14 June 2005

LongRanger in the East River

All the news outlets are carrying video of the Bell 206L "Longranger" down in the East River in New York.
Apparently all 7 people aboard are out and okay. Great!

I have logged about 1600 hours in this type machine in the EMS role.

No report yet on what might have happened, but I want to clue you in to something that is true about all helicopters.......

They are "top heavy".

In MOST helicopters, the heaviest stuff is all relatively high in the airframe......
Tail Rotor Drive system,
Tail Rotor and gearbox.

When you see one on its' side, or in this case, upside down in the water, remember that when all the weight is concentrated up high like this, it makes them want to do the "dying cockroach", naturally!

If this Longranger pilot did a perfect autorotation to the water,
then encountered some heavy wave action, a barge passing by, for instance........
the machine would have a tendency to tip over fairly easily.

It'll be interesting to see what caused this incident in the first place!
Stay tuned.

One of the passengers reportedly is in critical condition. An article in the New York Daily News says one passenger was put into an induced coma because she almost drowned.
Once again, this is a situation where the News Media is putting out confusing information. An earlier report has all seven people aboard clinging to the floats of the overturned helicopter as help arrived.

When a patient is put into a chemically induced coma, it is done to reduce brain activity to try to keep swelling of the brain, which can cause considerable damage, to a minimum.

If this report is true, it indicates one of the passengers might have been breathing water for a few minutes. If that is the case, her life could be at risk, and even if she recovers, she could have considerable deficits.

Keep an eye on the news........as poor as it is!

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