Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Helicopter safety: the safe use of helicopters in fire suppression and prescribed burning operations Dunster, Julian A. 1979

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1979_A6 D96.pdf [ 12MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0075402.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0075402-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0075402-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0075402-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0075402-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0075402-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0075402-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0075402-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0075402.ris

Full Text

HELICOPTER SAFETY: THE SAFE USE OF HELICOPTERS IN FIRE SUPPRESSION AND .PRESCRIBED BURNING OPERATIONS by J u l i a n A. Dunster B. Sc., UCNW Bangor, 1977 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF .. THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FORESTRY in ' ' The Faculty of Graduate Studies Department of Forestry We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 1979 (c) J u l i a n A. Dunster, 1979 In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers ity of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shal l make i t f ree ly avai lable for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publ icat ion of th i s thesis for f inanc ia l gain shal l not be allowed without my written permission. Department nf Forestry  The Univers ity of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date June 7th, 1979. ABSTRACT In recent years, forestry programmes in B r i t i s h Columbia have increasingly used helicopters to expedite operations, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the areas of f i r e suppression and prescribed burning. Between 1970 and 1977 the population of Canadian helicopters doubled, r e f l e c t i n g the increased usage r e s u l t i n g from new, more e f f i c i e n t designs. The number of accidents per year decreased i n the 8 years, but the percentage of f a t a l accidents increased In B r i t i s h Columbia, the accident rate per 10,000 hours i n the years 1975 and 1976, was 3.6, the t h i r d highest i n Canad After an extensive period of f i e l d work i n t h i s province, by the author, i t i s clear that the people working in and around helicopters do not generally receive enough t r a i n i n g i n the safety precautions necessary. This lack of t r a i n i n g was evident at both the worker l e v e l and the supervisory l e v e l . In f i r e suppression operations, the inadequate t r a i n i n g i s aggravated by haste, which greatly increases the chances of unnecessary accidents. This report i d e n t i f i e s areas of t r a i n i n g that need greater-attention, and i t offers some guidelines for future t r a i n i n g programmes. The report discusses the fundamentals of helicopter f l i g h t , i n order that the layman may gain some appreciation of what problems the p i l o t has to t o l e r a t e . Several types of operations are then detailed with safety prescriptions for each one. Some causative factors i n each operation are also discussed. The report then analyses the use of helicopters i n a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. Of the several systems currently i n use, i t i s clear that the helicopter drip torch i s p o t e n t i a l l y the most hazardous, but to date there have been no serious helicopter d r i p torch accidents. F i n a l l y the report looks at crew deployment techniques, i n p a r t i c u l a r , helicopter r a p p e l l i n g and helitack. The l e v e l of t r a i n i n g and hazard awareness i n these two operations i s higher than was generally seen elsewhere, and provides a good example of how helicopters can be used safely and e f f i c i e n t l y . Throughout the report, reference i s made to past accidents. These accidents show a fundamental lack of safe practice; a s i t u a t i o n that would be improved with better t r a i n i n g programmes. They also i l l u s t r a t e some of the diverse and disastrous r e s u l t s of poor t r a i n i n g . The report recommends that the Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia should seriously consider setting up a series of t r a i n i n g films, which, along with posters and l e a f l e t s , could be d i s t r i b u t e d to the various companies and organisations who use helicopters i n the course of t h e i r operations. Transport Canada i s now preparing a series of general t r a i n i n g aids, and these w i l l be made available to interested p a r t i e s . - i v -• The author believes that by increasing the worker's awareness of the hazards inherent i n a l l helicopter operations, many of the unnecessary accidents of the past may be prevented from reoccurring. - v -TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT. i i TABLE OF CONTENTS V, LIST OF FIGURES v i i LIST OF PLATES ix, DEFINITIONS x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS x i i INTRODUCTION 1 SECTION I. THE HELICOPTER 3 Chapter 1. Trends i n the Use of Helicopter 4 Chapter 2. How the Helicopter F l i e s . . . 11 SECTION II. SAFETY IN AND AROUND THE HELICOPTER . .23 Chapter 3. Transportation of Personnel. . 24 Chapter 4. Transportation of Equipment. . 38 Chapter 5. Transportation of Explosives. .50 Chapter 6. Landing Sites 53 Chapter 7. Refuelling 64 Chapter 8. The Layout of Retardant P i t s . .66 Chapter 9. Environmental Stresses 7 2 Chapter 10. Emotional Stresses 78 SECTION I I I . AERIAL IGNITION SYSTEMS 83 Introduction 84 Chapter 11. Helicopter Drip Torches. . . . 87 Chapter 12. The A e r i a l Ignition Device. . 100 - v i -Chapter 13. Current Problems In the Use of A e r i a l Ignition Systems. . .106 Chapter 14. Summary and Recommendations for A e r i a l Ignition Systems . .111 SECTION IV. CREW DEPLOYMENT TECHNIQUES 116 Chapter 15. The History of Rappelling. . . 117 Chapter 16. Why Rappel?. . 119 Chapter 17. Crew Selection and Training. . 128 Chapter 18. The Equipment Involved i n Rappelling 135 Chapter 19. The Procedures for Rappelling..153 Chapter 20. Limitations and Restrictions of the Rappel System 156 Summary 158 Chapter 21. Helitack 160 SUMMARY ON THE SAFE USE OF HELICOPTERS 163 BIBLIOGRAPHY 167 APPENDICES 170 1 Accident Reports 17 0 2 Costs of Equipment and Training i n the BCFS Programme, 1978 18 9 3 The Procedures for Rappelling 192 4 Emergency Procedures 200 5 The Methods Used to Conduct the Study. . . .207 - v i i -LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1 The trends i n growth of population and accidents i n the 1970's (Canadian Registered Craft) 6 2 Trends i n helicopter population and accidents 8 3 Number of hours flown, number of accidents, and the accident rate per 10,000 hours, by province 9 4 The a e r o f o i l and i t s f l i g h t components 13 5 Ground e f f e c t 17 6 Airspeed - A l t i t u d e chart 18 7 The t a i l rotor and the e f f e c t s of torque • . . . . 19 8 The p i l o t ' s f i e l d of view 25 9 The correct approach path 2 5 10 The right and wrong way to attach ropes to a s l i n g load 44 11 The layout and marking of a h e l i p o r t . 5 6 12 The i d e a l layout of a landing s i t e i n the f i e l d • 57 13 The layout of a helipad 60 14 Good layout of retardant area 68 15 Poor layout of retardant area 7 0 16 Slinging the helicopter drip torch . . . . 99 - v i i i -17 The Relationship Between Distance and Time From Helispot to the F i r e . . .122 18 Time-Cost Relationship Between Rappelling and Helitack 12 4 19 The Three Types of Rope Anchor 139 20 Cargo Pack Hooked Up 147 21 The Questionnaire 209 - ix -LIST OF PLATES Plate Page • 1 B e l l 206. Main rotors horizontal 27 2 B e l l 206. Main rotors dipping 27 3 A rudimentary helipad 60 4 A t y p i c a l example of the Okanagan drip torch design 90 5 The CFS drip torch design . . . . . . . . 92 6 The Heli-Torch 95 7 Flying Too Slowly 95 8 The AID Dispenser Mounted i n a B e l l 206 101 9 The Training Tower at Lower Post, RD 14 131 10 Basic Components of the Rappel System. . 136 11 BCFS Rope Anchor 137 12 IFFS A-Frame 138 13 The Rope Coiled i n a Birdsnest 141 14 The Sky Genie i n D e t a i l 143 15,16,17 The Capewell and Its Use 145 18 Helicopter and Cargo Pack; Ready for Action 148 - x -DEFINITIONS Helicopter - a f l y i n g machine sustained by a power-driven screw or screw revolving on a v e r t i c a l axis. (5:604) HELICOPTER - English HELICOPTRE - French Helix (screw) Ptero (wing) - Greek A i r c r a f t Accident Any occurrence associated with the operation of an a i r c r a f t that takes place between the time any person boards the a i r c r a f t with the intention of f l i g h t and u n t i l such time as a l l persons have disembarked i n which: (a) any person suffers death or serious injury as a r e s u l t of being in or upon the a i r c r a f t or by d i r e c t contact with the a i r c r a f t or by anything attached thereto. (b) the a i r c r a f t receives substantial damage or i s destroyed. (10:101) - x i -Rappelling Rappelling i s a technique by which a person s l i d e s down a fixed rope, using the f r i c t i o n of the rope acting on some other surface, to control the rate of descent (4.). - x i i -ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This study would not have been possible without the help of many people. In p a r t i c u l a r , I am indebted to: Mr. Des Price of Transport Canada i n Vancouver, for his help i n locating information on past accidents and A i r Regulations, and for his continual enthusiasm for t h i s work; to Mr. H. Murdoch, Mr. G. L a i t , and Mr. J . Muraro for t h e i r help i n evaluating a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems; to the Council of Forest Industries of B r i t i s h Columbia for t h e i r help i n discussing the use of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems; to Dr. Olaf Skjenna for permission to quote from his as yet unpublished report; and to the B r i t i s h Columbia Forest Service, for t h e i r province-wide help i n making every endeavour to see that I gained as much experience as possible i n the many f i r e suppression operations involving helicopters. In addition I would l i k e to acknowledge the help of Mr. Jim Dunlop, the Ranger at Lower Post; Mr. Paul Hooper, the Spotter at Lower Post; and Mr. R. Henderson of Robert C. Henderson Associates Ltd. who were so he l p f u l i n the evaluation of helicopter rappelling. F i n a l l y , I would l i k e to thank Dr. P.L. C o t t e l l and Mr. A.H. Johnson of the Faculty of Forestry, at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, and Mr. B. Manfield of the Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia, for th e i r h e l p f u l comments during the preparation of t h i s report. - - x i i i -This research was very generously supported by a grant from the Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia, and I am indebted to them for the chance to carry out t h i s work. J.A. Dunster June 1979 - 1 -INTRODUCTION The increasing need for fast and e f f i c i e n t transportation in today's working world has led to greater u t i l i s a t i o n of helicopters. The use of helicopters permits e f f i c i e n t crew deployment, and allows greater operational f l e x i b i l i t y . This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n forestry operations, where rapidly increasing demands on the resource, and r i s i n g costs, emphasise the need for a fast, e f f i c i e n t , and adaptable means of transport. However, the increasing use of helicopters i n a wide spectrum of forestry operations has also created a d i v e r s i t y of hazards, many of which are not generally appreciated. Discussions with the Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia, early i n 1978, indicated that two areas of helicopter use i n forestry were of immediate i n t e r e s t : f i r e suppression, and prescribed burning. In recent years, f i r e suppression techniques have made increasing use of helicopters to enable rapid deployment of men and equipment into remote, inaccessible areas, thus greatly reducing the i n i t i a l attack time. S i m i l a r l y , the use of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems has r a d i c a l l y changed prescribed burning techniques, allowing faster i g n i t i o n and greater control of the area to be burned. During the several months spent analysing these two areas of helicopter use, the author - 2 -was a c t i v e l y involved with helicopters i n f i r e suppression and prescribed burning operations, making f i e l d observations on the various aspects of each operation, and interviewing the people working with helicopters ( p i l o t s , ground crew, supervisors, and o f f i c i a l s ) . The methods used to conduct the study are outlined i n Appendix 5. This report i s based on the experience gained i n those months, and summarises the hazards that were observed and/or discussed. With a view to increasing people's awareness of the hazards inherent i n helicopter operations, the report i s presented i n four sections, each one emphasising a s p e c i f i c aspect of helicopter use. SECTION I. The Helicopter SECTION I I . Safety In and Around the Helicopter SECTION I I I . A e r i a l Ignition Systems SECTION IV. Crew Deployment Techniques Throughout the report, a black dot followed by numbers ( % 12,14,4.) refers the reader to past accidents, l i s t e d i n Appendix 1. These accidents, a l l of which occurred i n the l a s t f i v e years, reinforce the points mentioned i n the text and c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e the p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous nature of even the most mundane helicopter operations. - 3 -S E C T I O N I . THE H E L I C O P T E R - 4 -CHAPTER 1. TRENDS IN T H E USE OF H E L I C O P T E R S S i n c e t i m e i m m e m o r i a l , man h a s w a n t e d t o f l y , a n d o v e r t h e c e n t u r i e s many p e o p l e h a v e t r i e d t o s o l v e t h e r i d d l e o f f l i g h t . A s e a r l y a s 1 5 0 5 , L e o n a r d o Da V i n c i drew up a s e t o f p l a n s f o r a f l y i n g m a c h i n e , b u t t h e s e p l a n s w e r e n e v e r p u t i n t o a c t i o n . By t h e e n d o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y many p e o p l e w e r e w o r k i n g o n t h e p r o b l e m o f f l i g h t , a n d r u d i m e n t a r y g l i d e r s h a d b e e n s u c c e s s f u l l y f l o w n . On D e c e m b e r 1 7 , 19 03 a t a n a e r o d r o m e i n K i t t y h a w k , N o r t h e r n C a r o l i n a , t h e W r i g h t b r o t h e r s , O r v i l l e a n d W i l b u r , f l e w a b i p l a n e f o r j u s t o v e r 12 s e c o n d s , t r a v e l l i n g 34 m. The e r a o f p o w e r e d f l i g h t h a d f i n a l l y a r r i v e d . F r o m t h a t t i m e o n , f i x e d - w i n g f l i g h t a d v a n c e d r a p i d l y , a n d b y t h e t i m e o f t h e F i r s t W o r l d W a r , a e r o p l a n e s w e r e r e l a t i v e l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d , a l l o w i n g t h e p i l o t t o p e r f o r m i n t r i c a t e m a n o u e v r e s . T h e h e l i c o p t e r , h o w e v e r , r e c e i v e d f a r l e s s a t t e n t i o n . T h e f i r s t s u c c e s s f u l , p u b l i c h e l i c o p t e r f l i g h t d i d n o t o c c u r u n t i l 1 9 3 8 , i n B e r l i n . T h e p i l o t o f t h i s f i r s t f l i g h t was M i s s Hanna R e i t s c h ( L 7 : 2 ) . T h e m a c h i n e , known as t h e F o c k e - A c h g e l i s , made t h e - f i r s t c r o s s - -c o u n t r y f l i g h t f r o m Bremen t o B e r l i n , a d i s t a n c e o f 230 km. P r o b a b l y t h e b e s t known f i g u r e i n t h e e v o l u t i o n o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r i s I g o r S i k o r s k y . He h a d e x p e r i m e n t e d w i t h h e l i c o p t e r s s i n c e 1 9 0 7 , a n d a f t e r b e c o m i n g s u c c e s s f u l i n - 5 -fixed-wing design, he f i n a l l y produced the VS300 helicopter. In 1941, Sikorsky set a new record, by remaining i n the a i r for one hour and thirty-two minutes. The helicopter had f i n a l l y come into being. Even today, the helicopter receives f a r less attention than aeroplanes. Many of the rules and regulations applied to helicopters have been derived from fixed-wing operations, and are not s t r i c t l y applicable to helicopters. Figure 1. The trends i n growth of population and accidents i n the 1970's. (Canadian Registered craft).(20.) - 6 -S i m i l a r l y , much of the theory of f l i g h t , t r i e d and tested on fixed-wing c r a f t , cannot be e a s i l y applied to rotary-wing machines. This discrepancy between the two forms of f l i g h t i s r e f l e c t e d i n the growth of the two populations (Figure 1). In 197 0, i n Canada, the fixed-wing population was about 10,600 compared to a helicopter population of about 550; i . e . there were 20 aeroplanes for every helicopter. By 1977 there were 19 aeroplanes for every helicopter, s t i l l a considerable difference. Considering that there were 2 0 times as many aeroplanes as helicopters, i t would seem reasonable to expect the fixed-wing form of f l i g h t to have had more accidents. However, based on the average from 197 0 to 1977, each helicopter accident (involving 10.3% of the population) corresponded to only seven fixed-wing accidents (involving 3.8% of the population). Figure 1 also shows the trends i n f a t a l accidents. No allowance i s made for more than one f a t a l i t y i n any one accident. The trends show that the percentage of accidents that were f a t a l i n the two forms of f l i g h t was on the average about the same (12%). Over the eight year time span, the trend i n fixed-wing f l i g h t , although f l u c t u a t i n g , was the same i n 1977 as in 1970. - 7 -In helicopters however, the trend shows that the percentage of accidents that were f a t a l increased, despite the fact that the number of accidents per year f e l l from 12.3% of the population i n 1970, to 6.6% i n 1977. The reasons for t h i s anomaly are not immediately clear, but i t may be that helicopters today are being used i n more demanding si t u a t i o n s , which are inherently more dangerous. If t h i s i s so, a mistake on anyone's part i s more l i k e l y to r e s u l t i n a f a t a l i t y . Figure 2 shows i n greater d e t a i l the rel a t i o n s h i p between the growth i n helicopter population, the t o t a l NUMBER OF HELICOPTERS I 100 1000 900 BOO 700 600 S00 400 S00 200 100 0 TOTAL NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS HELICOPTER POPULATION F A T A L ACCIDENTS "T" 72 —r 74 75 76 77 - 110 - 100 - 90 - B0 - 70 - 60 - 50 - 40 - 30 - 20 - 10 0 NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS YEAR (1970-1977) Figure 2. Trends i n helicopter population and accidents. (2 0».) - 8 -number of accidents, and the number of f a t a l accidents (Canadian Registered c r a f t ) . Over an eight-year span, the helicopter population had doubled, but the t o t a l number of accidents per year was the same i n 197 0 as in 1977. Although the percentage of the population involved i n accidents had almost halved, the number of these accidents that were f a t a l had more than doubled. Figure 3 gives a breakdown of the number of operating hours, the number of accidents, and the accident Number of Operating Hours x10 (1975 & 76) 10 30 50 70 90 " 0 130 150 170 '90 210 230 20 I 40 I 60 I 80 I 1001 120 I 140 I 160 I 180 I 200 220 I I I 1 I 1 1 1 I I | | | 1 L YUKON NORTHWEST TERRITORIES 0 2 i 1 i i ,1 ,'2,4 ,U . ' o . ' . l ! . i W . s U 3'4 36 36 40 4'2 44 is Number of Accidents 11975 & 76 Figure 3. Number of hours flown, number of accidents, and accidents rate per 10,000 hours, by Province. (2 0.,) - 9 -rate per 10,000 hours by province. Figure 3 c l e a r l y shows that the number of hours flown does not necessarily indicate the accident rate. Quebec had over 200,000 hours of f l y i n g i n 1975 and 1976, yet the accident rate per 10,000 hours was only 2.1. Saskatchewan had 14,7 00 f l y i n g hours i n the same two years, one fourteenth that of Quebec, yet the accident rate per 10,000 hours was 6.8 - more than three times as high. This suggests that i t i s not the number of hours flown that matter, but possibly the conditions under which the f l i g h t takes place. Since the conditions of use are not known for either Province, i t i s impossible to state why the va r i a t i o n i n the accident rates i s so large. On the basis of the information i n Figure 3, the hours flown cannot be taken as an absolute measure to indicate the safety or lack of safety i n any one operation or Province. Cl e a r l y , much work s t i l l needs to be done to bring these accident rates down. In the following chapters the fundamental p r i n c i p l e s of helicopter f l i g h t , several helicopter operations, and a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems are a l l discussed. Already, helicopters are being extensively used i n forestry for a e r i a l survey work, e.g. insect infestations - 10 -and topographical surveys; routine crew transfers and transportation of equipment; helicopter logging; and f i r e suppression and prescribed burning operations. - 11 -CHAPTER 2. HOW THE HELICOPTER FLIES In this section the principles of helicopter flight are outlined, together with some discussion of the practical problems involved in certain manoeuvres. An understanding of these principles and problems will aid the reader to appreciate why certain actions should be executed during the use of helicopters. For a more detailed discussion of the principles of helicopter flight, the reader is referred to the "Basic Helicopter Handbook" published by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States. (22.) In the following paragraphs some of . the fundamental components of flight are briefly defined. Any surface designed to produce l i f t or thrust when air passes over it is termed an aerofoil". In aeroplanes (fixed-wing craft) the wings and propellers are the aerofoils, while in helicopters (rotary-wing craft) the main and tail rotors are aerofoils. Both fixed wing and rotary wing craft need the passage of air over these aerofoils to gain l i f t or thrust. The difference between the two aircraft types is that a fixed wing craft uses the propellers to drag the wings through the air and thus create l i f t , whereas, in a rotary wing craft, rotation of the wings (rotors) produces l i f t and thrust in the direction desired. - 12 -I n m o s t N o r t h A m e r i c a n h e l i c o p t e r d e s i g n s t h e m a i n r o t o r s r o t a t e c o u n t e r - c l o c k w i s e , w h i l e i n E u r o p e a n a n d R u s s i a n d e s i g n s t h e m a i n r o t o r s r o t a t e c l o c k w i s e . The a r e a t h a t t h e r o t o r s o c c u p y i s c a l l e d t h e r o t o r d i s c . L i f t o c c u r s a t 9 0 ° t o t h e r o t o r t i p p a t h ; t h u s , t h e d i r e c t i o n o f t r a v e l i s a f u n c t i o n o f t h e d i r e c t i o n i n w h i c h t h e d i s c i s t i p p e d . T h e l i f t g e n e r a t e d b y t h e p a s s a g e o f a i r o v e r t h e a e r o f o i l c a n be a l t e r e d by c h a n g i n g t h e a n g l e o f a t t a c k a n d t h e p i t c h o f t h e r o t o r b l a d e s . F i g u r e 4 shows t h e r e l a t i o n -s h i p b e t w e e n t h e a n g l e o f a t t a c k , p i t c h a n d r e l a t i v e w i n d . T h e c h o r d l i n e i s a n i m a g i n a r y l i n e f r o m t h e l e a d i n g edge t o t h e t r a i l i n g e d g e o f t h e a e r o f o i l . T h e a c u t e a n g l e b e t w e e n t h e r o t o r b l a d e c h o r d l i n e a n d t h e r o t o r ' s p l a n e o f r o t a t i o n i s t h e p i t c h a n g l e . T h i s a n g l e c a n be v a r i e d b y u s e o f t h e c o l l e c t i v e a n d c y c l i c c o n t r o l s i n t h e c o c k p i t . T h e a n g l e b e t w e e n t h e c h o r d l i n e a n d t h e d i r e c t i o n o f t h e r e l a t i v e w i n d i s t h e a'ngle o f a t t a c k . T h e a n g l e o f a t t a c k i s n o t t h e same as p i t c h a n g l e , u n l e s s t h e r e l a t i v e w i n d i s p a r a l l e l t o t h e p l a n e o f r o t a t i o n ( F i g . 4 ) . I n c r e a s i n g t h e p i t c h a n g l e w i l l a l s o i n c r e a s e t h e a n g l e o f a t t a c k a n d v i c e v e r s a . H o w e v e r , i n c r e a s i n g t h e a n g l e o f a t t a c k w i l l a l s o i n c r e a s e t h e d r a g f o r c e ; t h a t i s , t h e f o r c e r e s i s t i n g t h e movement o f t h e a e r o f o i l t h r o u g h t h e a i r . I t i s t h i s d r a g f o r c e t h a t c a u s e s a d r o p i n t h e r o t o r r e v o l u t i o n s p e r m i n u t e Figure 4. The a e r o f o i l and i t s f l i g h t components. - 14 -( R P M ) . H e n c e t o g a i n e x t r a l i f t t h e r o t o r s p e e d h a s t o be m a i n t a i n e d a n d t h i s c a l l s f o r a d d i t i o n a l power f r o m t h e e n g i n e . The r e l a t i v e w i n d i s t h e w i n d ' s d i r e c t i o n r e l a t i v e t o t h e a e r o f o i l . R e l a t i v e w i n d i s p a r a l l e l a n d o p p o s i t e t o t h e d i r e c t i o n o f a e r o f o i l t r a v e l . T h u s , when t h e h e l i c o p t e r h o v e r s i n a no w i n d s i t u a t i o n ( s t i l l a i r ) t h e r e l a t i v e w i n d i s e n t i r e l y due t o t h e r o t a t i o n o f t h e r o t o r b l a d e s . H o v e r i n g i n a w i n d , t h e r e l a t i v e w i n d i s t h e s u m : o f t h e w i n d d i r e c t i o n a n d t h e r o t a t i o n o f t h e r o t o r b l a d e s . I n f o r w a r d f l i g h t t h e r o t o r b l a d e movement a n d t h e movement o f t h e c r a f t t h r o u g h t h e a i r c r e a t e s t h e r e l a t i v e w i n d . H e n c e i n c r e a s e d r e l a t i v e w i n d g i v e s i n c r e a s e d l i f t . G e n e r a l l y , t h e p i l o t w i l l a i m t o k e e p . i t h e r o t o r s p e e d c o n s t a n t a n d c h a n g e t h e l i f t f o r c e b y c h a n g i n g t h e a n g l e o f a t t a c k , r a t h e r t h a n b o o s t i n g t h e power a n d t h e r e b y t u r n i n g t h e r o t o r s f a s t e r t o i n c r e a s e r e l a t i v e w i n d . T h e e f f e c t s o f a i r d e n s i t y o n l i f t T h e amount o f l i f t a v a i l a b l e i s d e p e n d a n t o n t h e d e n s i t y o f t h e a i r . D e n s e r a i r i n c r e a s e s t h e l i f t a n d d r a g . L e s s d e n s e a i r d e c r e a s e s t h e l i f t a n d d r a g . A i r d e n s i t y i s a f f e c t e d b y t h e f o l l o w i n g f a c t o r s : - 15 -1. A l t i t u d e : d e n s i t y d e c r e a s e s w i t h i n c r e a s i n g a l t i t u d e . 2 . A i r t e m p e r a t u r e : a i r e x p a n d s o n h e a t i n g ( i . e . warm a i r i s l e s s d e n s e t h a n c o l d a i r ) . 3 . D e c r e a s i n g p r e s s u r e : a i r e x p a n d s as p r e s s u r e d e c r e a s e s a n d so becomes l e s s d e n s e . H e n c e , a t m o s p h e r i c p r e s s u r e a f f e c t s a i r d e n s i t y . 4 . R e l a t i v e h u m i d i t y : m o i s t a i r i s l e s s d e n s e t h a n d r y a i r . A l s o , warm a i r c a n h o l d more m o i s t u r e ; t h e r e f o r e , warm h u m i d d a y s l e a d t o l o w d e n s i t y a i r . S i n c e a i r d e n s i t y may d e c r e a s e w i t h a c h a n g e i n t h e a b o v e f a c t o r s , t h e p i l o t h a s t o i n c r e a s e t h e a n g l e o f a t t a c k i n o r d e r t o m a i n t a i n t h e l i f t . T o do t h i s t h e p i t c h a n g l e m u s t a l s o b e i n c r e a s e d , r e s u l t i n g i n g r e a t e r d r a g a n d d e c r e a s e d r o t o r RPM. T h u s , more power i s n e e d e d t o m a i n t a i n t h e RPM. B o t h t h e p i l o t a n d t h e p e o p l e d i r e c t i n g t h e h e l i c o p t e r o p e r a t i o n s h o u l d b e a w a r e o f t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s , s i n c e t h e a d d i t i o n a l power n e e d e d t o m a i n t a i n ' r o t o r RPM may be b e y o n d t h e c a p a b i l i t y o f t h e m a c h i n e . T h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y i m p o r t a n t i f t h e m a c h i n e i s o p e r a t i n g a t , o r c l o s e t o , i t s maximum g r o s s w e i g h t . ( % 1 1 . ) , - 16 -T r a n s l a t i o n a l L i f t C o n t r a r y t o t h e p o p u l a r c o n c e p t i o n , t h e r e a r e many t i m e s when t h e h e l i c o p t e r c a n n o t l i f t o f f t h e g r o u n d v e r t i c a l l y . T h i s i s b e c a u s e t h e h e l i c o p t e r o f t e n d o e s n o t h a v e s u f f i c i e n t power t o g e n e r a t e more l i f t when l o a d e d a n d / o r o p e r a t i n g a t a l t i t u d e . N o r m a l l y , t h e h e l i c o p t e r l i f t s o f f t h e g r o u n d a n d t h e n f l i e s f o r w a r d , b u i l d i n g up i t s a i r s p e e d t o g a i n e x t r a l i f t . T r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t i s t h e a d d i t i o n a l l i f t o b t a i n e d due t o t h e g r e a t e r mass o f a i r p e r u n i t t i m e f l o w i n g o v e r t h e r o t o r s a s a r e s u l t o f t h e f o r w a r d f l i g h t ( i . e . i n c r e a s e d r e l a t i v e w i n d ) . T r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t i s p r e s e n t w i t h a n y h o r i z o n t a l movement , b u t becomes m o s t n o t i c e a b l e a t a i r s p e e d s i n e x c e s s o f 24 k m / h . T h i s e x t r a l i f t i s t e r m e d e f f e c t i v e t r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t a n d p e r m i t s i n c r e a s e d h e l i c o p t e r p e r f o r m a n c e . S i n c e m o s t h e l i c o p t e r s n e e d t h i s t r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t t o g a i n h e i g h t , t h e d e s i g n a n d l a y o u t o f l a n d i n g a r e a s s h o u l d make d u e a l l o w a n c e f o r t h i s . G r o u n d E f f e c t When a h e l i c o p t e r i s h o v e r i n g c l o s e t o t h e g r o u n d , t h e r o t o r b l a d e s d i s p l a c e a i r down t h r o u g h t h e r o t o r d i s c f a s t e r t h a n i t c a n e s c a p e f r o m b e n e a t h t h e h e l i c o p t e r . T h i s - 17 -forms a cushion of a i r between the helicopter and the ground and i s referred to as 'ground e f f e c t 1 (Figure 5). The ground e f f e c t helps to support the helicopter i n a hover, and i s e f f e c t i v e at a height of half the rotor disc diameter. The helicopter leaves the ground e f f e c t at an airspeed of 5 to 8 km/h. This same e f f e c t causes loose objects to be blown about when the helicopter i s hovering and, i n some cases, the displaced a i r forms eddy currents, causing a suction force to be present. This suction i s p o t e n t i a l l y very dangerous, since i t can e a s i l y cause loose objects to be drawn up into the rotors (Chapters 4, 9). ( • 1,8,9,10.) Dovmwash from the rotors. Figure 5. Ground e f f e c t . - 18 -From the preceding discussion i t i s clear that c e r t a i n stages i n the operation of a helicopter are more c r i t i c a l than others. While fixed wing a i r c r a f t can usually g l i d e to the ground, the helicopter r e l i e s on the rotation of i t s rotors to maintain i t s a l t i t u d e . In the event of an emergency (such as an engine f a i l u r e ) the engine i s disengaged from the rotors. As the helicopter s e t t l e s through the a i r , the upward flow of a i r causes the rotors to rotate, allowing some l i f t to be maintained. This i s c a l l e d autorotation. For each model of helicopter an a l t i t u d e versus airspeed chart i s prepared, in d i c a t i n g to the p i l o t at what a l t i t u d e and airspeed he can safely make an auto-ro t a t i v e landing. Figure 6 shows a t y p i c a l example. 130, ALTITUDE metres AIRSPEED km/h Figure 6. Airspeed - Al t i t u d e chart. - 19 -Any combination of a l t i t u d e and airspeed f a l l i n g within the shaded areas i s to be avoided. These areas are often c a l l e d the "Dead Man's Curve". Recognition of t h i s problem w i l l help i n appreciating the problems involved i n operation of some a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems, discussed l a t e r i n t h i s report (Section III) . Because the main rotors rotate counter-clockwise, the fuselage tends to rotate i n a clockwise d i r e c t i o n . This i s i n accordance with Newton's t h i r d law of motion: "To every action there i s an equal and opposite reaction". This tendency i s known as torque. ROTOR B L A D E L ROTATION TA IL ROTOR T H R U S T TORQUE Figure 7. The t a i l rotor and the eff e c t s of torque. (22.;) - 20 -To c o u n t e r a c t t h i s t o r q u e , a n a u x i l l i a r y r o t o r i s p l a c e d a t t h e e n d o f t h e t a i l boom ( F i g u r e 7 ) . T h i s r o t o r i s u s u a l l y c a l l e d t h e t a i l r o t o r o r a n t i - t o r q u e r o t o r . I t d e v e l o p s t h r u s t i n o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e t o r q u e o f t h e m a i n r o t o r s . T h e t h r u s t i s c o n t r o l l e d b y means o f f o o t p e d a l s i n t h e c o c k p i t . I f t h e t o r q u e i s n e u t r a l i s e d t h e d i r e c t i o n o f t r a v e l r e m a i n s c o n s t a n t . I f t h r u s t i s i n c r e a s e d t h e c r a f t t u r n s t o t h e l e f t ; i f t h r u s t i s d e c r e a s e d t h e c r a f t t u r n s t o t h e r i g h t . The T u r b i n e E n g i n e i n H e l i c o p t e r s M o s t m o d e r n h e l i c o p t e r s a r e e q u i p p e d w i t h t u r b i n e e n g i n e s , a s o p p o s e d t o t h e o l d e r p i s t o n e n g i n e s . A f t e r a f l i g h t , t h e h e l i c o p t e r w i l l b e l e f t a t g r o u n d i d l e t o c o o l t h e e n g i n e . T h e t i m e n e e d e d t o c o o l t h e e n g i n e i s commonly a b o u t t h r e e t o f o u r m i n u t e s m i n i m u m . T h i s c o o l down p e r i o d i s v e r y n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e h e l i c o p t e r , s i n c e i t n o t o n l y p r o l o n g s e n g i n e a n d c o m p o n e n t l i f e , b u t i t a l s o r e d u c e s t h e c h a n c e s o f e n g i n e f a i l u r e d u e t o s e i z u r e o f t h e b e a r i n g s a n d o t h e r m o v i n g p a r t s . T h i s c o o l down p e r i o d ( t e c h n i c a l l y r e f e r r e d t o a s g r o u n d i d l e d w e l l t i m e ) s h o u l d be a l l o w e d f o r i n s c h e d u l i n g h e l i c o p t e r o p e r a t i o n s w h e r e t h e h e l i c o p t e r h a s t o be s h u t down a s a p a r t o f t h e o p e r a t i o n . - 21 -S E C T I O N I SUMMARY B e t w e e n 1970 a n d 1 9 7 7 , t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f C a n a d i a n r e g i s t e r e d h e l i c o p t e r s d o u b l e d ; t h e p e r c e n t a g e o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n i n v o l v e d i n a c c i d e n t s ( p e r y e a r ) h a l v e d , y e t t h e p e r c e n t a g e o f t h e s e a n n u a l a c c i d e n t s t h a t i n v o l v e d f a t a l i t i e s , i n c r e a s e d . I n t h e y e a r s 1975 a n d 1 9 7 6 , B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a h a d t h e t h i r d h i g h e s t a c c i d e n t r a t e p e r 1 0 , 0 0 0 h o u r s a t 3 . 