Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:37 am

June 4, 2013
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On Owens Valley's Wheeler Ridge, on the Sierra escarpment near Bishop, California, Inyo County Search & Rescue personnel prepare to winch an injured soaring parachutist aboard a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

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Winch operations require the helicopter to hover within the Helicopter Dead Man's Curve, placing the crew at risk of death should sudden mechanical failure occur. While it is possible for any helicopter to operate outside the HDMC for its entire service life, the decision to risk flight within the HDMC is made by choice when required for lifesaving operations, hovering at low altitudes, and winching. The risk of catastrophic mechanical failure has been significantly reduced by redundant engine systems and computerized pilot warning systems.

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Unlike the HDMC, a paraglider, flying only for fun, must enter the Paraglider Dead Mans Curve at least twice every flight: at takeoff and landing. Soaring parachutists also often choose to ignore the risk and fly within the PDMC in search of lift, where the likelihood of encountering normal ground turbulence, which can cause the canopy to collapse below effective emergency reserve height, is greatest. Most of the thousands of serious injuries and 1,397 paragliding deaths that I am aware of were a result of canopy collapse within the PDMC.


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Inyo County Search & Rescue
    In any season, in any weather, at any time of day or night, the Inyo County Search and Rescue Team is prepared to bring our technical ability and medical knowledge to the service of those lost or hurt in the backcountry.
    SAR operations require enormous physical effort, quick thinking in emergency situations, teamwork, endurance, creativity, and compassion. Our missions often last for more than twenty-four hours and rarely take less than ten. We are a team of highly-skilled and dedicated volunteers; we receive no compensation for the time we spend away from our jobs and families.
    While Inyo SAR has oversight from the County Sheriff’s Department, we are proud to say that the greater part of our funding comes from public donations. The litters, backboards, climbing ropes, avalanche beacons, and first aid supplies that keep our patients safe are purchased with funds given to us by the families of the people we’ve assisted and other concerned citizens.
    Though we ask nothing in return for the services we provide, compassionate people within and beyond our community make it possible for us to help others in the future.
    We welcome donations of all kinds, including gear and equipment in good condition. To make a financial contribution, please click on the link below. The link will take you to a secure site where you will see our legal banking name, Inyo County Sheriffs Inc. Rest assured, any donation will be allocated directly to the Search and Rescue Team. To donate gear, email inyosearch@gmail.com.
    Please consider joining in the tradition of public support that has fueled our rescue efforts for decades. Your tax-deductible donation to the Inyo County Search and Rescue Team will help to keep you and your loved ones safe as you explore the mountains and deserts of our beautiful backyard.
http://inyosar.com/donate/
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:16 am

November 29, 2015
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VF-63, a 1999 Agusta-Bell AB412EP of Italian fire search and rescue, delivers a seriously injured soaring parachutist to a hospital.

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The 412 structure incorporates many safety features including a rupture-resistant fuel system; jettisonable crew doors; sturdy construction and bulkheads for roll-over protection; wire strike protection on the nose; dual redundant electrical, hydraulic and fuel systems; dual digital flight control and a rugged high-reliability twin pack engine. It is also fitted with rotors and controls system, transmission drive systems, communication and navigation system, hydraulic and fuel systems, and dual digital flight control.

The cockpit has two crashworthy energy-absorbing pilot seats and collective mounted twist grip throttles, which allow the pilot to manage or adjust the power without releasing the primary flight controls. The helicopter is certified for single pilot instrument flight rules operation and can carry up to 15 people.

The avionics suite includes a three-axis autopilot to reduce crew workload and fatigue and allow the crew to concentrate on successful completion of the mission. The flight deck is fitted with a four-screen electronic flight information system.

Other avionics equipment includes: dual VHF radios, cockpit voice recorder, flight data recorder equipment, standby attitude indicator, MST-67A transponder, dual VOR/ILS/MB omni-directional radio range / instrument landing system / magnetic bearing, automatic direction finder, distance measuring equipment, radar altimeter, weather radar and an emergency locator transponder (ELT) system.

The cabin provides comfortable seating for up to 13 people. The cabin is fitted with four push-out windows for emergency egress. A 28ft³ baggage compartment in the tailboom can carry loads up to 180kg.

The helicopter can be fitted with an optional four-axis autopilot which provides "hands off" search and rescue procedures and also "hands off" automatic approach.
The 220ft³ capacity cabin configured for the emergency medical services role can carry up to six patients or survivors plus two medical attendants. An alternative configuration accommodates two critical stretcher patients and four medical attendants. Sliding doors, 2.34m wide, on both sides of the fuselage allow easy, safe and fast access for multiple patient loading or for loading life support units or neonatal intensive care units.

