Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cable Roll Accident

This is how not to push a cable roll upstairs. It misses the guy by the door by a few feet and crashes into a parked corvette.

Fork-lift driver loses control

Amazing pictures of the moment a Russian fork-lift driver loses control bringing the contents of an entire warehouse smashing down.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Amazing Video Shot From A Skier’s Helmet Cam of an Avalanche Burial & Rescue

Avalanche Skier POV Helmet Cam Burial & Rescue in Haines, Alaska from Chappy on Vimeo.

In April of 2008 I drove from Lake Tahoe to Haines, Alaska up the Al-Can highway through British Columbia and the Yukon with an enclosed 4-snowmobile trailer and a ton of gear. I told myself the year before after a few years of getting "shut out" with heli time, that I wouldn't come back up without snowmobiles....instead of sitting around drinking myself into oblivion on a "down day."

Well thank God we did that because we definitely had down days again right from the get-go. The sledding up at Haines Pass is out of control good. Even staying closer to town like below Old Faithful is great. Can't say enough about how much fun it is to ride snowmobiles up there with no trees.

So the first legit day after that main snow storm cycle, we still went out snowmobiling one more time wanting to let the snow set up a bit more....while another part of our group went up in the bird. Actually two groups went up in the bird, and the first group did all the normal day-after-storm-cycle snow pit and snow quality tests.

The first group decided that while the dangers remained elevated, that it was good to go. They all made some of the sickest pow turns in their lives I was told. The next group then - a couple hundred meters or so over - set up for their descent.

The guy in the video was the first one to drop from their group and while not a guide, he had a lot of Utah and AK backcountry experience. He had a Black Diamond Avalung on, but as you can tell from the video while he's talking as he's dropping in, it wasn't in his mouth to start. He tried to shove it in the instant of starting to get sucked down, but it didn't stay in fully during his ragdoll descent. It was just off to the corner of his mouth he said, and he definitely got some snow / ice in his mouth still.

So as he drops in you can also see the sluff to the skier's right immediately start building....and that's actually the chute that was the intended route down. For whatever reason - well pure, unadulterated powder will do it to you - he didn't go make some strong "skier cuts" into the upper pack to do one final snow check as instructed by the main guide who was doing the "tail gunner" work.

Instead he just sent it. And it didn't take more than a few turns out on this big shoulder above this cliff band to break loose.

This was a decent sized avalanche. 1,500 feet the dude fell in a little over 20 seconds. The crown was about 1 - 1.5m. The chute that he got sucked through to the skier's right was flanked on either side by cliff bands that were about 30m tall. He luckily didn't break any bones and obviously didn't hit anything on the run out.

He was only buried for 4 and a half minutes which is incredibly short. I cannot stress these next sentences enough; that in and of itself to be unburied in ONLY 4:28 is miraculous if you have any understanding of being caught in an avalanche and what it takes to be found. It could literally be some kind of "world record" just on how good the guide and supporting cast of other skiers was in getting to him. It also shows why you should ALWAYS be going with people trained in avalanche rescue / first aid....as well as why you'd want to be going with a guided heli operation. Sure this was terrifying for him, but he would've probably been dead if not for going with a guide.

He also got very lucky to be honest. In the time that he's buried, you can hear his breathing already accelerate. The ruffling noise back and forth is his chest rising and falling and the noise that his jacket makes. The intermittent whimpering noise you hear is him trying to swallow and get some air since the avalung wasn't fully in his mouth and instead just to the corner of his mouth. Still sends chills up the back of my neck. Oh...the luck? They located him so fast because his right glove came off just before he came completley to rest and there was an excellent visual of course.

And then the digging out is utterly amazing. I don't think that you could've paid a Hollywood crew to stage something better. The fact that he could've been facing any 360 direction and yet he's looking right up into the sun-filled blue sky with that first full scoop away of the shovel is borderline spiritual.

This is simply a very sobering and unbelievable video. However, you should take away from this video all the positive things that you can learn from it. Yes there are risks to the backcountry - but with proper gear, training, and guide(s) with avalanche and EMT training - you can greatly lower your chances of getting caught in an avalanche in the first place.....and coming back alive if you ever were to get caught in a slide.

Respect Mother Nature for sure. Learn from this. But just like a Craig Kelly in the snowboard world or a Shane McConkey in the ski world who died out in the backcountry (Craig via avalanche and Shane via ski B.A.S.E. jumping), they left this earth while doing the things that they were truly passionate about. And while they would stress the need for the proper gear and training....neither one would want backcountry enthusiasts to curtail their adventures because of their accidents....or this video.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Parasailing for Dummies

A Compilation of Parasailing and Parachuting Gone Wrong

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hero Pilot 'Sully' Stars at Safety Hearing

Transcript Reveals Details From Hudson Splashdown


WASHINGTON -- US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the much-heralded hero of the January airliner ditching on New York's Hudson River, told federal investigators Tuesday that in a matter of seconds he determined only the river was "long enough, wide enough and smooth enough" to put down his crippled jetliner.
Audio From US Airways Crash in Hudson River

The National Transportation Safety Board is holding a hearing into the January crash of US Airways Flight 1549 into a New York river. The NTSB has released audio of the pilots and air-traffic controllers. Animation courtesy of the NTSB.