6 ( a f t e r S a s k a t c h e w a n - 6 . 8 a n d A l b e r t a - 5 . 6 ) , a n d f l e w t h e s e c o n d h i g h e s t number o f h e l i c o p t e r h o u r s ( a f t e r Q u e b e c ) . H e l i c o p t e r s g e n e r a t e l i f t b y r o t a t i o n o f a n a e r o f o i l (main r o t o r ) a n d m a i n t a i n d i r e c t i o n b y u t i l i s i n g t h e t h r u s t o f t h e t a i l r o t o r t o c o u n t e r a c t t h e t o r q u e o f t h e m a i n r o t o r s . V a r y i n g t h i s t h r u s t a l t e r s t h e d i r e c t i o n o f t r a v e l . S i n c e t h e h e l i c o p t e r g e n e r a t e s l i f t b y t h e p a s s a g e o f a i r o v e r i t s r o t o r s , a i r d e n s i t y i s a c r i t i c a l f a c t o r i n h e l i c o p t e r o p e r a t i o n s . A i r d e n s i t y i s a f f e c t e d b y a l t i t u d e , a i r t e m p e r a t u r e , d e c r e a s i n g p r e s s u r e , a n d r e l a t i v e h u m i d i t y . A l l h e l i c o p t e r s r e a c h a l i m i t w h e r e t h e y a r e u n a b l e t o t a k e o f f v e r t i c a l l y , a n d a t t h i s p o i n t t h e y d e p e n d on t r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t t o g a i n a l t i t u d e . T r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t r e s u l t s f r o m a f a s t e r a i r s p e e d w h i c h a l l o w s more a i r p e r u n i t t i m e t o f l o w o v e r t h e a e r o f o i l , t h u s i n c r e a s i n g t h e r e l a t i v e w i n d . - 22 -Translational l i f t i s most noticeable at an airspeed of 24 km/h or more. The need for t r a n s l a t i o n a l f l i g h t i s often a c r i t i c a l factor in the layout of landing s i t e s . When a helicopter hovers close to the ground, the rotor blades displace a i r down through the rotor disc faster than the a i r can escape from beneath the helicopter. This forms a cushion of a i r , referred to as ground e f f e c t . Ground e f f e c t i s present at a height of approximately one half the rotor disc diameter, and at airspeeds of less than 5 to 8 km/h. This rotor downwash i s also responsible for creating a suction force, and in some cases creates an extremely dangerous hazard i n that i t w i l l e a s i l y draw loose a r t i c l e s up into the rotors. Certain combinations of airspeed and a l t i t u d e are unsafe for helicopter operations, since the helicopter i s unable to make a safe autorotative landing i n these conditions. Each helicopter type has i t s own p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s for operation. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are summarised i n an airspeed - a l t i t u d e chart, commonly c a l l e d the "Dead Man's Curve". Understanding the fundamental p r i n c i p l e s of helicopter f l i g h t w i l l enable the people d i r e c t i n g helicopter use, to gain a greater appreciation of the p i l o t ' s objectives. - 23 -S E C T I O N I I . S A F E T Y I N AND AROUND THE H E L I C O P T E R I n t h i s s e c t i o n t h e s a f e t y o f t h e p e o p l e w o r k i n g i n a n d a r o u n d t h e h e l i c o p t e r i s d i s c u s s e d . M o s t w o r k e r s seem t o h a v e h a d some f u n d a m e n t a l h e l i c o p t e r s a f e t y t r a i n i n g , y e t r e f e r e n c e t o A p p e n d i x 1 shows t h a t a c c i d e n t s s t i l l h a p p e n i n w h i c h t h e b a s i c s a f e t y p r e c a u t i o n s w e r e n o t o b s e r v e d . T h e s e a c c i d e n t s w e r e e i t h e r a r e s u l t o f p o o r e d u c a t i o n a b o u t t h e h a z a r d s , o r f a i l u r e t o o b s e r v e t h e p r e c a u t i o n s l e a r n t . B a s i c s a f e t y p r e c a u t i o n s c a n n o t be o v e r e m p h a s i s e d , a n d e v e r y o n e who h a s c a u s e t o go n e a r a h e l i c o p t e r s h o u l d u n d e r s t a n d t h e r e a s o n s f o r t h e s e p r e -c a u t i o n s a n d t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f n o t o b s e r v i n g t h e m . - 24 -C H A P T E R 3 . TRANSPORTATION OF PERSONNEL U n d e r no c i r c u m s t a n c e s s h o u l d a n y o n e be c l o s e t o a h e l i c o p t e r w i t h o u t f i r s t h a v i n g a b r i e f i n g i n b a s i c s a f e t y p r o c e d u r e s a n d s p e c i a l f e a t u r e s o f t h e m a c h i n e b e i n g u s e d . ( F o r e x a m p l e , t h e S i k o r s k y S-58 T h a s t h e e x h a u s t a t t h e f r o n t o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r . ) T h e f o l l o w i n g p o i n t s a r e f u n d a m e n t a l t o a s a f e o p e r a t i o n a n d s h o u l d be f o l l o w e d b y e v e r y o n e w o r k i n g n e a r h e l i c o p t e r s . ENTRY 1 . O n l y a p p r o a c h t h e h e l i c o p t e r when t h e p i l o t s i g n a l s t h a t he i s r e a d y f o r y o u t o b o a r d t h e c r a f t . 2 . A l w a y s a p p r o a c h f r o m w i t h i n t h e p i l o t ' s f i e l d o f v i e w a n d s t a y i n h i s f i e l d o f v i e w a t a l l t i m e s ( F i g . 8 ) . 3 . P r i o r t o a p p r o a c h i n g t h e h e l i c o p t e r , c h e c k t h e s l o p e o f t h e g r o u n d , a n d a l w a y s a p p r o a c h f r o m t h e d o w n h i l l s i d e ( F i g . 9) . ( £ 14!.) 4 . P r i o r t o t h e a p p r o a c h , i n s u r e i n a f i n a l c h e c k t h a t a n y h e a d g e a r w o r n i s f a s t e n e d down w i t h a c h i n s t r a p . I f i t i s n o t , h a n g o n t o i t o r c a r r y i t s e p a r a t e l y . S i m i l a r l y , a l l l o o s e c l o t h i n g , p a p e r a n d o t h e r l i g h t o b j e c t s s h o u l d b e s e c u r e d . ( £ 8 ,9 , . ) - 25 -ENTER AND EXIT ONLY WITHIN PILOTS FIELD OF VIEW Figure 8. The P i l o t ' s f i e l d of view. ENTER & EXIT ON DOWNHILL SIDE ONLY. STAY IN PILOT'S FIELD OF VIEW. Figure 9. The correct approach path. - 26 -5. I n a p p r o a c h i n g t h e h e l i c o p t e r , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o c r o u c h t o a v o i d b e i n g h i t by t h e m a i n r o t o r s . I f i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e p i l o t i s s h u t t i n g down t h e h e l i c o p t e r , do n o t a p p r o a c h ( u n l e s s s p e c i f i c a l l y s i g n a l l e d t o b y t h e p i l o t ) u n t i l t h e r o t o r s h a v e come t o a h a l t . A s t h e r o t o r s s l o w down, t h e y w i l l d r o o p l e a v i n g l e s s c l e a r a n c e b e t w e e n t h e i r t i p s a n d t h e g r o u n d . S i m i l a r l y , i t s h o u l d be r e a l i s e d t h a t t h e m a i n r o t o r s a r e m o u n t e d o n a p i v o t a n d i n a g u s t o f w i n d c a n d i p much c l o s e r t o t h e g r o u n d t h a n m i g h t n o r m a l l y be e x p e c t e d . B e a r i n g i n m i n d t h a t t h e t i p v e l o c i t y o f t h e r o t o r b l a d e s i s a p p r o x i m a t e l y 644 k m / h (400 m p h ) , o n e ' s c h a n c e s o f s u r v i v a l , i f h i t , a r e s l i m . P l a t e s 1 a n d 2 i l l u s t r a t e how t h e m a i n r o t o r s o n a B e l l 2 06 J e t R a n g e r c a n come t o w i t h i n 1.6 m o f t h e g r o u n d s o l e l y by t a k i n g up t h e s l a c k i n t h e p i v o t . A g u s t o f w i n d c o u l d l o w e r t h e t i p f u r t h e r . 6. O n c e a t t h e h e l i c o p t e r , o p e n t h e d o o r , s t e p i n t o t h e c r a f t a n d s i t w h e r e t h e p i l o t i n d i c a t e s . T h e d o o r s h o u l d be c l o s e d g e n t l y b u t f i r m l y . N e v e r s l a m t h e d o o r s s i n c e t h e y a r e o n l y made o f a t h i n a l l o y s h e l l a n d d i s t o r t e a s i l y . T h e s e a t Plate 2. B e l l 206. Main rotors. Dipping. b e l t should be fastened and l e f t on for the duration of the f l i g h t . If movement within the helicopter i s anticipated once in f l i g h t , i t should be discussed with the p i l o t p r i o r to take-off since, once in f l i g h t , movement may a l t e r the centre of gravity, causing unnecessary problems for the p i l o t . Unless loading cargo into the storage areas, never move towards the rear of the helicopter. If cargo i s being loaded, be aware of the t a i l rotor. It w i l l be v i r t u a l l y i n v i s i b l e when turning and w i l l k i l l or maim anyone walking into i t . IN FLIGHT Once i n the helicopter, i t i s essential not to touch any of the controls. This i s espe c i a l l y important i f s i t t i n g i n the front seat of a dual control helicopter.( 0 26.) A l l maps and documents should be secured i n f l i g h t and kept out of the p i l o t ' s way. A l l loose materials should be kept away from the windows since they may be sucked out and cause serious damage to the rotors,., or be ingested into the turbine engine, leading to engine f a i l u r e . - 29 -3. Only smoke with the p i l o t ' s permission. Never smoke during take o f f and landing. 4. While i t i s inadvisable to d i s t r a c t the p i l o t ' s attention unnecessarily, there may be c e r t a i n times when you f e e l that an impending hazard has been missed by the p i l o t . In t h i s case you should bring i t to his attention as soon as possible. P i l o t s are not i n f a l l i b l e . ( 0 15.) 5. Never open the door during the f l i g h t . Open doors considerably a l t e r the f l i g h t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the helicopter and the p i l o t needs to be able to correct for t h i s in advance. 6. Be aware of the heating system i n the helicopter. Hot a i r i s blown over the windows to prevent fogging. Ask the p i l o t before opening any windows. 7. Don't look at the rotor blades overhead; i t may cause discomfort. (see also Chapter 9). 8. Wear ear protection whenever exposed (24:33.18). (See Chapter 9). 9. Do not t r y to clean the perspex windows. They scratch e a s i l y . 10. Read the notices and signs on the windows and seat backs. They are there for your benefit. - 30 -E X I T 1. Once o u t o f t h e c r a f t , p l a c e t h e s a f e t y b e l t o n t h e s e a t , a n d s h u t t h e d o o r . 2 . - W a l k away f r o m t h e c r a f t on t h e p i l o t ' s s i g n a l . 3 . S t a y w i t h i n t h e p i l o t ' s f i e l d o f v i s i o n a n d w a l k away i n a d o w n h i l l d i r e c t i o n . N e v e r w a l k away u p h i l l . ( % 14 . ) (See F i g u r e s 8 & 9) 4. A t a l l t i m e s s t a y away f r o m t h e r e a r o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r a n d i t s t a i l r o t o r . 5 . I n some c a s e s i t w i l l b e i m p o s s i b l e t o w a l k a w a y . I n t h i s s i t u a t i o n c r o u c h o r s i t by t h e s k i d u n t i l t h e h e l i c o p t e r h a s l i f t e d o f f . I f a n y e q u i p m e n t h a s b e e n u n l o a d e d make s u r e t h a t i t i s s e c u r e d u s i n g t h e h e a v i e r o b j e c t s t o w e i g h down t h e l i g h t e r o n e s . Do n o t f o r g e t • t h a t t h e r o t o r wash w i l l t e n d t o s u c k o b j e c t s up i n t o t h e r o t o r s . E x i t a t a H o v e r I n c e r t a i n c a s e s i t may b e n e c e s s a r y t o e x i t f r o m t h e h e l i c o p t e r w h i l e i t i s i n t h e h o v e r . T h e c r a f t w i l l e i t h e r be h o v e r i n g a few f e e t a b o v e t h e g r o u n d , o r w i t h t h e f r o n t e n d - 31 -(toe) of one or both skids against a h i l l s i d e . The procedure for exit on the hover i s as follows: 1. At the p i l o t ' s command, unfasten the safety be l t and prepare to e x i t . 2. Open the door and slowly and smoothly climb out onto the skid. 3. Once on the skid, recheck with the p i l o t that a l l i s well and then slowly lower off the skid onto the ground. 4. Once on the ground i t i s usually wise to crouch or s i t u n t i l the helicopter has l e f t . Stage 3 i s c r i t i c a l . Under no circumstances should one jump of f the skid. The force acting down on the skid as one jumps may be enough to upset the balance of the helicopter and r o l l i t over. Also, p r i o r to ex i t i t i s wise to check the conditions on the ground. Hover exits are made only i n the most d i f f i c u l t locations, and often i t would be hard to get on board again. Wherever possible, hover exits are to be avoided i n favour of a conventional landing area. D i s c u s s i o n o f C h a p t e r 3 T h e p o i n t s l i s t e d a b o v e f o r e n t r y a n d e x i t a r e w e l l known a n d w i d e l y d o c u m e n t e d . Y e t , as c a n be s e e n f r o m t h e a c c i d e n t c i t a t i o n s i n A p p e n d i x 1, a c c i d e n t s s t i l l o c c u r . T h e r e a s o n f o r t h i s w o u l d seem t o be l a r g e l y a m a t t e r o f p o o r t r a i n i n g . D u r i n g t h e a u t h o r ' s d i s c u s s i o n s i n t h e summer o f 1978 , one o f t h e m a i n c a u s e s o f a c c i d e n t s was a t t r i b u t e d t o i n a d e q u a t e t r a i n i n g o f t h e g r o u n d c r e w s . M o s t c o m p a n i e s a n d t h e F o r e s t S e r v i c e h a v e t h e i r own t r a i n i n g p r o g r a m m e s . T h e s e p r o g r a m m e s c o n s i s t o f n a r r a t e d s l i d e s h o w s , i l l u s t r a t i n g m o s t o f t h e b a s i c s a f e t y p o i n t s , f o l l o w e d by a v i s i t t o a h e l i c o p t e r t o f a m i l i a r i s e t h e t r a i n e e s w i t h t h e s a f e t y p r o c e d u r e s p r e v i o u s l y s e e n o n t h e s l i d e s . T h e s t a n d a r d o f t h e s e t r a i n i n g p r o g r a m m e s v a r i e s . Some a r e w e l l t h o u g h t o u t w i t h c l e a r l e c t u r e s a n d e m p h a s i s o n t h e i m p o r t a n t p o i n t s . O t h e r s a r e p o o r , h a s t i l y p u t t o g e t h e r a n d r e l y on t h e t r a i n e e p i c k i n g up t h e p o i n t s o u t i n t h e f i e l d . A f u r t h e r c a u s e o f a c c i d e n t s i s t h e u s e o f p i c k - u p c r e w s , w h i c h a r e made up o f p e o p l e who a r e c o n s c r i p t e d f o r f i r e s u p p r e s s i o n w o r k . Members o f t h e s e c r e w s a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y v u l n e r a b l e t o a c c i d e n t s . Some may h a v e h a d p r e v i o u s e x p o s u r e t o h e l i c o p t e r s ; some may h a v e a t t e n d e d a t r a i n i n g c o u r s e many y e a r s ago b u t n e v e r h a d t h e c h a n c e t o p u t t h e k n o w l e d g e g a i n e d i n t o a c t i o n ; a n d some may n o t know t h e f i r s t t h i n g a b o u t h e l i c o p t e r s . W h a t e v e r t h e c a s e , t h e s u p e r v i s o r o r t h e p i l o t s h o u l d t a k e t h e t i m e t o b r i e f l y o u t l i n e t h e b a s i c s o f - 33 -helicopter safety. This should be done well before the crew has to board the helicopter, not as i t i s boarding. The supervisor should also make i t clear that the cost of a mistake i s high, both materially and i n terms of l i f e . Possibly one of the main factors leading to accidents around helicopters i s the great haste with which operations are often conducted when helicopters are being used. If the crew were driving out to the f i r e i n a pick-up truck, i t i s l i k e l y that they would load the truck up and drive off with care. The whole operation while probably carried out at a faster pace than normal, would not be done impulsively. However, a d i f f e r e n t s i t u a t i o n i s seen when a helicopter i s used. For some reason many people become excited at the sight of a helicopter. It may be the thought of a helicopter ride or i t may be that they are i n awe of helicopters. For whatever reason, t h i s excitement seems to make many people act i r r a t i o n a l l y . In some cases near panic was witnessed where crews were about to be picked up by the helicopter (especially on the f i r s t t r i p ) . L i sted below are some of the possible reasons for t h i s panic and haste. 1. Crew members know that helicopters are expensive; so they rush around try i n g to speed up the operation to avoid wasting helicopter time. - 34 -2. Crew members remember the lecture on safety and not wishing to expose themselves for longer than necessary to the hazards, they rush toward or away from the helicopter. S i m i l a r l y , the crew may actually be a l i t t l e frightened of the machine and i t s power, and th i s f r i g h t may outweigh common sense. 3. Some people simply forget ce r t a i n safety precautions. Accidents due to forgetfulness are hard to overcome e n t i r e l y . 4. A few people f i n d the experience of f l y i n g very exciting. This excitement may cause them to forget the safety procedures, or i t may cause them to act i r r a t i o n a l l y . 5. Some people may have been on standby for a long time and the thought of at l a s t getting out to the f i r e causes them to rush and forget basic safety precautions. Whatever the reason.for the rush and haste around helicopters, better t r a i n i n g programmes would go a long way to preventing some of the accidents. More emphasis should be placed on the outcome of mistakes. Many times the author saw the supervisory personnel rushing the crews to get them out to the f i r e . This - 35 -rush passes on to the crewmen, and may contribute to the general excitement around the helicopter. The l i f e of a crew member i s worth many times the damage caused by f i r e s , no matter what the circumstances. Both the crew members and the supervisory personnel should be aware of a l l the safety procedures. There should be no cut-off point for t h i s . It should not matter whether i t i s a fresh crew member or the regional manager. One and a l l should be briefed again and again on the safety points. S i m i l a r l y , the people d i r e c t i n g the operation from the base should make due allowance for the safety of the personnel working i n and around the helicopters. Haste and panic at the supervisory l e v e l w i l l i nevitably be passed on to the crew, and more often than not, i t i s the crewman who suffers. At a l l times p i l o t s and supervisory personnel should go out of t h e i r way to set a good example. One way to have better t r a i n i n g would be to make use of s l i d e s of actual accidents. People may remember far more ea s i l y a photo of a smashed hard hat and a ruined t a i l rotor than a photo of a t a i l rotor and being t o l d to stay away. This approach may sound callous, but i f i t saves l i v e s i t w i l l be worthwhile. This aspect of crew t r a i n i n g i s one of the major areas that the WCB could contribute to. A series of graphic s l i d e s , possibly a f i l m i n cartoon style of the consequences of mistakes, and a series of posters to put up - 3 6 -on f i r e s i t e s , would a l l h e l p t o educate p e o p l e w o r k i n g near h e l i c o p t e r s . U s i n g such methods p e o p l e w i l l be made aware o f t h e l e t h a l p o t e n t i a l o f t h e i r h a s t e and s h o r t c u t s . E x i t a t a Hover A i r r e g u l a t i o n No. 511 s t a t e s : "Except as o t h e r w i s e a u t h o r i s e d by t h e M i n i s t e r , no p e r s o n s h a l l e n t e r o r attempt t o e n t e r any a i r c r a f t i n f l i g h t o r l e a v e o r attempt t o l e a v e any a i r c r a f t i n f l i g h t e x c e p t f o r the purpose o f making a p a r a c h u t e d e s c e n t o r g i v e upon any a i r c r a f t i n f l i g h t any gymnastic o r o t h e r l i k e e x h i b i t i o n . " (18:5-11.) T e c h n i c a l l y i f t h e h e l i c o p t e r does not have b o t h s k i d s on t h e ground t h e n i t must be i n a hover o r f l i g h t . Hence, s t r i c t l y s p e a k i n g , e x i t s a t t h e hover o r from one s k i d l a n d i n g s a r e i l l e g a l . However, t h e advantage o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r i s i t s a b i l i t y t o g e t i n t o remote p l a c e s and enable p e o p l e t o g e t much c l o s e r t o t h e i r o b j e c t i v e f a s t e r t h a n would be p o s s i b l e by c o n v e n t i o n a l means (such as w a l k i n g i n ) . I n some c a s e s t h e h e l i c o p t e r w i l l not be a b l e t o l a n d n e x t t o t h e o b j e c t i v e , and t h e n e a r e s t a v a i l a b l e l a n d i n g s i t e may be s e v e r a l k i l o m e t r e s d i s t a n t . I n t h e s e c a s e s an oppor-t u n i t y may w e l l p r e s e n t i t s e l f f o r a hover e x i t o r a one s k i d e x i t , w hich i s a t a l o c a t i o n much c l o s e r t o t h e o b j e c t i v e . I t would be u n r e a l i s t i c t o suppose t h a t by r e g u l a t i n g a g a i n s t - 37 -this type of e x i t i t w i l l cease to occur. Out i n the f i e l d there are no inspectors to enforce t h i s regulation and i f the p i l o t and crew f e e l that they can make such a manoeuvre without endangering themselves or the helicopter, then i t i s unl i k e l y that they would choose the alte r n a t i v e of landing at a location further away and walking i n to t h e i r objective. It would be far more p r a c t i c a l to adopt an educational approach aimed at both the p i l o t s and the crew members. Such an approach would make i t quite clear that while t h i s type of e x i t i s not favoured, i t may have to be used i n some conditions. The proper procedure would then be outlined and the potential hazards c l e a r l y shown. - 38 -CHAPTER 4 . TRANSPORTATION OF EQUIPMENT S i n c e t h e h e l i c o p t e r i s s u c h a v e r s a t i l e m a c h i n e , i t i s commonly u s e d t o t r a n s p o r t c a r g o i n t o r e m o t e a r e a s . T h e c a r g o i s e i t h e r l o a d e d i n t o t h e h e l i c o p t e r i n s m a l l , e a s i l y h a n d l e d u n i t s , o r i t i s c a r r i e d a s a s l i n g l o a d s u s p e n d e d b e n e a t h i n h e l i c o p t e r . I n e i t h e r c a s e t h e r e i s a d e f i n i t e p r o c e d u r e w h i c h m u s t b e f o l l o w e d i f a c c i d e n t s a r e t o b e a v o i d e d . L o a d i n g C a r g o I n t o t h e H e l i c o p t e r U s u a l l y , t h e c r e w a n d c a r g o w i l l - be w a i t i n g a t t h e l a n d i n g s i t e f o r t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r . Once i t h a s l a n d e d , t h e p i l o t may s h u t down t h e m a c h i n e i n w h i c h c a s e l o a d i n g i s l e s s h a z a r d o u s s i n c e t h e d a n g e r o f t h e s p i n n i n g r o t o r s i s r e m o v e d . H o w e v e r , i t i s n o t u n u s u a l f o r t h e p i l o t t o t o u c h down a n d m a i n t a i n t h e h e l i c o p t e r e n g i n e a t f l i g h t i d l e w h i l e t h e m a c h i n e i s l o a d e d . I n e i t h e r c a s e , s a f e t y p r e c a u t i o n s s h o u l d s t a r t b e f o r e t h e h e l i c o p t e r a r r i v e s . 1 . P r i o r t o t h e a r r i v a l o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r , t h e c a r g o t o be l o a d e d s h o u l d be n e a t l y a n d s y s -t e m a t i c a l l y s t a c k e d by t h e s i d e o f t h e l a n d i n g z o n e . C a r e s h o u l d be t a k e n t o s e e t h a t l i g h t a r t i c l e s a r e s e c u r e d . ( Q 8 , 9 . ) - 39 -2. One person should be responsible for loading the machine and should decide p r i o r to loading exactly how much and which part of the cargo i s to be loaded ( i f more than one f l i g h t i s planned). Once the p i l o t has touched down, the loading supervisor should check with the p i l o t to confirm the destination of the cargo. He should also check to see i f any f l i g h t conditions p r e v a i l which might a l t e r the payload of the helicopter. ( % 11,12,13.) 3. The loading supervisor should know the exact weight of the cargo and should n o t i f y the p i l o t of t h i s figure. 4. Entry to and exit from the helicopter should follow the standard procedures outlined i n Chapter 3. 5. The cargo should be loaded so that the weight i s evenly d i s t r i b u t e d within the helicopter. Uneven loading a l t e r s the centre of gravity, causing f l i g h t problems for the p i l o t . S i m i l a r l y , the load should be securely located to prevent s h i f t i n g during the f l i g h t . 6. Bundle tools, poles, etc., so that they can be e a s i l y handled by one man. Sharp edges and points should be covered. - 40 -7 . A l l e q u i p m e n t c a r r i e d i n t h e c r e w q u a r t e r s s h o u l d b e t i e d down a n d k e p t c l e a r o f t h e f l i g h t c o n t r o l s . ( £ 2,6.) I f l o n g - h a n d l e d t o o l s a r e b e i n g l o a d e d i n t o t h e h e l i c o p t e r , t h e l o a d i n g p e r s o n m u s t remember t h a t c a r r y i n g s u c h o b j e c t s o n t h e s h o u l d e r i s s t r i c t l y f o r b i d d e n . C r o u c h i n g down t o a v o i d t h e m a i n r o t o r s , c a u s e s a n y o b j e c t o v e r t h e s h o u l d e r t o be t i p p e d u p , p o s s i b l y f o u l i n g t h e r o t o r s . T h e c o r r e c t . m e t h o d i s t o c a r r y t h e t o o l s h o r i z o n t a l l y a t w a i s t l e v e l . T h e u n l o a d i n g p r o c e d u r e i s t h e e x a c t o p p o s i t e o f l o a d i n g . I n some c a s e s t h e s a f e s t p r o c e d u r e i s t o u n l o a d t h e c a r g o n e x t t o t h e h e l i c o p t e r a n d p i l e i t s e c u r e l y . One p e r s o n w a i t s w i t h t h e c a r g o u n t i l t h e h e l i c o p t e r h a s l e f t t h e a r e a . T h e c a r g o i s t h e n moved e l s e w h e r e . T h i s p r o c e d u r e c u t s down o n t h e e x p o s u r e t i m e , b y r e d u c i n g t h e amount o f w a l k i n g t o a n d f r o m t h e h e l i c o p t e r . I t a l s o r e d u c e s t h e t e n d e n c y o f some p e o p l e t o s t a n d b y t h e h e l i c o p t e r a n d t h r o w o b j e c t s t o t h e edge o f t h e l a n d i n g z o n e . T h i s p r a c t i c e i s e x t r e m e l y d a n g e r o u s , b e a r i n g i n m i n d t h a t t h e r o t o r wash may c a u s e i t e m s o f c a r g o t o f l y up i n t o t h e r o t o r s . T h i s may o c c u r e v e n w i t h s u c h t h i n g s a s axe h a n d l e s , s h o v e l s and o t h e r h e a v y o b j e c t s . ( % 1,.8,, 9.) K n o w i n g t h e e x a c t w e i g h t o f t h e c a r g o i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t . By k n o w i n g w h a t t h e h e l i c o p t e r c a n s a f e l y t r a n s p o r t , t h e s u p e r v i s o r i s a b l e t o m a x i m i s e e a c h l o a d . T h i s c u t s down o n - 41 -the costs, since fewer t r i p s have to be made. It also prevents overloading the helicopter, thereby preventing accidents. The customer w i l l always want to maximise the load, but i t i s unwise to pack more and more equipment into the cargo p i l e and s t i l l accept i t as being the same weight. Sim i l a r l y , i t i s poor practice to estimate weights of cargo, hoping that the estimate w i l l be near enough. A l l too often the customer puts extra pressure on the p i l o t to take the load at i t s stated weight, even i f i t i s obviously more. The p i l o t i s placed i n an unenviable p o s i t i o n . If the p i l o t refuses, the d i s s a t i s f i e d customer may spread the word that this company i s not cooperative. A l t e r n a t i v e l y , the p i l o t agrees to take the load because he trusts the customer to be honest about the load's stated weight; because he i s going out of his way to please the customer; or because he feels that he can probably get away with the extra load by pushing the helicopter a b i t more. This l a t t e r case may lead to accidents. Often the p i l o t w i l l not have s u f f i c i e n t power to complete the necessary manouevres for safe f l i g h t , r e s u l t i n g i n a crashed helicopter. ( #11,12,13.) Many people f e e l that i t i s the p i l o t ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to ensure that the loads he takes are not too great, but under pressure from the customer some p i l o t s f i n d i t very hard to refuse. Once again, greater understanding by the customer - 42 -and crew of the problems that the p i l o t has i n f l y i n g the helicopter, and the reasons for not doing certain things, would go a long way to preventing overloading accidents. External Loads Some helicopters are equipped with racks or baskets on the outside of the fuselage i n which small objects can be stored. When loading these racks or baskets, care must be taken to ensure that a l l loose a r t i c l e s , such as tent guy l i n e s , ropes, hoses and lanyards, are t i e d down. The more common external load i s a s l i n g load, which allows transportation of large bulky loads. Sling loads are attached to the cargo hook beneath the helicopter, which i s remotely controlled by the p i l o t so that he can j e t t i s o n the load at any time. In many ways slinging i s considerably safer than unloading and loading the helicopter, since the exposure time for loading personnel i s l e s s . The helicopter can f l y into the s i t e and hover while the hook up of the load i s carried out. At the destination the load i s gently lowered to the ground i n a hover, and released. The following procedures are essential to the safe operation of s l i n g loading: - 43 -1. If using a cargo net, the heavier objects should be placed i n the centre of the net. When the corners of the net are drawn together and clipped into the loading r i n g , care should be taken to see that a l l loose objects are secure and w i l l not come loose i n f l i g h t . 2. Square or oblong shaped loads tend to rotate in f l i g h t . If possible they should be ca r r i e d i n a net, which w i l l reduce the tendency to spin. If the load has to be slung without a net, four points of attachment w i l l give greater s t a b i l i t y on large loads. The s t a b i l i t y of the load i n f l i g h t i s a function of the angle formed by the ropes suspending i t . If the angle between the ropes exceeds 90°, the load w i l l tend to f l y as i t gyrates and swings beneath the helicopter. ( # 1 7 . ) Figure 10 i l l u s t r a t e s the r i g h t and wrong way of attaching the ropes. Reference to Appendix 1, accident number seven, shows the d e t a i l s of an accident caused by such an unstable load. It was determined that the angle of the ropes on the angle iron exceeded 90°, causing the load to swing around and eventually h i t the t a i l rotor. If spinning cannot be avoided, a swivel - 44 -TO CARGO HOOK ^ . I D E A L S E T UP WHERE ' x A N G L E 6 IS L E S S T H A N 90" \ \ \ ± U N S T A B L E LOAD IF ANGLE 8 IS G R E A T E R T H A N 9 0 ° Figure 10. 3. The r i g h t and wrong way to attach ropes to a s l i n g load. should be used between the cargo hook and the lanyard r i n g . F a i l u r e to use a swivel may r e s u l t i n the lanyard breaking. Where possible, the hook-up man should have the option of wearing goggles to protect his eyes. If the hook-up man i s wearing a hard hat he should have the chin strap on. No hat at a l l i s safer than a loose one. - 45 -5. If a marshaller i s available, he can d i r e c t the p i l o t onto the load. If not, the hook-up man should consult with the p i l o t to agree on the methods to be employed i n the hook-up procedure. 6. Once the helicopter i s i n place, hovering over the s l i n g load, the hook-up man should f i r s t of a l l reach up and touch the cargo hook with the rin g on the end of the lanyard or s l i n g . This w i l l ground the helicopter d i s s i p a t i n g any s t a t i c e l e c t r i c i t y that may have b u i l t up i n f l i g h t . On no account should the hook-up man touch the helicopter before i t has been grounded; the force of s t a t i c e l e c t r i c i t y has been known to cause death. During the operation, the hook-up. man should not try to guide the helicopter onto the load. This may cause f l i g h t problems for the p i l o t , which he may not be able to correct i n time to avoid an accident. 7. The hook-up man, once he has grounded the helicopter, c l i p s the load ring into the cargo hook of the helicopter, checks i t , and then moves forward and to one side into the p i l o t ' s f i e l d of view. Since the p i l o t usually s i t s on the ri g h t hand side, i t i s recommended to move to the r i g h t . - 46 -8. The h e l i c o p t e r l i f t s o f f and takes up the s l a c k i n the l i n e , then slowly l i f t s the cargo o f f the ground, and f l i e s away. The h e l i c o p t e r should be ab l e to f l y i n t o the wind to ga i n l i f t (see S e c t i o n I) without having to f l y over men or equipment. 