"The helicopter is certified for single pilot instrument flight rules operation."

The helicopter is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada turbo twin pack power plant model PT6T-3B-1 with two turboshaft engines producing a total 1,044kW take-off power and 843kW continuous power. For one-engine-inoperable flight a single engine can produce a maximum power of up to 723kW for 30 minutes. The operational history of the PT6 Twin-Pac engine records that the it has the lowest in-flight shutdown rate of any turboshaft engine.

The fuel tanks with total capacity of 1,249l comprise seven rupture-resistant tanks with breakaway automatic shut off valves. The Bell 412 can climb at the rate of 6.86m/s. The maximum and cruise speeds of the helicopter are 259km/h and 226km/h respectively. The range is 745km, which can be extended up to 980km. The service ceiling is 6,096m. The maximum endurance of the helicopter is three and half hours. The helicopter weighs around 2,920kg and its maximum take-off weight is 5,398kg. http://www.aerospace-technology.com/projects/bell-412/
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:00 am

December 19, 2015
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PR-CBM, a twin-turbine medical Eurocopter 135 T2 of the Brazilian Fire service, rescues a paragliding collapse victim with multiple fractures.

The main cabin of the EC135 is accessed either by large doors on either side of the cabin, or by clamshell doors located at the rear of the cabin, directly underneath the aircraft's tail boom; the clamshell doors are particularly attractive to emergency medical services (EMS) and cargo operators. Various medical facilities can be installed in the cabin, such as in-flight intensive care stations (including resuscitation functionality), incubators, and hygiene-convenient flooring. In a mountain rescue configuration, the cabin can be simultaneously accommodate two stretchers as well as the pilot, anaesthetist, winch operator, mechanic and mountain rescue specialist. - Wikipedia

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Unresolved after 30 years, paragliding canopies continue to collapse in flight, killing or maiming the undiscerning soaring parachutists who fly them.
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:47 am

January 6, 2016
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A Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk of the Columbian Air Force was used to rescue a visiting soaring parachutist who fell from 6 meters in a collapse.

The UH-60 features four-blade main and tail rotors, and is powered by two General Electric T700 turboshaft engines. The main rotor is fully articulated and has elastomeric bearings in the rotor head. The tail rotor is canted and features a rigid crossbeam. The helicopter has a long, low profile shape to meet the Army's requirement for transporting aboard a C-130 Hercules, with some disassembly. It can carry 11 troops with equipment, lift 2,600 pounds (1,200 kg) of cargo internally or 9,000 pounds (4,100 kg) of cargo (for UH-60L/M) externally by sling. -- Wikipedia
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:33 am

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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:17 am

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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:13 am

January 26, 2016
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A helicopter crew retrieves the corpse of a PDMC* daredevil in Italy.

    The Eurocopter EC145, now known as the Airbus Helicopters H145, is a twin-engine light utility helicopter developed and manufactured by Eurocopter, which was rebranded as Airbus Helicopters in 2014. Originally referred to as the BK 117 C2, the EC145 is based upon the MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 C1, which became a part of the combined Eurocopter line-up in 1992 with the merger of Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm's helicopter division of Daimler-Benz and the helicopter division of Aérospatiale-Matra to form Eurocopter.
    The EC145 is a twin-engine aircraft and can carry up to nine passengers along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for passenger transport, corporate transport, emergency medical services (EMS), search and rescue, parapublic and utility roles. In 2014, the EC145 was rebranded as the H145 by Airbus Helicopters. Military variants of the helicopter have also been produced under various designations, such as H145M or UH-72, and have been used for training, logistics, medical evacuation, reconnaissance, light attack, and troop-transport operations. -- Wikipedia

*Paraglider Dead Man's Curve
The no-recourse zone a paraglider must enter on every flight, both at takeoff and landing, where it flies below effective emergency parachute deployment altitude.
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:09 am

February 22, 2016
One of the most dangerous tasks facing the pilot of a rescue helicopter is to set down on uneven terrain. Unlike the typical car accident rescue, where there is usually a level road surface nearby, mountain rescues offer few options beyond hoisting the victim aboard. Occasionally, the pilot will decide to touch down on a slope he believes to be level, but then when he powers down the engine, the skids may settle at an uneven attitude. Lift-off from unlevel ground is risky because the rotor tends to pull the helicopter sideways as the skids lift. Should the skids snag a bush or obstacle, the helicopter can crash.

