The past few months have been really something else for little fledgling Green Deck Ops, heres a quick synopsis:
Qualified Entity Status - Helideck Inspections
Probably the greatest news for me personally was being accepted as Qualified Entity Status for Helideck Inspections in Malaysia.
Having been up close and personal to the UK debate, politics and issues surrounding the UK helideck inspection regime / system, it was a joy to be awarded this privilege by the Malaysian Directorate of Civil Aviation and Petronas BHD. I have seen the Malaysian system flourish and always believed (and briefed) that the system they have in place was the example the UK CAA should at least look at as a base model for the UK system post the CAP1145 actions. Malaysia is above the UK with regards to offshore assets, with no sign of decommissioning in the region.
Malaysia is a hard nut to crack.....however we did what others could not do. Our operations manual, quality system, experience, competence and above all our ability to go that extra mile for the client to ensure flight safety is not compromised in anyway shone through and I am personally very proud to be associated with the Malaysian DCA and Petronas.
Helideck Inspection, Safety Case and Inspections
All good on this front, gradually developing a client base both in North America, Asia, Middle East and Europe (Mediterranean). This is my passion and I love it, bringing a new dimension to the standard helideck inspection process. Our new approach to helideck and aviation facilities auditing and certification takes into consideration all aspects of aviation from the beach to the installation. Engaging and generally great fun (for me that is), our customer feedback is very much based on a "working together" concept and not the "take your money and run" concept, ie the pre-work, inspection and follow up is about being totally focused on the clients needs, working together to ensure flight safety and operationally capable is paramount.
Helideck, HLS Training and Competency Building
We have been carrying on with our program of education regarding helideck safety, providing bespoke training aimed a predominantly air and deck crews so they better understand the environment they operate in / to. This element has been hugely successful with training delivered for operations in the UK, Netherlands, Italy, Congo, UAE and Brazil. We worked with other stakeholders through OPITO to develop a new Helideck Operations Initial Training Standard. Again this has been great fun, bringing together several organisations from operations, drilling, training providers and regulators to ensure (and assure) a more robust training system for our people offshore. When I compare the new standard to other nations, we do still lead the world! The next big challenge is helicopter refuelling in the offshore environment a standardised approach to this flight safety critical task.
On from offshore we have been working with various hospital trusts and overseas organisations who own and operate onshore helicopter landing sites to improve overall flight safety awareness.
Green Deck Operations are now OPITO accredited to carry out Competency Assessments. After a series of evidence based submissions, it was another great moment to be awarded this accreditation.
We have been accredited CAA ROCC Examiners for some 3 years now and have delivered training both
in the UK and overseas to support oil and gas as well as superyacht operators who want to have that additional assurance for their helideck crews. We are now also working directly with the CAA ATS Section to develop the syllabus further to ensure the training actually reflects what goes on offshore in the “real environment”.
An area that is really (excuse the pun), taking off for the company, we have been conducting several HLS surveys and studies in support of UK and UAE HEMS / SAR operations. Working with some of the most professional peope and organisations, we have joined forces with a CAA accredited UAS operation 3AXIS UAS to bring a new dimension to the survey process, it’s been a challange but very rewarding. UK Hospitals surveyed so far include Maidstone, Sheffield Children’s, Torbay and QA Portsmouth.
Trials and tribulations
We headed out to India as the Civil Aviation Authority delegated representative to oversee, report and certify a new helideck firefighting system. The basis of the work was inline with both CAP437 Ed8 and ICAO standards, that said we took the CAP437 requirement and enhanced to ensure the tests were above and beyond the standard. As an example, the CAP requires a system should operate effectively with at least one DIFFS nozzle inoperative, however in a real crash scenario, there maybe potentially more than one nozzle inoperative. Our final test made 5 nozzles inoperative, the results were outstanding and may set a new bar regarding helideck fire suppression system test standards.
For our work, we received the India Institute of Fire Engineers award for innovation...very proud!
Additionally we are developing an Apple based app so that during audits we have the ability to check foam stocks, application rates and manning levels based on H categories
Lots more happening, and lots more to achieve, what does GDO want, we want to be recognised as a professionally credible offshore aviation company, promoting, engaging and developing people and process.
Even though we are UK based, the UK to me is the biggest challenge. We have a great reputation, professionally credible and above all integrity, however what we are not is UK politically savvy!
And finally...Family, none of this would have happened unless I had the backing of my awesome wife, daughters, their husbands and our grandchildren.
Description of Process: On approaching a Normally Unmanned Installation (NUI) one orbit was completed for HLO to clear the deck, he signaled "clear", and deck also seemed clear to both pilots.
Description of Incident: Once A/C slowly made contact with the deck with the port main gear it lurched forward, sideways, and rolled left and possibly right also. There was no cyclic movement to cause this to occur. The slide forward (several feet) and roll was significant enough for the captain to come on the controls. The A/C settled on all three landing gear and landing checks were made.