9. At the d e s t i n a t i o n a l l personnel should stay c l e a r o f the drop zone u n t i l the loa d has been se t down on the deck. I f a m a r s h a l l e r i s present, he should stand with h i s back to the wind and guide the h e l i c o p t e r i n t o the l a n d i n g area. To a l l o w a maximum payload and s a f e t y margin, the s l i n g load i s normally t r a n s p o r t e d without any passengers on board. Often the hook-up man w i l l be on h i s own, without the help of a m a r s h a l l e r . In many h e l i c o p t e r s there i s a m i r r o r s i t u a t e d o u t s i d e the c o c k p i t , j u s t below the pe d a l s . The p i l o t i s a ble t o watch the hook-up procedure v i a t h i s m i r r o r . I f a m a r s h a l l e r i s d i r e c t i n g the o p e r a t i o n , the p i l o t may make use of the m i r r o r and the m a r s h a l l e r . The m a r s h a l l e r should bear t h i s i n mind, and i n no circumstances should he make any s i g n a l s other than those r e c o g n i s e d i n the m a r s h a l l i n g code. The m a r s h a l l e r should m a i n t a i n the s i g n a l s throughout the o p e r a t i o n r e g a r d l e s s of whether the p i l o t i s watching him. The p i l o t has more than enough t o do watching the m a r s h a l l e r , the hook-up man and f l y i n g the h e l i c o p t e r . - 47 -As i n i n t e r n a l loading, i t i s v i t a l to t e l l the p i l o t the exact weight of the load. In s l i n g loads the clearance beneath the helicopter i s reduced; hence the helicopter has to f l y at a higher a l t i t u d e to clear the same obstacles as before. If the environmental constraints put the helicopter at i t s performance l i m i t , i t may be extremely hard for the p i l o t to.clear these obstacles. ( • 2,3,4,5,6.) Point 3 states that wherever possible the hook-up man should have the option of wearing goggles. This should not be made mandatory, however. F i r s t l y , mandatory use of goggles would mean that the men i n the f i e l d would have to carry a pair of goggles around, and t h i s would be just one more item of equipment to look a f t e r . Moreover, most of the goggles currently available do not stand up to the conditions encountered i n the f i e l d . They are e a s i l y scratched and often fog up. Only the better qu a l i t y goggles overcome these problems, but considering the high loss rate of small items in the f i e l d , the cost of d i s t r i b u t i o n i s u n r e a l i s t i c i n most cases. Despite t h i s , goggles are useful and i f individuals can be trusted to look after a pair and use them when needed, t h i s would probably help the hook up operation. In some circumstances the s l i n g load may be attached at the end of a - 48 -long lanyarcL. (30-61 m). Using t h i s method, the p i l o t can lower the cargo into a confined space without having to put the helicopter near the obstructions. Long-lining i s usually done with less than the maximum payload, since the helicopter has to take of f, r e l y i n g on i t s engine power, in a v e r t i c a l mode to take up the slack i n the l i n e . The technique creates a few problems for the p i l o t and a good deal of s k i l l i s needed to control the load underneath the helicopter. The load tends to act l i k e a pendulum,with the force r e s u l t i n g from the swinging load,, acting d i r e c t l y on the helicopter and creating f l i g h t s t a b i l i t y problems. \01ne_xperienced p i l o t s w i l l generally have problems i n keeping the load steady as i t i s lowered to the ground. In helicopter logging the problem i s the same, but here the p i l o t spends many hours gaining •intensive experience. Long-lining i s not common in routine helicopter operations, hence, some problems might be expected with p i l o t s inexperienced i n t h i s technique. However, operational experience i s the only s a t i s f a c t o r y way for p i l o t s to become p r o f i c i e n t . When the long l i n e i s hooked up with the helicopter on the ground, care must be taken to ensure that the lanyard passes under the skid. F a i l u r e to do t h i s w i l l mean that the load w i l l be acting over the skid once airborne and w i l l tend to r o l l the c r a f t , with p o t e n t i a l l y l e t h a l r e s u l t s . ( • : 2, 4. ) - 49 -On the ground great care should be taken to see that a l l nets, lanyards and ropes are handled c a r e f u l l y . ( # 10.) A l l are very l i g h t and e a s i l y sucked into the rotors. The material used for lanyards i s much discussed and various types are currently i n use. Hemp or sisal-based ropes should only be used when new and should be checked regularly. The danger i s that i f the rope breaks under load, i t w i l l snap back into the rotors, i n f l i g h t probably into the t a i l rotors, and i n a hover into the main rotors. The ideal rope would be one that has good shock resistance with a limited amount of stretch. A non-stretch rope w i l l transmit the shock load d i r e c t l y to the airframe. A rope with too much stretch w i l l be l i k e an e l a s t i c band and w i l l induce bounce i n the helicopter. If a lanyard has to be made up i n the f i e l d , i t should have a non-tightening loop at the end which attaches to the cargo hook. Generally i t i s better to use the slings and nets provided by the helicopter company. For a more detailed review of s l i n g loading, the reader i s referred to the American National Standard for Rotorcraft External Load Operations. (B30.12) i n which a detailed analysis i s given of the various s l i n g i n g methods and the equipment to be used. (1.) - 50 -CHAPTER 5. TRANSPORTATION OF EXPLOSIVES Transport Canada A i r Regulation 800 states:-1. "Explosives and other dangerous a r t i c l e s or substances s h a l l not be carried on board any a i r c r a f t except as authorised by the Minister. 2. No person s h a l l send or take upon any a i r c r a f t any explosives or other dangerous a r t i c l e s or substances without d i s t i n c t l y marking the i r nature on the outside of the containers thereof or otherwise giving notice thereof to the person in charge of the a i r c r a f t , or the person whose duty i t i s to receive such goods on board." (18:800) Clearly the v e r s a t i l i t y of the helicopter makes i t a good machine to use for transporting explosives to remote areas for s p e c i a l i s t operations. However, i n order to be able to l e g a l l y do t h i s the helicopter operator has to apply to Transport Canada for a waiver on regulation 800. This waiver can be obtained either on a short term basis or for several months i f an amendment i s written into the operations manual. - 51 -A t t h e t i m e o f w r i t i n g , T r a n s p o r t C a n a d a i s r e v i s i n g a n d u p d a t i n g t h e r u l e s and r e g u l a t i o n s f o r t r a n s p o r t o f d a n g e r o u s g o o d s . T h e D a n g e r o u s G o o d s A c t i s p r e s e n t l y b e f o r e P a r l i a m e n t . T h i s new a c t c o m p r i s e s s e p a r a t e s e t s o f r e g u l a t i o n s f o r l a n d , a i r a n d s e a . Much o f t h e new a c t w i l l b e b a s e d o n t h e r e g u l a t i o n s o f t h e I n t e r n a t i o n a l A i r T r a n s p o r t A s s o c i a t i o n . I n t h e f o r e s t r y c o n t e x t , t h e n e e d i s u s u a l l y t o t r a n s p o r t e i t h e r e x p l o s i v e s f o r b l a s t i n g i n r o a d c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d o t h e r l a r g e s c a l e p r o j e c t s , o r f o r t h e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n o f p r i m a c o r d f o r b l a s t i n g f i r e l i n e . I n e i t h e r c a s e , b o t h t h e e x p l o s i v e a n d d e t o n a t i n g m e c h a n i s m s (Caps ) a r e n e e d e d . I t . i s g e n e r a l l y t h o u g h t b y f o r e s t w o r k e r s t h a t i t i s p r o h i b i t e d t o t r a n s p o r t e x p l o s i v e s a n d c a p s t o g e t h e r , b u t t h i s i s n o t s o . A w e l l d e f i n e d s e t o f d r a w i n g s e x i s t f r o m w h i c h s m a l l t o t e b o x e s c a n b e made u p , t o a l l o w t h e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n o f s m a l l amounts o f e x p l o s i v e s a n d c a p s i n a i r c r a f t . T h e m a i n p o i n t t o remember i s t h a t t h e two s h o u l d n e v e r b e s t o r e d t o g e t h e r . T h e c a p s a r e k e p t i n one b o x a n d t h e e x p l o s i v e i n a n o t h e r . E l e c t r i c b l a s t i n g c a p s h a v e t o be p r o t e c t e d f r o m s t r a y e l e c t r i c c u r r e n t s , r a d i o f r e q u e n c y e n e r g y a n d o t h e r e l e c t r i c a l e n e r g y s o u r c e s . T h i s i s a c h i e v e d by t h e u s e o f a F a r a d a y C a g e , o r b y w r a p p i n g t h e b o x i n a l u m i n i u m f o i l . - 52 -I n f l i g h t , , t h e t o t e b o x e s s h o u l d a l w a y s be s e c u r e d . T h e c a r r i a g e o f i n f l a m m a b l e f l u i d s s u c h as g a s o l e n e o r s t o v e f u e l i s n o t p e r m i s s a b l e ' when e x p l o s i v e s a r e on b o a r d . S i m i l a r l y , o n l y t h e p e o p l e n e c e s s a r y t o t h e b l a s t i n g o p e r a t i o n s h o u l d be t r a n s p o r t e d w i t h t h e e x p l o s i v e s . I f a t a l l p o s s i b l e , t h e y s h o u l d f l y i n o n a s e p a r a t e t r i p . S e v e r a l t y p e s o f s t o r a g e f a c i l i t i e s a r e c u r r e n t l y a p p r o v e d b y T r a n s p o r t C a n a d a a n d t h e E x p l o s i v e s B r a n c h , D e p a r t m e n t o £ E n e r g y , M i n e s a n d R e s o u r c e s . A p p l i c a t i o n t o t h e s e a u t h o r i t i e s w i l l r e v e a l t h e p r o c e d u r e s n e c e s s a r y t o s e c u r e a p p r o v a l t o t r a n s p o r t e x p l o s i v e s . CHAPTER 6. LANDING SITES Helicopter landing s i t e s f a l l into three basic categories: h e l i p o r t s , helispots and helipads. Heliports are permanent landing s i t e s and are l a i d out i n accordance with predetermined c r i t e r i a . Most are close to c i v i l i s a t i o n and are e a s i l y accessible by road. They are commonly the loading s i t e s for crews and cargo being f e r r i e d out to the f i e l d . Helispots are clearings without road access i n which a helicopter can safely land. In some cases, the ground w i l l be unable to support the weight of a helicopter, and a supporting structure, termed a helipad, w i l l have to be b u i l t to prevent the skids from sinking into the ground. The design and layout d e t a i l s of helicopter landing s i t e s are straightforward and i n many ways mundane. Yet, many accidents are caused by lack of attention to these d e t a i l s . ( # 23.) The information presented i n t h i s chapter outlines the fundamental c r i t e r i a needed to provide a safe and functional landing s i t e . As with a l l other helicopter operations, understanding why certa i n c r i t e r i a have to be met should help i n preventing future accidents. - 54 -1. Heliports Transport Canada publishes a small manual e n t i t l e d "Heliport Design C r i t e r i a " . A b r i e f discussion w i l l be included here, but for greater d e t a i l the reader i s referred to t h i s publication. ("19.) A helicopter needs to have s u f f i c i e n t clearance at a landing s i t e to f l y forward and gain t r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t , p r i o r to gaining a l t i t u d e (Section I ) . When a design plan i s drawn up for a h e l i p o r t , consideration must be given to how much t r a f f i c the s i t e w i l l receive, which helicopter types w i l l be used, and the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the a i r i n the proposed location. The l a t t e r i s important i n allowing for a i r turbulence due to surrounding buildings and other structures. Having selected the location, the landing s i t e i s usually b u i l t out of a concrete pad, although a well l a i d out wooden deck structure i s as good, but may be slippery when wet. The minimum width should be at least twice the rotor diameter of the largest helicopter l i k e l y to be using the he l i p o r t . Ideally the minimum length i s 122 m but t h i s may be reduced i f the approaches are free from turbulence and obstructions. Most helicopters can land i n a cross wind i f i t i s not too strong, but they need to take off into the wind. - 55 -H e n c e i t i s g o o d p r a c t i c e t o h a v e two a p p r o a c h p a t h s a t 18 0° t o e a c h o t h e r so t h a t t h e p i l o t h a s a n o p t i o n i f t h e w i n d d i r e c t i o n i s v a r i a b l e . A w i n d i n d i c a t o r i s m a n d a t o r y a t h e l i p o r t s a n d s h o u l d be c l e a r l y p o s i t i o n e d so t h a t t h e p i l o t c a n e a s i l y see i t . T h e a c t u a l l a n d i n g s i t e i s u s u a l l y m a r k e d o u t a s shown i n F i g u r e 11. 2. L a n d i n g S i t e s i n t h e F i e l d T h e i d e a l l a n d i n g s i t e o u t i n t h e f i e l d ( F i g u r e 12) i s a n e x p o s e d k n o l l . By c l e a r i n g t h e s u r r o u n d i n g a r e a , 360° a c c e s s i s a v a i l a b l e . R i d g e s p r o v i d e a r e a s o n a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e , b u t c a r e mus t b e t a k e n t o n o t e t h e w i n d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r o u n d such , s i t e s . L a n d i n g s i t e s s h o u l d h a v e a min imum c l e a r a n c e o f t w i c e t h e r o t o r d i a m e t e r o r a t l e a s t 18 m. T h i s w i l l a l l o w o n l y 3 m c l e a r a n c e o n e a c h s i d e f o r s u c h as a J e t R a n g e r . L a r g e r h e l i c o p t e r s demand a t l e a s t 30 m c l e a r a n c e t o o p e r a t e s a f e l y . I f t h e w i n d d i r e c t i o n i s c o n s t a n t , t h e e n t r y a n d e x i t p a t h s c a n be e x t e n d e d t o f a c i l i t a t e l a n d i n g a n d t a k e - o f f . O t h e r w i s e two a p p r o a c h p a t h s s h o u l d be p r o v i d e d a t 18 0° t o e a c h o t h e r , o r a l t e r n a t i v e l y , g r e a t e r c l e a r a n c e a l l a r o u n d s h o u l d be c r e a t e d . - 56 -TRUE NORTH H E L I P O R T DAY M A R K E R (All dimensions are in metres.) Figure 11. The layout and marking of a Heliport. (19-.) - 57 -P R O F I L E i S A F E ; : I C L E A R A N C E Z O N E D I A M E T E R ' \ 6 M 3 0 M S C A L E l : 1016 Figure 12. The i d e a l layout of a landing s i t e i n the f i e l d . The actual landing zone i s b u i l t i n the middle of the clearing. If the ground i s firm enough to support the weight of a loaded helicopter, no supporting structure (helipad) i s needed. Loose materials and vegetation are cleared to form - 58 -a n 18 m c l e a r a r e a a r o u n d t h e l a n d i n g z o n e . T h e l a n d i n g z o n e s h o u l d be a t l e a s t 4 m b y 4 m, l e v e l a n d f r e e f r o m a n y o b s t r u c t i o n s . T h e s i t e s h o u l d b e o r g a n i s e d so t h a t p e o p l e c o m i n g i n t o and o u t o f t h e s i t e know e x a c t l y w h e r e t o g o , a n d w h e r e t o s t o r e e q u i p m e n t . W i n d i n d i c a t o r s s h o u l d b e p r e s e n t . T h e s e c a n e a s i l y be made b y l a s h i n g a l e n g t h o f b r i g h t l y c o l o u r e d f l a g g i n g t a p e o n t o a s t i c k , and f i r m l y p l a n t i n g t h i s i n t h e g r o u n d some d i s t a n c e b e y o n d t h e l a n d i n g z o n e . T h i s w i n d i n d i c a t o r a l s o p r o v i d e s t h e p i l o t w i t h a v i s u a l r e f e r e n c e by w h i c h he c a n j u d g e h i s h e i g h t a b o v e g r o u n d . I n many c a s e s t h e s u r f a c e o f t h e g r o u n d w i l l o n l y b e m a r g i n a l l y c a p a b l e o f s u p p o r t i n g t h e h e l i c o p t e r , o r t h e g r o u n d may be u n e v e n . I n t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s a s u p p o r t i n g s t r u c t u r e , r e f e r r e d t o as a ' h e l i p a d 1 , h a s t o b e b u i l t . T h e e x a c t n a t u r e o f h e l i p a d c o n s t r u c t i o n w i l l v a r y f r o m p l a c e t o p l a c e d e p e n d i n g o n what m a t e r i a l s a r e a v a i l a b l e a t t h e s i t e . H o w e v e r , t h e b a s i c m e t h o d o f c o n s t r u c t i o n i s s i m i l a r i n m o s t c a s e s . T h e f o u r b a s i c s t o c o n s i d e r a r e : 1. t h e h e l i p a d mus t b e s t a b l e . 2 . t h e h e l i p a d m u s t be l e v e l . 3 . t h e h e l i p a d mus t be s t r o n g e n o u g h t o s u p p o r t t h e w e i g h t o f a l o a d e d h e l i c o p t e r . 4 . t h e h e l i p a d m u s t b e f r e e f r o m s n a g s a n d o b s t r u c t i o n s . - 59 -Usually logs from the cleared trees are used to form the i n i t i a l structure. Two 3.6-m poles of similar s i z e are l a i d down p a r a l l e l to the pre v a i l i n g wind and about 3 m apart. More poles are then l a i d across these two side poles to form a s o l i d pad. The cross poles should be either notched into the side poles or secured by spiking or lashing to prevent movement. Ideally, there should be six cross poles forming the deck. In many cases there- w i l l not be enough materials or time to construct such an elaborate pad. The minimum requirements are two side poles and two cross poles. If only two cross poles are used, care should be taken to ensure that they are no more than 1.8 m apart, since on a Jet Ranger the standard skid i s only approximately 2.4 m long. Larger helicopters w i l l need larger and sturdier pads. Figure 13 shows one way of constructing a helipad. Plate 3 shows an example of a rudimentary pad, b u i l t on a steep slope out i n the f i e l d . Note the cleared trees i n the back. The logs are notched into each other to prevent r o l l i n g and the two cross members are co r r e c t l y spaced. The o r i g i n a l construction of t h i s pad had the cross members too far apart and the helicopter could not land on the pad. The front cross member was then moved back. Note that the pad shown in Plate 3 i s f a i r l y l e v e l , s o l i d , and b u i l t so that the t a i l rotor i s downslope and clear from any obstructions. Since - 6 0 -LOG NOTCHED TO P R E V E N T ROLLING 3 M 3.6 M Figure 13. The layout of a helipad. 1 Plate 3. A rudimentary helipad. - 61 -t h i s ridge was only about 9 m across, access was no problem, and e x i t was s i m p l i f i e d since the p i l o t could u t i l i s e the sharp drop off at the sides to gain t r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t . The problems involved i n helipad or helispot construction originate i n lack of attention to d e t a i l . Reference to the accidents in Appendix 1 shows that i t i s not uncommon for helipads to collapse either p a r t i a l l y or t o t a l l y , or for the pad to be b u i l t with a slope on i t , causing the helicopter to s l i d e o f f the pad. ( # 18,19, 2 0,21,22.) Loose materials, and people walking into the rotors due to the r e s t r i c t e d space around the landing s i t e , are always problems. ( £ 8,9,14.) Once again the main problem seems to be that the people building the landing s i t e s do not receive s u f f i c i e n t t r a i n i n g . More v i s u a l forms of t r a i n i n g , such as posters and handouts, would perhaps better educate the crews. As stated e a r l i e r , most of these problems stem from ignorance, forgetfulness or excessive haste to get the job done. The end r e s u l t may be an accident that could have been avoided. 3. Bush Camps Temporary or seasonal camps, located i n remote areas, and accessible only by helicopter, need a good helispot or - 62 -helipad. Ideally the landing s i t e should be at least 100 m from the camp and i f at a l l possible, i n a sheltered spot. Having the s i t e away from the camp means that minimum disturbance occurs when the helicopter lands or takes o f f . The landing s i t e must be kept free of a l l loose materials ( # 9.) and casual spectators, watching the helicopters, should be discouraged. The l a t t e r i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important with people who are not trained i n helicopter safety (for example, pick up crews). If a f u e l dump i s needed at the camp, i t should be located on the far side of the landing s i t e and provisions should be made to ensure that a l l possible precautions are taken during i t s use. 4. Locating Landing Sites From the A i r Often, either the p i l o t or the passenger w i l l be selecting a landing s i t e from the a i r . The points l i s t e d below should be considered. 1. Ultimately the p i l o t makes the f i n a l decision even though the passenger may be paying the b i l l . If the p i l o t i s d i s s a t i s f i e d with the s i t e , the passenger should accept his judgement. Simi l a r l y , i f the passenger thinks that the p i l o t i s r i s k i n g too much, then he should be open and honest with the p i l o t and suggest an a l t e r n a t i v e . No si t u a t i o n i s worth r i s k i n g the l i v e s of two people and a helicopter. Be aware of the size of the machine, ( f 12.) i t s need for t r a n s l a t i o n a l f l i g h t on take o f f , and i t s performance c a p a b i l i t i e s at maximum gross weights and a l t i t u d e . Look out for wind funnels that may cause s t a b i l i t y problems for the p i l o t . Be careful i n the choice of ground landed on. Avoid soft ground and vegetated areas. It i s not unknown for the rotor wash of a landing helicopter to f l a t t e n down the vegetation during landing,, only to have i t spring back up and s t r i k e the main or t a i l rotors when they were no longer displacing a i r . Also, the chances of a skid catching on the vegetation or some other snag should be allowed for. ( % 16,17,19:) Once a landing s i t e has been selected and t r i e d out, i t should be maintained i n l i n e with any other helispot even i f the use i s only infrequent. CHAPTER 7 . R E F U E L L I N G R e f u e l l i n g A v i a t i o n f u e l h a s a low f l a s h p o i n t a n d i s t h e r e f o r e r e a d i l y i g n i t e d . I n m o s t s i t u a t i o n s t h e p i l o t w i l l a s s u m e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r r e f u e l l i n g t h e h e l i c o p t e r , b u t c a s e s may a r i s e when b y s t a n d e r s a r e a s k e d t o h e l p . A n u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e p r e c a u t i o n s n e e d e d w i l l h e l p t o p r e v e n t n e e d l e s s - a c c i d e n t s . ( £ 27 , '28 . ) F u e l drums s h o u l d be s t o r e d o n t h e i r s i d e o r t i l t e d , w i t h t h e b u n g o n t h e u p p e r s i d e , t o p r e v e n t r a i n w a t e r f r o m e n t e r i n g t h e d r u m . When t h e f u e l i s n e e d e d , t h e d r u m i s t i p p e d ( i f n o t a l r e a d y done) so t h a t t h e b u n g i s on t h e u p p e r s i d e . T h i s a l l o w s a n y w a t e r o r s e d i m e n t i n t h e d r u m t o s e t t l e t o t h e l o w e r s i d e . A f i l t e r i s a l w a y s u s e d , a n d t h e f u e l s h o u l d b e s a m p l e d p r i o r t o p u m p i n g i n t o t h e h e l i c o p t e r t o c h e c k f o r a n y i m p u r i t i e s t h a t may h a v e e s c a p e d d e t e c t i o n . T h e f u e l l i n g p r o c e s s i s a s f o l l o w s : -1 . t h e h e l i c o p t e r i s g r o u n d e d ; 2 . t h e pump n o z z l e i s g r o u n d e d ; 3 . t h e f u e l c a p i s r e m o v e d a n d t h e f u e l pumped i n ; 4. t h e f u e l c a p i s r e p l a c e d ; 5. t h e pump g r o u n d i n g i s d i s c o n n e c t e d ; 6. t h e h e l i c o p t e r g r o u n d i n g i s d i s c o n n e c t e d . - 65 -In several instances, p i l o t s were observed r e f u e l l i n g the helicopter while the engine was s t i l l running. This practice, which i s i l l e g a l (24:26,32 & 46,58) i s termed "hot" r e f u e l l i n g . It i s an extremely dangerous practice and at least one helicopter company i n the Province enforces instant p i l o t dismissal i f any v i o l a t i o n s are" reported. Although i n the short run a few minutes are l o s t i n shutting down the helicopter, safety i s greatly increased, and s t r i c t adherance to the recommended procedures pays off in the long run. - 66 -CHAPTER 8. THE LAYOUT OF RETARDANT P I T S I n f i r e s u p p r e s s i o n o p e r a t i o n s , two t y p e s o f r e t a r d a n t a r e commonly u s e d ; l o n g t e r m r e t a r d a n t , a n d s h o r t t e r m r e t a r d a n t . S h o r t t e r m r e t a r d a n t s r e l y o n t h e i r w a t e r h o l d i n g a n d c o o l i n g a c t i o n t o c h e c k t h e f i r e , w h i l e l o n g t e r m r e t a r d a n t s c o n t a i n a d d i t i v e s w h i c h c h e m i c a l l y a l t e r c o m b u s t i o n , i n h i b i t i n g i t s s p r e a d . T h e f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n c o n c e r n s t h e l a y o u t o f l o n g t e r m r e t a r d a n t p i t s , a l t h o u g h some f a c t o r s may b e a p p l i c a b l e t o o p e r a t i o n s u s i n g s h o r t t e r m r e t a r d a n t . R e t a r d a n t p i t s c o n s i s t o f two b a s i c t y p e s , e i t h e r a g r o u n d d i p p i n g p i t , w h i c h i s e s s e n t i a l l y a h o l e i n t h e g r o u n d l i n e d w i t h h e a v y - g a u g e p l a s t i c , o r a p o r t a b l e , c a n v a s d i p p i n g t a n k . I n e i t h e r c a s e t h e r e t a r d a n t i s m i x e d away f r o m t h e d i p p i n g t a n k o r p i t a n d i s pumped i n a s n e e d e d . T h e r e a r e s e v e r a l f a c t o r s t o c o n s i d e r i n t h e l a y o u t o f r e t a r d a n t p i t s , some o f w h i c h a r e l i s t e d b e l o w : 1. T h e p i t s n e e d t o b e c l o s e t o a w a t e r s u p p l y . 2. T h e p i t s m u s t b e a c c e s s i b l e b y r o a d . 3 . T h e p i t s m u s t be away f r o m o t h e r p e o p l e , m a c h i n e r y , m o b i l e r a d i o b a s e s , o r o t h e r s t o r a g e a r e a s . 4. T h e g r o u n d p i t o r t h e d i p p i n g t a n k s h o u l d be l a r g e e n o u g h a n d d e e p e n o u g h t o t a k e t h e l a r g e s t b u c k e t i n u s e . - 67 -5 . T h e r e s h o u l d be e n o u g h c l e a r a n c e a r o u n d t h e d i p p i n g p i t .to a l l o w t h e h e l i c o p t e r t o l a n d i f n e c e s s a r y . 6. T h e r e s h o u l d b e no o b s t a c l e s i n t h e e x i t p a t h o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r so t h a t i t c a n g a i n t r a n s l a t i o n a l f l i g h t p r i o r t o g a i n i n g h e i g h t . 7 . T h e a r e a s u r r o u n d i n g b o t h d i p p i n g p i t s a n d m i x i n g p i t s s h o u l d be f r e e o f l o o s e m a t e r i a l s . 8 . T h e a r e a s u r r o u n d i n g d i p p i n g a n d m i x i n g p i t s s h o u l d be w a t e r e d p e r i o d i c a l l y t o k e e p d u s t t o a m i n i m u m . D u r i n g ^the f i e l d o b s e r v a t i o n s , t h e a u t h o r n o t e d b o t h g o o d a n d b a d l a y o u t s . F i g u r e s 14 a n d 15 i l l u s t r a t e two e x a m p l e s . I n t h e f i r s t ( F i g u r e 14) a l a r g e g r o u n d p i t was u s e d f o r d i p p i n g . T h i s was a b o u t 6 m i n d i a m e t e r a n d was r e p o r t e d t o b e 2 m d e e p . T h e p i t was c a r e f u l l y l i n e d w i t h p l a s t i c , a n d was f e d b y a d e l i v e r y h o s e f r o m t h e m i x i n g t a n k . A d i r t r o a d s e p a r a t e d t h e d i p p i n g p i t f r o m t h e m i x i n g t a n k , w h i c h was a b o u t 8 m down t h e r o a d . A f l a t - b e d c a r r y i n g t h e r e t a r d a n t was p l a c e d a t t h e s i d e o f t h e r o a d b e t w e e n t h e d i p p i n g a n d m i x i n g a r e a s , t h u s e f f e c t i v e l y i s o l a t i n g t h e m i x i n g t a n k a n d i t s c r e w f r o m t h e e f f e c t s o f t h e r o t o r w a s h . The d e l i v e r y h o s e s c r o s s i n g t h e r o a d w e r e b e t w e e n l o g s , so t h a t w h e e l e d t r a f f i c c o u l d u s e t h e r o a d when h e l i c o p t e r s w e r e - 68 -Figure 14. Good layout of retardant area. - 69 -n o t d i p p i n g b u c k e t s . P e r i o d i c a l l y t h e d i r t r o a d was h o s e d down t o p r e v e n t d u s t p r o b l e m s . A l l t h e h e l i c o p t e r s h a d t o f l y i n t o t h e p i t i n a c l o c k w i s e d i r e c t i o n , a n d t h e b i g g e r h e l i c o p t e r , a B e l l 2 0 5 , h a d p r i o r i t y o v e r s m a l l e r h e l i c o p t e r s s u c h as B e l l 2 0 6 " s . T h e o n l y p r o b l e m s e e n was t h a t t h e B e l l 206 o f t e n h a d d i f f i c u l t y g a i n i n g h e i g h t o n c e o u t o f t h e p i t ; t o g a i n s u f f i c i e n t t r a n s l a t i o n a l l i f t , i t h a d t o f l y down t h e r o a d f i r s t . F i g u r e 15 shows a d i f f e r e n t l a y o u t . O r i g i n a l l y , a g r o u n d p i t h a d b e e n c o n s t r u c t e d , b u t s i n c e i t l e a k e d c o n t i n u a l l y , i t h a d b e e n a b a n d o n e d i n f a v o u r o f a s m a l l e r c a n v a s d i p p i n g t a n k . T h e p r o b l e m s h e r e w e r e many . F i r s t l y , t h e m i x i n g t a n k a n d t h e d i p p i n g t a n k w e r e t o o c l o s e t o g e t h e r , so t h a t e v e r y t i m e t h e h e l i c o p t e r came i n a n d h o v e r e d o v e r t h e d i p p i n g t a n k , t h e r o t o r wash h i t n o t o n l y t h e d i p p i n g c r e w b u t a l s o t h e m i x i n g c r e w . T h e r o t o r wash was s e e n t o b l o w t h e p o w d e r e d r e t a r d a n t a r o u n d , t e m p o r a r i l y b l i n d i n g b o t h c r e w s . N e i t h e r c r e w was w e a r i n g g o g g l e s o f a n y s o r t . When q u e s t i o n e d o n t h i s , t h e c r e w m e n s ' r e p l y i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e r o t o r w a s h c o n s i s t e n t l y b l e w up a f i n e s p r a y o f r e t a r d a n t w h i c h i n s t a n t l y f o g g e d up t h e g o g g l e s , m a k i n g i t i m p o s s i b l e t o a v o i d t h e s w i n g i n g b u c k e t when i t was l o w e r e d o r r a i s e d f r o m t h e t a n k . I n a l l c a s e s , t h e e y e s o f t h e w o r k e r s a p p e a r e d t o b e i n f l a m e d . S e c o n d l y , t h e d i p p i n g t a n k was b o t h t o o s m a l l a n d t o o s h a l l o w . N o r m a l l y , t h e h e l i c o p t e r f l y s i n t o t h e a r e a , - 70 -W A T E R S U P P L Y /APPROACH Helicopter f l i g h t path. ROAD E X I T D I S U S E D DIPPING PIT D E L I V E R Y HOSE ' MIXING TANK R E T A R D A N T S U P P L Y Figure 15. Poor layout of retardant area. - 71 -h o v e r s o v e r t h e p i t o r t a n k , a n d g e n t l y s e t t l e s down u n t i l t h e b u c k e t i s t o u c h i n g t h e s u r f a c e o f t h e r e t a r d a n t . L o w e r i n g a l i t t l e m o r e , t h e b u c k e t t i p s o v e r , a n d r a p i d l y f i l l s u p . I n t h i s c a s e , h o w e v e r , t h e p i t was s o s m a l l t h a t t h r e e men w e r e n e e d e d t o g u i d e t h e b u c k e t i n t o t h e t a n k , a n d o n c e i n t h e t a n k , t h e b u c k e t h a d t o b e f o r c i b l y t i p p e d o v e r a n d f i l l e d . T h e s e t h r e e men w e r e c o n t i n u a l l y s u b j e c t e d t o t h e f o r c e o f t h e r o t o r wash a n d a l s o w e r e c o v e r e d i n r e t a r d a n t . A b e t t e r p r o c e d u r e w o u l d h a v e b e e n t o r e p a i r t h e d i p p i n g p i t . H o w e v e r , i f t h i s was n o t p o s s i b l e , i t w o u l d h a v e b e e n b e t t e r t o h a v e t h e p i l o t s e t t h e b u c k e t down on t h e g r o u n d , a n d l e t one man f i l l i t up f r o m a h i g h p r e s s u r e h o s e . T h e t i m e t o c o m p l e t e t h i s w o u l d h a v e b e e n no l o n g e r t h a n t h a t s p e n t w r e s t l i n g w i t h t h e b u c k e t i n t h e t a n k . A l t h o u g h e v e r y s i t u a t i o n w i l l v a r y , t h e l a y o u t o f r e t a r d a n t p i t s c l e a r l y n e e d s more c o n s i d e r a t i o n t h a n has b e e n s e e n i n t h e p a s t . W i t h a l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n t o t h e n e e d s o f e v e r y o n e c o n c e r n e d i n t h e o p e r a t i o n , t h e r e i s no r e a s o n why t h e r e t a r d a n t a r e a s h o u l d be a n y m o r e h a z a r d o u s t o w o r k i n t h a n o t h e r a r e a s on t h e g r o u n d . CHAPTER 9. ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSES Generally, the stresses involved i n helicopter operations are not widely appreciated by p i l o t s or ground crew, although much work has been carried out i n t h i s area in m i l i t a r y c i r c l e s . In t h i s chapter some of the environmental stresses w i l l be discussed. 