a380heavy
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Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:22 am

Sky News is reporting a helicopter has hit a crane in the Vauxhall area of central London and has crashed. No word on survivors but a ploom of smoke is now being shown.

Update: eyewitnesses saying aircraft plummeted straight down on to a road and has hit 2 cars.

[Edited 2013-01-16 00:25:05]
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anstar
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:35 am

Looks really bad from the pictures I have seen  
 
a380heavy
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:38 am

Further update: Sky sources are saying the aircraft was an Agusta 109 with just the pilot on board.
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ZSOFN
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:40 am

Some pics via Twitter:

https://twitter.com/fergieweather/status/291462625852796928

https://twitter.com/helenlewis/status/291462401516253185

...and the crane it's believed that it hit:

https://twitter.com/jaystarz1/status/291460508069015554

Looks nasty.
 
egph
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:44 am

Just for anyone not having access to any of the live coverage the helicopter hit the crane in very low visibility conditions due to low lying mist.

Further update: One eyewitness reports that a number of cars were passing as the helicopter hit the road and it is "highly likely" that there were ground injuries or fatalities.

[Edited 2013-01-16 00:51:27]
 
edina
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:06 am

I'm can't confirm whether this is definite, but it would seem that Battersea Heliport is currently closed. I live directly under one of the approach path, approximately 1.5 miles away, and since 0800 the have been no movements overhead.
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seansasLCY
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:44 am

Confirmed that two people are dead. Vauxhall station is closed. The helicopter apparently hit a crane on the top of a new development.
 
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shamrock350
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:46 am

Scotland Yard have confirmed that 2 people have died.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21040410

It hit a crane at the under construction St George Wharf tower, I think it's around 180m tall and close to completion making it the tallest structure in that area of London.
 
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SKAirbus
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:51 am

Apparently the fire brigade rescued a man for a burning car... Looks like carnage!!!
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seansasLCY
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:58 am

Lots of people on the radio are saying that the crane never had lights on.

This political blogger also reports that someone tweeted the Met Police Helicopter Team in October saying the same thing http://order-order.com/2013/01/16/wa...copter-pilots-told-off-in-october/
 
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shamrock350
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:23 am

Here's a photo from Sky News.

http://i443.photobucket.com/albums/qq160/Shamrock380/bauhzo2cyaaknxb-1-778x437_zps3074649f.jpg

It's difficult to see the top of the tower through the fog right now but the fog was much worse earlier so the crane would have been completely invisible.

Quoting seansasLCY (Reply 9):

Lots of people on the radio are saying that the crane never had lights on.

The crane had a red navigation light, the tower itself was also lit during the night but at 8am in foggy conditions I'm not sure how effective these would have been. The Shard for example is completely invisible in fog, you can't even see it's very bright lights at the top when this happens.
 
CaptCufflinks
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:56 am

Very tragic indeed.

I do wonder why he was flying this morning. If he was under VFR then there's no chance he had the visibility for it. If he was under IFR then why the heck wasn't he at MSA?

I was supposed to be up in the air first thing but there was no chance I could have done it with the weather the way it was.

I suspect we shall learn more in the coming hours and days.
 
egph
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:13 am

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has just confirmed that the helicopter was landing rather than departing and was diverting to Battersea Heliport not details on where it was originally going.

Routing update: A police news conference just taken place has confirmed the helicopter routing as Redhill Aerodrome to Elstree Aerodrome with a diversion to Battersea necessary (no reason for diversion needed)

[Edited 2013-01-16 03:22:52]
 
bueb0g
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:34 am

RIP to those lost. Does anyone know if cranes like that usually have anti collision lights on the end of the arm, like towers do?
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
egph
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:46 am

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 13):

News reports seem to suggest that the crane did have lights on it but there have been suggestions they were not operating/working at the time of the crash. The building under construction did apparently have internal lighting on throughout the night though.
 
planejamie
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:55 am

This is very tragic. I'm going to rule out terrorism first and foremost purely because I do not feel this was a deliberate act, I know a lot of news sources are citing that as the reason behind it.

As a private pilot I'm no expert however I do know that any area of London on a chart has many different layers of airspace. Chances are the MSA would've put them into airspace it wouldn't be authorised to operate in. So the helicopter would've been IFR. Even with a thick mist/fog, early morning/sunrise could have made it difficult to see the lights on the crane if there were any. I should also add a friend of mine has told me there was a NOTAM issued about the crane being there.

I think this is a very tragic accident (and I stress the word accident) and my thoughts are with the pilot, people on the ground and their families.
 
CaptCufflinks
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:58 am

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 13):

RIP to those lost. Does anyone know if cranes like that usually have anti collision lights on the end of the arm, like towers do?

Only if the obstruction is 500 feet above ground level.

If it is 300 feet AGL then it will be published in the ENR section of the AIP. If permanent, or there for a long time, it will also be displayed on aeronautical charts specific to the area. Between 300-500 ft AGL lighting is not mandatory.
 
