Blackhawks

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
@MikeFavinger @Lawman @MikeD

Are the guard units considering any stand-downs to look at crashes since the Army isn't?

“Based on the current data, the Army does not see a mishap trend with National Guard UH-60s,” said Army spokesman Jason Waggoner. “There are currently no plans to conduct an Army-level stand down. Any lower-level stand down would be up to the unit.”

But the Army has been looking internally at its helicopter crashes, and says it has found a link between delayed defense budget approvals and its accident rates.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Unfortunately, we aren’t finding new ways to crash these helicopters. Individual units may do their own safety stand downs to “get back to basics”, but there’s no big new boogeyman in how we are losing aircraft. Contributing factors may differ, but the primary factors don’t seem to be.
 

Lawman

Well-Known Member
I mean none of the recent crashes that have occurred have been some kind of mystery as to what happened.

This isn’t like the random period where we discovered a serious HIRTA issue by having a few plow into the ground with no warning and at cruise speed having it fully schedule the horizontal stab.

If anything these crashes highlight a lot of the very valid criticisms of the Risk Assessment process and put at pointer on the lack of ability of crews to have access to accurate analysis tools both in and out of the cockpit.


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MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
I mean none of the recent crashes that have occurred have been some kind of mystery as to what happened.

This isn’t like the random period where we discovered a serious HIRTA issue by having a few plow into the ground with no warning and at cruise speed having it fully schedule the horizontal stab.

If anything these crashes highlight a lot of the very valid criticisms of the Risk Assessment process and put at quark in the ability of crews to have access to accurate analysis tools both in and out of the cockpit.


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safety day: “stop crashing aircraft in the same ways. Dismissed.”
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
In an amazing explosion of common sense, no. Instead, we are taking a look at the little we know from the last two (and obviously without a complete accident investigation we don’t know a lot yet) and are revisiting those specific items without performing a worthless stand down. (That sentence is not on the record, Mrs. Killbilly).

Additionally, we (at least my State) conduct an annual Safety Day where one of the things we do is analyze previous Army accidents including watching vignettes of the flight data and audio. We also discuss our own recent incidents, preaccident plans, and a variety of other aviation safety items. And on top of that, annually every crewmember goes through aircrew coordination training which focuses heavily on learning from previous aircraft accidents. On top of that, the Army as a whole is undergoing a much needed transition towards a more industry and safety accepted methodology for emeregncy response procedures.

As I always say when talking Army National Guard issues, the individual State plays a huge role and we’re all different in some respects. That said, despite recent accidents which we don’t know much about yet, from my foxhole we’re doing things pretty well and are on track to do things better.
 
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Lawman

Well-Known Member
safety day: “stop crashing aircraft in the same ways. Dismissed.”
“Your pencil whipped brief sheets that are always approved will now be always approved one level higher... for the immediate future all Mod risk approves are now authorized to approve low risk only, etc”


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killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
So is there a real lack of risk assessment tools available?


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Lawman

Well-Known Member
So is there a real lack of risk assessment tools available?


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No there is a very thoroughly developed risk assessment process...

What there isn’t is a consistent application of the process and instead a very subjective evaluation of what is/isn’t risky based entirely on a lot of bad experience and comfort levels common to particular communities.

The other problem is risk doesn’t actually seem to render blame to any level beyond the cockpit. I’ve yet to see a command team fired/punished when just hand waiving risk, and I’ve seen risk hand waived or rubber stamped plenty.

Attack community in the Army with 2x different flights that numerically both equal mod risk: “Oh a dual IP crew... totally do whatever, launch in 500/1SM no problem gotta get that training done so we can generate combat power.” Meanwhile a non IP crew with a well developed instrument training flight... those dudes are hunting for anybody to even agree to brief it and facing questions at ever turn, because nobody is comfortable just hand waiving that, “what if they get flight violated trying to conduct training... they might enter holding improperly holy crap.”


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killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Appreciate it guys. Story or no story, trying to learn something was my first reason for posting here. Thanks.
 

dustoff17

Well-Known Member
No there is a very thoroughly developed risk assessment process.............

.........Attack community in the Army with 2x different flights that numerically both equal mod risk: “Oh a dual IP crew... totally do whatever, launch in 500/1SM no problem gotta get that training done so we can generate combat power.” Meanwhile a non IP crew with a well developed instrument training flight... those dudes are hunting for anybody to even agree to brief it and facing questions at ever turn, because nobody is comfortable just hand waiving that, “what if they get flight violated trying to conduct training... they might enter holding improperly holy crap.”