1. Noise Very few people working i n and around helicopters wear ear protection. This contrasts sharply with many airports where the ground personnel working i n close proximity to aeroplanes wear ear protection most of the time. Possibly, people working around helicopters do not appreciate the magnitude of helicopter noise, or there may be some nuisance factor involved i n carrying around a set of ear protectors a l l the time. For whatever reason, i t should be c l e a r l y stated that the noise l e v e l s found in most helicopters are beyond the •maximum^acceptable levels of 90 dBA (24.). Prolonged exposure to t h i s noise could- r e s u l t i n impaired hearing. The San Dimas Equipment Development Centre found i n a preliminary survey (5.) of helicopter noise levels i n a B e l l 205, that the noise levels were: - 73 -Noise Level Location dBA 15 m either side of the rotor mast 102 15 m i n front of the rotor mast 89 15 m behind the rotor mast 98 inside the helicopter 93 Further measurements showed that there was also low frequency sound present i n and around the helicopter, with readings ranging from 103-116 dBC. Although the low frequency sound was not considered to be harmful, i t e f f e c t i v e l y masked speech i n the helicopter. The Centre concluded that the sound f i e l d s inside the helicopter during routine operations were loud enough to cause hearing damage i f exposure was prolonged, but over short exposure times the damage would be marginal. However, outside the helicopter the noise l e v e l s at distances of 15 m from the rotor mast, indicated that i r r e v e r s i b l e hearing damage was l i k e l y i n some people after a two hour exposure. Exposure of eight to ten hours per day would cause permanent hearing damage. The Centre also concluded that the sound f i e l d s at distances of 61 m from the rotor mast, exceeded the long-term exposure l e v e l , during landing, hover, and take-off. Short exposures were not considered to be harmful, but exposures i n excess of four hours per day would exceed the safe l i m i t s . Therefore, the Centre recommended - 74 -that personnel involved i n helicopter operations for any length of time be issued with suitable hearing protection. Skjenna (17:34)reported that sound levels i n the 140 decibels region could cause nausea, vertigo, nystagmus, "^  incoordination and unconsciousness. Lesser sound lev e l s may r e s u l t in reduced consciousness, drowsiness, reduction in attention span, i r r i t a b i l i t y and fatigue. This analysis shows quite c l e a r l y the danger involved in continuous helicopter use without adequate hearing protection. More often than not, c i v i l i a n p i l o t s do not wear crash helmets, although i t i s mandatory i n m i l i t a r y p i l o t s . The Centre did several tests on the e f f i c i e n c y of the p i l o t ' s helmet i n reducing the noise l e v e l s , and found that the attenuation was only 9 dBA - less than a cheap pair of ear plugs. Thus, i t i s not only important to wear hearing protection, but also to wear the r i g h t protection. Clearly the effects of noise should not be ignored, and an educational approach should be adopted to ensure that helicopter personnel do not suffer loss of hearing. 2. F l i c k e r F l i c k e r i s the phenomenon produced when a l i g h t source i s interrupted by the revolving blades of the helicopter. 1 Nystagmus •. A spasmodic, l a t e r a l o s c i l l a t o r y movement of the eyes. (9:;9 05) - 75 -Exposure to t h i s phenomenon normally r e s u l t s i n only mild discomfort and fatigue. However, some people react v i o l e n t l y with convulsions and unconsciousness (17:35). The c r i t i c a l l e v e l of f l i c k e r varies between two to t h i r t y f l i c k e r s per second (f.p.s.). Skjenna suggested that six to eight f.p.s. resulted i n reduced depth perception, nine to f i f t e e n f.p.s. produced subjective e f f e c t s , and twenty-five f.p.s. reduced concentration and might cause fatigue. Overall i t i s clear that f l i c k e r , while not a major problem, can contribute to p i l o t and passenger discomfort, ultimately detracting from the l e v e l of concentration. 3. Vibration The vibrations found i n helicopters are varied; the main vi b r a t i o n sources being the engine drive t r a i n and the rotor assemblies. The effects of v i b r a t i o n are also varied and range from discomfort and fatigue at twenty cycles per second to motion sickness at frequencies below one cycle per second. Vi s u a l acuity i s adversely affected at about four cycles per second, and loss of binocular v i s i o n occurs at around eight cycles per second (17:37). Vibration has also been found to r e s u l t i n fatigue, decreased performance and back pains. - 76 -Skjenna (17 ::3 8) pointed out that the use of vib r a t i o n reducing padding i n helicopter seats i s v i t a l to p i l o t comfort, and also suggested that the seats be better designed so that they could be adjusted to s u i t the needs of the in d i v i d u a l p i l o t . 4. Other Factors Since the v e n t i l a t i o n system i n the helicopter i s essential to maintaining clear, unimpaired v i s i o n , i t i s frequently used. By t h e i r design however, helicopters are prone to drawing i n t h e i r own exhaust fumes, esp e c i a l l y i n the hover mode. Modern helicopters have allowed for t h i s problem by relocating the a i r intakes, but even then, cockpit contamination w i l l s t i l l occur i n certain conditions. In addition to cockpit contamination, i t has been found that i n some helicopters the v e n t i l a t i o n systems are only just s u f f i c i e n t to maintain a comfortable working temperature. In a hover, the v e n t i l a t i o n rates have been shown to be inadequate, leading to temporary discomfort for the occupants. F i n a l l y , the effects of the downwash should not be ignored. It has already been mentioned i n Section I that the downwash i s s u f f i c i e n t to cause large heavy objects to be blown about. When a helicopter i s hovering, i n ground e f f e c t , - 77 -the magnitude of the resultant wind at ground l e v e l i s inversely proportional to the height above ground of the thrust generator (17:41)-. Generally, the maximum winds are estimated to occur between 13 and 51 cm above the ground. The ef f e c t s of working in the downwash have been studied. Results showed that energy expenditures of greater than 12.5 k i l o - c a l o r i e s per minute were not uncommon when working i n a wind of 9 3 km/h (17:42). This expenditure i s equivalent to 'unduly heavy work'. Also, the e f f e c t s of the downwash may cause severe c h i l l i n g i n cert a i n conditions, greatly increasing the chances of hypothermia i f exposure i s prolonged. A more usual e f f e c t of downwash i s that of dust disturbance, which commonly causes eye i r r i t a t i o n . This problem i s not i n s i g n i f i c a n t ; f l y i n g dust and stones present a common hazard which everyone working near helicopters should be aware of. - 78 -CHAPTER 10. EMOTIONAL STRESSES In Chapter 9, some of the environmental stresses inherent i n helicopter operations were discussed. In addition to these stresses, there are also emotional stresses involved i n certa i n types of work and the conditions that they represent. In routine helicopter operations the p i l o t i s usually not under too much pressure, although a high l e v e l of concentration i s always needed. However, on f i r e suppression operations there i s much more pressure on the p i l o t (this also applies to emergency s i t u a t i o n s ) . This pressure i s caused by the knowledge that i f the f i r e i s not brought under control as soon as possible, i t w i l l only grow larger and i n the long run may cause many more problems. During his f i e l d observations, the author talked to many p i l o t s working on forest f i r e s . I t i s clear from these discussions that the p i l o t s should be given more consideration. The following discussion looks at some of the pressures involved in f l y i n g a helicopter i n forest f i r e suppression operations. F i r s t l y , the helicopter i s working i n and around the f i r e , and the a i r i s naturally very hot. This heat causes the cockpit to be warmer than usual, and also creates un-predictable a i r turbulence, which means that the p i l o t has to be more v i g i l a n t than usual. Secondly, the f i r e area i s often - 79 -covered i n pungent smoke, which causes varying degrees of discomfort and, i n places, greatly reduces the v i s i b i l i t y . Thirdly, the p i l o t i s working under pressure to get the job done rapidly and e f f e c t i v e l y , and also to maintain accuracy when dropping water or retardant from a bucket. Yet, l i t t l e allowance i s made for fatigue and other environmental factors. ( # 2 4,25.) Considering the above factors, i t i s clear, that with the l e v e l s of pressure commonly seen on f i r e operations, the degree of concentration needed i s continually high. In several cases, the author observed f r i c t i o n between the p i l o t s and the f i r e boss on the ground. Often t h i s was due to the f i r e boss having l i t t l e or no knowledge of the operational requirements of helicopters. For example, one f i r e boss complained that the p i l o t f l y i n g one of the helicopters on that day had refused to drop a bucket of retardant on a h i l l s i d e ; on a previous day, a d i f f e r e n t p i l o t had done th i s without any problems. Talking to the p i l o t about t h i s , the author was informed of a temperature inversion, which had put the s i t e beyond the c a p a b i l i t i e s of the helicopter for the time being. The p i l o t had informed the f i r e boss of t h i s problem, but the response suggested that the p i l o t was incapable. This type of s i t u a t i o n i s r e a l l y inexcusable. Not only does i t put a s t r a i n on a l l parties concerned, i t also makes teamwork considerably harder to achieve. In the f i n a l analysis, teamwork i s ess e n t i a l to carrying out a good operation. - 80 -In some cases p i l o t s worked 14 to 15 hours per day. Some p i l o t s worked long hours merely to boost t h e i r salary, while others c l e a r l y f e l t compelled to work long hours when everyone else was doing so. It should be understood that the p i l o t ' s job i s more mentally demanding than almost any other job on the f i r e . For t h i s reason, i t i s not unreasonable for the p i l o t to want a good lunch break, undisturbed and i n a relaxed atmosphere, and also that the hours of work be shorter than some other categories of work. At the end of the day the p i l o t s should be able to eat and relax i n a quiet, undisturbed place, with good qua l i t y food available at a l l times. In many cases the si t u a t i o n w i l l make i t impossible for some of these c r i t e r i a to be met, but i f they are at least appreciated then the p i l o t s w i l l have an easier time working. To a lesser extent, the same should apply to workers who are continually using helicopters. Such people as the bi r d dog o f f i c e r , who supervises operations from the a i r , has much the same problems as the p i l o t , although the l e v e l of concentration needed i s less since he i s not having to f l y the helicopter as well. Overall, i t i s clear that the people c o n t r o l l i n g f i r e s and the people responsible for the p i l o t ' s welfare should try to gain a better understanding of some of the problems - 81 -which the p i l o t i s working with. Having understood these problems, steps should be taken to ensure that a greater appreciation i s given to p i l o t s working on forest f i r e s . - 82 -S E C T I O N I I SUMMARY I n S e c t i o n I I , s e v e r a l o p e r a t i o n s h a v e b e e n d i s c u s s e d , a n d t h e s a f e t y p r e c a u t i o n s n e e d e d h a v e b e e n o u t l i n e d . I t i s c l e a r f r o m t h e a c c i d e n t r e p o r t s i n A p p e n d i x 1, t h a t many p a s t a c c i d e n t s w e r e the r e s u l t o f human e r r o r . A c c i d e n t s d u e t o m e c h a n i c a l f a i l u r e h a v e a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e a c c i d e n t r a t e s i n t h e p a s t , - b u t t h e s e a r e b e y o n d t h e s c o p e o f t h i s r e p o r t . A c c i d e n t s d u e t o human e r r o r w i l l n e v e r b e e n t i r e l y e l i m i n a t e d . I t w o u l d a p p e a r t h a t , i n many c a s e s , i n a d e q u a t e t r a i n i n g i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p e o p l e m a k i n g t h e s e m i s t a k e s . I n t h e p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r s , a n e f f o r t h a s b e e n made t o d e s c r i b e how t h e i n d i v i d u a l o p e r a t i o n s s h o u l d be c a r r i e d o u t w i t h a minimum o f r i s k i n v o l v e d . T h e r e i s a c l e a r n e e d f o r g e n e r a l l y a v a i l a b l e t r a i n i n g m a t e r i a l i n t h e f o r m o f s l i d e s , f i l m s , p o s t e r s a n d l e a f l e t s . T h e W o r k e r s ' C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a c o u l d make a w o r t h w h i l e c o n t r i b u t i o n t o t h i s a r e a o f w o r k b y p r o v i d i n g some o f t h e s e s e r v i c e s . T h i s w o u l d e n a b l e p e o p l e w o r k i n g a r o u n d h e l i c o p t e r s i n t h e f u t u r e t o b e t t e r a p p r e c i a t e t h e i n h e r e n t d a n g e r s o f h e l i c o p t e r s , a n d t h e r e a s o n s f o r t a k i n g s a f e t y p r e c a u t i o n s . - 83 -S E C T I O N I I I . A E R I A L I G N I T I O N SYSTEMS S e c t i o n I I I d e a l s w i t h p r o b l e m s i n h e r e n t i n t h e o p e r a t i o n o f a e r i a l i g n i t i o n s y s t e m s . S e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t ' t e c h n i q u e s a r e d e s c r i b e d , w i t h some d i s c u s s i o n a b o u t t h e a d v a n t a g e s a n d d i s a d v a n t a g e s o f e a c h o n e . The d i s c u s s i o n i n t h e p r e c e d i n g c h a p t e r s i s r e l e v a n t t o t h e o p e r a t i o n o f a e r i a l i g n i t i o n s y s t e m s , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r a n d i t s r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r s a f e f l i g h t . - 84 -INTRODUCTION — AERIAL IGNITION SYSTEMS AND THEIR EVOLUTION The use of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems for prescribed burning of forest slash and other vegetation forms (e.g. grass), f i r s t developed in Au s t r a l i a i n the mid-1960's. The Australian system involved the use of a twin-engined aeroplane f l y i n g over the burn along a set f l i g h t path (3'": & 12-. ) . A person i n the rear of the plane dropped incendiary devices, causing a l i n e of f i r e to form on the ground. This technique was modified in the early 1970's, for use i n the Yukon T e r r i t o r y (Canada) as a means of start i n g a backfire i n w i l d f i r e c o n t r o l . The system was b a s i c a l l y the same, i n that i t u t i l i s e d the same incendiary device, but i n a modified container so that i t could be discharged from the plane by a machine. Later on, machines were mounted i n helicopters and allowed l i n e s of f i r e to be l a i d down i n the forest with considerable accuracy. P a r a l l e l to the development of t h i s means of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n , a d i f f e r e n t technique was developing i n the area of slash burning. The t r a d i t i o n a l method of i g n i t i n g logging slash i s by means of a hand-held drip torch. This unit consists of a tank containing about 4-1/2 l i t r e s of f u e l . The fuel flow and the fu e l mixture can be varied to s u i t several types of slash. A group of men walk through the - 85 -slash l i g h t i n g i t as they move along. A variety of l i g h t i n g patterns are used, depending on the conditions p r e v a i l i n g at the s i t e . One of the problems incurred i s that the l i g h t i n g pattern i s often e r r a t i c within the burn area, due to such factors as uneven d i s t r i b u t i o n of fine f u e l s , varying moisture contents and uneven l i g h t up, giving r i s e to a non-uniform burn. Also, the length of the light-up period exposes the workers to more danger, and reduces the immediate e f f i c i e n c y of the f i r e . The hazards involved i n t h i s operation are p o t e n t i a l l y high. The worker has to f i g h t h is way through the slash, making sure that i t i s ignited as he moves along. In heavy slash the chances of retreat are remote, and since the worker i s committed to moving forward, i f he tripped or f e l l i n the slash the consequences could be l e t h a l . Few accidents have been recorded during t h i s operation, but the following example i l l u s t r a t e s very c l e a r l y how misuse of the system can r e s u l t i n a f a t a l i t y . On September 23, 1977, a 29-year-old man slipped and f e l l while walking over a steep slash area. In one hand he carried an open bucket of l i q u i d f u e l , i n the other a lighted drip torch. 17 days l a t e r he died from t h i r d degree burns to 75% of his body. He l e f t a wife and 9-month-old daughter. His job position was "Safety and F i r e Protection O f f i c e r " (10:7). - 86 -This accident resulted from highly i r r e g u l a r practice, and i t shows the p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous nature of taking short cuts in an operation which already involves p o t e n t i a l l y l e t h a l hazards. In the early 1970's, John Muraro of the P a c i f i c Forest Research Centre (PFRC), in V i c t o r i a , B.C., evolved the idea of sli n g i n g a large-scale drip torch underneath a helicopter. Tests carried out i n the Prince George d i s t r i c t in 1972-73 indicated that the technique would allow faster and safer i g n i t i o n of the slash, and further development was carried out (11.). Since that time many variations have been designed, with the r e s u l t that many d i f f e r e n t shapes and sizes of helicopter drip torch now exis t i n B r i t i s h Columbia. - 87 -CHAPTER 11. HELICOPTER DRIP TORCHES The e a r l y d e s i g n o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r d r i p t o r c h was v e r y s i m p l e . I t c o n s i s t e d o f a 4 5 - l i t r e ( 1 0 - g a l l o n ) drum mounted on a frame. A one-way v a l v e a l l o w e d f u e l ( d i e s e l ) t o f l o w o u t under g r a v i t y a l o n g a f u e l l i n e . The f l o w r a t e o f t h e f u e l was c o n t r o l l e d by an a d j u s t a b l e v a l v e l o c a t e d b e h i n d the one way v a l v e . A t t h e o t h e r end o f the frame the f u e l l i n e f e d i n t o a p i p e elbow. The f u e l l i n e went a l m o s t t o the end o f t h i s elbow and doub l e d back on i t s e l f f o r about 16 cm. I n s i d e t h e p i p e elbow a s b e s t o s c l o t h was a t t a c h e d t o t h e p i p e w a l l s t o a c t as a w i c k . When t h e t o r c h was i n f l i g h t t h e f u e l f l o w e d out under g r a v i t y and d r i p p e d down t h e a s b e s t o s w i c k , thence t o t h e ground. By h a v i n g t h e p i p e d o u b l e d back on i t s e l f , t h e f u e l was p r e h e a t e d b e f o r e i t l e f t t he p i p e , f a c i l i t a t i n g i g n i t i o n . The f u e l l i n e a l s o had a f l a s h b a c k l o o p b u i l t i n t o i t t o p r e v e n t a vapour f l a s h b a c k t o t h e drum. The f u e l drum and c o n n e c t i o n s were o f a q u i c k r e l e a s e t y p e , so t h a t the drum c o u l d e a s i l y be d i s c o n n e c t e d and a new one i n s t a l l e d . The whole u n i t was s l u n g on t h e cargo hook beneath the h e l i c o p t e r e i t h e r i n a v e r t i c a l p o s i t i o n o r a s l o p i n g p o s i t i o n . The f u e l s u p p l y was t u r n e d on and the f u e l i g n i t e d m a n u a l l y on t h e ground. The h e l i c o p t e r t h e n f l e w o f f t o t h e f i r e s i t e w i t h the l i g h t e d t o r c h and proceeded t o i g n i t e t h e s l a s h . - 88 -T h e f i r s t p r o b l e m ; , t h a t a r o s e i n t h e u s e o f t h i s d e v i c e i n v o l v e d t h e l i g h t i n g o f t h e t o r c h o n t h e g r o u n d . I f t h e s l a s h was n o t n e x t t o t h e l a n d i n g s i t e t h e h e l i c o p t e r h a d t o f l y o v e r o t h e r l a n d f i r s t i n o r d e r t o r e a c h t h e s l a s h . E v e n i f i t f l e w a t a l t i t u d e s o f 61 t o 91 m, some f i r e w o u l d r e a c h t h e g r o u n d a n d c o u l d c a u s e u n w a n t e d s p o t f i r e s . A l s o , i f t h e f u e l d r u m was n o t empty o n r e t u r n t o t h e l a n d i n g s i t e , t h e h e l i c o p t e r h a d t o l a n d w i t h a l i g h t e d t o r c h , w h i c h was n o t c o n s i d e r e d a s a f e p r a c t i c e . T o o v e r c o m e t h e s e p r o b l e m s , a r e m o t e c o n t r o l l e d i g n i t i o n s y s t e m a n d a n e l e c t r i c v a l v e w e r e i n s t a l l e d i n t h e f u e l l i n e . I n t h e o r y , t h i s w o u l d h a v e e n a b l e d t h e p i l o t o r a n o t h e r p e r s o n i n t h e h e l i c o p t e r t o s w i t c h o n t h e f u e l f l o w , r e g u l a t e i t t o t h e d e s i r e d l e v e l , and i g n i t e i t o n c e o v e r t h e c o r r e c t a r e a . H o w e v e r , i t was d i s c o v e r e d t h e d i e s e l f u e l b y i t s e l f i s e x t r e m e l y d i f f i c u l t t o i g n i t e b y r e m o t e c o n t r o l . T o o v e r c o m e t h i s p r o b l e m a m i x t u r e o f f u e l s was t h e n t r i e d . By u s i n g a 6 0 / 4 0 m i x t u r e o f d i e s e l f u e l a n d g a s o l e n e , t h e f l a s h p o i n t o f t h e m i x t u r e was l o w e r e d e n o u g h f o r r e m o t e i g n i t i o n t o b e a c h i e v e d . Once t h e f u e l o n t h e w i c k was i g n i t e d t h e t o r c h f u n c t i o n e d r e a s o n a b l y w e l l . By s t o p p i n g t h e f l o w o f f u e l , a n d a l l o w i n g a few m i n u t e s f o r t h e w i c k f u e l t o b u r n u p , t h e t o r c h c o u l d b e s w i t c h e d o n a n d o f f a t w i l l . - 89 -Using a mixture of fuels meant that the gasolene (l i g h t fraction) would i g n i t e e a s i l y and raise the temperature of the d i e s e l (heavy fraction) so that i t too ignited. F a l l i n g through the a i r , the l i g h t e r f r a c t i o n burnt o f f , leaving the heavier f r a c t i o n to h i t the ground and i g n i t e the slash. As a r e s u l t of the l i g h t e r f r a c t i o n of the f u e l burning o f f before i t h i t the ground, more fu e l was needed to achieve the same amount of i g n i t i o n that d i e s e l alone could achieve. A difference i n drip torch design now occurred. On the one hand the designers of the PFRC drip torch concentrated on finding a means of i g n i t i n g pure d i e s e l i n the 4 5 - l i t r e torch, while the f o r e s t industry started to use a 205-litre (45-gallon) drum with a mixture of fu e l s . Industry made several modifications to the o r i g i n a l design and today there are many designs i n use. For the purposes of t h i s report the o r i g i n a l design by PFRC w i l l be c a l l e d the CFS design (Canadian Forestry Service), and the larger, later design w i l l be c a l l e d the Okanagan design. The Okanagan Design Plate 4 i l l u s t r a t e s a t y p i c a l example of the Okanagan drip torch design. Note the size of the torch r e l a t i v e to the person. - 90 -Plate 4. A t y p i c a l example of the Okanagan drip torch design. The basic layout of the Okanagan design consists of a 205-litre (45 gallon) drum mounted on a frame. The fuel i s fed to the burning shroud by a f u e l l i n e , which has b u i l t into i t , a remote controlled valve (operated by a solenoid) and a fl a s h back loop. Some designs now i n use have a fuel pump i n the l i n e to ensure a uniform f u e l flow. A couple of designs have eliminated the fl a s h back loop i n the fuel l i n e , - 91 -but, although the chances of f l a s h back are', ; remote, they should not be ignored. The fl a s h back loop i s a fundamental safety feature and should be present on a l l designs. The methods by which the f u e l i s ignited also vary. One philosophy i s that only helicopter spare parts should be used; since these are usually r e a d i l y available at the helicopter depot. The other philosophy i s to use standard auto parts, which are cheaper } and just as easy to i n s t a l l , but may be s l i g h t l y more d i f f i c u l t to obtain at the depot at short notice. Whichever system i s used, i t consists b a s i c a l l y of an i g n i t e r located i n the burning shroud, and an exciter unit (similar to the c o i l i n a car) mounted on the frame. The whole system i s connected to the helicopter's power source (24 V.DC.) via a cable. Break-away connectors are used so that i f the torch has to be jettisoned the power source i s immediately disconnected. The complete drip torch when loaded weighs about 27 0 kg, and the fuel l a s t s about twenty minutes under average burning conditions. The CFS Drip Torch Design In i t s present form, the CFS drip torch consists of a 4 5 - l i t r e drum mounted on a small frame. Behind the drum i s a bot t l e of propane gas. The fuel l i n e , with a flashback P l a t e 5. The CFS d r i p t o r c h d e s i g n . l o o p , l e a d s t o t h e f r o n t o f t h e frame, where i t goes i n t o a s p i r a l tube. The propane l e a d s v i a a s t e e l p i p e t o the t o r c h head, r a t e d a t 79 m e g a - j o u l e s . T h i s i s p o s i t i o n e d j u s t b e h i n d t h e f u e l l i n e c o i l . O r i g i n a l l y t h i s c o i l was made o f copper, b u t t h e heat of t h e propane m e l t e d i t ; now, a s t e e l c o i l o f l a r g e r bore i s used. Between the c o i l and the propane head i s a s t a n d a r d a u t o m o t i v e spark p l u g . A power b o o s t e r t r a n s f o r m s t h e h e l i c o p t e r ' s 24 v o l t s DC t o 24 k i l o - v o l t s . The s p a r k p l u g i s a l o n g r e a c h v a r i e t y , w i t h t h e gap b e i n g a r b i t r a r i l y s e t , s i n c e t h e h i g h v o l t a g e - 93 -eliminates the need for an accurate setting. The system works as follows: The d i e s e l i s turned on, then the propane, and f i n a l l y the i g n i t e r button i s pressed to ign i t e the propane. The flame of the propane heater c a r r i e s down the s p i r a l tube, heating the d i e s e l as i t flows. At the far end of the s p i r a l tube the d i e s e l i s superheated and rea d i l y i g n i t e s . As i t f a l l s through the a i r i n the form of a droplet, the outer surface i s extinguished. When the droplet h i t s the ground, the inner core i s s t i l l superheated and spontaneously bursts back into flame, thus i g n i t i n g the slash. In tests to date, the torch has proven i t s e l f to be highly e f f i c i e n t . I t i s considerably l i g h t e r than the Okanagan design, weighing only 91 kg when loaded, yet the f u e l l a s t s for f i f t e e n to twenty minutes under average burning conditions. At the present time there i s only one such model i n B r i t i s h Columbia. The Use of J e l l e d Fuels i n Helicopter Drip Torches The use of j e l l e d gasolene for i g n i t i o n purposes i s not new. In m i l i t a r y uses i t i s better known as napalm and has been extensively used i n several wars. In more peaceful times napalm has been used for slash burning. The remote mass i g n i t i o n technique u t i l i s e s sealed canisters of napalm - 94 -s i m u l t a n e o u s l y d e t o n a t e d w i t h p r i m a c o r d . Once t h e f i r i n g p a t t e r n h a s b e e n l a i d o u t , a l a r g e a r e a c a n be i g n i t e d a t one t i m e . R e c e n t l y , a h e l i c o p t e r company i n O r e g o n d e v e l o p e d a n a e r i a l i g n i t i o n s y s t e m w h i c h u s e s n a p a l m as t h e f u e l . T h e s y s t e m , d e v e l o p e d b y W e s t e r n H e l i c o p t e r S e r v i c e s I n c . , i s c a l l e d t h e W e s t e r n H e l i - T o r c h . I t i s v e r y s i m i l a r t o a h e l i c o p t e r d r i p t o r c h , a n d c o n s i s t s o f a s i m p l e f r a m e o n w h i c h a 1 3 6 - l i t r e d r u m (30 g a l l o n ) i s m o u n t e d . A l a r g e b o r e ( 5 cm) f u e l l i n e l e a d s t o t h e o t h e r e n d o f t h e f r a m e . N e a r t o t h e end o f t h e f u e l l i n e i s a s l u d g e pump, a n d a t t h e n o z z l e i s a n i g n i t e r . T h e w h o l e u n i t w e i g h s a b o u t 68 k g . T h e f u e l i s n o r m a l g a s o l e n e t o w h i c h A l u m i n i u m O c t o a t e ( t r a d e name ' A l u m a g e l ' ) i s a d d e d i n a p r e d e t e r m i n e d r a t i o . T he A l u m a g e l t h i c k e n s t h e g a s o l e n e t o a " j e l l o " l i k e c o n s i s t e n c y . I n d o i n g t h i s i t r e d u c e s v a p o u r f o r m a t i o n t h u s m a k i n g t h e f u e l s a f e r t o h a n d l e . I n o p e r a t i o n , t h e pump f o r c e s t h e j e l l i e d g a s o l e n e o u t o f t h e n o z z l e i n l a r g e b l o b s . T h e i g n i t e r s p a r k s t h r o u g h t h e b l o b , i g n i t i n g i t . When t h e f l a m i n g b l o b h i t s t h e g r o u n d , i t t e n d s t o s p l a t t e r , s p r e a d i n g b u r n i n g f u e l o v e r t h e s l a s h . So f a r , t h e p r o b l e m s w h i c h h a v e come t o l i g h t a r e t h a t t h e f u e l b u r n s w i t h a v e r y s o o t y f l a m e , a n d t h a t t h e f u e l d o e s n o t l a s t v e r y l o n g . A l a r g e b l o c k o f s l a s h i g n i t e d w i t h A l u m a g e l , a n d c l o s e t o c i v i l i s a t i o n may h a v e some e n v i r o n m e n t a l Plate 7. Flying Too Slowly. - 96 -repercussions. At maximum fu e l flow rates, 23 l i t r e s l a s t s for seventeen seconds, or 1.7 minutes for the whole drum (136 l i t r e s ) . , Also the Alumagel i s more expensive than either the dr i p torch or the AIDs (discussed i n the next chapter), although there are currently few data tp support t h i s . At the time of writing, there i s only one model i n B r i t i s h Columbia, and since Western Helicopters has a patent on the Heli-torch, development elsewhere may be slowed down. The system does have great po t e n t i a l , and i f i t can be refined to decrease i t s operating costs, i t may well mark a new era i n a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. Discussion on Chapter 11 One of the main problems of using a drip torch, i s that the helicopter has to f l y low, and slowly. Under the optimum f l i g h t conditions, the helicopter i s p e r i l o u s l y close to the r e s t r i c t i o n s imposed by the 'Dead Man's Curve' (Chapter 2). Experience has shown that the optimum flame develops at an airspeed of 24 km/h. Flying at a slower speeds w i l l cause the rotor wash to blow out the f i r e on the ground (Plate 7), or blow back the flame i n the shroud. Flying too fast w i l l cause the f u e l to break up before i t h i t s the ground. - 97 -Also, the greater airspeed creates turbulence at the" burning shroud, atomising the f u e l and creating a larger flame. Ideally the torch should be flown about 3 m above the slash. F l y i n g higher than t h i s means that the fuel may not carry to the ground, while f l y i n g any lower than t h i s increases the f l y i n g r i s k s with no immediate gain i n e f f i c i e n c y . This need to f l y low means that a l l snags i n the burn area must be f e l l e d since the p i l o t i s : a) f l y i n g very close to the safe l i m i t s of the machine, with i n s u f f i c i e n t forward speed or a l t i t u d e to make a safe emergency landing, and b) f l y i n g in smoke and generally poor v i s i b i l i t y . In addition to these hazards, the a i r turbulence created by the updraughts, once the f i r e i s burning well, makes i t harder for the p i l o t to maintain a l e v e l course. The CFS drip torch design can be flown at heights of up to 15 m above the ground, and faster than the Okanagan torch. The Heli-torch has overcome e n t i r e l y the need to f l y low and slowly since the helicopter can f l y at heights of 15 to 90 m and at airspeeds of 80 to 95 km/h and achieve as good or better i g n i t i o n than the other systems. Coupled to a l l of these problems i s the problem of depth of f i e l d . When the p i l o t i s leaning out of the helicopter, i t i s often hard to judge exactly how far above the ground the torch i s . This becomes harder as the height increases. The only advantage of f l y i n g low i s that the rotor wash tends to fan the flames, greatly increasing t h e i r i n t e n s i t y . - 98 -T h e F u e l s U s e d j A s s e e n e a r l i e r , t h e f u e l u s e d r a n g e s f r o m d i e s e l by i t s e l f t o a m i x t u r e o f d i e s e l and g a s o l e n e . Some c o m p a n i e s h a v e s t a r t e d t o u s e p u r e J e t B . f u e l . T h i s i s t h e f u e l u s e d f o r t u r b i n e h e l i c o p t e r s s u c h a s t h e B e l l 206 J e t R a n g e r . I n f a c t , J e t B a n d a m i x t u r e o f g a s o l e n e a n d d i e s e l a r e a b o u t e q u a l l y h a z a r d o u s , t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e f l a s h -p o i n t r a n g e s b e i n g v e r y s i m i l a r . ( 1 6 . ) T h e r e a r e a r g u m e n t s i n f a v o u r o f e a c h f u e l t y p e . Some a r g u e t h a t u s i n g J e t B e l i m i n a t e s t h e n e e d t o b r i n g i n d i e s e l . T h i s n o t o n l y makes t h e l o g i s t i c s s i m p l e r , i t a l s o e l i m i n a t e s t h e r i s k t h a t someone m i g h t i n a d v e r t e n t l y r e f u e l a h e l i c o p t e r w i t h d i e s e l . O t h e r s a r g u e t h a t t h e g a s / d i e s e l m i x t u r e g i v e s b e t t e r i g n i t i o n , a n d t h a t t h e c h a n c e s o f u s i n g t h e w r o n g f u e l i n t h e h e l i c o p t e r a r e m i n i m a l . W h i c h e v e r f u e l i s u s e d , a l l r e f u e l l i n g s h o u l d u s e p r o c e d u r e s as s t r i c t o r s t r i c t e r t h a n a r e u s e d f o r t h e r o u t i n e r e f u e l l i n g o f h e l i c o p t e r s . T h i s means t h a t t h e a p p a r a t u s s h o u l d b e g r o u n d e d . A l s o , t h e o p e r a t i o n s h o u l d be c a r r i e d o u t away f r o m t h e h o o k - u p a r e a b e c a u s e when t h e h e l i c o p t e r r e t u r n s f r o m t h e f i r e , t h e t o r c h ' s b u r n e r w i l l b e h o t a n d c o u l d c o n c e i v a b l y i g n i t e a n y s p i l t f u e l i n t h e a r e a . - 99 -Slinging the Torch There are several ways of s l i n g i n g the drip torch beneath the helicopter. Figure 16 shows a t y p i c a l arrange-ment. The main v a r i a t i o n i n s l i n g i n g method i s i n the d i r e c t i o n of the torch r e l a t i v e to the helicopter fuselage. In Figure 16 the torch f l i e s at 90° but i n some instances torches have been flown i n l i n e with the fuselage, with the torch burner at the rear. There are also several methods of attaching the s t a b i l i s e r bar to the skid, which serves to prevent the drip torch from spinning beneath the helicopter. With the torch at 9 0°, the p i l o t can remove the door of the helicopter, and during f l i g h t can look straight out onto the torch and monitor i t s p o s i t i o n . ^ DRIP TORCH F i g . 