Police Helicopter Crash Newport Beach

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Bad day for rotor-crafts.

On a serous note, HB has 3 great looking MD520N helos, working both HB as well as contracted to Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Great birds. Be interesting to see what happened.
 

fholbert

Mod's - Please don't edit my posts!
Bad day for rotor-crafts.

Huntington Beach is my hometown. Don’t live there any more but as a kid my parents bought two homes there (lived in both). After getting out of the USAF I also owned two home there (lived in both). Wonderful town, people there have money but don’t have the stuffed shirt attitude of Newport Beach.

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MFT1Air

Well-Known Member
On a serous note, HB has 3 great looking MD520N helos, working both HB as well as contracted to Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Great birds. Be interesting to see what happened.
Twas JUST talking about the same subject to a pilot working on his helo commercial. Love the NOTAR
 

SteveC

*sigh*
Staff member
I checked. Neither CNN or Fox is carrying this news story. Pretty pathetic to be honest. Sucks that DM would be the one to run it.

But yes, plenty of pictures and video in that DM article.

 

A Life Aloft

Well-Known Member
So terribly sad......we lost one Officer and the second Officer is in critical condition:

14-year veteran of Huntington Beach PD killed in helicopter crash, 2nd officer in critical condition
"This is truly a heartbreaking time for all of us here at Huntington Beach," said Mayor Barbara Delgleize.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A 14-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department was killed and another officer was critically injured after a police helicopter crashed near Newport Beach in Orange County Saturday night, authorities said.

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The helicopter crash-landed at about 6:30 p.m. while responding to a disturbance near Newport Beach, according to police.

Nicholas Vella, 44, died in the crash, Chief Eric Parra announced during a news conference Saturday night.

The second officer, who is a 16-year veteran with the department, was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He wasn't immediately identified.

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"Thank you to our HB community & law enforcement family for the love & support you continue to show Officer Vella's family & our Department," read the tweet.

"The city of Huntington Beach, the residents of Huntington Beach, the Huntington Beach Police Department and the law enforcement community have lost an officer who was truly dedicated to his job and was doing what he loved doing," Parra said. "This is a difficult night for all of us and I would ask for your prayers and support as we support our officers' families."

Vella leaves behind a wife and daughter. It's unclear who was piloting the aircraft at the time.

Late Saturday night, a procession was held for Vella in Santa Ana.


Hundreds of police officers were saluting outside of Orange County Global Medical Center as his body was being taken to the coroner's office.

"This is truly a heartbreaking time for all of us here at Huntington Beach," said Huntington Beach Mayor Barbara Delgleize. "Our community values our police department, and the loss of an officer hits us all really hard. This tragic accident serves as a reminder of the danger, and the risks, our police officers put themselves in on a daily basis to protect our community."

Meanwhile, several witnesses recalled hearing the helicopter crash.

"We have a lot of helicopters flying around, but this had a higher pitch to it," one witness said. "It didn't sound right. I looked outside and saw it going in circles."

One woman told Eyewitness News she saw the helicopter spinning and descending rapidly into the water.

"All of a sudden, I hear something sputtering really close, and it didn't sound like a normal helicopter," she said. "Somehow, he managed to get it into the bay to save everybody's life. If he had landed on a house, there would be a lot of casualties. I feel very fortunate."

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Orange County Sheriff's Department Major Accident Reconstruction Team are investigating the crash.

Officer Nicholas Vella, who sadly perished in the crash.

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T/O w/FSII

Well-Known Member
Surveillance camera footage here of the helicopter spinning into the water. Looks like a lose of tail rotor effectiveness on this NOTAR.


Also here is 10 minutes of pretty intense footage of the rescue. Warning, it’s not easy to watch as it shows an officer being pulled out of the water obviously too late. Note all the bystanders in the water before first responders get there. Great job by the local lifeguards trying to use their truck to pull the helicopter onto the beach, unfortunately it was just too late. This video has been on my mind all day as I’m a local.