Testifying before the National Transportation Safety Board, Capt. Sullenberger said that when both engines of his Airbus A320 lost power at about 2,700 feet after sucking in birds, he quickly decided that the plane was losing speed and altitude and that returning to LaGuardia airport was "problematic."

"I had to make sure I could make it [back to LaGuardia] before I chose that option," Capt. Sullenberger said. "I couldn't afford to be wrong." (See and hear the transcript from Flight 1549.)

In many ways, the scene in the packed hearing room resembled an interview of a pop idol more than the testimony of an aviator who started flying as a teenager and has worked for US Airways for nearly three decades. The questioning was gentle, respectful and at times, downright congenial.

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US Airways Flight 1549
Associated Press

US Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River on January 15.
US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549

* NTSB Animation: Flight path video, transcript
* Pilot Lands Jet on Hudson River
* Photos of the river landing
* Map | Audio Reports

In the highly unusual hearing, Capt. Sullenberger's unemotional, sometimes clipped testimony was watched by a throng of international media.

While the first part of the hearing produced little new technical information, it did highlight the intense drama, adrenaline and teamwork that saved the lives of all 155 people aboard Flight 1549 on Jan. 15.

After spotting a flock of birds that "were very large and filled the entire windscreen" of the jet, Capt Sullenberger noticed a dramatic drop in thrust. Investigators later determined at least three birds were sucked into the engines. Disregarding air-traffic controller suggestions to return to LaGuardia or try to swoop into another nearby airport, Capt. Sullenberger set his sights on the surface of the Hudson.

With the plane's flaps out, speed dwindling fast and splashdown barely seconds away, Capt. Sullenberger asked his first officer: "Got any ideas?" Co-pilot Jeff Skiles instantly replied: "Actually not."

Once the plane settled in the water and the crew realized the fuselage remained intact, Capt. Sullenberger told the safety board, he turned toward his first officer and both instinctively blurted out at the same instant: "That wasn't as bad as I thought."

In a space of seven minutes, four rescue vessels surrounded the ditched airliner.

While the safety board's three-day hearing will delve into a broad range of technical and operational issues dealing with aircraft design and emergency escape issues, the indisputable star of the session was Capt. Sullenberger.
[Chesley Sully Sullenberger III, who ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, arrives for a hearing before the NTSB Tuesday in Washington.] Getty Images

Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III, who ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, arrives for a hearing before the NTSB Tuesday in Washington.

At a time when many commercial airline pilots say they are frustrated by dwindling pay, longer work weeks and eroded pensions, the testimony of the captain recalled the golden age of aviators exuding confidence and sangfroid.

Many of the flight attendants and passengers thought the Airbus was headed for land. But Capt. Sullenberger, who started flying at the age of 16 and has been at the controls of everything from gliders to three different jetliners, told the safety board he picked his landing spot with care.

The airline's training instructed pilots that if they ever had to ditch, they should "land near vessels to try to facilitate rescue."

Responding to questions about the lessons to be learned from the extraordinary landing, Capt. Sullenberger mentioned training to help pilots work together as a team and additional efforts to improve emergency evacuations. But his comments repeatedly swung back to the notion of an airline culture that stresses safety and respects the judgment of experienced pilots. US Airways pilots received classroom instruction in ditching procedures, but Capt. Sullenberger testified that they never practiced any ditching scenarios in simulators.

In a pointed remark on the cost-cutting and heightened corporate regimentation that currently drive many airlines, Capt. Sullenberger considered the intangibles of safe airmanship. "The captain's authority is a precious commodity that cannot be denigrated," he said.

The captain's testimony also highlighted the importance of relying on experience and memory, rather than rigidly using written checklists to deal with unexpected emergencies. With both pilots in the cockpit boasting about 20,000 hours of total flight time, Capt. Sullenberger said that teamwork and experience "allowed us to focus on the high priorities without referring to written" checklists.

Billy Campbell, one of the passengers on the plane, testified about seeing the left engine engulfed in flames as though it were "a bonfire," and then scampering out of the aircraft as water was seeping in near the tail. "We were so fortunate to have an unbelievable pilot, an unbelievable copilot" and a highly experienced cabin crew, he told the board.

Robert Sumwalt, the safety board member chairing the hearing, said that after listening to the cockpit voice recorder after the ditching of US Airways Flight 1549, he was impressed by the actions of the pilots. "I've never walked out of a flight recorder lab with a smile."

