This..this is just terrifying

This makes me sick to my stomach…

Another angle…

Damn, were they even rated to fly that thing? It looks like they didn’t exactly know what they were doing.

I usually get very angry when a tragedy happens and people just sit there filming and not helping. But in the video above, and its really sad, there is no way anyone could intervene.

I think as well, it was good to see the person filming had enough self-awareness to know that bits will fly off the crashing spinning machine, and that getting your body (ideally all of you) behind something solid is a very good idea.

Apparently that was his first (and last) flight without his instructor. I chalk this one up as manslaughter. It’s one thing to kill yourself being a moron…

Speechless. That’s a really tough video. Not sure what went wrong there.

I appears that he bumps the tailrotor, probably shearing the transmission to it…then inexplicably adds power (pulls collective) and that (of course) sets up a crazy spinning motion and altitude gain that we don’t see on the video. Then he probably bottoms the collective and I don’t know if it is the impact that ends up killing them or the sustained spinning. Obviously they were incapacitated or pinned forward or something and could reach any fuel shutoff controls. I would have thought that a helo would have an impact sensor that would automatically kill fuel to the fuel control unit. The jets I fly have a .007 switch we call it…if the nosecone on the JT-15D gets hit by something enough to move the fan shaft backwards just .007 inches, the fuel control unit automatically shuts off.

That video is just tough to watch…

It looked like he was trying to land on a trolley – you can glimpse a bit of it just over the hood of the car in foreground at 51 seconds in – but landed too far aft, causing the chopper to tip back. Then there was panic.

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That was rough to watch. I remember seeing this on the news, I live a few miles from Palomar and they covered it all day…Its crazy to think with all the tech we have now, and safety cut-offs and other things that there was nothing that could have been done to shut that thing down.

That fuel truck right next to it was terrifying, too!

According to some news he even said “somebody forgot to chock the trolley” ten seconds before the crash.
But then why didn’t he just land on solid ground if that was a problem?

A morbid hobby of mine is reviewing aircraft incident reports and It’s interesting how often, in hindsight, the pilot knew there was going to be a problem but continued anyways - weather, engine running rough, etc. Of course, in the moment, it’s hard to tell if that one little thing is going to just a little bump, or the death of you and everyone on your plane, but it definitely supports that old adage: “There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots.”

Real world example here:
I was flying a C172 back home from a $50 hamburger trip with my girlfriend and her mom. Enroute, I noticed a funny smell in the cockpit, reminded me of a toaster. I thought the cockpit heating system (which uses the engine exhaust manifold to heat outside air) might have a leak in it or something, so I turned it off.

Instantly, white smoke started billowing out from underneath the cockpit panel. The electrical panel was smouldering and air from the heating system had been dissipating the smoke.

I went full reflex mode, shutting off all electronics (including the radio!), and beginning a steep descent. I had a pretty paranoid flight instructor, so I already knew where my nearest divert field was - I just lined up on it and brought it home. Turning off the electrical panel stopping the smoking and the field was uncontrolled and empty, so everything went smoothly. I was able to fix/find the problem and get the aircraft and my passengers home safely, but what an experience!

Turns out that the landing light switch had been left on by the pilot who flew it before me and the switch just overheated and started melting the paneling. During my preflight, I noticed that the electrical switches on the cockpit panel had all been moved around and I couldn’t find that switch, but assumed since I was only planning on flying during the day, I wouldn’t need it. If I had taken the extra 30 seconds or so to find that switch, I would have seen it was on, flipped it off, and never had this story.

Luckily, my “incident” just resulted in a slightly harried pilot, a more harried girlfriend, and a GF’s mother who had no idea what was going on. That one oversight could have resulted in a lot more serious outcome.

Any other stories?

There is even a name for this, it is called “go fever”. You might associate it with NASA who coined the term, but it happens in all disciplines that require constant reassessment of the situation to assure avoidance of harm (one i know of first hand is mountaineering/cross country skiing/climbing).

Once a path is decided on, in future evaluations of possible paths of action, the one currently decided on tends to be favored. If a group of people is involved, it might even worsen the dynamic. It also tends to get worse the more the individual/group is put under stress and the lizard brain starts taking over. It is unfortunately a part of the human condition and can only be overcome with training and acute awareness.

I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. (Besides…we gotta have something to talk about when you buy me beers and dinner in Tucson someday!) :laughing:

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