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And that’s why I became an SP!
:sarcasm:
 

Lawman

Well-Known Member
And that’s why I became an SP!
:sarcasm:
One of my favorite moments in a Battalion Pilots brief was an MTP in the back standing up and calling out the fact that while he didn’t go to “Magic School,” he did have 2 combat tours and a thousand more hours of experience than the people who were authorized to be briefing him and wondered why they were default Air Mission Commanders with no formal progression upon returning from the course.


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dustoff17

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I hated when the newly assigned “briefer” was the least experienced and knowledgeable.

I’ll see your story and raise you THIS:

Our SAO decided he would not only brief the entire NVG flight of four but that he, personally, would crew with the “freshest W01” (RL3, back one week) out of Rucker. Despite the objections from the SP/IPs included in the flight AND that he was out of NVG currency, HE “insisted”. All was well until the weather started to tank, so the scud run, ”IFR” segment of the flight began. The SOA aircraft was trail and ended up smacking the upslope of a hill. Class A with a couple of serious injuries to crew.

The other three made it all the way back to base (65+nm away) without knowing he was missing. After they landed, the tower asked, “Didn’t you say you were a flight of four?” Doh!

By then the WX was so bad they couldn’t go search. The ensuing investigation was scathing!!!

How do you move on from this? You remove him as SAO and put him as the Director of funding FOR ALL state units. We took a hit for YEARS as he bled off any dollar he could from the Aviation sector.

I love our system..........
 

Nark

Macho Superpilot
There is certainly room for improvement within Army Aviation, however it sometime boils down to the lowest level.
You can’t fairly compare combat aviation and civilian aviation. Combatant commanders assume a certain amount of risk for each mission they approve. There is a certain amount of risk associated with fighting wildfires, as well as going out to train brand new crews. There is risk to flying medevac flights during a firefight. Or assaulting a compound to snatch a high value target.

States differ A LOT. @MikeFavinger is only slightly behind my state :);)but is miles ahead of others. To the benefit or degradation, each state has an established philosophy that it builds upon. Some are extremely safe and never make the news. Some unfortunately make National headlines.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
No there is a very thoroughly developed risk assessment process...

What there isn’t is a consistent application of the process and instead a very subjective evaluation of what is/isn’t risky based entirely on a lot of bad experience and comfort levels common to particular communities.

The other problem is risk doesn’t actually seem to render blame to any level beyond the cockpit. I’ve yet to see a command team fired/punished when just hand waiving risk, and I’ve seen risk hand waived or rubber stamped plenty.

Attack community in the Army with 2x different flights that numerically both equal mod risk: “Oh a dual IP crew... totally do whatever, launch in 500/1SM no problem gotta get that training done so we can generate combat power.” Meanwhile a non IP crew with a well developed instrument training flight... those dudes are hunting for anybody to even agree to brief it and facing questions at ever turn, because nobody is comfortable just hand waiving that, “what if they get flight violated trying to conduct training... they might enter holding improperly holy crap.”


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You haven't lived until you've been the safety officer going toe to toe with the Operations Officer and the Commander on some dumb • that they think is A-Okay. The best thing you can do sometimes is write all of your risk and hazard analysis on the risk management sheet and let Jesus take the wheel. What I would never be is just a rubber stamp. Most of these guys are my friends (because I was also the Human Factors expert). and the OpsO just wanted hours and X's.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
There is certainly room for improvement within Army Aviation, however it sometime boils down to the lowest level.
You can’t fairly compare combat aviation and civilian aviation. Combatant commanders assume a certain amount of risk for each mission they approve. There is a certain amount of risk associated with fighting wildfires, as well as going out to train brand new crews. There is risk to flying medevac flights during a firefight. Or assaulting a compound to snatch a high value target.

States differ A LOT. @MikeFavinger is only slightly behind my state :);)but is miles ahead of others. To the benefit or degradation, each state has an established philosophy that it builds upon. Some are extremely safe and never make the news. Some unfortunately make National headlines.
Some aviation units out there, you can damn near pre-write the accident report, with just the date and the specifics blank to fill in.

The New Mexico guard medevac unit, I personally saw them almost ball up a bird three times at our FOB, from simple non-combat related stuff.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
safety day: “stop crashing aircraft in the same ways. Dismissed.”
Whenever anyone says that they are going to lower the accident rate with their new technology, procedure, paperwork, or new training system, I always laugh.

Pilots have been murdering helpless airplanes the same ways for the past 50+ years. Yes, there have been incremental improvements, but at the end of the day flawed humans at at the controls.
 
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