16. Slinging the helicopter drip torch. - 100 -CHAPTER 12. THE AERIAL IGNITION DEVICE (A.I.D.) The f i r s t use of chemical i g n i t i o n devices was during the mid-sixties i n A u s t r a l i a (3 &12). Early experiments used pharmaceutical dispensing v i a l s which were primed by hand and dropped from an aeroplane. The system was modified in the early seventies to allow mechanical dispensing of the incendiary device. The P a c i f i c Forest Research Centre (PFRC) i n V i c t o r i a , B.C., developed a spherical container 32 mm i n diameter and made of high-impact polystyrene, allowing r e l i a b l e mechanical dispensing to be achieved. The device u t i l i s e s an exothermic (heat generating) chemical reaction to i g n i t e the material on which i t lands. Each sphere contains approximately 3 grams of commercial grade, potassium permanganate (KMN04). Prior to dispensing, the sphere i s injected with a 50/50 ethylene g l y c o l and water solution. Approximately 30 seconds aft e r i n j e c t i o n , the reaction takes place, causing the sphere to burst into flame. The i n i t i a l i g n i t i o n temperature i s 1,200°C which l a s t s for about 2 to 3 minutes. (8.) Thereafter the polystyrene burns at a lower temperature for about 10 minutes. Research i s currently being carried out to f i n d a coarser grained permanganate, which would give a greater delay time before i g n i t i o n . - 101 -T h e l a t e s t m o d e l h a s a d i f f e r e n t l y s h a p e d A I D h o p p e r , b u t o t h e r w i s e i t i s t h e same as i t s p r e d e c e s s o r . T h e w h o l e u n i t when o p e r a t i o n a l w e i g h s a p p r o x i m a t e l y 37 k g . T h e d i s p e n s e r i s d e s i g n e d t o mount o n t h e s t a r b o a r d r e a r d o o r s i l l o f a B e l l 206. T h e d o o r i s r e m o v e d f o r t h e d u r a t i o n o f t h e o p e r a t i o n . A n a u x i l i a r y s u p p o r t h a s b e e n d e s i g n e d t o a l l o w t h e d i s p e n s e r t o b e m o u n t e d i n a Hughes 500. T h e d i s p e n s e r i s h e l d i n p o s i t i o n b y means o f a t i e - d o w n s t r a p . T h i s i s a t t a c h e d t o t h e o u t b o a r d e n d o f t h e d i s p e n s e r , p a s s e s u n d e r n e a t h t h e h e l i c o p t e r a n d b a c k u n d e r t h e p o r t d o o r . I t t h e n t i e s o n t o t h e i n b o a r d e n d o f t h e d i s p e n s e r ( P l a t e 8). P l a t e 8. The AID d i s p e n s e r mounted i n a B e l l 206. - 102 -One o f t h e b i g g e s t o b j e c t i o n s t h a t p i l o t s h a v e t o u s i n g t h i s s y s t e m i s t h a t f e a r o f h a v i n g a f i r e d e v e l o p i n s i d e t h e h e l i c o p t e r . I f t h e d i s p e n s e r jams i t becomes a p p a r e n t i m m e d i a t e l y b e c a u s e t h e d i s p e n s e r s t a l l s . A s s u m i n g t h a t a s p h e r e h a s j u s t b e e n i n j e c t e d , t h e n t h e o p e r a t o r h a s a p p r o x i m a t e l y 3 0 s e c o n d s t o r e c t i f y t h e s i t u a t i o n . The o p e r a t o r t u r n s o f f t h e A I D f e e d c o n t r o l a n d t h e n t h e m o t o r . T h e o p e r a t o r t h e n t r i e s t o c l e a r t h e o b s t r u c t i o n b y r o t a t i n g t h e m a n u a l a s s i s t . I f t h i s i s t o no a v a i l , he t h e n s w i t c h e s on t h e w a t e r s u p p l y f r o m t h e e x t i n g u i s h e r . T h i s w i l l e x t i n g u i s h t h e r e a c t i o n b e f o r e o r a s i t o c c u r s . T h e h o p p e r i s t h e n r e m o v e d , t h e c h a m b e r c l e a r e d o f t h e o b s t r u c t i o n a n d t h e s y s t e m i s r e a d y t o go a g a i n . A l l o f t h e a b o v e t a k e s v e r y l i t t l e t i m e i f t h e o p e r a t o r i s p r o f i c i e n t i n t h e u s e o f t h e s y s t e m . A t a l l t i m e s t h e o p e r a t o r i s i n c o n t a c t w i t h t h e p i l o t , b y means o f i n t e r c o m , a n d k e e p s t h e p i l o t i n f o r m e d o f t h e o p e r a t i o n ' s p r o g r e s s a n d o f a n y c h a n g e s n e e d e d . I t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t a n i n b o a r d f i r e w o u l d d e v e l o p . H o w e v e r , i f a l l e l s e f a i l e d , t h e t i e - d o w n s t r a p i n t h e h e l i c o p t e r w o u l d b e c u t and t h e w h o l e u n i t j e t t i s o n e d . S i m i l a r l y , i f t h e r e was e v e r a f l i g h t e m e r g e n c y t h e d i s p e n s e r u n i t c o u l d e a s i l y b e j e t t i s o n e d . T h i s s y s t e m h a s s e v e r a l a d v a n t a g e s o v e r t h e d r i p t o r c h . I t e l i m i n a t e s t h e n e e d t o f l y l o w , a n d s l o w . The h e l i c o p t e r c a n f l y a t h e i g h t s o f 60 t o 90 m a n d a t s p e e d s - 103 -of up to 80 km/h depending on the i g n i t i o n pattern desired. Obviously the faster the helicopter f l i e s , the greater the distance between each spot f i r e . If speed i s es s e n t i a l , the dispenser can be set up to discharge four spheres per second, but normally two per second i s s u f f i c i e n t . The problem of having two fuels on the ground i s removed, since only helicopter fuel i s needed. As with a l l systems, there are disadvantages. The A.I.D.s are a more expensive means of i g n i t i o n than the drip torch. Each sphere costs about 10C and the dispenser costs about $3,500. In damp slash the i g n i t i o n may not be as e f f e c t i v e . In some cases i t has been argued that the spheres w i l l f a l l through the slash p r i o r to i g n i t i o n , thereby reducing t h e i r e f f i c i e n c y . Although t h i s i s possible, i t does not appear to have been a problem on most of the operational tests carried out to date. The A.I.D.s are d e f i n i t e l y more e f f i c i e n t for use on backfiring applications in the control of w i l d f i r e s . The system allows the l i n e of f i r e to form on the ground even i f there i s a tree canopy present since the spheres carry down through the canopy. The drip torch cannot be used i f a canopy i s present since the lighted f u e l sets f i r e to the canopy and not the ground fu e l s . - 104 -There have been some complaints from p i l o t s that the system leaves a permanganate stain on the helicopter, which i s d i f f i c u l t to remove. One company, which i s now using the system on a large scale, has added an extension to the exit shute, and t h i s has apparently solved the problem. Some p i l o t s do not l i k e to f l y the system, but when asked why they give no r e a l reason. It seems l i k e l y that this system offers the p i l o t less of a challenge. Using the drip torch, the p i l o t (in some cases) may refuse to accept anyone else in the helicopter during l i g h t up. This means that the p i l o t i s i n t o t a l control of the helicopter and the f i r e and finds that he can exercise some judgement of his own on how the torch should be flown and how the i g n i t i o n pattern should progress. When using the AIDs, he merely f l i e s where the dispenser operator thinks i s the best place for optimum i g n i t i o n . He has much less chance to demonstrate his proficiency at l i g h t i n g slash. Since the company having the slash burnt i s paying for the operation, i t seems reasonable that they should have control. Once again, as i n the drip torch controversy, there i s a clear need for greater understanding between the p i l o t and the person supervising the operation. - 105 -As with the drip torches, care should be taken to see that a l l p r e - f l i g h t testing procedures of the AID dispenser are ca r r i e d out away from the r e f u e l l i n g zone. S p l i t f u e l creates a p o t e n t i a l l y high hazard. Overall t h i s system i s considerably safer than the drip torch, but i t s usefulness i s r e s t r i c t e d to cer t a i n types of slash and conditions. However, there i s a place for i t in the industry and i t s further development should be encouraged. - 106 -CHAPTER 13. CURRENT PROBLEMS IN THE USE OF AERIAL IGNITION SYSTEMS Probably the most controversial point i n a l l operations involving helicopters i n a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems, i s whether or not the p i l o t should be accompanied by an experienced f i r e manager during the l i g h t up. Many p i l o t s argue against t h i s . When using the drip torch they argue that the helicopter i s f l y i n g close to i t s l i m i t s already and that the extra weight of 91 kg, the approximate weight of one person, places the helicopter closer to these l i m i t s . Using the Okanagan design of torch, t h i s argument may have some basis, but i t i s not v a l i d when using the -CES ...torch, the A.I.D.s - „ or the h e l i - t o r c h , a l l of which are considerably l i g h t e r . The difference i n weights between the Okanagan design and the other systems i s more than enough to allow an extra person to t r a v e l i n the helicopter; i n fact, the payload would s t i l l be less than with the Okanagan design by i t s e l f . Many p i l o t s l i k e to think that they are more than capable of l i g h t i n g up a f i r e . This i s true, but there are very few p i l o t s around who have the necessary burning experience to know how a f i r e should progress i n a l l situations. Unfortunately, the p i l o t s see the addition of a f i r e manager to the helicopter as a d i r e c t attack on t h e i r s k i l l s . - 107 -This controversy takes on a d i f f e r e n t form when the AIDs are being used. This system needs an operator to ensure that the dispenser runs smoothly. The problem now becomes who should be the operator. It i s u n l i k e l y that the average f i r e manager w i l l be s k i l l e d enough to operate the dispenser e f f i c i e n t l y . So, assuming that the helicopter company, or the company having the slash burnt, supplies the operator, then should there also be a f i r e manager i n the helicopter? In terms of the payload, two people and the AID dispenser s t i l l weigh less than the Okanagan drip torch, so the payload argument i s not v a l i d . However, having two people i n the helicopter., both able to talk to the p i l o t over the intercom, would perhaps add to the p i l o t ' s problems. The i d e a l solution would be to have f i r e managers trained to operate the dispenser, but since t h i s i s unlikely, good rapport between the p i l o t and the other two people should be established. Once again the f i r e manager would be in charge of the f i r e , and would have the a b i l i t y to d i r e c t the helicopter to wherever he deemed i t was needed i n order to obtain the best burn. Overall, the problem of who should be i n the helicopter becomes a matter for each p i l o t and each f i r e manager. If the p i l o t has good grounds for being alone then t h i s should be considered, or, a l t e r n a t i v e l y , i f the f i r e manager thinks - 108 -he can manage quite well enough from the ground then that also would be acceptable. The most important factor i s that everyone understands what each person's objectives are, and t r i e s to cooperate so that the job i s carried out e f f i c i e n t l y , with no antagonism between the various parties. Using any a e r i a l i g n i t i o n system the f i r e i s quickly ignited and experience i s needed to be able to predict the f i r e ' s behaviour and adjust the i g n i t i o n pattern accordingly. Although the p i l o t i s always i n charge of the helicopter, an experienced f i r e manager may be needed i n the helicopter to d i r e c t the l i g h t up. Some p i l o t s state that the area should be flown over p r i o r to the l i g h t up with the p i l o t and f i r e manager discussing how the l i g h t up i s to be car r i e d out. The f i r e manager then stands at a vantage point on the ground and dir e c t s the l i g h t up by radio. Another argument against having anyone else i n the helicopter during l i g h t up i s that the p i l o t has more than enough to do f l y i n g the helicopter, and ensuring that the speed and height of the helicopter i s optimal. Having another person i n the helicopter would d i s t r a c t the p i l o t , increasing the r i s k s . To some extent t h i s argument i s v a l i d . The p i l o t does have a great deal of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to bear, ensuring that a successful l i g h t up i s obtained. However, i f another person were present, who was solely responsible for managing the f i r e , he would r e l i e v e the p i l o t of t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , - 109 -leaving him free to concentrate on f l y i n g . The f i r e manager would d i r e c t the p i l o t where .to. . f l y and how the i g n i t i o n should progress. Transport Canada does not now have s p e c i f i c regulations dealing with the use of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. However, a l l a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems apparently contravene a i r regulation number 507 which states "No person s h a l l create a hazard to persons or property on the ground by dropping anything from an a i r c r a f t i n f l i g h t . " (-18:507) This i s a general a i r regulation and does not apply s o l e l y to a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. In order for a helicopter company to be able to f l y any a e r i a l i g n i t i o n system, they must apply to Transport Canada for a waiver to t h i s regulation. If granted, the waiver i s then written into the operations manual of the helicopter. The AID dispensers currently i n use a l l have waivers to a i r regulation 507. However, many of the drip torches in use may be being flown i l l e g a l l y . The o r i g i n a l drip torches had an experimental waiver granted, so that the system could be t r i e d . Since then, the waivers have not been renewed. The problem arises from the fact that drip torches are a s l i n g load, hanging from the cargo hook. In general, the helicopter companies are extremely reluctant to allow Transport Canada to formulate regulations on what can, or cannot be carried on the cargo hook. The fear i s that such regulation would severely r e s t r i c t helicopter s l i n g loading operations, making i t very d i f f i c u l t for the - 110 -companies to carry out even the simplest of operations without i n f r i n g i n g these regulations. It would be preferable i f Transport Canada were to develop a set of guidelines concerning the construction and use of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. Note that only guidelines are recommended; i f these were properly put together, both the industry (helicopter and f o r e s t r y ) , Transport Canada, and the WCB, would be better able to appreciate the s i t u a t i o n . - I l l -CHAPTER 14. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR AERIAL IGNITION SYSTEMS There can be l i t t l e doubt that the advent of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems has r a d i c a l l y changed prescribed burning. A l l the systems currently i n use are e f f e c t i v e i n the r i g h t conditions and a l l have advantages and disadvantages. Of a l l the systems^, the drip torch (Okanagan design) i s the most hazardous since the helicopter i s i t s e l f subjected to f l y i n g r e s t r i c t i o n s which are not encountered with the other systems. A l l sides of the argument need very careful consideration before any guidelines or regulations are drawn up. The industries using the systems, that i s the forest industry and the helicopter industry, should make a pos i t i v e e f f o r t to s i t down and decide on what they need from the systems. On the other side, Transport Canada should s i t down and decide the c r i t e r i a which they expect to be met, and whether or not regulation i s r e a l l y necessary. The following points may be considered i n the l i g h t of the current developments in the design and use of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. Drip Torches — Design 1. A l l torches should have a f l a s h back loop b u i l t into the fu e l l i n e , to prevent vapour flashback. - 112 -2. The use of a preheater seems to overcome the need to f l y low and slowly, and should be developed further. It also enables d i e s e l to be used by i t s e l f . 3. Since the preheater allows d i e s e l to be used by i t s e l f , a smaller drum could be used, allowing a second person to t r a v e l i n the helicopter with the p i l o t during the l i g h t up. 4. The torch should incorporate remote controls, which are connected so that j e t t i s o n i n g the torch also cuts off the fu e l and e l e c t r i c i t y supplies. 5. The use of fu e l r e s i s t a n t stickers should be considered. These would outline the safe usage of the torch, and would be displayed on the fu e l drums and torch frame. Drip Torches — Crew 1. The p i l o t should be fa m i l i a r with the operation of a drip torch, even i f the tr a i n i n g consists of no more than f l y i n g the torch up and down disused gravel p i t s . The p i l o t should also be aware of the hazards involved i n the operation. - 113 -Some experience with f l y i n g s l i n g loads i s a necessity for f l y i n g a drip torch. However, i f a minimum amount of experience i s stipulated, great care should be taken to ensure that th i s l i m i t i s reasonable and does not r e s t r i c t the a v a i l a b i l i t y of p i l o t s able to f l y the drip torch. One person, other than someone from the helicopter company should be i n charge of the f i r e , i t s i g n i t i o n , and "mop up". There should be an experienced f i r e manager in the helicopter during the l i g h t up period. This person would have control of where the helicopter f l i e s , but within the realms of p o s s i b i l i t y from the p i l o t ' s point of view. A l l ground crew should be trained i n the correct procedures involved i n r e f u e l l i n g the torch and general safe practices around the helicopter. Reliable radio communications with the p i l o t and the f i r e manager should be established from the ground. The p i l o t and the f i r e manager should have intercom c a p a b i l i t y . A l l radio chatter should be kept to a minimum l e v e l so that the p i l o t can concentrate on f l y i n g the torch safely and e f f e c t i v e l y . - 114 -A e r i a l I g n i t i o n D e v i c e 1. T h e p i l o t s h o u l d be f a m i l i a r w i t h t h e s y s t e m , a n d w i t h e x a c t l y how t h e d i s p e n s e r w o r k s . He s h o u l d u n d e r s t a n d t h e p r o c e d u r e s i n v o l v e d i n d e a l i n g w i t h jammed A I D s i n t h e d i s p e n s e r , s o t h a t he c a n a p p r e c i a t e what t h e o p e r a t o r i s d o i n g b e h i n d h i m . 2 . The o p e r a t o r o f t h e d i s p e n s e r s h o u l d be p r o f i c i e n t i n t h e u s e o f t h e m a c h i n e . He s h o u l d be aware o f a l l t h e p r o c e d u r e s u s e d i n t h e s a f e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e d i s p e n s e r , a n d s h o u l d be e x p e r i e n c e d i n f i r e b e h a v i o u r . 3 . I f t h e A I D d i s p e n s e r o p e r a t o r i s n o t a l s o a n e x p e r i e n c e d f i r e m a n a g e r , t h e n a s e c o n d p e r s o n , who i s a n e x p e r i e n c e d f i r e m a n a g e r , s h o u l d be p r e s e n t i n t h e h e l i c o p t e r d u r i n g t h e l i g h t up p e r i o d . T h i s p e r s o n w o u l d h a v e c o n t r o l 'of t h e o p e r a t i o n a n d w h e r e t h e h e l i c o p t e r f l i e s . 4 . T h e A I D d i s p e n s e r s h o u l d h a v e c l e a r l y l a b e l l e d i n s t r u c t i o n s - o n i t s s i d e i n d i c a t i n g e x a c t l y how i t i s t o be u s e d . T h e s e i n s t r u c t i o n s s h o u l d i n c l u d e a l l t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s n e e d e d f o r r e f u e l l i n g t h e s y s t e m . - 115 -5. The AID system should be checked p r i o r to f l i g h t and the recommendations l i s t e d i n the manual that comes with the dispenser, should be c l o s e l y followed. The Heli-Torch 1. When the f u e l has been mixed on the ground, care should be taken to ensure that no one i s smoking, and that a l l the standard safety precautions are observed. 2. As with the drip torch, an experienced f i r e manager should accompany the p i l o t during the l i g h t up period. - 116 -SECTION IV.  CREW DEPLOYMENT TECHNIQUES Section IV looks at two methods of deploying i n i t i a l attack crews from a helicopter; helitack and helicopter rappelling. At the present time these are the only two methods being used i n B r i t i s h Columbia, but other methods, such as smoke jumping (parachute attack), are in use elsewhere. Most of the discussion in Section IV has been extracted from another report by the same author, e n t i t l e d Helicopter Rappelling: an appraisal of techniques currently used i n f i r e f i g h t i n g . (4.) - 117 -CHAPTER 15. THE HISTORY OF RAPPELLING The technique of rappelling originated i n mountaineering. The early climbers descended the rope by climbing down hand over hand, but as the climbs became steeper, a safer method was c a l l e d for. The "Dulfer S i t z " evolved i n Germany and consisted of passing the rope around the person's body in such a way that enough f r i c t i o n was developed to allow a person to s l i d e slowly down the rope. Other methods evolved using a body wrap method and some are s t i l l widely used today. With more advanced technology, more sophisticated equipment was developed for rappelling down mountains and c l i f f s . Today there are many mechanical aids for use i n rappelling, such as the figure-of-eight, karabiner brakes, brake bars, and i n the use analysed here, the Sky Genie. A l l of these aids are descendeurs of one sort or another and u t i l i z e the f r i c t i o n of the rope on the descendeur to control descent. A l o g i c a l extension of the technique was to u t i l i z e a helicopter as the rope anchor, thus enabling a person to rappel down to any selected spot, without having to r e l y on finding a suitable anchor at that spot. This development was evolved by the armed forces and became commonly used for deploying troops into t i g h t spots and for placing search and rescue teams at the sight of an accident. The pote n t i a l for - 118 -eliminating access d i f f i c u l t i e s , and the l o g i s t i c a l back-up needed with conventional methods was clear, and i t was inevitable that the technique would be applied to f i r e f i g h t i n g . The use of rappelling for f i r e f i g h t i n g was f i r s t examined i n late 1971 by R. Henderson, of International Forest F i r e Systems (IFFS). In 1972 both IFFS and the United States (U.S.) Forest Service in Region 6 started to examine the p o t e n t i a l of the technique for getting i n i t i a l attack crews (IA) out to a f i r e faster and more safely than was possible with conventional methods. After several years of t e s t i n g , the system has now been accepted as another means of deployment, for use i n forest f i r e f i g h t i n g . The main difference between the methods used i n the U.S. and those i n Canada l i e i n the philosophy behind the use of the helicopter. In the U.S., only twin-engined helicopters are used, since the f e e l i n g i s that t h i s w i l l increase the safety margin should there ever be an engine f a i l u r e during the course of the rappel. In Canada, a single-engined helicopter i s used, the B e l l 206 Jet Ranger; a discussion of i t s advantages and disadvantages i s given l a t e r (page 149). Fundamentally, however, the two systems are i d e n t i c a l . The B r i t i s h Columbia Forest Service (BCFS) has tested the concept of rappelling i n f i r e f i g h t i n g over the l a s t few years, and i s now using a modified version of the o r i g i n a l IFFS system. - 119 -CHAPTER 1 6 . WHY R A P P E L ? Many p e o p l e who h e a r a b o u t t h e r a p p e l programme i n i t i a l l y h a v e a v e r y n e g a t i v e o u t l o o k on t h e o p e r a t i o n . T h e w h o l e c o n c e p t o f h a v i n g p e o p l e s l i d i n g down a r o p e a t t a c h e d t o a h o v e r i n g h e l i c o p t e r , a p p e a r s a t f i r s t s i g h t t o b e e x t r e m e l y h a z a r d o u s , c o n s i d e r a b l y more so t h a n t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l m e t h o d o f " w a l k i n g i n " c r e w a n d e q u i p m e n t . Many p e o p l e may s e r i o u s l y q u e s t i o n t h e w h o l e o p e r a t i o n o n t h e g r o u n d s o f c r e w s a f e t y and c o s t . T h i s q u e s t i o n i n g i s w i t h o u t d o u b t a g o o d t h i n g , s i n c e i t g i v e s t h e p e o p l e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e programme a c h a n c e t o j u s t i f y i t on b o t h c o u n t s . T h e r e c a n be no d o u b t t h a t r a p p e l l i n g i s p o t e n t i a l l y a d a n g e r o u s o p e r a t i o n , w h i c h s h o u l d n o t be t r e a t e d c a s u a l l y i n any c i r c u m s t a n c e s . I n m o u n t a i n e e r i n g , o v e r 90% o f a l l f a t a l a c c i d e n t s h a v e b e e n a t t r i b u t e d t o r a p p e l l i n g . H o w e v e r , t h e m o u n t a i n e e r i s u s u a l l y r e l y i n g on an unknown a n c h o r , a n d i t i s n o t uncommon f o r t h e s t r e n g t h o f t h e a n c h o r t o be o v e r e s t i m a t e d . P e o p l e h a v e b e e n known t o r a p p e l f r o m l o o s e r o c k s a n d t r e e s , w i t h d i s a s t r o u s c o n s e q u e n c e s . I n h e l i c o p t e r r a p p e l l i n g , t h e a n c h o r i s t r i e d , t e s t e d a n d c e r t i f i e d p r i o r t o u s e . A s s u m i n g t h a t t h e h e l i c o p t e r c a n c o n t i n u e t o h o v e r a t t h e c h o s e n l o c a t i o n , t h e r o p e a n c h o r i s c l e a r l y c o n s i d e r a b l y s a f e r t h a n i n m o u n t a i n e e r i n g . - 120 -What, then, i s the problem? Procedures! Far too many people have been k i l l e d i n mountaineering when rappelling, simply because they did not follow recommended procedures. People have rappelled past the end of the rope; they have forgotten to c l i p into the descendeur; and, they have neglected to wear gloves and have then l o s t control when th e i r hands were burnt by f r i c t i o n with the rope. In mountaineering t h i s i s extremely d i f f i c u l t to prevent, es p e c i a l l y when one considers that the rappel often comes after a long day's climbing, when the body i s t i r e d and the mind i s least attentive. In helicopter rappelling there are fewer people involved, each person i s trained and d i s c i p l i n e d i n the correct procedures to be used, and they are usually rappelling when they are phy s i c a l l y fresh and t h e i r mind i s a l e r t . Furthermore, the time which the helicopter spends i n a hover while the operation i s carried out i s not long. For two men and the cargo to rappel to the ground from 61 m, takes a hover time of just under four minutes. Each rappeller spends about 15 to 20 seconds on the rope (30 seconds i n the U.S.). This t o t a l hover time i s not excessive; i t takes about the same length of time for a helicopter to f i l l a retardent bucket, or a hook-up man to hook up a s l i n g load underneath a hovering helicopter (allowing for manoeuvres to position the helicopter above the load). In the l a t t e r case, the operation i s c r i t i c a l - 1 2 1 -since an engine shut down would r e s u l t i n the helicopter landing on the load. Viewed i n t h i s l i g h t , helicopter rappelling presents no more hazards than any of the other, more routine operations. . Canadian and American f i r e f ighters have made over 60,000 helicopter rappels with only one minor accident. Obviously with the correct t r a i n i n g and s t r i c t observance of the procedures drawn up, the operation i s safe. This i s not to say that i t i s a simple operation, or that anyone with nerve could go straight out and perform a helicopter rappel. The t r a i n i n g involved i s rigorous and e s s e n t i a l to the continuation of a good safety record. If then, the operation i s a r e l a t i v e l y safe one, despite i t s spectacular appearance to the layman, why should i t not be used? The next objection i s inevitably cost. Helicopters are expensive and t h e i r use requires c a r e f u l evaluation i f the maximum benefit i s to be obtained. The speed with which i n i t i a l attack i s c a r r i e d out i s the c r u c i a l factor i n any f i r e suppression operation. Using conventional helitack methods, the helicopter f l i e s the i n i t i a l attack crew to a natural landing spot (helispot) as close as possible to the f i r e . The crew then walks to the f i r e and, i f necessary, prepares a landing pad (helipad). Often they w i l l be able to contain the f i r e , or retard i t s spread, u n t i l more men and supplies come in to help. One of - 122 -the major factors to consider i s the time delay between detection and i n i t i a l attack. Generally, the delay i s longer with conventional means than with rappelling. Baron (2:24) stated that i f the distance from the helipad to the f i r e i n conventional helitack i s greater than 463 m, then rappelling would be a more e f f i c i e n t means of i n i t i a l attack. analysis i t has been assumed that both the rappel helicopter and helitack helicopter have to land near the f i r e . The rappel helicopter lands to remove the port rear door, and to r i g the rappel rope and cargo. The helitack helicopter lands to deplane the helitack crew and th e i r equipment, so they can then walk to the f i r e s i t e . Figure 17 i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s analysis. In the time from helispot to f i r e (min) 0 463 helispot distance from helispot to f i r e (m) Figure 17. The relationship between distance and time from the Helispot to the f i r e . - 123 -The helitack helicopter needs to land as close as possible to the f i r e i n order to minimize walking time. The rappel helicopter, however, can land some distance from the f i r e s o l e l y to r i g the system; thus, the selection of a landing s i t e close to the f i r e i s far less c r i t i c a l . If the f i r e s i t e i s less than 48 km from the despatch base, then the rappel system i s rigged at the base. Figure 17 suggests that i f point x i s greater than 463 m, then i t would be more e f f i c i e n t i n time to use rappelling (2:24). By the time the helitack crew starts to walk (time zero) the rappel crew has landed, and has started to r i g up the helicopter for rappelling. Approximately nine minutes l a t e r the rappel helicopter can take o f f for the f i r e , ready for the crew to rappel. This suggests that i f the f i r e i s less than nine minutes walking distance from the Helispot, then conventional methods should be used. However, the figures given by Henderson i n his early evaluations of the system (7:9), show that differences i n time are normally i n terms of hours; hence, nine minutes either way i s not too s i g n i f i c a n t . Baron stated (2:24) that based on an a l l - t e r r a i n average ( i . e . , f l a t , moderate and steep t e r r a i n ) , rappelling was on the average 2.8 times faster than conventional helitack. Although Figure 17 makes no allowance for the d i f f i c u l t y of the t e r r a i n , i t i s probable that anything beyond f l a t , s o l i d , and sparsely vegetated ground, w i l l slow the helitack crew's walking speed to as l i t t l e as 3 or 4 kilometres per hour. - 124 -Figure 1'8 i l l u s t r a t e s the relationship between time to i n i t i a l attack, and the costs of suppression. The time-cost r e l a t i o n s h i p used has been assumed, although Henderson (6:7) suggested that on small f i r e s the suppression costs w i l l double for every 1/40 hectare increase i n area, regardless of crew delivery costs. Time from helispot to f i r e (min.) Figure 18. Time-cost relationship between rappelling and helitack. - 125 -I t i s c l e a r f r o m F i g u r e 18 t h a t t h e s u p p r e s s i o n c o s t s a r e l o w e r i f r a p p e l l i n g i s u s e d , s i n c e t h e i n i t i a l a t t a c k t i m e i s d r a s t i c a l l y r e d u c e d . T h i s i s n o t t o s a y t h a t a r a p p e l c r e w i s n e e d e d on e v e r y f i r e i n t h e P r o v i n c e o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . F o r one t h i n g , t h e r e a r e n o t e n o u g h q u a l i f i e d r a p p e l l e r s t o a l l o w t h i s . A l s o , as w i t h a n y f i r e o p e r a t i o n , t h e r e w i l l be t i m e s when t h e r e a r e n o t e n o u g h r a p p e l h e l i c o p t e r s a v a i l a b l e t o a t t a c k a l l t h e f i r e s a t o n c e . When a r a p p e l h e l i c o p t e r g o e s o u t on a f i r e m i s s i o n , i t i s c o m m i t t e d . I t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t t h e d i s p a t c h e r c a n a f f o r d t o w a i t f o r t h e r e t u r n o f t h e r a p p e l h e l i c o p t e r b e f o r e he s e n d s o u t t h e n e x t r a p p e l c r e w . T h e i n i t i a l a t t a c k t i m e t h e n w o u l d be m i n i m i z e d b y u s e o f c o n v e n t i o n a l m e t h o d s . I f t h e r e a r e few f i r e s , o r i f t h e r a p p e l c r e w d e c i d e s t h a t i t c a n c o n t r o l o r e x t i n g u i s h t h e f i r e w i t h . i m m e d i a t e a t t a c k , t h e r a p p e l c r e w i s b e s t u s e d by h a v i n g i t f i g h t t h e f i r e b e f o r e t h e h e l i p a d i s b u i l t . H o w e v e r , i f t h e r e a r e a g r e a t number o f f i r e s t o be a t t a c k e d , o r i f t h e r a p p e l c r e w c a n n o t c o n t r o l o r e x t i n g u i s h t h e f i r e b y i t s e l f , i t may be b e t t e r t o u s e t h e r a p p e l l e r s s o l e l y f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f b u i l d i n g a h e l i p a d c l o s e t o e a c h f i r e . A c o n v e n t i o n a l i n i t i a l a t t a c k c r e w i s t h e n f l o w n i n t o t h e h e l i p a d , a n d t h e r a p p e l c r e w i s t a k e n t o t h e n e x t f i r e t o r e p e a t t h e o p e r a t i o n . - 126 -The other costs to consider are those of t r a i n i n g , equipment, and development. Appendix 2 gives a detailed breakdown of these costs. The t o t a l t r a i n i n g and equipment costs for an eight-man rappel crew (amortisation period of f i v e years) exceeds conventional helitack costs by approximately $703 per man per year. This cost figure i s based on a f i v e year amortisation period. The replacement period depends on the amount of use, presumably, a great deal of use i s the r e s u l t of a great deal of f i r e a c t i v i t y , and therefore the costs of replacement are e a s i l y o f f s e t by the savings i n suppression costs. Training costs w i l l vary from year to year. Once the programme i s set up, i t seems reasonable to expect that some of the crew w i l l come back the next season. There are bound to be new people to t r a i n , however, and i n any case, the o r i g i n a l crew has to continually t r a i n to keep t h e i r c e r t i f i c a t i o n current. If a season i s busy, with many f i r e s , then the rappellers w i l l have more than enough action. If there are few f i r e s , then the rappel crew spends most of i t s time on standby, and since the locations of the bases i n Northern B.C. are remote the crew morale may be low. In th i s case, some of the crew may not wish to return for another season, and new crew members have to be trained. - 127 -The following quotation i s taken from a l e t t e r to the author, from a member of the rappel crew i n RD 14. It i s a t y p i c a l example, i l l u s t r a t i n g the effectiveness of the rappel technique compared to conventional methods. "Scoo F i r e . 