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A police Eurocopter B3, owned by the state government of Cordoba, Argentina, rescued a soaring parachutist with a broken hip from the side of a mountain, then crashed and burned attempting to lift off. All personnel escaped the wreckage but all were injured. They then had to walk down the rugged mountainside, carrying the soaring parachutist.
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The burning helicopter started a wildfire that consumed the side of the mountain. The helicopter was a total loss. The replacement value of a Eurocopter B3 is US$2.3 million.
Video: http://www.lavoz.com.ar/sucesos/internaron-en-cordoba-los-accidentados-por-la-caida-del-helicoptero-en-el-uritorco
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Engine: 1 x Turbomeca Arriel 2B 847shp
Capacity: 1 + 5
Length: (m) 10.92
Height: (m) 3.14
Blades: 3
Rotor diam.: (m) 10.69
Disc area: (m2) 89.75
Weight: (kgs) Empty: 1174 Max: 2250
Speed: (km/h) Cruise: 245 Max: 287
Range: (km) 660
Ceiling: (m) 4600
Rate/Climb: (m/min) 510

Argentina is not a wealthy country. Helicopters come dear.
One must ask how many innocent people will die now that one less helicopter is available for the rescue of road accident victims?

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Rodrigo Esmella, the soaring parachutist, finally made it to intensive care. He was having loads of fun, then his paraglider collapsed in a thermal.

Discussions begin about the advisability of allowing hang gliding in the area due to the high expense to the state:
http://www.lavoz.com.ar/ciudadanos/rescate-en-el-uritorco-para-el-intendente-de-capilla-del-monte-hay-un-vacio-legal

Hang gliding is at risk because hang glider pilots have embraced soaring parachutists as members of their flight associations worldwide, creating the impression in the eyes of the public and national agencies that paragliding and hang gliding are essentially the same thing. The fact that hang gliders are superior aircraft that do not collapse in turbulence is lost. Now when paragliding is banned due to its high accident rate, hang gliding, with a much lower number of rescues, is also banned. Hang glider pilots have brought this situation entirely upon themselves. It is very sad and will only continue to get worse.
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:49 am

February 23, 2016
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An Italian-made Augusta-Westland 109 twin-engine South African Air Force helicopter rescues a soaring parachutist who broke his back in a collapse. A range of armaments can be installed upon the AW109, including pintle-mounted machine guns, machine gun pods, 20mm cannons, rocket pods, anti-tank missiles and air-to-air missiles. Prior to installation of armament, the cost of an Augusta 109 is about US$3MM.
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In April 2009 – South African Air Force AW109 crashed into Woodstock Dam in the Drakensberg, due to pilot error, killing all three on board. On 30 March 2013, a South African Air Force AW109 crashed while on an anti-poaching patrol in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. All five SANDF members aboard were killed. - Wikipedia
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:37 am

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Rodrigo Esmella dancing with the stars.

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Rodrigo Esmella seeing the stars.

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¿Quién pagará los millones que demandó el rescate en el Cerro Uritorco?
    The article in Cordoba's El Diario newspaper is titled, "Who will pay the millions [lost] in the Cerro Uritorco [incident]?"
It questions the advisability of paragliding and "otros deportes extremos / other extreme sports" which can only mean hang gliding.
    The cost to Argentina for the rescue of soaring parachutist Rodrigo Esmellsa is estimated to be 12 million pesos. I don't know how the reporter arrived at this figure because the replacement cost of the helicopter alone is around 50 million pesos. Additionally, 80 men were involved in the rescue of the rescuers and five aircraft and 80 more firefighters were used to extinguish the wildfire started by the burning helicopter.
    The reporter suggests Esmella be held financially responsible for the expense. Stay tuned for a GoFundMe page asking for donations.      :shock:
    It appears now that Esmella was flying from an area where paragliding is prohibited.     :o

Evalúan si el parapentista deberá pagar el operativo rescate
"Should the paraglider pay the cost of the rescue operation?" asks the Radio and Television Service of the National University of Cordoba.

Polémica sobre la práctica de parapente en el Uritorco
"A controversy on paragliding in the Uritorco," reported the University in another article.
    "Many voices expressed annoyance that soon became known that the situation involved a ship the government of Córdoba , manned by personnel from the Province, to rescue an individual [who violated] an act established years earlier by Secretary of Tourism of the city of Capilla del Monte.
These voices held the athlete, identified as Rodrigo Esmella , responsible [for the cost], remarking that paragliding is prohibited in the area of Uritorco . It is worth remembering, this hill is part of the so - called "risk areas" according to the decree 1525/012, which regulates the law 9856."

    Where this all is headed may revolve on Esmella's ability to cough up 12 million Argentine pesos.
Article 9 of the decree reads:

MANDATORY INSURANCE
Article 9. Providers must prove irrefutably that compliance with the obligations and benefits inherent in their activity is sheltered by a company contracted to effect [coverage] authorized by the national Superintendent of Insurance.

Uh-Oh!     :eh:
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