 

A Life Aloft

Well-Known Member
FWIW the 2nd officer was released this morning, he was never critical, and can be seen in the video posted above.
That at least, is some good news. I only got on line a bit ago.........was doing other things and fell asleep early last night so today is the first that I learned of this tragedy. Hits home for me as well, have lived in Southern California all of my life and a few decades in Seal Beach.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
One of the issues the NOTAR has had long ago, was a failure of of the control cable end retaining lip that kept the cable moving smoothly within its sleeve back and forth, as it was moved by the splitter junction for the tail jet thruster can. This failure would allow the cable to slide out of the sleeve, but not allow it to slide back into the sleeve as the un-retained cable would bend instead of feed back into the sleeve cleanly. The cable comes out of the sleeve with left pedal movement, and goes back into the sleeve with right pedal movement. In US helicopters, as opposed to Eurotrash helicopters, the left pedal is the power pedal. A NOTAR uses a fan located inside and at the forward end of the tail boom facing aft. This fan has variable pitch blades that are driven via torque tubes cables, with the left pedal increasing the pitch, and the right pedal decreasing the pitch. This corresponds to more air driven thrust going into the tail boom for left pedal (left turning), and vice versa. In the above problem (that had long ago been solved), the application of left pedal with a broken cable, would allow the left pedal and increased thrust and pitch to the jet thrust can (as well as the boundary layer slots along the lower right side of the tail boom, which are N/A in forward flight), but when corrective right pedal or reversing right pedal is applied, the jam doesn’t allow any right movement. The result was an uncontrolled left turn in the anti-torque direction, at high power due to it being the power pedal, and a resulting out of control situation. This problem had long ago been solved with a number of fixes made and hasn’t been a problem since, but it will be interesting to see if it somehow has reared its ugly head once again, especially considering the coastal basing of these helos and the resultant corrosion potential.

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Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
Surveillance camera footage here of the helicopter spinning into the water. Looks like a lose of tail rotor effectiveness on this NOTAR.


Also here is 10 minutes of pretty intense footage of the rescue. Warning, it’s not easy to watch as it shows an officer being pulled out of the water obviously too late. Note all the bystanders in the water before first responders get there. Great job by the local lifeguards trying to use their truck to pull the helicopter onto the beach, unfortunately it was just too late. This video has been on my mind all day as I’m a local.

Damn … so very close to where rescue might have been possible. Rest in peace:(
 

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
One of the issues the NOTAR has had long ago, was a failure of of the control cable end retaining lip that kept the cable moving smoothly within its sleeve back and forth, as it was moved by the splitter junction for the tail jet thruster can. This failure would allow the cable to slide out of the sleeve, but not allow it to slide back into the sleeve as the un-retained cable would bend instead of feed back into the sleeve cleanly. The cable comes out of the sleeve with left pedal movement, and goes back into the sleeve with right pedal movement. In US helicopters, as opposed to Eurotrash helicopters, the left pedal is the power pedal. A NOTAR uses a fan located inside and at the forward end of the tail boom facing aft. This fan has variable pitch blades that are driven via torque tubes cables, with the left pedal increasing the pitch, and the right pedal decreasing the pitch. This corresponds to more air driven thrust going into the tail boom for left pedal (left turning), and vice versa. In the above problem (that had long ago been solved), the application of left pedal with a broken cable, would allow the left pedal and increased thrust and pitch to the jet thrust can (as well as the boundary layer slots along the lower right side of the tail boom, which are N/A in forward flight), but when corrective right pedal or reversing right pedal is applied, the jam doesn’t allow any right movement. The result was an uncontrolled left turn in the anti-torque direction, at high power due to it being the power pedal, and a resulting out of control situation. This problem had long ago been solved with a number of fixes made and hasn’t been a problem since, but it will be interesting to see if it somehow has reared its ugly head once again, especially considering the coastal basing of these helos and the resultant corrosion potential.

View attachment 63458
Any idea, Mike, if there was entrapment due to collapse of the cabin? Literally feet from shore and in a water depth that seems to show rescue was at least a possibility. Very, very sad.
 

T/O w/FSII

Well-Known Member
Any idea, Mike, if there was entrapment due to collapse of the cabin? Literally feet from shore and in a water depth that seems to show rescue was at least a possibility. Very, very sad.
The cabin looks intact. Most likely this was a drowning due to disorientation and unable to self extract.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Any idea, Mike, if there was entrapment due to collapse of the cabin? Literally feet from shore and in a water depth that seems to show rescue was at least a possibility. Very, very sad.
There’s not much structure with a front end impact, mostly plexiglass and a little supporting aluminum, so not much to be entrapped by. Likely that with the cabin resting on its right side and resting in the shallow water on the right cabin door,, the right seater was likely pinned by the left seater being on top of him, if the left seater was unable to extricate himself through the left door
 

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
There’s not much structure with a front end impact, mostly plexiglass and a little supporting aluminum, so not much to be entrapped by. Likely that with the cabin resting on its right side and resting in the shallow water on the right cabin door,, the right seater was likely pinned by the left seater being on top of him, if the left seater was unable to extricate himself through the left door
:(
 
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