CaptCufflinks
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:35 pm

Quoting planejamie (Reply 15):
Chances are the MSA would've put them into airspace it wouldn't be authorised to operate in. So the helicopter would've been IFR.

If they were IFR, then they have to abide by the MSA, thus meaning they would have had clearance into the higher air spaces. You can't be flying an IFR flight and not be cleared into various higher classes of airspace in this country.

I think you might be suggesting he was VFR and therefore not cleared into airspace which is why he wasn't abiding by and MSA restriction. This only brings us back to my original point questioning why he was flying VFR I'm the weather that was present, which was bad this morning.

EGPH offers an answer though:

Quoting EGPH (Reply 14):
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has just confirmed that the helicopter was landing rather than departing and was diverting to Battersea Heliport not details on where it was originally going.


Perhaps he lost VFR and looked for a way to safety, hence the diversion.
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:42 pm

Quoting planejamie (Reply 15):
I know a lot of news sources are citing that as the reason behind it.

Really? all the ones I've seen have made clear there were no terrorism links.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 15):
Even with a thick mist/fog, early morning/sunrise could have made it difficult to see the lights on the crane if there were any.

That is true. What I'm confused about is that the weather minimum for operating to/from Battersea are 1000m visibility and 600ft cloud level. LCY reported 700m and 100ft BKN at 8am (when the crash occurred). I could understand the visibility being different at Battersea but doubt the cloud level would be significantly different, especially as eyewitnesses have reported very low cloud/fog. Why was he given clearance to approach?

Quoting CaptCufflinks (Reply 17):
Perhaps he lost VFR and looked for a way to safety, hence the diversion.

If that was the case, not sure why he was flying over central London between Redhill and Elstree. Direct routing takes you nowhere near!

[Edited 2013-01-16 04:44:21]
 
art
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:54 pm

Tragic event. One should be thankful that a helicopter and crane jib dropping into a city street did not kill or injure a large number of people.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:02 pm

Quoting Bthebest (Reply 18):
Quoting CaptCufflinks (Reply 17):
Perhaps he lost VFR and looked for a way to safety, hence the diversion.

If that was the case, not sure why he was flying over central London between Redhill and Elstree. Direct routing takes you nowhere near!

By my reckoning the accident spot is more or less on the direct line between Redhill and Elstree. If (and its pure assumption on my part) the weather was closing in, the logical solution might be to descend onto the Thames, then follow the river westwards to Battersea
 
CaptCufflinks
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:17 pm

Quoting Bthebest (Reply 18):
If that was the case, not sure why he was flying over central London between Redhill and Elstree. Direct routing takes you nowhere near!

Sorry, but that is just wrong.

Battersea is just to the east of the direct line between the two places. Map enclosed FYI:

http://i46.tinypic.com/ouse2h.jpg

The red line is the direct, approximate, route between the two aerodromes the black circle is the approximate location of Battersea.
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:27 pm

Still 10 miles out on a 50 mile flight but I suppose there aren't any other places to divert to really.

Still interesting that he was approaching from the east, but until we know the exact reasons for the diversion can't really pinpoint anything. Will just have to wait a few weeks for the AAIB report.

Edit:

Although if you thought my geography was bad:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...and-at-the-london-heliport-381121/

[Edited 2013-01-16 06:33:19]
 
blobby3
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:07 pm

Regarding the question of direct route across London I believe there is a restriction on flying directly over central London due to proximity of LHR and LCY. I believe there are defined helicopter routes in various directions to cross London so I think its unlikely it would have planned to fly directly from Redhill to Elstree.

One of the routes (H4?) runs along the Thames so if it was, as has been reported, diverting to Battersea Heliport due to the fog then it would have had to get there by flying along that route. Odd that it approached from the East I agree but who knows.

Very sorry for the family of the people killed and injured, could have been a lot worse but thats no consolation to them.
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:09 pm




Quoting blobby3 (Reply 23):
One of the routes (H4?) runs along the Thames

Correct, but like you said that's from the east, i would have expected H3/7/10 from the west for the Redhill-Elstree routing. I doubt his cross London routing would have taken him any further east as that would interfere with LCY. Will definitely be interesting when the full details come out.
 
gf777
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:54 pm

Shouldn't a NOTAM be issued about such new construction, giving it is a new building which is something might be new to the pilot or maybe just forgot about such new high tower?!

He could easily fly higher than the highest obstacle in that area.

Thoughts and prayer to the two people who lost their life...
 
kaitak
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:48 pm

Any update on the heli's ID; all I have found was that it was an Agusta 109. Any registration known?

(BBC) Radio 4 said that it had requested permission to enter/cross the Heathrow control zone, but never did so.
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:49 pm

Quoting GF777 (Reply 25):
Shouldn't a NOTAM be issued about such new construction,

it was, twice.

Quoting GF777 (Reply 25):
He could easily fly higher than the highest obstacle in that area.

Depends if he is VFR or IFR at the time. Cloudbase was reported to be as low as 100ft.
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:54 pm

Quoting kaitak (Reply 26):
Any update on the heli's ID; all I have found was that it was an Agusta 109.

