding blame and identifying preventable factors. They're going to be.

    When Wing 5 crashed in Memphis in 2010, Doug Phillips - the pilot, was given the blame for the crash for taking off in unsafe weather. The cause of the crash was, literally, a freak storm which appeared suddenly over them and caused a sheer microburst right ontop of the aircraft. These are weather phenomenons which are incredibly difficult to predict, and can bring down jumbo jets. The storm appeared so fast their WeatherLink hadn't even had a chance to update, and they were two miles from the landing pad for their base when it brought them down. Their relief crew was actually outside watching them come in when they went down.

    It was a one in a million cause for a crash, with no preventable actions even possible, and the flight had been completely clear until they got hit. Yet they still blamed him. It caused a lot of white knuckles and grinding of teeth among everyone who knew him. This was a pilot who had been flying for the military, and for aeromedical, for decades. He had thousands of hours of safe flying behind him.
  • ElizaDoolittle: Did the funeral home charge extra for the weights? I'll bet they did.


    Another thing I learned from that whole scenario: the airline pays for the funeral services for the dead, and they don't challenge the cost. The airline paid for services for all of the victims as well.
  • ElizaDoolittle: Ouch. I guess your friend was beyond caring, if that's any consolation. Did the funeral home charge extra for the weights? I'll bet they did.


    And just for the record: way to be a dick, asshole.
  • So kinda like this but with the tail instead.
  • Lsherm: Another uncomfortable thing I learned about that plane crash: they put lead or steel weights in the coffin to fake the weight of a burned corpse. When we lifted his coffin at the funeral one of them fell over and the funeral director told me afterward that the bump I head was probably that.


    If I die and there's no body, I will haunt anyone who puts a coffin there.

    I don't get that. My grandpa was cremated. He's in an urn. At the funeral, we had the urn and a picture. A full on coffin with weights in to fake a body seems silly.
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