13.8.78. We b u i l t the helipad aft e r one rappel and had the f i r e put out i n short order. The closest natural helispot was f i v e miles away and 457 m downhill of the f i r e . The rappel was invaluable to saving at least one day of time, and i t eliminated the r i s k s involved i n having the men climb up through the thick bush and steep t e r r a i n carrying heavy gear." - 128 -CHAPTER 17. CREW SELECTION AND TRAINING To maintain a good safety record i t i s ess e n t i a l that the people involved i n rappelling are selected c a r e f u l l y . Hence, the crew selection procedure i s s t r i c t . The BCFS programme u t i l i z e s university students. In January 1979 approximately 2 00 students were interviewed at UBC for seven positions i n the rappel programme. This selection procedure i s carried out by Ranger J.P. Dunlop from Lower Post i n RD 14, with an assistant from the d i s t r i c t o f f i c e in Prince Rupert. In order to qua l i t y for a rappel po s i t i o n , each crewman must f u l f i l l the following requirements (13:3.0): 1. Have a suitable application and employment history. 2. Be selected on the basis of a pre-screen interview. 3. Submit a s a t i s f a c t o r y pre-employment c e r t i f i c a t e from a medical examiner. 4. Be i n good physical shape and weigh not more than 84 kg. 5. Be able to achieve a rating of 45 or better on the "step te s t " after the i n i t i a l t r a i n i n g period. - 129 -6. Reach an acceptable standing on completion of t r a i n i n g . 7. Must be able to function acceptably without glasses, i f same are worn. 8. Demonstrate mental maturity. 9. Be e n t i r e l y safety conscious. 10. Exhibit good co-ordination and a b i l i t y to follow instructions. 11. Must have a good depth perception and the a b i l i t y to d i s t i n g u i s h basic colours. 12. Must have unimpaired hearing. F i n a l l y , the crewman must continue to demonstrate rappel e f f i c i e n c y over the term of the programme. The step t e s t involves stepping onto and o f f of a block about 1/3 m high, i n time to a metronome. At the end of 5 minutes the subject's pulse i s read, and, together with the subject's weight, a ready reckoner i s used to give a physical f i t n e s s rating. It seems doubtful, however, that the test can be given one-hundred-percent c r e d i b i l i t y . The author underwent the t e s t i n accordance with the parameters l a i d down, and scored a figure i n the s i x t i e s , which was higher than any of the crewmen, who were c l e a r l y f i t t e r . Also, one of the crewmen had an i n i t i a l score i n the f o r t i e s , but at the end of the season, when he was considerably f i t t e r , his score was more or less the same. - 130 -This was l a t e r found to be due to a minor heart complaint, which was previously unknown. Much research has been carried out i n the U.S. on the v a l i d i t y of the step test as an indicator of physical f i t n e s s . Although re s u l t s have proved i t to be r e l i a b l e , i t should probably not be used as the sole c r i t e r i o n for judging f i t n e s s . Training i s divided into three phases: the classroom, the rappel t r a i n i n g tower, and the rappel helicopter. In the classroom, the crewmen are taught the fundamentals of f i r e f i g h t i n g , f i r s t aid, and the p r i n c i p l e s of rappelling. The crewmen are shown a l l the equipment used i n the operation, and how each component works. They are introduced to a l l the procedures to be used i n rappelling, including emergency procedures. This part of the t r a i n i n g l a s t s about 10 hours (day 1). In the U.S. the classroom t r a i n i n g i s s p l i t up into units with an examination at the end of each unit, which has to be passed i n order to proceed to the next unit (15). In the BCFS system, assessment of each crewman's performance i s made at the end of the tower t r a i n i n g phase. The next t r a i n i n g phase i s the rappel t r a i n i n g tower. Plate 9 below shows the rappel t r a i n i n g tower at Lower Post i n RD 14. The tower has three platforms: one at 2.5 m, one at 6 m, and one at 12 m. The t r a i n i n g i n th i s phase permits the crewmen to become accustomed to the procedures to be used. Each rappel from the tower i s carried out as i f i t were from a helicopter, and includes - 131 -Plate 9. The t r a i n i n g tower at Lower Post, RD 14. a l l the safety checks p r i o r to each rappel. At the completion of th i s section, the crewmen are assessed, to ensure that the correct attitudes are developing. Crewmen who are considered unsatisfactory at t h i s point are removed from the programme. The f i n a l t r a i n i n g phase i s i n the rappel helicopter. The crewmen are f i r s t given a refresher course i n helicopter safety. They are then taken to a B e l l 206 which i s equipped for rappelling. The p i l o t and crew conduct mock rappels with - 132 -the helicopter on the ground, with each crewman i n his assigned place. F i n a l l y , the crew rappel from a hovering helicopter, beginning with 9 to 12 metres above the ground, and progressing to 61 metres. The whole course requires about 60 hours, over a period of 6 days. Upon s a t i s f a c t o r y completion of a l l parts of the course, the crewman receives c e r t i f i c a t i o n from the D i s t r i c t Forester. The crewman i s then q u a l i f i e d for operational rappels. C e r t i f i c a t i o n remains v a l i d for 6 months, and i s renewed only i f the procedures s p e c i f i e d i n the operations manual have been followed, and i f the rappeller has maintained a high standard of rappel proficiency. In the operational rappel the helicopter c a r r i e s one p i l o t , one spotter and two rappellers. (In the U.S. system there are more rappellers.) The spotter undergoes further t r a i n i n g i n addition to the basic t r a i n i n g given to the rappellers. The spotter i s responsible for the safety of the rappellers and for choosing the location on the ground onto which the rappellers w i l l land. He co-ordinates the p i l o t and the operation. The spotter i s expected to demonstrate leadership q u a l i t i e s and the a b i l i t y to maintain d i s c i p l i n e and crew respect. He i s also expected to be very safety conscious and level-headed i n a l l situations. To be c e r t i f i e d as a spotter i t i s necessary to have at least one year's experience as either a rappeller or an apprentice spotter. - 133 -The rappel helicopter p i l o t must be completely q u a l i f i e d and current i n a l l respects, and i n accordance with the requirements of Transport Canada, A i r Regulations. The rappel p i l o t must have not less than 1,000 hours t o t a l helicopter time and not less than 100 hours of s l i n g time ( i . e . , f l y i n g with an external s l i n g load) i n a B e l l 206 Jet Ranger. (13:5.0) The p i l o t i s trained i n the procedures used i n the rappel operation. In p a r t i c u l a r , he must be aware of the effe c t s of the changes i n the centre of gravity of the helicopter, due to the rappellers moving out of the helicopter and down the rope. The p i l o t has o v e r a l l command of the helicopter and crew, but the spotter controls the rappellers and, through a microphone, keeps the p i l o t informed of the operation's progress. It i s es s e n t i a l that,the p i l o t be trained i n the rappel operation to ensure the safety of the rappel crew. P i l o t s must r e a l i z e that rappelling i s a precise operation. Throughout the f i r e season, the entire crew i s expected to stay physically f i t . In the BCFS programme the exercises are done at the d i s c r e t i o n of the spotter, although i t i s stipulated that one hour of exercises w i l l be carried out every morning. In the IFFS system the exercises are l a i d down with time requirements. In order, these are: - 134 -25 push-ups 7 pull-ups 45 sit-ups a run of 2.5 km in less than 11 minutes. The exercises are to be done with no more than a three-minute rest between each set. This system i s also used i n the U.S. It forms the basis of the physical f i t n e s s test for smoke jumpers, and i s considered to be a minimum l e v e l of f i t n e s s . - 135 -CHAPTER 18. THE EQUIPMENT INVOLVED IN RAPPELLING The equipment used i n rappelling i s very specialized, and misuse may r e s u l t i n unpredictable f a i l u r e . A detailed record should be kept of the usage that each component receives. Regular inspection should be carried out after each rappel, with a clear understanding that damaged equipment should be repaired or replaced immediately. The rappel system consists of a rope attached to a s p e c i a l l y designed anchor point on the helicopter. Attached to the rope i s a f r i c t i o n device (descendeur) c a l l e d the Sky Genie. The rappeller i s clipped into a body harness. Between the harness and the Genie there i s a quick release device known as a capewell. Plate 10 i l l u s t r a t e s the basic components. Each component i s described i n d e t a i l below. 1. The rope anchor on the helicopter The system used i n the BCFS consists of a s p e c i a l l y designed a l l o y plate which i s bolted onto the side of the helicopter, just above the port (left) rear door (Plate 11). The bolts pass through the helicopter fuselage and are secured over a load-spreading plate. The bolts are wired to prevent loosening due to v i b r a t i o n . This design i s - 136 -approved by the M i n i s t r y o f T r a n s p o r t (M.O.T.) and i s r a t e d t o a l o a d o f 585 kg. I n f a c t , the l o a d g e n e r a t e d d u r i n g a normal, smooth e x i t w i l l r a r e l y exceed 91 kg a l t h o u g h i n the event o f a l o c k o f f (crewman s t o p s d e s c e n t w h i l e s t i l l on the rope) d u r i n g t h e d e s c e n t a momentary shock l o a d i n g w e l l i n excess o f t h i s would be g e n e r a t e d . T h i s t r a n s i e n t shock l o a d i n g would a f f e c t t h e t r i m of t h e h e l i c o p t e r and the p i l o t s h o u l d be aware o f t h i s . rope t o anchor Sky Genie k a r a b i n e r c a p e w e l l attachment t o ha r n e s s P l a t e 10. B a s i c components o f t h e r a p p e l system. - 137 -The IFFS system i s s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t . I t c o n s i s t s o f an "A-Frame" mounted i n t h e p o r t r e a r doorway. The two l e g s o f t h e frame a t t a c h t o a hard p o i n t s ( s t r u c t u r a l l y s a f e ) on the h e l i c o p t e r , the top of the frame b e i n g h e l d back by a t h i r d b r a c e a t t a c h e d t o a hard p o i n t above the door ( P l a t e 12). I n b o t h systems the rope hangs down on the i n s i d e o f t h e s k i d . I n t h e U.S. the r a p p e l system uses a B e l l 212 h e l i c o p t e r . T h i s system a l l o w s two or f o u r r a p p e l l e r s t o descend a t the same t i m e , from e i t h e r s i d e of the h e l i c o p t e r . The ropes a t t a c h t o a c e n t r a l anchor known as t h e " I r o n C r o s s " l o c a t e d on t h e c e i l i n g o f t h e c a b i n q u a r t e r s . The ropes t h e n pass t h r o u g h a k a r a b i n e r a t t a c h e d t o a hard p o i n t j u s t above, and i n s i d e the doorway. These k a r a b i n e r s h o l d the rope i n p o s i t i o n f o r r a p p e l l i n g , y e t out o f t h e way o f the r a p p e l l e r s . P l a t e 11. BCFS rope anchor. - 138 -Plate 12. IFFS A-Frame. Figure 19 shows the three systems. In the Bell 212 the rope hangs down on the outside of the skid. - 139 -BELL 206 BELL 206 BCFS SYSTEM Rope anchor on body above rear port door. Rope hangs down inside skid. IFFS SYSTEM "A-Frame" attached i n rear port doorway. Rope hangs down inside skid. BELL 212 II 1. y USFS SYSTEM Two ropes attached to c e i l i n g anchor inside cabin. Rope hangs down over skid. SCALE 1:105 Figure 19. The three types of rope anchor. - 140 -2. The rope used The ropes used are made of continuous filament, braided nylon, the maximum length currently being 76 m. At the ends of each rope are pre-formed loops secured by aluminium swedges. Stamped onto these swedges i s the type of rope, the date of manufacture and the length. There may also be an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n number for use i n the rappel log. Two rope sizes are used, the 9.5 mm which i s rated at 1134 kg, and the 13 mm which i s rated at 1814 kg. The BCFS i s currently using only the 13 mm rope. Since these ropes are soft braided, they are f l e x i b l e and handle well. However, the rope i s prone to snagging and has poor resistance to abrasion. Being nylon, these ropes are also affected by u l t r a - v i o l e t l i g h t (sunlight) (21:6). The rope i s c a r e f u l l y stored when not i n use, and i s kept free of contamination. Twigs and needles snagged i n the rope cause res i n and pi t c h to accumulate i n the rope f i b r e s , causing f r i c t i o n spots to b u i l d up. This results in a jerky descent and also causes damage to the Sky Genie. The rope i s c o i l e d i n a continuous system of half hitches, which allows the rope to uncoil under i t s own weight without tangling when i t i s dropped from the helicopter. This i s c a l l e d a "birdsnest" (Plate 13). After each rappel the rope i s turned end-for-end to ensure uniform wear along the length of the rope, and also to prevent kinks building up - 141 -i n t h e r o p e . I f t h e r o p e i s n o t c h a n g e d r o u n d a f t e r e a c h r a p p e l t h e r a p p e l l e r may e x p e r i e n c e a s p i r a l l i n g d e s c e n t , d u e t o t h e b u i l d - u p o f t w i s t i n t h e r o p e . E a c h r o p e h a s a u s e f u l s e r v i c e l i f e o f a b o u t 200 r a p p e l s , a f t e r w h i c h i t i s r e t i r e d o r u s e d f o r t o w e r t r a i n i n g . I f a r o p e i s w e t , i t i s d r i e d o u t b e f o r e u s e , s i n c e a wet r o p e s w e l l s , i n c r e a s i n g t h e f r i c t i o n a n d o c c a s i o n a l l y j a m m i n g i n t h e G e n i e , m a k i n g f u r t h e r d e s c e n t e x t r e m e l y d i f f i c u l t . I f an e x t r e m e l y f a s t d e s c e n t i s m a d e , s u r f a c e m e l t i n g o f t h e r o p e w i l l o c c u r , due t o t h e h e a t b u i l d up as a r e s u l t o f t h e f r i c t i o n . P l a t e 1 3 . T h e r o p e c o i l e d i n a B i r d s n e s t . 3. The Sky Genie This i s the f r i c t i o n device used for a controlled descent down the rope. It consists of an aluminium shaft which i s enclosed by a separate aluminium casing. The number of wraps of rope around the shaft controls the rate of descent, two and a half wraps being i d e a l for a t y p i c a l rappeller (84 kg). The rappeller can further control the rate of descent by applying tension to the rope below the Genie. To stop (lock off) during the descent, the rappeller slows down to halt by increasing tension on the rope, and then passes the rope up and over the Genie, thus locking the system off and preventing further descent. The casing prevents the rope from coming o f f the shaft, and i t has a locking nut and a spring-loaded pin, which engages to prevent the casing from coming off (Plate 14). The shaft has a load rating of 454 kg and i s MOT approved. It i s regularly inspected to ensure that the f r i c t i o n surface i s free from contamination and blemishes which may damage the rope. 4. The harness The harness used i n rappelling i s a modified parachute harness. It i s constructed i n the form of an P l a t e 14. The Sky Genie i n d e t a i l . inverted "Y" and has adjustable shoulder and leg straps. When correctly adjusted, the rappeller i s able to crouch or s i t when wearing the harness. The two "D" rings at chest height provide the attachment point for the quick-release mechanism, the capewell. Since the harness i s made of nylon, i t i s subject to deterioration when exposed to acids and sunlight(21:4-6). Regular inspection i s essential to maintaining the harness i n a safe condition. 5. The capewell quick-release mechanism This device i s found between the Sky Genie and the harness. Its function i s to allow the rappeller to detach himself from the rappel rope i n the event of an emergency. Plates 15, 16, 17 show the sequence of opening the capewell. Since i t wears e a s i l y , i t i s only used i n emergencies, and i t i s regularly inspected. In routine operations the whole assembly i s detached from the rappel rope by unclipping the karabiner from the rope. 6. The rappeller's k i t The rappeller has a standard equipment k i t which includes: leather gloves worn during the rappel to prevent rope burns; a helmet (the spotter's helmet has l i v e microphone communication with the p i l o t ) ; f i r e - r e s i s t a n t clothing; a good quality folding knife contained i n a leather case and fastened onto the b e l t ; a small f i r s t - a i d k i t ; - 145 -P l a t e s 15, 16, 17. The c a p e w e l l and i t s use. - 146 -two nylon bags, one strapped to the right leg and the other to the waist. The leg bag contains a hard hat and work gloves. The waist bag has personal equipment and a portophone. When not i n use, the complete rappel k i t can be stored i n the leg bag. 7. The cargo pack The weight r e s t r i c t i o n s i n the B e l l 206 are such that the cargo pack i s limited to 45 kg. O r i g i n a l l y , the cargo pack was a long box shape (Plate 18) containing basic f i r e - f i g h t i n g t o o l s — a single side-band radio, a f i r s t - a i d k i t , emergency survival k i t and some drinking water. Experience showed that t h i s shape did not f l y well and spun during f l i g h t . A new system has evolved i n which a canvas bag i s used. This seems to have overcome the problem of the cargo lanyards breaking due to spinning. The cargo bag i s attached to the helicopter cargo hook by a lanyard.. This lanyard i s approximately 2 m long. About 0.6 m from the end i s a large metal ring. This ring goes onto the cargo hook underneath the helicopter. The long end of the lanyard extends from the hook into the cabin and i t i s t i e d onto the base of the seat-belt anchor with flagging tape (Figure 20). - 147 -Figure 20. Cargo pack hooked up. Once the two rappellers have gone down the rope the spotter moves to the back of the helicopter and attaches t h i s end of the lanyard onto a t h i r d Genie. The cargo i s then jettisoned from the cargo hook, and sl i d e s o f f down the rope, guided by the rappellers on the ground. In the U.S. operations the cargo i s lowered d i f f e r e n t l y . A separate l i n e i s attached to the cargo pack. This l i n e passes through a "figure-of-eight" descendeur, which attached to the f l o o r of the helicopter. The pack i s then lowered to the ground by the spotter. The rate of descent i s e a s i l y controlled by the spotter applying tension on the l i n e as i t passes through the descendeur. The rope - 148 -P l a t e 18. H e l i c o p t e r and ca r g o pack; ready f o r a c t i o n . i s c o l o u r - c o d e d a l o n g i t s l e n g t h so t h a t t h e s p o t t e r can t e l l how much rope has been lowered t o the ground, and he can t h e n determine whether he has enough rope l e f t t o l e t ano t h e r cargo down. I f a h e l p e r i s a v a i l a b l e i n the h e l i c o p t e r , then s e v e r a l c a r g o packs are s e n t down, o r a s e p a r a t e rope i s used f o r each pack. Once a l l t h e c a r g o i s on t h e ground, the descendeur i s detached from t h e r o p e , which i s th e n thrown t o the ground by the s p o t t e r . - 149 -8. The helicopters In Canada ( B r i t i s h Columbia and the Yukon) a B e l l 206 Jet Ranger i s used for rappelling. The advantage of the B e l l 206 i s that i t i s very commonly used i n Canada, and i s therefore rea d i l y available for c e r t i f i c a t i o n as a rappel c r a f t . I t i s r e l a t i v e l y f a s t , with a cruise speed of 193 km/h (120 MPH). Since the B e l l 206 i s r e l a t i v e l y small, any helipads needed can be b u i l t quickly. The Jet Ranger c a r r i e s : -P i l o t 77 kg Spotter 7 9 kg equipped Two rappellers 159 kg equipped Cargo 45 kg maximum two hours' f u e l supply .145 kg Subtotal: 505 kg Plus weight of empty helicopter . . 817 kg Total: 1,322 kg This allows a safety margin of 129 kg between the actual gross weight and the maximum allowable gross weight (13:8.33) Under certain circumstances, i t may be d i f f i c u l t to maintain a suitable hovering position with t h i s configuration. In th i s case, the cargo i s deposited at a convenient location and, i f necessary, the fu e l load can be reduced. In any case - 150 -the weight d i s t r i b u t i o n i s helped i f the heavier of the rappellers exits f i r s t . In the Rappel Operations Manual (13:3.0), i t i s stated that the rappeller should not weigh more than 84 kg when f u l l y clothed and equipped. The B e l l 206 cannot safely maintain the hover mode with a l a t e r a l loading of more than 91 kg, since the load o f f s e t s the centre of gravity too much. In the U.S. a twin-engined B e l l 212 helicopter i s used. This machine i s capable of carrying 6 rappellers plus the p i l o t , the spotter, and a l l the necessary cargo. Its gross weight i s 5080 kg; hence, there i s a large margin of safety. The j u s t i f i c a t i o n for using a twin-engined helicopter i s that i n the event of an "engine out", the helicopter s t i l l has one engine with which i t can either make a landing, or f l y out to a safer landing spot. Computer simulations of t h i s one-engine-out s i t u a t i o n , have shown that i f the B e l l 212 was i n a stable hover at an elevation of 61 m above the ground, at an a l t i t u d e of 2134 m above sea l e v e l , and with a payload of 4355 kg, the sink rates would be as follows: headwind (km/h) zero 18.5 37.0 sink rate (meters/minute) 146 55 time to touchdown (seconds) 25 67 Figures assume a i r temperature to be 24°C - 151 -Further simulations of the l i k e l i h o o d of an engine-out suggested that the chance of t h i s occurring during the actual hover operation was about one engine f a i l u r e every 2,000 years (based on 10 helicopters operating with a t o t a l of 1,000 hours per season). The San Dimas Equipment Development Centre further analysed the operation and found that, based on the past experience with t h i s type of engine, one could expect an engine shut-down during the hover mode once per 2,000,000 hours of operation. Since hovering comprises no more than one-tenth of the t o t a l operating time, t h i s represents an engine f a i l u r e rate of 0.005 per 100,000 hours i n the hover mode (14). Clearly, the B e l l 212 i s acceptably r e l i a b l e . However, the costs of operating such a large machine on a rappelling programme are very high, and recently i n the U.S. there has been some discussion of the r e l a t i v e costs and benefits of the rappel operation. Indeed, i t seems clear that the costs of operating a B e l l 212 may be too high and that the rappel programme may have to close. In the Canadian systems, the event of an engine shut-down i s more c r i t i c a l since the helicopter has no au x i l i a r y power. Some helicopters are equipped with r e - l i g h t k i t s which may a l l e v i a t e the problem. However, i n the event of an engine f a i l u r e the B e l l 206 would have to autorotate to the ground. Since i t i s i n a hover with a maximum of 61 m - 152 -a l t i t u d e , the elapsed time p r i o r to touchdown i s estimated to be 10-12 seconds. At set of emergency procedures i s included i n the BCFS Rappel Operations Manual to deal with the situations that might a r i s e . So far, there have been no engine shut-downs i n the hover mode i n over 60,000 rappels. In the opinion of the author i t would be a retrograde step to allow only twin-engined helicopters to be used for rappelling. At the time of writing, the costs of operating a B e l l 206 are considered high r e l a t i v e to the savings incurred on some f i r e s regardless of attack method. The extra costs involved i n using a B e l l 212 helicopter instead of a B e l l 206 would e f f e c t i v e l y rule out usage of the rappelling system for f i r e - f i g h t i n g . The r i s k involved in rappelling from a single-engined helicopter i s considered to be less than that involved i n walking i n to the f i r e through unknown t e r r a i n , carrying a heavy pack and being unable to keep a constant check on the location and size of the f i r e . - 153 -CHAPTER 19. THE PROCEDURES FOR RAPPELLING Appendix 3 l i s t s i n d e t a i l the procedures taken during the rappel. B a s i c a l l y the rappel procedure i s as follows: 1. The helicopter f l i e s to the s i t e of the f i r e . 2. If the f i r e i s more than 48 km. from the base, the helicopter lands before reaching the f i r e , and the spotter r i g s the helicopter for rappelling. 3. The helicopter f l i e s to the f i r e , a suitable rappel s i t e i s chosen. 4. The rope i s dropped to the ground, the f i r s t rappeller i s checked out and allowed to go down the rope. 5. The second rappeller i s checked out and goes down the rope. 6. The cargo i s attached to a Sky Genie and then sent down the rope. 7. The rope i s detached from the anchor and dropped to the ground. 8. The helicopter f l i e s o f f to the base, or to the landing spot previously used to prepare for r appelling. - 154 -9. Once the two rappellers are on the ground they pack up the rappel equipment, unpack the cargo drop and prepare to construct the helipad. Once th i s i s done they s t a r t to control the f i r e . (In some cases, i f the rappellers f e e l they can put the f i r e out with immediate action, they w i l l do t h i s before constructing the helipad). 10. If more support i s needed, the helicopter can come i n with reinforcements and more supplies for the f i r e f i g h t e r s . 11. If there are many f i r e s to f i g h t , the helicopter comes back to the f i r e with a conventional i n i t i a l attack crew. They then f i g h t the f i r e while the rappel crew i s flown out to attack another f i r e elsewhere, or to b u i l d another helipad at a d i f f e r e n t part of the f i r e . 12. Once the f i r e has been controlled or extinguished, the rappel crew returns to base and prepare for the next f i r e a l e r t . In rare cases, an emergency may arise either before, during, or after the rappel. The BCFS system has a well defined set of procedures that are to be followed i n these cases (Appendix 4). - 155 -The procedures have been drawn up to cover v i r t u a l l y every conceivable s i t u a t i o n that might a r i s e . As i n the rest of the operation, s t r i c t adherence to these procedures should ensure that the maximum e f f o r t i s made to maintain a safe operation. - 156 -CHAPTER 20. LIMITATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS OF THE RAPPEL SYSTEM The hover mode for a helicopter i s one of i t s least safe phases, since i t has no forward f l i g h t and i s rel y i n g on r e l a t i v e wind and the rotation of the rotors for l i f t to maintain the hover. A headwind w i l l help increase the amount of l i f t by increasing the r e l a t i v e wind, thus allowing less power to be used to maintain l i f t . However, gusts of wind cause the helicopter to d r i f t sideways or r i s e and f a l l . The maximum allowable wind v e l o c i t y for a sa t i s f a c t o r y rappel i s 32 km/h (20 MPH) with gusts of no more than 13 km/h (8 MPH). Not only do gusts of wind a f f e c t the helicopter's s t a b i l i t y , but they could cause serious problems for the rappeller i f the helicopter d r i f t e d sideway If i t i s raining at the rappel s i t e the rappel i s aborted, due to the problem (already discussed) of rope swelling. Restrictions on the rappel operation come from the Transport Canada A i r Regulations and Aeronautics Act. A i r Regulation number 511 states: "Except as otherwise authorised by the minister, no person s h a l l enter or attempt to enter any a i r c r a f t i n f l i g h t or leave or attempt to leave any a i r c r a f t i n f l i g h t , except for the purpose of making a parachute descent or give upon any a i r c r a f t i n f l i g h t any gymnastic or other l i k e e xhibition." The company operating the helicopter can apply to the regional a i r authority for a waiver to t h i s regulation. Thi - 157 -waiver w i l l then be written into the operations manual of the company and allows them to deplane people when the helicopter i s hovering. In accordance with Transport Canada regulations, people f l y i n g i n the helicopter are under t h e i r j u r i s d i c t i o n . However, once the rappeller i s suspended on the rope he comes under the authority of the Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia (WCB). Although there are s p e c i f i c WCB regulations governing helicopter rappelling, the employer and employees involved i n t h i s operation would come under Section 8 (Places of Employment - General Requirements). The regulations should be r e a d i l y available at the rappel base, so that anyone interested could consult them. There has been discussion of the merits of having two-way communication between the rappeller and the spotter. However, i t i s generally f e l t by the people rappelling that t h i s i s not necessary, p a r t i a l l y because of a well-developed set of procedures which allow for a l l conceivable emergencies, and p a r t i a l l y because of the very short duration of time spent on the rope. Once on the ground, the rappellers have radio communication (single side-band radio i n cargo). - 158 -Summary The system of helicopter rappelling presently used i n B r i t i s h Columbia and the Yukon i s well thought out, and presents less r i s k to the people involved than conventional methods of i n i t i a l attack. In the U.S., the mandatory use of a B e l l 212 helicopter for rappelling i s causing problems. The high operating costs of t h i s machine may lead to the elimination of -rappelling from the f i r e fighters* repertory. In the opinion of the author the mandatory use of a twin-engined helicopter, solely on the basis of increased safety, i s not j u s t i f i e d . The B e l l 206 Jet Ranger has proven i t s e l f to be a highly r e l i a b l e helicopter, with no incidents of engine f a i l u r e during the rappel operation so far. This i s not to say that an engine f a i l u r e would not be highly c r i t i c a l . However, i f the procedures that have been t r i e d and tested over the past years are allowed, then an emergency can be handled e f f e c t i v e l y . The greatest danger to the continuation of the rappelling programme does not l i e i n the apparent (but i l l u s o r y ) r i s k to trained people. Rather, i t l i e s i n a s i t u a t i o n where poorly trained people who do not abide by a l l the procedures carry out operational rappelling with good intent, but with catastrophic r e s u l t s . So far t h i s s i t u a t i o n has not arisen. With correct t r a i n i n g and use of prescribed procedures, i t never w i l l . - 159 -Helicopter rappelling i s gaining more and more acceptance i n several f i e l d s of work. The continued evaluation of safe procedures, and rigorous t r a i n i n g of a l l those involved i n the operation w i l l ensure that t h i s operation continues as an e f f e c t i v e means of deploying people into remote locations. The rappelling system, as a method of i n i t i a l attack, now needs careful economic analysis to determine conditions where i t would be most e f f i c i e n t l y used, i n combination with conventional methods. - 160 -CHAPTER 21. HELITACK Helitack i s a more conventional method of deploying i n i t i a l attack crews.. Since the safe operation of helicopters has already been discussed i n Section 11, Safety In and Around the Helicopter, i t w i l l not be repeated here. The duration of i n i t i a l attack