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Startling reminder of the risks involved in our line of work...


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RIP to the crew member who fell out of the basket. Seeing the image as it is happening is a stark reminder of the risks involved in our line of work. Stay vigilant!


Aviation Security Member Dies After Falling From a Helicopter in Riyadh





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So a friend pointed out that the image is fake. See the blur around the falling crewmember? Smacks of photoshop. I'm sure the story is real, but I doubt the picture is.


Sorry but that is not a sign of a photoshopped image at all. If you were to photoshop an object or person into the blank background, it would be trivial to do so without any blur around it. In fact it would be harder to add the blur than to avoid it.


The blur you are seeing is an artefact of strong jpg compression, typical in areas of strong contrast. You can see the same sort of blur around the edges of the helicopter.

Edited by lelebebbel
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From what I can find so far, it appears that the young Saudi private first class was the simulated victim being hoisted up during a demo. Somehow the litter was turned over and he fell out. Looking at a couple high res photos Ive found, I dont think he was strapped in to the litter, and fell out. Interesting..... we just did litter training yesterday. Not from an S92 though! ;)

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While it’s no surprise, it boggles my mind this kind of thing happens. A multimillion dollar aircraft, probably a government operated program, with a (supposed) appropriately trained crew tragically goes wrong. Goes wrong on a demo at that…. All bad…


Since it happened in Saudi, heads will roll, maybe even literally…. Here in the US, those who would be really responsible would hide behind the SMS “just culture” methodology and retrain the hoist operator…..

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Since it happened in Saudi, heads will roll, maybe even literally…. Here in the US, those who would be really responsible would hide behind the SMS “just culture” methodology and retrain the hoist operator…



Some don’t know about that term "Just Culture"; however don’t think that Just Culture is equivalent to a No Blame Culture. We do hold people accountable for their actions and their decisions. But rather than assigning blame, we are seeking to identify shortcomings in the system that led to or enabled mistaken action.


Furthermore, Just Culture is NOT a “get out of jail free” card. It should not absolve the person who engages in a willfully unsafe or illegal act, or the individual who repeatedly shows disregard for established procedures. Such people do need to be dealt with severely.


At least that’s the way it should work, but like Spike wrote, it often doesn’t work that way.


The Policy: Expand programs and regulate, more is better; it goes on and on, SMS, Just Culture, etc.


NOTE: In a just culture errors and unsafe acts will not be punished (retrain the hoist operator) if the error was unintentional. However, those who act recklessly or take deliberate and unjustifiable risks will still be subject to disciplinary action.

Edited by iChris
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(Keep in mind, that my understanding is that this was an equipment demo at an event and that this crew member was in the litter being hoisted as a simulated victim)



So..... with that, Ive never been a fan of using live "victims" for demos. Set up your demo so that a simulated victim can be used whenever possible. Personally, I wouldnt get in to a litter strapped in for any training or demo that required me to leave the ground strapped in to a litter. Because as soon as you lift off the ground, you arent training anymore. You are actually doing it and you are subject to the ramifications of anything that goes wrong. Murphy doesnt care that you were training.

Some training scenarios obviously require it, but in this case, I cant think of a reason that a live body needed to be in that litter. You can just as easily use other training aids to simulate a body. If I go down or get injured in a real life operation, I cant control that. I am reminded of the Navy HH-1N that was doing a live rescue in Yosemite when an engine failed causing the victim and the SAR tech to be drug through trees. Victim was killed and the SAR tech was seriously injured. That could have just as easily been a training day. Im not going to be the guy strapped into the litter for "training purposes".

Training presents the same risks. But in training, we control the scenario. If equipment fails, minimize the damage in a training environment.


We do litter training via long line where the rescuer is on the end of the line hooked into the litter, but we dont put a live body in the litter. There is no training value in me riding the line strapped helplessly into the litter.


Did I effectively beat that horse enough? :D

Edited by Flying Pig
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Bravo iChris.

If your company allows "Just Culture" to equal get out of jail free they are doing it all wrong. The whole priciple of a just culture is to self report incidents to keep them from being hidden, learn from them etc. rather than coverup and point fingers and possibly risk lives. This usually applies to pilots self-disclosing overtorques and the like, not fatal accidents! There is no self disclusre here, it was on the 5'oclock news.

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