Some reports it is G-CRST, with some pictures of debris matching livery. The pilot was flying for charter company Rotormotion.
 
egph
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:06 pm

As a slight aside on this, does anyone know roughly how low airliners on approach to the 27s at LHR fly over central London? Couple of time I've been in the Westminster area they seem to have been no higher than 3,000ft. Could certainly create a ceiling for any helicopters wanting to transit central London at around 2,000ft!
 
TimRees
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:34 pm

Aircraft usually intercept the 27 ILSs at 3000ft at around 10 nautical miles or further out. If turned in short than that they descend to 2500ft but this doesn't happen that often.
LHR was on 09s this morning though and approaches to Battersea would have been easterly too.
 
71Zulu
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:37 pm

Pilot was Pete Barnes, over 12,000 hrs and flew in movie films, RIP

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013...helicopter-crash-pilot-pete-barnes
Clickable links only please!
 
trent1000
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:28 pm

Is this thread relevant to civil aviation?

This was an accident at a construction site, not a scheduled passenger flight.

Newsworthy, yes, but I wonder if it's relevant.
 
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alberchico
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:34 pm

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 32):

Is this thread relevant to civil aviation?

This was an accident at a construction site, not a scheduled passenger flight.

you do realize that it was a civil helicopter involved in a crash right ???
short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:11 am

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 32):
This was an accident at a construction site, not a scheduled passenger flight.

And this, is why I only use A.net for a laugh. The sheer ignorance of people on here is amazing.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
AR385
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:28 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 34):
And this, is why I only use A.net for a laugh.

You only use it for a laugh? Too bad. If you took the time to use it for more than that, you would realize that most of the important breaking news in the industry appear here, hours before they become publicly available.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:31 am

Quoting AR385 (Reply 35):

You only use it for a laugh? Too bad. If you took the time to use it for more than that, you would realize that most of the important breaking news in the industry appear here, hours before they become publicly available.

It also is full of utter non-sense. And people who think that Civil Aviation is nothing but airliners. Don't get me wrong, there is good material here, but there is also a bunch of garbage.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
bueb0g
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:03 pm

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 32):
Is this thread relevant to civil aviation?

Don't know about you, but to me, an accident involving a civil, commercial aircraft seems pretty relevant to civil aviation. It's not all 747s...
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:12 pm

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 32):
Is this thread relevant to civil aviation?

This was an accident at a construction site, not a scheduled passenger flight.

Civil aircraft, civil airspace, scheduled flight. There's also the implications it may have on the wider ranging civil aviation community in terms of London airspace management.
 
trent1000
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:40 pm

Quoting alberchico (Reply 33):
This was an accident at a construction site, not a scheduled passenger flight.

you do realize that it was a civil helicopter involved in a crash right ???

OK, so I've been flamed for something I didn't realise. I thought it broke forum rules to be nasty and disrespectful to others on threads... Look, I don't live in a western country & where I live was reported on the news as a helicopter crash at a construction site - as in a helicopter involved in the construction of the building. So, no; not all the facts were reported or understood.
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:51 pm

Quoting trent1000 (Reply 39):
OK, so I've been flamed for something I didn't realise. I thought it broke forum rules to be nasty and disrespectful to others on threads...

I'm sure no one meant to be mean, but there is enough information in the thread to establish the details and its relevance  
 
gulfstream650
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:56 pm

So the crane operator was late for work because he overslept.

Lucky!
I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:11 pm

I tried to find the locations of the heliport and the accident, and got confused - the Thames has an S-curve in between the two, but the orientation of the river is the same in both places and the two locations are in similar spots relative to the river, could it be that the pilot mixed them up without having GPS? Just a very uninformed guess...
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
blobby3
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:40 am

For those interested there is some more information published by the AAIB on this accident. Apologies if this is posted elsewhere. This has some additional information on the route taken by the aircraft which was being discussed above.

http://www.aaib.gov.uk/latest_news/s...ial_bulletin_s1_2013_published.cfm
 
bthebest
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:45 am

Quoting blobby3 (Reply 43):
http://www.aaib.gov.uk/latest_news/s...ial_bulletin_s1_2013_published.cfm

I had a good read through that and some interesting points. One thing I don't understand is that while requesting Battersea he was told to hold along the river, no further west than Vauxhall bridge, although he proceeded towards Chelsea bridge before turning back towards Vauxhall.



Looks like he might have lost orientation, heading further along the river than he intended and then turned back putting him parallel with the tower, at which point he got clearance to head to Battersea and turned back again, hitting the crane.

As with all air crashes, its never just one problem, and it appears there were a few different things going on here.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Helicopter Crash In Central London

Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:40 pm

Quoting bthebest (Reply 44):
As with all air crashes, its never just one problem, and it appears there were a few different things going on here.

Having read the initial staement of facts I tend to agree with you. When this happened people couldn't quite work out the route the helicopter had taken. It now transpires that it had flown from Redhill to Elstree, failed to land and was now heading back to Redhill when a diversion to Battersea was sought,

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