time i s a c r i t i c a l factor i n the suppression of w i l d f i r e s . C l e arly the two systems are not equally suited to any one type of t e r r a i n , rappelling being-suited to rugged, remote country, and helitack being i d e a l l y suited to f l a t open country, such as i s commonly seen in the Chilcotin-Cariboo regions. At the present time the main helitack base i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s at Riske Creek, near Williams Lake. It i s here that the Forest Service has i t s Central I n i t i a l F i r e Attack Crew (C.I.F.A.C.). This operation consists of six four-man crews, each crewman being trained i n f i r e suppression techniques, and helicopter safety. An Alouette 111 helicopter i s used, which carr i e s a four-man crew, the p i l o t , and a l l the equipment needed to perform an i n i t i a l attack. In operation, the helicopter and crew f l y out to the f i r e s i t e , reconnoitre i t from the a i r and then locate the closest available landing s i t e . From here the helitack crew walks i n to the f i r e s i t e , carrying the equipment needed. In the C h i l c o t i n area, helitack i s an i d e a l method of crew deployment, since the t e r r a i n and vegetation r e s t r i c t i o n s are - 161 -not too severe, and therefore the crew is.able to walk quickly and without undue e f f o r t . However, as seen i n the discussion on helicopter rappelling, the difference i n i n i t i a l attack times between the two systems w i l l increase rapidly once the t e r r a i n becomes steeper and the vegetation underfoot becomes denser. Another constraint on the present organisation of the helitack base i s i t s location. At the present time, the furthest point i n the f i r e d i s t r i c t i s approximately 19 0 km from the f i r e base; hence, i f the helitack crew i s c a l l e d out to a f i r e i n t h i s area, the helitack helicopter i s i n use for several hours. The occurrence of a second f i r e elsewhere, means that a helicopter has to be c a l l e d i n from the Williams Lake ai r p o r t , to transport three of the crewmen and the cargo (since the helicopter i s l i k e l y to be a B e l l 206 Jet Ranger, i t can only carry three crewmen). If a t h i r d f i r e develops, i t i s possible (in fact such a s i t u a t i o n was seen by the author) that there w i l l be no further helicopters available i n the immediate v i c i n i t y of the helitack base; hence, rather than waste time f l y i n g to the C.I.F.A.C. base the helicopter w i l l land at the closest ranger station and use a pick-up crew. This means that 4 crews may be available to f i g h t the f i r e s , but due to lack of helicopters they are unable to be u t i l i s e d . I t would seem to be more l o g i c a l to have two helitack bases in the d i s t r i c t , one at T a t l a Lake for instance, - 162 -with three crews, and the others at Riske Creek. If both bases had a contract helicopter available, then the c a p a b i l i t y to attack f i r e s would be increased since either helicopter would have to f l y shorter distances and therefore the round t r i p time would be less. Generally the crews at the C.I.F.A.C. base received a higher l e v e l of t r a i n i n g than was seen elsewhere i n suppression operations (except for the rappel crews). Because these crews have been s p e c i f i c a l l y trained, and because they were using helicopters d a i l y , the l e v e l of hazard awareness was high, and one would expect the accident rate to be very low. This s i t u a t i o n w i l l continue as long as s t r i c t adherance to safety procedures i s always maintained, and the t r a i n i n g programmes are available to continually reinforce these procedures. - 163 -SUMMARY ON THE SAFE USE OF HELICOPTERS The o r i g i n a l objectives of t h i s study were defined as: Determine the inherent hazards and poten t i a l for safety improvement i n the use of helicopters for forest f i r e suppression and prescribed burning operations i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Develop recommendations which would contribute to greater safety i n f i r e - r e l a t e d helicopter operations in B r i t i s h Columbia. In the preceding chapters, several aspects of helicopter use have been discussed, hazards have been i d e n t i f i e d , and where possible safer procedures have been outlined. However, i t should be noted that t h i s report has not been able to cover a l l aspects of helicopter use i n f i r e suppression operations, although much of the material presented i n Section 11 w i l l apply to most helicopter operations. The main finding of t h i s report i s that many accidents caused by human error i n the use of helicopters, are the re s u l t of poor or inadequate t r a i n i n g . This lack of t r a i n i n g was observed at several worker levels (from crewman to supervisor). The reasons for t h i s inadequate t r a i n i n g are not always clear; many organisations have t r a i n i n g programmes, - 164 -some g o o d a n d some p o o r , y e t , a c c i d e n t s s t i l l o c c u r , e v e n w i t h p e o p l e who h a v e b e e n w e l l t r a i n e d . P o s s i b l e c o n t r i b u t o r y f a c t o r s a r e d i s c u s s e d . T h e m a i n c o n c l u s i o n r e a c h e d i s t h a t t h e p e o p l e ( o t h e r t h a n p i l o t s ) who work w i t h h e l i c o p t e r s a r e n o t s u f f i c i e n t l y aware o f how h e l i c o p t e r s o p e r a t e . T h i s l a c k o f a w a r e n e s s l e a d s p e o p l e t o t a k e unknown r i s k s ; unknown u n t i l t h e a c c i d e n t h a p p e n s . T h e p r o b l e m s o f t h e r o t o r downwash d r a w i n g l o o s e o b j e c t s up i n t o t h e r o t o r s ; h e l i p a d s b e i n g b u i l t p o o r l y a n d c o l l a p s i n g i n u s e ; a n d p e o p l e n o t a l l o w i n g e n o u g h room f o r t r a n s l a t i o n a l f l i g h t , a l l p r o v i d e e x c e l l e n t e x a m p l e s o f t h i s l a c k o f a w a r e n e s s . I n some c a s e s , t h e p i l o t s a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c a u s i n g a c c i d e n t s , e i t h e r b y e x c e e d i n g t h e s a f e o p e r a t i n g l i m i t s o f t h e h e l i c o p t e r i n o r d e r t o s a t i s f y t h e c u s t o m e r ' s d e m a n d s , o r , by s e t t i n g a p o o r e x a m p l e f o r o t h e r , l e s s k n o w l e d g e a b l e p e o p l e t o f o l l o w . A c l a s s i c e x a m p l e o f t h e l a t t e r , i s when t h e p i l o t w a l k s a r o u n d t h e h e l i c o p t e r by d u c k i n g u n d e r t h e t a i l boom when t h e t a i l r o t o r i s s t i l l s p i n n i n g . T h e p i l o t i s aware o f t h e t a i l r o t o r h a z a r d . H o w e v e r , p e o p l e n o t t r a i n e d i n h e l i c o p t e r u s a g e may f o l l o w t h e e x a m p l e s e t , y e t be u n a w a r e o f t h e t a i l r o t o r , w h i c h i s o f t e n i n v i s i b l e when s p i n n i n g . P r o b l e m s i n t h e u s e o f a e r i a l i g n i t i o n s y s t e m s , a r e m a i n l y i n t h e d e s i g n o f t h e s y s t e m s . T h e r e c a n be no d o u b t t h a t a e r i a l i g n i t i o n s y s t e m s r e p r e s e n t a s i g n i f i c a n t a d v a n c e - 165 -in prescribed burning techniques, biit some of the systems, p a r t i c u l a r l y the Okanagan drip torch design, are p o t e n t i a l l y hazardous. Despite t h i s , there have been no serious helicopter drip torch accidents so far. However, the advent of the Western Helicopter's Heli-torch, which uses j e l l e d fuels, may r a d i c a l l y change the whole design of a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. This development allows the helicopter to f l y at safe a l t i t u d e s and airspeeds, yet achieve an i g n i t i o n pattern as good as, or better than that seen with more widely used (and older) systems. The helicopter rappelling operation reviewed i n Northern B r i t i s h . Columbia, provides an excellent example of how, well-trained crews, using well developed procedures, can function very e f f i c i e n t l y and. safely. The l e v e l of t r a i n i n g and hazard awareness seen i n th i s operation points the way to the safe use of helicopters. Overall, the Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia could make a worthwhile contribution to the safe use of helicopters i n forestry, by providing t r a i n i n g material and increasing people's awareness of the hazards inherent i n helicopter operations. Such material should include posters o u t l i n i n g s p e c i f i c hazards, l e a f l e t s o u t l i n i n g s p e c i f i c procedures for avoiding these hazards, and t r a i n i n g s l i d e s and films. A l l of the material should be re a d i l y available to the forest and helicopter industries throughout the Province. In addition, each ranger station would be able to use the posters on f i r e s i t e s to educate casual crews. - 166 -The great d i v e r s i t y of operations involved i n using helicopters makes i t extremely hard to•contemplate introducing any regulations that would be e f f e c t i v e i n reducing the.'.accident rate. Furthermore, regulations do not appear to be the answer; rather than reduce the accident rate, they might well act i n opposition, causing unnecessary f r u s t r a t i o n for the people to whom they apply, and eventually leading to more accidents. The alternative approach, suggested above, i s to ensure that the l e v e l of job-related education i s high, and that a l l categories of worker c l e a r l y understand why ce r t a i n actions have to be taken. This l a t t e r course of action would undoubtedly be useful and acceptable to the i n d u s t r i a l user of helicopters. In an area of work already well regulated, more regulations would probably do more harm than good. BIBLIOGRAPHY American National Standards I n s t i t u t e . American  National Standard for External Load Operations. (B30.12) pp.22. Barron, Daniel W. Helicopter Rappelling: A means  of I n i t i a l Attack. B r i t i s h Columbia Inst i t u t e of Technology, Burnaby. Forestry Department. Unpublished paper. September 1978. 30pp., i l l u s . Baxter, J.R., D.R. Packham, and G.B. Peet. Control  Burning From A i r c r a f t . Commonwealth S c i e n t i f i c and Industrial Research Organisation. July 1966, pp.26, i l l u s . Dunster, J u l i a n A. Helicopter Rappelling: an  appraisal of techniques currently used i n f i r e  f i g h t i n g . Faculty of Forestry, University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Unpublished report. A p r i l 197 9. pp.56, i l l u s . Harrison, Robin T., Marshall C. M i l l e r , and John Bowser. Helicopter Noise and Its E f f e c t s on  Personnel. ED & T 2524. Equipment Development Centre, San Dimas. U.S.D.A. 1976. pp.5. Henderson, Robert C. A e r i a l Firemen Delivery for  I n i t i a l Attack: A F i r e Management Assessment. Paper presented to Northern Natural Resources and Environment Branch, Indian and Northern A f f a i r s . February 1976. 26pp. Henderson, Robert C. Progress Report. Operational  Evaluation of Helicopter Deployment Technique. (UBC 206). University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Vancouver. 197 2. 2 8pp. L a i t , G.R., and S.J. Muraro. The P.F.R.C. A e r i a l  Ignition System Mark 2. Canadian Forestry Service. P a c i f i c Forestry Research Centre. BC-X-167. Revised July 1977. pp.27. i l l u s . Macdonald, A.M. ed. Chambers Twentieth Century  Dictionary. W&R Chambers Ltd.,. Edinburgh. 1976. Manfield, Barry N. Prescribed (Slash) Burning.  Developments Technological Changes and Safety  Considerations. Unpublished paper submitted to the Prevention Services Department, Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia. May 1978. pp.90, i l l u s . - 168 -11. Muraro, S.J., G.R. L a i t , and W.L. Cave. Development of an A e r i a l Drip Torch. Unpublished paper. Canadian Forestry Service. P a c i f i c Forest Research Centre. Jan. 1974. pp.6 i l l u s . 12. Packham, D.R. and G.B. Peet. Developments i n Controlled Burning From A i r c r a f t . Commonwealth S c i e n t i f i c and Industrial Research Organisation. October 1967. pp.14, i l l u s . 13. Rappel Operations Manual for B e l l 206 Helicopters. B r i t i s h Columbia Forest Service. Unpublished manual. 40pp., i l l u s . 14. Rappel Operations Study. F i n a l Report. USDA For. Serv., F i r e and Aviation Management. Region 6. January 1976. 26pp. 15. Rappellers' Training Guide. USDA For. Serv., 5700 Aviation Management. 1978. 140pp. 16. Shell Canada Limited. Personal Communication. R.A. Burgess. Senior s t a f f chemist Vancouver. December 197 8. 17. Skjenna, Olaf. A Treatise on Rotary Wing Human  Factors. Unpublished paper, prepared for C i v i l Aviation Medicine Training Report, Department of National Health and Welfare, Medical Services, Canada, pp.237. i l l u s . 18. Transport Canada. A i r Regulations and Aeronautics  Act. TP 52 4 6th edi t i o n . Minister of Supply and Services Canada. 1976. 19. Transport Canada. Heliport Design C r i t e r i a . Reprinted September 197 3. pp.10. 20. Transport Canada. Personal Communication. Jack Bray. Accidents Bureau. Ottawa. Jan. 1979. 21. T r o l l Products. A Guide to the Selection, Use and  Care of Your Tape Equipment. Oldham, Lancashire, England. G.B. 1977. 22pp., i l l u s . 22. U.S. Department of Transportation. Basic Helicopter  Handbook. EA-AC-61-13A, Federal Aviation Administration, F l i g h t Standards Service. 1973. pp.107, i l l u s . - 169 -23. Witala, Douglas J . The Implementation of an  I n i t i a l Attack Programme. B r i t i s h Columbia Institute of Technology, Burnaby. Unpublished Technical Report. 45,235. 1978. 16pp., i l l u s . 24. Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia. Industrial Health and Safety Regulations. January, 1978. FURTHER R E F E R E N C E S T h e r e f e r e n c e s l i s t e d b e l o w , a l t h o u g h n o t s p e c i f i c a l l y c i t e d i n t h e t e x t o f t h i s r e p o r t , a r e recommended as b e i n g e s s e n t i a l b a c k g r o u n d r e a d i n g f o r a n y o n e e s p e c i a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n h e l i c o p t e r s a f e t y , e i t h e r i n w i l d f i r e s u p p r e s s i o n , o r i n t h e u s e o f h e l i c o p t e r s i n a e r i a l i g n i t i o n s y s t e m s . 1. Anon. Helitorch Guidelines. U.S.F.S. Region 6. January 1979. pp.16., i l l u s . 2. Anon. Interagency Helicopter Management Training  Guide. United States Department of the In t e r i o r . TT-78-(5100) February 1973. pp.220. i l l u s . 3. F i e l d e r , Robert L. Operational Guidelines for Helicopter Drip Torch. B r i t i s h Columbia Forest Service, Protection Div i s i o n , V i c t o r i a , B.C. 1977. pp.17, i l l u s . 4. Sackett, Stephen S. Airborne Igniters for Prescribed  Burning. F i r e Management, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. Vol. 36, No. 2, Spring 1975. pp. 12-13. - 170' -APPENDIX 1. ACCIDENT REPORTS. - 171 -APPENDIX 1. Appendix 1 i s a c o l l e c t i o n of accident reports i l l u s t r a t i n g some of the hazards referred to i n the text. Most of these accidents are not s p e c i f i c to any one f i e l d of work such as forestry or geology. Rather, they are accidents that are common to a l l helicopter usage and the lesson learnt from each accident applies to helicopter usage in a l l f i e l d s of work. Listed below are the sources of information on helicopter accidents. 1. Synopses of A i r c r a f t Accidents. C i v i l A i r c r a f t in Canada. TP 376. Aviation Safety Investigation Divi s i o n , Transport Canada. 2. Helicopter Accidents. TP 202. Aviation Safety Bureau, Transport Canada (monthly b u l l e t i n s ) . 3. Aviation Safety Letter. TP 185. Transport Canada. (monthly, issued to registered p i l o t s ) . 4. Preliminary Accident Reports. Helicopter Association of America. (Monthly b u l l e t i n s ) . 5. Accident Reports. Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia. - .172 -6. Briefs of Accidents Involving Rotorcraft. National Transportation Safety Board. U.S. General Aviation. Report number NTSB-AMM-78-4. 7. Personal Communication. Jack Bray. Accidents Bureau. Transport Canada, Ottawa. Accident Report Format Each accident report i s l a i d out as follows: Accident # (referred to i n the text) Type of helicopter. Crew i n j u r i e s . Passenger injuries, Damage: degree (source #/helicopter reg'n #/ year of accident) A b r i e f description of the accident. MORAL: a b r i e f note as to what to avoid i n future. - 173 -The following i s an example:-14. Hughes 500C Crew..l uninjured. Passenger.. 1 k i l l e d Damage: substantial. (2/C-GUXB/7 7) Main rotor struck deplaning passenger as he walked u p h i l l from the helicopter. MORAL: Enter and exit on the downhill side and in the p i l o t ' s f i e l d of view. Transport Canada Air Regulations (Part 1. Section 101) define an "Accident" as follows. " A i r c r a f t accident" means any occurrence associated with the operation of an a i r c r a f t that takes place between the time any person boards the a i r c r a f t with the intention of f l i g h t and u n t i l such time as a l l persons have disembarked in which: (a) any person suffers death or serious injury as a r e s u l t of being i n or upon the a i r c r a f t or by d i r e c t contact with the a i r c r a f t or by anything attached thereto: or (b) the a i r c r a f t receives substantial damage or i s destroyed. The d e f i n i t i o n of substantial damage i s given i n the Transport Canada A i r Navigation Orders iVIII, No. 1) as: "Substantial" damage means damage or str u c t u r a l f a i l u r e that adversely a f f e c t s the s t r u c t u r a l strength, performance or f l i g h t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of an a i r c r a f t and that would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component, except that engine f a i l u r e , limited to an engine, bent f a i r i n g s or cowlings, dented skin, small punctured holes in the skin or fabric,damage to propellor blades, damage to tyres, engine accessories, brakes or wingtips are not deemed to be substantial damage. The following d e f i n i t i o n s are taken from source 6, Bri e f s of Accidents Involving Rotorcraft. Fatal Injury Any injury which re s u l t s i n death within 7 days of the accident. Serious Injury Any injury which: 1. requires h o s p i t a l i s a t i o n for more than 48 hours commencing within 7 days from the date of injury - 17 51 -2. r e s u l t s i n a fracture of any bone (except simple fractures of fingers, toes, or nose); 3. involves lacerations which cause severe hemorrhages nerve, muscle or tendon damage; 4. involves injury to any i n t e r n a l organ, or any burns a f f e c t i n g more than 5% of the body surface. This c o l l e c t i o n of accident reports i s by no means representative of a l l helicopter accidents. The accidents l i s t e d here have been extracted s o l e l y to i l l u s t r a t e points i n the text and to show that precautions are always necessary. It should also be borne i n mind that for every accident documented, there were probably many "near miss" incidents, which were never reported. The reader i s encouraged to refer to the sources of information l i s t e d above, to gain a more comprehensive insight into helicopter accidents. - 17 6': _ 1. Hughes 5 0 O C . C r e w . . l u n i n j u r e d . P a s s e n g e r s . . 2 u n i n j u r e d . Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l . ( 2 / C F - D U Z / 7 6 ) T h e p i l o t l a n d e d t o l e t o f f a p a s s e n g e r . The e n g i n e was i n g r o u n d i d l e a n d t h e r o t o r s s p i n n i n g . The p a s s e n g e r u n l o a d e d h i s g e a r a n d t o s p e e d t h i n g s up he t h r e w a n a x e i n t o t h e a i r i n t e n d i n g i t t o l a n d some d i s t a n c e away . T h e axe h i t one o f t h e r o t o r s , s h a t t e r i n g i t . MORAL: A l l i t e m s s h o u l d be c a r e f u l l y u n l o a d e d , a n d n e v e r t h r o w n . 2 . B e l l 2 0 6 B . C r e w . . l m i n o r i n j u r y . Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l . ( 2 / C - F A H P / 7 7 ) H e l i c o p t e r s l i n g i n g e q u i p m e n t p i c k e d up a 431 k g d r i l l i n g e n g i n e f r o m i t s s u p p o r t s t a n d . E n g i n e h y d r a u l i c l i n e s n a g g e d on t h e s t a n d c a u s i n g t h e a i r c r a f t t o s w i n g a r o u n d a s t h e p i l o t t r i e d u n s u c c e s s f u l l y t o r e l e a s e t h e l o a d . M a i n r o t o r s t r u c k t h e g r o u n d a n d t h e h e l i c o p t e r r o l l e d o n t o i t s l e f t s i d e . MORAL: A l w a y s c h e c k e a c h s l i n g l o a d p r i o r t o l i f t o f f t o e n s u r e t h a t a l l l i n e s a r e c l e a r a n d n o t s n a g g e d . - 17 7. -B e l l 206B. Crew..l serious injury. Damage: destroyed. (2/C-GHFC/77) Slingload of p l a s t i c hose flew back into the t a i l r o t o r when the p i l o t increased airspeed after takeoff. Hose tangled i n the t a i l r o t o r breaking off the tailboom, and a i r c r a f t crashed r o l l i n g on i t s side. MORAL: Light s l i n g loads need to be weighted down or put on a short lanyard, to prevent them from f l y i n g back into the t a i l r o t o r at speed. B e l l 206B. Crew..l uninjured. Damage: substantial. (2/C-GSHH/77) Lanyard hooked over skid as p i l o t was sli n g i n g f u e l drums. Helicopter r o l l e d over, crashed and burned. MORAL: as i n #2. B e l l 204. Crew..l minor. Damage: substantial. • (l/CF-AHL/75) During a slinging operation, the p i l o t suspected an engine overspeed. He moved the machine l a t e r a l l y to clear the f l i g h t engineer who was under the helicopter attaching the s l i n g , and landed on some empty o i l barrels. The unstable landing platform caused him to lose control and the main rotors struck the ground. - 178 -MORAL: l e a v e p l e n t y o f s p a c e when s l i n g i n g i n c a s e t h e h e l i c o p t e r h a s t o l a n d s u d d e n l y . B e l l 2 0 6 . C r e w . . l s e r i o u s . Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l ( l / C F - O A S/75) T h e p i l o t d i d n o t m a i n t a i n a v e r t i c a l p o s i t i o n o v e r t h e s l i n g l o a d d u r i n g t h e i n i t i a l l i f t . The h e l i c o p t e r s t a r t e d m o v i n g i n a n e r r a t i c m a n n e r , d r a g g i n g t h e l o a d a c r o s s t h e g r o u n d , u n t i l i t s t r u c k t r e e s a t t h e edge o f t h e c l e a r i n g . A m a r s h a l l e r was n o t a v a i l a b l e t o a s s i s t t h e p i l o t i n h i s t a s k . MORAL: I f a t a l l p o s s i b l e , a m a r s h a l l e r s h o u l d be p r e s e n t t o h e l p t h e p i l o t m a i n t a i n p o s i t i o n d u r i n g s l i n g i n g . Hughes 3 6 9 . C r e w . . l k i l l e d . Damage: d e s t r o y e d . ( l / C - G H U V/7 5) T h e h e l i c o p t e r was t r a n s p o r t i n g a l e n g t h o f a n g l e i r o n s l u n g h o r i z o n t a l l y u n d e r t h e a i r c r a f t , w h i c h p r o d u c e d a n u n s t a b l e s w i n g i n g l o a d , a n d i t s t r u c k t h e t a i l r o t o r . T h e l o a d was n o t r e l e a s e d a n d t h e h e l i c o p t e r e n t e r e d a d e s c e n d i n g t u r n p r o b a b l y a t t e m p t i n g t o r e a c h a r o a d w a y . J u s t p r i o r t o r e a c h i n g t h e r o a d t h e a n g l e i r o n s t r u c k a t r e e , t h e h e l i c o p t e r l a n d e d on i t s s i d e a n d b u r s t i n t o f l a m e . MORAL: a s i n #3. Sikorsky S-58. Crew..l serious injury. Passengers..2 serious, 7 minor. Damage: substantial. (2/CF-JTH/7 6) Upon take off a loose garbage can l i d was blown up into the rotors. The helicopter f e l l to the ground, v i b r a t i n g v i o l e n t l y , where upon three main rotor blades broke o f f . MORAL: landing s i t e s should be kept clear o ff a l l loose materials. B e l l 206B. No i n j u r i e s . Damage: s l i g h t . (7/not known/78) A helicopter coming into land on a roadside clearing, blew up a stray p l a s t i c lunch bag, which h i t the main rotors with a loud bang. The p l a s t i c bag was welded onto the rotor blade. An engineer had to come out to the s i t e and f i l e o f f the bag before the helicopter could be flown again. MORAL: as i n 8. B e l l 206B. Crew..l serious. Damage: s l i g h t . (4+5/CF-LDR/78) Helicopter landed with s l i n g load. Crewman d i s -connected the lanyard and threw i t over his shoulder. - 180 -The lanyard struck the main rotor blade and dragged the lanyard through the crewman's hand. Crewman l o s t the middle and index fingers of ' his r i g h t hand. MORAL: Correct t r a i n i n g and greater awareness could have prevented t h i s accident. 11. B e l l 47G4A. Crew..l uninjured. Passengers..2 uninjured. Damage: substantial. (2/CF-YWY/77) Helicopter descended into trees as the p i l o t t r i e d to turn back after beginning to s e t t l e during a climb over sloping t e r r a i n . High temperature and t e r r a i n slope were beyond the c a p a b i l i t y of the loaded helicopter. MORAL: The prevailing conditions w i l l a l t e r the payload c a p a b i l i t y of the helicopter and should be allowed for. 12. B e l l 204.(ski). Crew..l uninjured. Passenger..10 uninjured Damage: substantial (l/C-FBHY/7 6) The t a i l swung l e f t during landing and struck a snow bank. The helicopter was near maximum gross weight and d i d not have s u f f i c i e n t power reserve to abort the landing attempt. MORAL: Maximum payload can only be carried i n ideal conditions. - 181, ~ B e l l 2 0 6 . No d e t a i l s o n i n j u r i e s . Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l . ( 1 / n o t k n o w n . See i s s u e 3 / 7 8 ) T h e p i l o t was t r a n s p o r t i n g f o u r p e o p l e p l u s e q u i p m e n t i n t o a m o u n t a i n s i t e , i n s t e a d o f a s l i n g l o a d as o r i g i n a l l y p l a n n e d . He c i r c l e d t h e s i t e o n c e , t h e n c r o s s e d t h e 45 m t r e e s a t t h e e d g e o f t h e c l e a r i n g , r e d u c e d f o r w a r d s p e e d a n d i n c r e a s e d t h e r a t e o f d e s c e n t . N o t i c i n g t h a t t h e t u r b i n e t e m p e r a t u r e was i n t h e c a u t i o n r a n g e t h e p i l o t t o o k c o r r e c t i v e a c t i o n , f u r t h e r i n c r e a s i n g h i s r a t e o f d e s c e n t . W i t h i n s u f f i c i e n t power t o o v e r s h o o t o r a r r e s t t h e r a t e o f d e s c e n t , t h e h e l i c o p t e r s e l e c t e d i t s own l a n d i n g s i t e . T h e h e l i c o p t e r s l i d r e a r w a r d a n d t h e t a i l r o t o r s t r u c k t h e g r o u n d . MORAL: T h e p i l o t w e n t o u t o f h i s way t o p l e a s e t h e c u s t o m e r , r a t h e r t h a n t a k i n g i n two s e p a r a t e l o a d s . T h e e x t r a d e l a y w o u l d h a v e b e e n w o r t h w h i l e a n d s a f e r . Hughes 5 0 0 C . C r e w . . l u n i n j u r e d . P a s s e n g e r . . 1 k i l l e d . Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l . ( 2 / C - G U X B / 7 7 ) M a i n r o t o r s t r u c k d e p l a n i n g p a s s e n g e r a s he w a l k e d u p h i l l f r o m t h e h e l i c o p t e r . MORAL: E n t e r a n d e x i t o n t h e d o w n h i l l s i d e a n d i n t h e p i l o t ' s f i e l d o f v i e w . _ 182 _ 15. B e l l 47 (skid). Crew..l uninjured. Passenger..1 uninjured. Damage: substantial. (l/C-FAAF/7 6) The helicopter struck a single unmarked hydro l i n e during an attempted landing. The wire was d i f f i c u l t to see, however there were adequate v i s u a l clues to indicate the presence of the l i n e s . MORAL: Keep an open eye for unexpected hazards and i f the p i l o t has not seen them bring them to his attention. 16. B e l l 47. Crew..2 uninjured. Damage: substantial. (l/C-FRLV/7 6) The r i g h t skid heel stuck i n the soft ground. The helicopter translated sideways during l i f t - o f f , r o l l e d over and crashed. MORAL: On soft ground a helipad should be constructed to support the helicopter. 17. B e l l 206B. Crew..l uninjured. Passenger..2 uninjured. Damage: substantial. (2/C-GNNG/7 6) After landing on soft ground, the helicopter tipped backwards as passengers deplaned. P i l o t took corrective action but the tailboom struck the ground. MORAL: Build a helipad, and have passengers exercise extreme care when exiting the helicopter. _ 183 •_ Gazelle 3416. Crew..l uninjured. Passenger..2 uninjured. Damage: substantial. (2/CF-CWN/7 6) P i l o t had landed on a log helipad and completed shutdown when a supporting log slipped. Helicopter s l i d backwards onto the tailboom. MORAL: In helipad construction the logs should be spiked or notched into each other to prevent movement. B e l l 206B. Crew..l uninjured. Damage: substantial. (2/C-FOAI/7 6) The main rotor struck the ground after the ri g h t skid caught on a snag on l i f t o f f . Helicopter came to rest on i t s side. MORAL: Helipads should be clear of a l l snags and obstructions. B e l l 2 06. Crew..l uninjured. Damage: substantial. (l/CF-LMA/7 5) The helicopter was s i t t i n g on the pad preparing for take-off when the pad support f a i l e d and the helicopter s l i d off onto i t s side. MORAL: Helipad construction needs to be strong enough to support the weight of the helicopter. - 184* -21. S i k o r s k y S 5 8 . C r e w . . l u n i n j u r e d . P a s s e n g e r . . 1 u n i n j u r e d . Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l . ( l / C F - N H J / 7 5) A f t e r l a n d i n g o n a s l o p i n g p a d , t h e h e l i c o p t e r b e g a n t o s l i p r e a r w a r d . A s t h e p i l o t a p p l i e d f o r w a r d c y c l i c t o s t o p t h e m o t i o n , a l a t e r a l b o u n c e d e v e l o p e d a n d r a p i d l y i n c r e a s e d i n i n t e n s i t y u n t i l t h e l e f t m a i n g e a r c o l l a p s e d a n d t h e h e l i c o p t e r r o l l e d o v e r . MORAL: H e l i p a d s s h o u l d be b u i l t f l a t a n d l e v e l . 22. B e l l 4 7 . C r e w . . l m i n o r . P a s s e n g e r . . 1 m i n o r , 1 s e r i o u s . Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l . ( l / C F - V F H / 7 5) T h e l a n d i n g p a d o n t h e s i d e o f t h e m o u n t a i n h a d b e e n d e s i g n e d f o r a Hughes 5 0 0 . I t was t o o c l o s e t o a t r e e s tump f o r t h i s t y p e o f h e l i c o p t e r . The h e l i c o p t e r h a d t o be b a l a n c e d o n t h r e e c o n t a c t p o i n t s a n d h e l d i n p o s i t i o n w i t h p a r t i a l p o w e r . A s t h e p a s s e n g e r s t e p p e d i n , t h e h e l i c o p t e r moved f o r w a r d a n d one s k i d s n a g g e d o n a l o g . T h e h e l i c o p t e r r o l l e d o n t o i t s s i d e a n d c a u g h t f i r e . MORAL: A l w a y s make a l l o w a n c e when b u i l d i n g t h e h e l i p a d , f o r p o t e n t i a l u s e b y o t h e r h e l i c o p t e r s . - 185 -B e l l 47J2. Crew..1 uninjured. Passenger..1 uninjured. Damage: substantial. (l/CF-IVE/76) While executing a pedal turn from the hover, the t a i l rotor struck a tree at the edge of the pad, shearing the t a i l rotor drive shaft. MORAL: Always leave enough clearance around landing s i t e s to give the p i l o t leeway for manouvre. B e l l 47. Crew..l uninjured. Passenger..2 uninjured. Damage: destroyed. (l/CF-MWW/75) The main rotor blades struck a bulldozer when the p i l o t taxied too close. The p i l o t had flown 159 hours i n the previous 30 days and probably suffered from fatigue. MORAL:• P i l o t fatigue w i l l contribute to accidents and employers should make allowances for i t . B e l l 47. Crew..l uninjured. Damage: substantial. (3/not known, see issue 2/78). Several days of f r u s t r a t i o n due to poor communications l e f t the spraying p i l o t short of temper. After he had topped up the spray tanks, he set down nearby to adjust a cushion behind his back. Impatiently he stood up to wrench the cushion up, and caught his knee on the c o l l e c t i v e . The helicopter fl i p p e d up and over, tossing the p i l o t out through the bubble. - 186 -MORAL: Employers should make allowances f o r f a t i g u e and f r u s t r a t i o n f a c t o r s . 26. Hughes 369. Crew..l minor. Passenger..4 minor. Damage: s u b s t a n t i a l . (6/N9261F/76) Passenger i n a d v e r t e n t l y blocked the r i g h t c y c l i c c o n t r o l with h i s f o o t . Main r o t o r blades contacted nearby apartment veranda. MORAL: Passengers should r e c e i v e f u l l i n s t r u c t i o n s from the p i l o t to ensure t h a t they understand the Do's and Don'ts of h e l i c o p t e r f l y i n g - . 27. B e l l 206B. Crew..l minor. Damage: destroyed. (3/not known, see i s s u e ' 2/78) The h e l i c o p t e r was flown from i t s o v e r n i g h t p a r k i n g pad to a separate pad about 900 m away. Weather was c l e a r and c o l d . The pad had been c l e a r e d of snow l e a v i n g a t h i c k matting of dead g r a s s . The p i l o t landed and shut down the h e l i c o p t e r . A 2 0 5 - l i t r e -drum was moved i n , next to the c r a f t , and the pump and f i l t e r w i t h bonded hoses was s e t up. The pickup hose was p l a c e d i n t o the drum and the pump l a i d on the ground. The h e l i c o p t e r f u e l cap was removed - 187 " and the r e f u e l l i n g nozzle inserted. As the nozzle touched the f i l t e r neck, a vi o l e n t explosion occurred. Since the fueltanks are behind the rear passenger seats, the f u l l force of the explosion was directed into the cockpit area. The helicopter had not been grounded. During i t s short f l i g h t enough s t a t i c had accumulated to cause an explosion. The grass acted as an insulator, and due to lack of grounding during setting up for r e f u e l , an explosion occurred. MORAL: Always ground the helicopter p r i o r to r e f u e l l i n g operations. This accident also i l l u s t r a t e s how much s t a t i c can b u i l d up. Model unknown. Injuries not known. Damage: destroyed. (3/not known, see issue 4/77) A helicopter with three people on board had just l i f t e d off when the engine suddenly cut out. Touching down with some forward movement, i t r o l l e d onto i t s side after a skid dug i n . P i l o t and passengers exited after the main rotor had disintegrated. Engine stoppage was due to water i n the f u e l . P i l o t had checked carburetor- f u e l drains on p r e - f l i g h t check, but ice i n the bowls prevented the water from showing up. - 188 -MORAL: Fuel drums should be stored and used i n the correct manner taking due care to avoid water ingestion into the f u e l . - 189 -A P P E N D I X 2 . COSTS OF EQUIPMENT AND T R A I N I N G IN T H E BCFS PROGRAMME, 197 8 . The figures quoted below have been extracted from the Witala report (23:5-10). The cost of tower construction assumes that the rappellers b u i l d the tower i n t h e i r spare time, hence labour costs are - 190 -APPENDIX 2 COSTS OF EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING IN THE BCFS PROGRAMME, 197 8 minimal. A l l these figures are approximate.'