On inspection of the helideck it was found that whilst the hard surface underneath the netting was fairly abrasive, the netting was extremely slippery, it was a hazard to even walk on. The net was covered in a green slime, itself was fairly elastic, and also seemed to be beginning to fall apart. The left wheel had dragged a considerable amount of net with it across the deck, and there seemed to be two slight rubber drag marks on the deck where the right wheel had made contact. The deck was wet on this occasion, later in the day when returning to the platform and when dry the netting was far more effective.
Good Practice Guidance: All helidecks, particularly Normally Unmanned Installaitions (NUIs) should be maintained and regularly checked
Causes and consequences of incident or accident:
Moving, flying or falling object
Moving vehicle or vessel
Contact with something fixed or stationary
Slip, trip or fall on same level
Control of work
I know it’s potentially irrelevant, however for me, it’s exciting. Our new student notebooks just arrived and we absolutely love them! Back cover photo supplied by yours truly, operating a Bell 214 SP to the Transocean Discovery Seven Seas a few years back off Sri Lanka. And of course credit to the “Boss” for the company logo.
The team won’t mind me posting this photo of the mighty Seabed Constructor as she heads out of my home port of Portsmouth, Hampshire (UK that is!). Great inspection, wonderful crew, although not much avaition going one with her, what a passionate, pro-active team. Safe trip!
The UK and Norwegian aviation authorities have today set out plans for the lifting of operating restrictions on H225LP and AS332L2 helicopters. The restrictions were imposed following the fatal accident of a H225 near Turøy in Norway in April 2016. The two helicopter types, popularly known as Super Pumas, were restricted from being used commercially by UK and Norwegian operators.
Both the UK Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway have remained in close contact with the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA); UK and Norwegian operators; and with the manufacturer, Airbus Helicopters which has developed the modifications and enhanced safety measures for the type. Despite the helicopter being released back in to service by EASA in October 2016, the restrictions remain in place in the UK and Norway until these further enhancements have been made.
Changes and modifications made to the helicopter and its maintenance by Airbus Helicopters include:
Explaining the decision John McColl, Head of Airworthiness at the UK CAA, said: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly. It has only been made after receiving extensive information from the Norwegian accident investigators and being satisfied with the subsequent changes introduced by Airbus Helicopters through detailed assessment and analysis.
“The safety of those who travel on offshore helicopter flights is a key priority for both the UK and Norwegian aviation authorities. We would not have made this decision unless we were convinced that the changes to the helicopters and their maintenance restore the required airworthiness standards.
“We continue to work with the helicopter operators, the offshore industries, international regulators, unions and pilot representatives to enhance offshore safety standards still further and all these parties are actively involved in ongoing discussions.”
Helicopter Operations in an Increasingly Complex Environment
5 July 2017 - 6 July 2017. No.4 Hamilton Place, London
This conference will build upon the 2014 and 2016 automation conferences and, in addition, consider the impact of the changes that will result from SESAR, UAS in the lower airspace and the potential introduction of Performance Based Navigation to rotorcraft operations.
The primary aim of the conference will be to engender a dialogue aimed at ensuring the continuation of a healthy onshore rotorcraft industry that plays its part in a fast-changing industrial landscape.
The full programme is available below.
Following the first day there will be a lecture entitled 'Urban Mobility by Airbus, an Innovation Challenge'
Why should you attend?
To assess the potential, and challenges, of the introduction of automation in Para-public and General Aviation operations.
To discuss the future integration of UAS and rotorcraft in an increasingly crowded lower airspace – can we practically, and safely, ‘sense and avoid’?
To examine how States have leveraged Performance Based Navigation to improve their coverage in Degraded Visual Environments.
To hear how manufacturers intend to support future operations in challenging environments with varied scenarios.
Non-Member. £625 + VAT
RAeS Corporate Partner. £525 + VAT
RAeS Member. £450 + VAT
BHA/EHA Rate*. £250 +VAT
RAeS Baseline Member. £190 + VAT
*Please contact the Conference and Events Team to book at this rate on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7670 4345
Take advantage of preferential hotel rates offered to RAeS Delegates, make a reservation at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
Air Marshall Sir Christopher Coville, KCB
Simon Mitchell, Chief Pilot, Starspeed
Jaap Groeneweg, NLR
Dan Martin, Strategy, Risk Management and Operations Consultant to The Children's Air Ambulance
Heinz Leibundgut, Chief Pilot, Helicopter REGA
Nick Rogers, CTRO, Sky-Futures
June edition of Airway now published and online.
Check it out below.
The U.K. AAIB Annual Safety Review for 2016 contains information on the activity during 2016 and includes an overview of the 57 Safety Recommendations and Safety Actions published in the 36 field and 208 correspondence investigation reports during the year.
It also includes information on the occurrence factors established from the AAIB investigations including G-WNSB AS332L2 .
Additionally there are some very intersting articles on the AAIB’s use of simulators and drones in accident investigation.
A helicopter has crashed into the sea with three people aboard while attempting to land on 60-meter Bacarella. The accident occurred at 9pm yesterday evening in Sandviken, Norway, where the superyacht was anchored. Three people were rushed to the hospital as a result with one of them seriously injured.