. , Annual Cost Fixed Costs $/year Tower construction @$1,500 over 10 years 150 Cargo equipment @$ 1,2 00 over 5 years 24 0 Complete rappel k i t @$2,704 over 5 years 540 Sub-total: 930 Variable Costs Helicopter time for t r a i n i n g 10 hrs @$350/hour. .3,500 Maintenance - tower 100 General maintenance 9 6 General replacement 800 Miscellaneous 200 Sub-total: 4,696 TOTAL ANNUAL COST: 5,62 6 - 191 -This i s the annual cost per year for an 8-man crew at 1978 prices. Therefore, the cost per man per year i s $703. - 192 -A P P E N D I X 3. T H E PROCEDURES FOR R A P P E L L I N G . - 193 -APPENDIX 3 THE PROCEDURES FOR RAPPELLING The points l i s t e d below are taken from the BCFS "Rappel Operations Manual" (13:Appendix 1). Pre-Flight 1. The p i l o t removes the rear door on the port side and prepares the helicopter for f l i g h t . 2. Spotter checks the rope anchor, attaches rope and stows two spare ropes. 3. Rappellers s u i t up and carry cargo to port side. 4. Spotter places cargo under helicopter and hooks i t up with lanyard, attaching the free (long) end of the lanyard to the rear seat-belt anchor. 5. The rappellers, i n turn, present t h e i r Sky Genies to the spotter, who inspects each Genie, places i t on the rope, checks the rappeller's equipment and signals him into the helicopter. 6. The rappeller on the outside [ port | seat i s hooked into his Sky Genie and locked o f f . The rope c o i l i s placed at his feet. Both rappellers fasten t h e i r seat b e l t s . 7. The p i l o t swings the spotter's seat back into the forward position [ ambulance configuration] and ensures the release handle on the post i s wired securely. 8. The spotter hooks up his safety strap and double-checks the post release. 9. The p i l o t and spotter take t h e i r seats and check the i r l i v e communications system. 10. Assuming a l l systems are prepared and O.K.; helicopter proceeds to the drop area. - -19 4 -Note: At distances of less than 48 km i t i s generally expedient to perform the above procedure at the attack base. At longer distances, i t i s suggested that the cargo be carr i e d inside, and the door l e f t on, u n t i l a convenient landing spot near to the f i r e i s reached. Under id e a l conditions, the ten steps above w i l l require approximately seven (7) minutes. Rappel E x i t , Descent, and Landing Procedure This procedure begins with the crewmen seated on opposite sides i n the rear seat of the helicopter. The crewman on the exit side i s hooked into his Sky Genie, which i s positioned on the rappel rope. Both crewmen have seat belts fastened. The spotter has chosen the drop location, checked with the p i l o t , and turned i n his seat to face the rappeller. Spotter now kneeling on seat, facing to rear of helicopter. 1. Spotter takes rope c o i l from crewman and drops i t through the inside of the skid, to the ground. 2. Spotter checks to ensure rope i s secure, and quickly re-checks rappeller's equipment, i n a ten-point check. Check:-(1) chest snap, (2) & (3) "Y" harness snaps, (4) & (5) leg snaps, (6) quick release/capewell, (7) safety snap for Sky Genie attachment (karabiner on base of Genie), - 195. -(8) (9) (10) screw fastener on Sky Genie, spring catch on Sky Genie, o v e r a l l check—-gloves, boots, helmet, etc. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Spotter maintains communication with p i l o t throughout operation. Spotter points to crewman's seat b e l t , s i g n a l l i n g rappeller to unfasten buckle and tuck be l t to back of seat. Spotter moves l e f t hand ho r i z o n t a l l y from l e f t to rig h t , s i g n a l l i n g rappeller to begin e x i t . The spotter takes the rope i n his right hand and moves i t forward, to allow the rappeller an unencumbered e x i t . The rappeller stands i n a crouch and places his ri g h t hand on the back of his seat and his l e f t hand on the back of the spotter's seat. The rappeller pivots 90° on his l e f t foot, ending with his back towards the outside of the helicopter. The r i g h t leg i s extended backward and the foot i s placed on the helicopter skid. The l e f t leg i s then extended out and downward, between the skid and the helicopter. It does not touch the skid. It i s during t h i s stage that the rappeller's weight w i l l be placed on the rope. The right foot i s moved o f f the skid, inwards, and the rappeller assumes a suspended po s i t i o n , a short distance above the skid. As weight i s placed on the rope, the spotter releases his hold on the rope, allowing i t to tighten smoothly. The rappeller places his l e f t hand on the rope, at a position near his l e f t hip. The right hand i s used to take hold of the rope just below the Sky Genie., • • . ^ Keeping tension on the rope, the rappeller unlocks the Sky Genie with the r i g h t hand by removing the loop with an arc motion. As the loop i s removed, pressure i s applied downward on the rope with the l e f t hand, to avoid beginning descent prematurely. Using the l e f t hand to control descent speed, by applying downward pressure on the rope, and using the r i g h t hand to guide the Sky Genie past the door frame of the helicopter, the descent i s begun. As downward motion begins, the rappeller turns 45° to his r i g h t , (toward the rear of the helicopter) and guides himself past the bear paw. Once clear of the helicopter skid, the rappeller places his r i g h t hand on the rope, approximately 10 inches above the l e f t hand. With hands i n proper p o s i t i o n , pressure i s reduced on rope, and a smooth, quick descent i s made. As the rappeller nears the ground, he must slowly begin to increase downward pressure with the l e f t hand to slow descent i n preparation for landing. To f a c i l i t a t e smooth landing, the descent must begin to slow at least 20 feet above ground l e v e l . Shortly before landing, the rappeller must choose his intended footing and spread his legs to avoid loosing balance on landing. As the crewman's feet touch the ground he should bend both knees and assume a crouch position. Immediately upon landing, the crewman grasps the rope near the top of the Sky Genie and p u l l s an extra six feet of rope through the Genie. This i s to allow for any unexpected v e r t i c a l movement of the helicopter while the crewman detaches from the rope. While p u l l i n g slack on the rope, the crewman must look up to check for signals from the spotter. - 197 -24. The crewman then releases his harness from the Sky Genie by releasing the safety snap, removes his Sky Genie from the rope, and ex i t s the drop area. 25. Upon completion of step 22, the spotter moves the second Sky Genie into the helicopter, while s t i l l attached to the rope, and allows the second crewman to hook into i t . 26. The spotter then signals the crewman to unfasten his seatbelt. 27. The crewman awaits the spotter's signal to move into the "exit seat" and then moves slowly into position. 28. Prior to e x i t , the spotter moves the Sky Genie up the rope, to ensure no slack exists which might cause a sudden movement during e x i t , and locks off the Sky Genie. 29. Steps 5 through 23 are repeated. 30. At t h i s stage, two alternatives e x i s t , which must be decided upon p r i o r to commencement of the operation. They are as follows: (1) The spotter w i l l remove the rope from the rope anchor and allow i t to drop. (2) The spotter w i l l commence cargo drop procedures. Cargo Deployment Procedure A. After completion of Personnel Deployment: 1. Beginning immediately after step 2 8 of the previous section, the spotter disconnects his communications l i n e , and then re-connects i t , a f t e r passing i t around the outside of the door post. - 198 -2. The spotter then pushes the front door partly-open, places his l e f t foot on the helicopter skid, and pivots around the post and into the rear seat. 3. The spotter then hooks a Sky Genie to the rope, removes the free end of the cargo lanyard from the t i e down, and snaps i t to the Sky Genie. 4. Any slack i n the cargo lanyard must be removed by s l i d i n g the Sky Genie up the rope. 5. The ground crewman moves into p o s i t i o n , approximately 20° fore and 20° port, maintaining s l i g h t downward pressure on the rope. 6. When the ground crew i s ready to control descent, the second crewman waves O.K. and the spotter returns the signal. 7. The spotter, holding the rope above the Sky Genie, p u l l s i t outward to avoid having the Sky Genie h i t the door frame on descent. 8. The spotter then t e l l s the p i l o t "release cargo" to release the cargo from the hook. 9. The cargo w i l l swing to the port side and begin to descend. 10. The ground crewman must be sure to allow a minimum of tension on the rope, so that the cargo w i l l have both downward and outward motion simultaneously, to avoid sudden change in C. of G. 11. As the cargo nears the ground, the crewman should slow the descent to allow a gentle landing. 12. The crewman w i l l wave an O.K. signal when the cargo i! i s safely down, and the spotter w i l l release the rope from the helicopter. - 199 -B. As a Separate Operation: This i s done when a cargo i s being deployed at a time other than immediately after personnel deployment. 1. The spotter i s seated i n the back seat, on the port side, with communication l i n e hooked up. 2. The free end of the cargo lanyard i s hooked into a Sky Genie, which i s positioned on the rope i n the lock-off position. 3. When over the selected drop s i t e , the spotter drops the rope c o i l . 4. Steps 4-12 of the previous method are repeated, with the following change: Upon completion of step 6, the spotter unlocks the Sky Genie. - 200 -APPENDIX 4 . EMERGENCY PROCEDURES. - 2 01 -APPENDIX 4 EMERGENCY PROCEDURES In some circumstances, factors may arise which create an emergency s i t u a t i o n which cannot be predicted. Following i s a l i s t of potential situations, and the procedures to be used for each one. Again, t h i s i s taken from the BCFS "Rappel Operations Manual" (13:8.2). 8.2 Emergency Procedures A standard set of emergency procedures has been developed to ensure standard, safe action i s taken i n an emergency. 8.21 Communications F a i l u r e In the event that the verbal communications system between spotter and p i l o t f a i l s , the following procedure s h a l l be implemented. (i) i f - the rope has not been dropped, the spotter w i l l immediately turn to the p i l o t and signal to abort operation, ( i i ) i f - the rope has been dropped, the spotter w i l l immediately detach crewman, release the rope and signal the p i l o t to abort, ( i i i ) i f - a rappeller i s making e x i t , or has not yet cleared the skid, the spotter w i l l - 20 2 -immediately grasp the rappeller's harness and compel him to re-enter the helicopter. As soon as the rappeller i s safely inside, he s h a l l release his capewell, and the spotter w i l l release the rope and signal the p i l o t to abort, (iv) i f - a rappel i s underway, and cannot be halted, the spotter s h a l l wait for the rappeller to land safely, and w i l l then release the rope and signal to abort. 8.22 Crewman Distress In the event a crewman, while performing a rappel, i s injured or unable to proceed, the following procedures s h a l l be implemented. (v) i f - the rope becomes lodged i n the Sky Genie and descent i s impeded, the rappeller s h a l l immediately lock o f f , signal the spotter, p u l l six feet of rope from below and cut the rope at that point. The rappeller s h a l l then knot the rope and apply firm downward pressure. The spotter s h a l l keep the p i l o t informed, and when the rappeller has cut the rope, the spotter w i l l d i r e c t the p i l o t to move slowly toward a safe landing zone. - '203 (vi) i f - the rappeller or rope d r i f t s into a tree or other hazard, the rappeller s h a l l immediately lock o f f and attempt to disentangle himself or the rope, and then proceed. The spotter s h a l l keep the p i l o t informed, and i f the rappeller does not succeed in freeing the rope, the procedure i n Section (v) s h a l l be used, (vii) i f - the crewman becomes entangled on components of the helicopter during e x i t , the spotter w i l l immediately determine the problem, and i f i t cannot be e a s i l y r e c t i f i e d within 30 seconds, the spotter s h a l l compel the rappeller to re-enter the helicopter and repeat the procedure outlined i n Section ( i i i ) . 8.23 Helicopter Caution Lights In the event a l i g h t on the enunciator panel signals the p i l o t of poten t i a l trouble, but not an immediately c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n , the following s h a l l take place. ( v i i i ) ' - the p i l o t s h a l l immediately advise the spotter by saying, "I have a l i g h t . " (ix) i f - the rappeller has not yet made e x i t , the spotter s h a l l immediately detach crewman, release the rope and advise the p i l o t " a l l c l e a r " . - 204 . -(x) i f - the rappeller i s i n e x i t or has not yet cleared the skid, the spotter s h a l l compel the rappeller back into the helicopter. Once safely inside, the rappeller s h a l l release his capewell and the spotter w i l l release the rope and advise the p i l o t " a l l clear". Should the rappeller be unable to detach from the rope for any reason, the spotter s h a l l ensure the rappeller i s safe, then cut the rope below him. (xi) i f - the rappeller i s i n descent, the spotter w i l l repeat procedure i n Section (iv) and advise the p i l o t " a l l clear". 8.24 Power Loss In the event the p i l o t expects a loss or reduction i n power, he must immediately advise the spotter "abort, power loss". The following procedure s h a l l then be undertaken. (xii) i f - the rappeller has not yet made e x i t , or has landed safely, the spotter s h a l l reply " a l l clear" and cut or release the rope, ( x i i i ) i f - the rappeller i s i n e x i t or has not yet cleared the skid, the spotter s h a l l compel him back into the helicopter, grasp the rope firmly, below the rappeller's genie, and cut i t , as the rappeller reaches safety. He must - 2 05. -advise the p i l o t " a l l clear" as soon as the rope i s cut. (xiv) i f - the rappeller i s i n descent, the spotter s h a l l reply to the p i l o t "hold II and as soon as the rappeller has landed, cut the rope and advise II a l l clear II 8.25 Cargo Descent Should the cargo f a i l to descend as planned or become entangled p r i o r to landing, or another emergency occur during cargo deployment, the following procedure s h a l l be undertaken. In the event of communications f a i l u r e , or caution l i g h t , the operation s h a l l be aborted i f the cargo has not yet been released from the helicopter cargo hook, and the rope s h a l l be released. If the cargo i s i n descent, the operation w i l l be completed as quickly as possible. i f - a power loss i s experienced, the operation s h a l l be aborted and the rope cut immediately, even i f the cargo i s i n descent, i f - the cargo becomes tangled and cannot be e a s i l y freed, the rope s h a l l be cut by the spotter. In the event of a cautionary l i g h t , the p i l o t has approximately 45 minutes p r i o r to landing before the s i t u a t i o n becomes c r i t i c a l (1:22) (assuming that the instrument - 2 06 ~ l i g h t s function c o r r e c t l y ) . If one of the rappellers becomes injured on landing, the other rappeller signals to the spotter by crossing his arms above his head. The spotter then informs the nearest hospital and the-ranger station of the emergency and a doctor i s despatched. The second rappeller constructs a helipad by himself i n preparation for the evacuation of the injured man. The emergency procedures i n the U.S. are b a s i c a l l y the same. The t r a i n i n g manual covers a l l the points above (15). - 20 7 -A P P E N D I X 5. THE METHODS USED TO CONDUCT THE S T U D Y . - 208- _ 1. The Evolution of the Study Early i n 197 8 the Workers' Compensation Board of B r i t i s h Columbia (WCB) was approached, to f i n d out where current problems existed i n the safety aspects of the forestry operation. These preliminary discussions indicated that the use of helicopters i n f i r e suppression operations and i n a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems, was one such aspect. The objectives of the study were then defined as: a) Determine inherent hazards and potential for safety improvement i n the use of helicopters for forest f i r e suppression and prescribed burning .in B r i t i s h Columbia. b) Develop recommendations which would contribute to greater safety i n f i r e - r e l a t e d helicopter operations i n B r i t i s h Columbia. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n helicopter operations was considered to be the best method of gaining an insight into the problems inherent i n the operation. This not only allowed comments to be s o l i c i t e d from the people i n the f i e l d , but i t also allowed the whole operation to be analysed at f i r s t hand. However, the Province of B r i t i s h Columbia was obviously too large to form a reasonable sample area. It would have been - 2 0 9 -impossible, with the time and manpower available, to cover every w i l d f i r e and slashburn i n the Province. Furthermore, because the location of w i l d f i r e s could not be predicted, i t was d i f f i c u l t to envisage a sampling plan that would y i e l d s u f f i c i e n t information. S i m i l a r l y , the population of people involved i n f i r e suppression operations was extremely d i f f i c u l t to accurately define i n i t i a l l y , since to some extent, i t depended on the number of f i r e s i n the season. O r i g i n a l l y , i t had been planned to spend the summer in the Kamloops D i s t r i c t (known to be a w i l d f i r e "hotspot") and evaluate f i r e suppression operations as the season progressed. However, t h i s would have entailed waiting for a f i r e to occur - a tedious procedure and very wasteful of time. The alternative plan was to spend one week in Northern B r i t i s h Columbia, undertaking a p i l o t study (in which interview techniques would be t r i e d out, and some of the expected problems would be evaluated) so that the main study could be adapted where necessary. Thereafter, a modified technique ( i f needed) would be used to gather the main core of information considered necessary for the study. It became clear, a f t e r t h i s i n i t i a l week's f i e l d work, that the best results would be gained by interviewing whoever was available at any one s i t e . By v i s i t i n g as many si t e s as possible along a predetermined route, the study would _ 210 -bui l d up a set of interviews with individuals representing d i f f e r e n t worker categories. This allowed several i n t e r -pretations to be considered, which, along with the p r a c t i c a l experience gained, would give a r e a l i s t i c insight into the problems involved i n helicopter use. 2. The Interview Technique At the outset i t was clear that the method of s o l i c i t i n g information from people needed to be c a r e f u l l y thought out. Some problems were found i n interviewing people during the p i l o t study, e s p e c i a l l y i f they were asked d i r e c t l y about v i o l a t i o n s of safe practice. Very few people are able to admit, to an unknown interviewer, that they have made mistakes, no matter how large or small. In order to bui l d up a s o l i d core of information, the use of the C r i t i c a l Incident Technique"'" (CIT) was considered. One approach to t h i s method of study involves asking people to r e c a l l s p e c i f i c incidents which i n t h e i r opinion increased or decreased the e f f i c i e n c y of an operation. In t h i s study, the technique was to•be used to elucidate good and bad practices around helicopters. Flanagan defined an incident as "any observable human a c t i v i t y that i s s u f f i c i e n t l y complete i n i t s e l f to permit inferences and predictions to be made about the person performing the act. To be c r i t i c a l , 1 Flanagan, John C. The C r i t i c a l Incident Technique. Psychological B u l l e t i n . July 1951. pp.32. - 211:-an incident must occur i n a s i t u a t i o n where the purpose or intent of the act seems f a i r l y clear to the observer and where i t s consequences are s u f f i c i e n t l y d e f i n i t e to leave l i t t l e doubt concerning i t s e f f e c t s " . A questionnaire was drawn up for each incident. Figure 17 gives d e t a i l s of t h i s . The basic d e t a i l s of each incident were covered by a series of statements, each one having a box which could be checked i f that d e t a i l applied. These statements covered most of the factors which were considered to be common to a l l incidents. Space was l e f t for descriptive d e t a i l s such as a b r i e f outline of the incident, and a diagram. The aim of t h i s system was to f i l l i n a separate form for each incident discovered i n the study period. At the end of th i s time i t was proposed to draw up a set of categories indicating potential hazard areas. In conjunction with t h i s , a set of crew categories was proposed, so that i t would be f a i r l y simple to see i f d i f f e r e n t people recognised d i f f e r e n t hazards. It was hoped that the frequency with which any one incident occurred would give some ind i c a t i o n of i t s chance of occurrence i n the o v e r a l l operation. Once the c r i t i c a l incident forms were l a i d out and copies were available the p i l o t study was carr i e d out. T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A F A C U L T Y O F F O R E S T R Y V A N C O U V E R , B . C . V 6 T 1 W 5 SAFETY EVALUATION TN TUP. USE OF UKl.,1 COPTERS IN FIRE SUPRltfslON Code Number: E x p e r i e n c e (months) I n t e r v i e w Date: day month y e a r B r i e f l y o u t l i n e the i n c i d e n t and d e s c r i b e i t s r o l e as a s a f e t y f a c t o r j | or as a h a z a r d Diagram. F i g u r e 21. The Q u e s t i o n n a i r e . - ;2T3 -2 of k General Type of helicopter.. Seating capacity of helicopter. Dead weight l i f t i n g capacity of helicopter. (From s p e c i f i c a t i o n s . ) Date of incident: day month year Time of day Air temperature ( C) Altitude above sea l e v e l : metres feet Weather at the time of the incident.. Sunny. | | 1. No cloud. 2. Lightly overcast. 3. Heavily overcast. 4. Slight occasional showers. 5. Heavy occasional showers. 6. Continuous fin e r a i n . 7. Continuous heavy r a i n . 8. Snow. Function of helicopter at the time of the incident. 1. Transport crew helicopter crew (Specify numbers where possible) 2. Surveillance, (describe)^ Weekday (01-07) Wind speed, (knots) Show the appropriate code i n the box. If more than one, show the dominant code f i r s t . ground crew supplies.... for f i r e f i g h t i n g . , # » for backup operations . 3. F i r e f i g h t i n g , (describe) h . F i r e l i g h t i n g , (describe) - 214 , _ 3 of Operational conditions at the time of the incident. Helicopter on the around. Stationary.. Rotors turning Rotors stopped Helicopter landing Helicopter taking o ff Topography at the landing s i t e . F l a t open ground Hummocky ground Side slopes V i s i b i l i t y of crews and equipment. Good. ( A l l things readily seen). Medium. (Some v i s i b l e ) Poor. (Several b l i n d areas).... Lighting conditions. Good. (Broad daylight) Poor. Due to: dust haze time of day • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ground surface condi tions at the landing s 1. Graded firm rock base 2. Graded firm s o i l base 3. Combination of 1 & 2 A. Uneven rock base (rock 10 cm) 5. Vegetated weeds brush 6. Concrete or tarmac 7. Water 8. Slippery due to: wet rock wet vegetation... 9. Loose materials, (stones dnd twigs) 10. Dusty. (Sand and other fines) Landing s i t e b u i l t as: h e l i p o r t helipad road turnout log landing.. Number of people i n the helicopter. (Describe job functions). • Number of people on the ground. (Describe job functions) _ 215 _ Operational conditions at the time of the incident. A of V Helicopter in f l i g h t . . Helicopter landing.... Helicopter taking o f f . Helicopter hovering... Helicopter in the a i r . | | Height above the ground J | metres.... | | feet • Number of people in the helicopter. (Describe job function) .. Number of people on the firound. (Describe job function) B r i e f l y describe the nature of the operation. During the course of t h i s i n i t i a l f i e l d work (designed as a testing stage for the interview techniques), i t became clea r that the CIT was not working too well. In most cases a good rapport was established early on i n the interview and information was forthcoming, but generally with l i t t l e concrete d e t a i l . Most of the people seemed to be wary of discussing helicopter accidents. When they did discuss them, they rarely gave enough d e t a i l to complete the forms. If pressed for d e t a i l , i t had inevitably been forgotten. More often a b r i e f outline of the incident was given, perhaps with some comments. It became clear that to keep the interview moving, that i s to keep the respondent's i n t e r e s t , i t would be necessary to take very abbreviated notes during the interview. Even though one of the opening statements by the author made i t clear that any r e p l i e s would be treated in confidence, many people continually asked not to be quoted on certain incidents. They became nervous i f any d e t a i l s were written down, and i n some cases i t was necessary to write very l i t t l e , and remember the information for l a t e r t r a n s c r i p t i o n . After the f i r s t few interviews (by which time the author had gained some confidence) i t became easier to discuss the various operations with people and i t was discovered that much more information could be s o l i c i t e d by using open-ended questions i n a loosely-formated interview. This open-ended questioning allowed the interview to s t a r t o ff with a s p e c i f i c question on one frame of reference, and by posing more and more detailed questions the respondent could be encouraged to give more detailed information on a more informal l e v e l . In most cases notes had to be made quickly, since the respondent would mention a point of intere s t and carry on to the next one straight away. If c l a r i f i c a t i o n was sought on any p a r t i c u l a r point, i t became important to ask questions i n such a manner that the respondent would oblige, without f e e l i n g under pressure. Generally, the technique worked well, c e r t a i n l y better than trying to f i l l i n a form for every incident. Also, using such a loosely structured method meant that subject areas could be switched and cross-referenced at w i l l . Although t h i s complicated the i n i t i t a l set of notes, l a t e r t r a n s c r i p t i o n was able to r e c t i f y t h i s . Copies of the incident forms were l e f t with the rangers and helicopter companies, so that i f any incidents occurred aft e r the author had l e f t , they could be documented and returned to the author. In the event, only one form came back, but i t had been co r r e c t l y used and did show that i t s basic layout enabled someone reporting an incident to do so with a minimum of mental e f f o r t . During the course of the summer, a loosely structured interview technique was used with success, although a few respondents proved extremely ret i c e n t . - .-2.18; -Having evaluated w i l d f i r e suppression, the next stage of the study was to look at the use of helicopters in a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. At the sta r t of the summer, the author had v i s i t e d a demonstration slashburn, at which the drip torch and the AIDs were demonstrated. By following up on the contacts made at that time, a close evaluation of the several systems was made. Several other slashburns were v i s i t e d i n the F a l l of 197 8, but due to the high levels of p r e c i p i t a t i o n , the f a l l proved to be a poor one for slash-burning. During the f a l l , the regulations concerning the use of helicopter drip torches became somewhat uncertain i n the eyes of industry, and t h i s provided an i d e a l opportunity to get involved with both sides (industry and the regulatory bodies) and learn more about the various methods of use. 3. The Literature Survey In order to supplement the information obtained i n the f i e l d interviews, a l i t e r a t u r e survey was carried out. Letters asking for s p e c i f i c and general references were sent to various helicopter user agencies i n North America. The references and sources of information are l i s t e d i n the Bibliography and Appendix 1. A survey of past accidents i n the WCB accident f i l e s had been planned, but t h i s proved to be impossible, since the computer r e t r i e v a l system did not have a s p e c i f i c category for helicopter accidents. • <:.• With the l i t e r a t u r e available, the author was able to add to the observations already gained in the f i e l d , e s pecially with respect to the performance problems inherent i n helicopter f l i g h t . Wherever possible, s p e c i f i c accidents discussed i n the f i e l d were located i n the Transport Canada accident reports, to ensure that the f i e l d d e t a i l s were correct. 4. Analysis and Use of the Information Once the interviews had been transcribed, and the l i t e r a t u r e had been analysed, a report was written, e n t i t l e d Helicopter Safety: The safe use of helicopters i n f i r e suppression and prescribed burning. O r i g i n a l l y i t had been planned to use the frequency of certain hazards as an indicator of t h e i r p o t e n t i a l occurrence. However, at the end of the f i e l d work i t was clear that most areas of helicopter usage needed some discussion, and so i t was decided to write the report i n 3 sections, each one of which covered a discrete part of helicopter operations. - 22 0 -Section I outlines how the helicopter f l i e s and gives an insight into the routine problems faced by p i l o t s . Section II discusses general helicopter safety, with s p e c i f i c chapters on some aspects of helicopter operations. This section discusses the problems involved i n certain operations, and outlines some possible solutions. Section III deals with a e r i a l i g n i t i o n systems. Several systems are discussed and the problems and safety requirements of each one are outlined. F i n a l l y , i n Section IV two methods of crew deployment are discussed, with the technique of helicopter rappelling being evaluated i n depth. Appendix 1 i s a l i s t of accidents, used to reinforce the points made i n the text. Appendices 2,3 and 4 ref e r to Section IV on helicopter rappelling. By laying out the report i n t h i s manner, a l l the points raised during the f i e l d work were incorporated into the report. However, i t should be noted that not a l l the operations used i n the suppression of w i l d f i r e s , were evaluated. This was because of time constraints during the f i e l d work; i t was impossible to evaluate such a d i v e r s i t y of operations i n the time available. S i m i l a r l y i t should be appreciated that the sampling methods used to obtain the data, contain many biases; not the least of which was the a v a i l a b i l i t y of people to interview. Because 1978 was a very busy f i r e season, i t was impossible to formally interview as many people at the worker l e v e l as - 221 -might have been desirable, since they were usually out on the f i r e . This meant that more supervisory people were interviewed, due to t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y , and t h i s may have biased some of the conclusions presented i n t h i s report. S i m i l a r l y , the time of day at which the interview was conducted, the location, and the way i n which the questions were asked, w i l l a l l have b u i l t - i n biases. No attempt has been made to quantify or define these biases, although t h e i r presence i s acknowledged. Since t h i s study was more an exploratory study to define some of the hazards, those biases are not seen to be seriously detrimental to the v a l i d i t y of the arguments presented. This report has defined some of the hazard areas, and made some attempt to propose solutions to these problems. Future work could now u t i l i s e the C r i t i c a l Incident Technique more e f f e c t i v e l y . In pa r t i c u l a r , work could be carr i e d out to evaluate t r a i n i n g techniques, the role of the supervisory s t a f f i n enforcing safety procedures, and motivational factors at the worker l e v e l . Such an evaluation would allow more e f f i c i e n t t r a i n i n g programmes to be developed, leading i n the long run to better educated crews and lower accident rates. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0075402/manifest

Comment

Related Items