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bolivia's Death Road - The World's most dangerous road

Bolivia's "Death Road" links La Paz to Coroico in the Yungas. Ride it from behind the wheel of a Range Rover Sport

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Portable toilets help pilot survive crash

TACOMA, Wash., May 3 (UPI) -- A pilot walked away from a crash landing in Washington state when a field full of portable toilets cushioned the impact on the ground for his small plane.

The 67-year-old pilot, whose name was not reported, had just taken off from Pierce County-Thun Field at 3:20 p.m. PDT Friday when his engine stopped, The Tacoma News-Tribune reported Saturday.

The Cessna 182 suffered apparent engine failure after taking off from Thun Field airfield south-east of Tacoma in Washington state.

He was alone in the 1982 Cessna.

"The plane took off, he got about 150 feet in the air and his engine quit running," Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, said. "He tried to turn around and come back and land, but he didn't quite make it."

As it fell, the plane hit a fence, flipped upside down (ick!) and landed on toilets being stored near the runway by the Northwest Cascade company.

"The Honey Buckets kind of cushioned things," a Northwest Cascade worker who did not want to be named told the News-Tribune.

The 67-year-old pilot, who was reported to have been flying alone, has not been identified.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Louisiana Sink Hole Drains Entire Lake

When a Texaco oil rig mis-triangulates its drilling position and hits a nearby salt mine full of workers, an entire lake complete with homes, barges, and land drain into the enormous sink hole. Soon the river reverses direction and brings in water from the ocean, swallowing up more land.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pilot Action May Have Led to Crash

Flight Data Show Response to Loss of Speed Resulted in Deadly Stall That Downed Plane

Investigators examining last week's Continental Connection plane crash have gathered evidence that pilot commands -- not a buildup of ice on the wings and tail -- likely initiated the fatal dive of the twin-engine Bombardier Q400 into a neighborhood six miles short of the Buffalo, N.Y., airport, according to people familiar with the situation.

The commuter plane slowed to an unsafe speed as it approached the airport, causing an automatic stall warning, these people said. The pilot pulled back sharply on the plane's controls and added power instead of following the proper procedure of pushing forward to lower the plane's nose to regain speed, they said. He held the controls there, locking the airplane into a deadly stall, they added.

The crash on Feb. 12 at about 10:20 p.m. EST killed all 49 aboard and one person on the ground.

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A New York State trooper guides an overhead crane Tuesday to the crash site of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y.

A New York State trooper guides an overhead crane Tuesday to the crash site of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y.
A New York State trooper guides an overhead crane Tuesday to the crash site of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y.
A New York State trooper guides an overhead crane Tuesday to the crash site of Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y.

The investigation is still at an early stage, and National Transportation Safety Board officials have warned about ruling out potential causes or prematurely jumping to conclusions. But in the past few days, government and industry crash experts have gained a better understanding of the sequence of events as they have compared information from the plane's flight recorders with radar and weather data.

Mark Rosenker, the NTSB's acting chairman, said Tuesday that investigators still have "lots of data that needs to be examined," and "still more evidence that needs to be collected," before announcing firm conclusions.

The Q400 was operated by Colgan Air Inc., an unit of Pinnacle Airlines Inc., which was operating the flight on behalf of Continental Airlines Inc. Joe Williams, a spokesman for Pinnacle, declined to comment about details of the accident while the safety board was investigating. A spokeswoman for the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents the pilots, declined to comment.

Investigators initially focused their attention on potential ice buildup on the plane's wings -- a perpetual hazard of aviation. People familiar with the investigation cautioned that they still aren't sure whether icing may have played a contributing role in the crash because it was on the minds of the pilots, but they noted that another Q400 flew through "moderate" icing conditions on the same route from Newark, N.J., to Buffalo the same night, landing without incident less than an hour after the crash.

A Bombardier spokesman said Tuesday that the company is "not aware of any serious icing incident on this aircraft" since it was introduced into service in February 2000.

According to people familiar with the investigation, Capt. Marvin Renslow, 47 years old, who lived outside Tampa, Fla., was at the controls of Flight 3407. The safety board said Mr. Renslow was relatively new to the Q400, which he began flying only in December, when he upgraded from another type of airplane. First Officer Rebecca Lynne Shaw, 24, of Seattle, had accumulated 774 hours in the 74-seat aircraft.

The recovered flight data described in detail how the crew of Continental Flight 3407 handled the emergency, the people said.

During the flight from Newark, Mr. Renslow and Ms. Shaw noticed ice building up on the windshield and wings of the airplane after they had already activated the craft's de-icing system, which inflates a series of rubber bladders on the leading edge of the wings and tail surfaces to break up accumulated ice.

According to the plane's flight recorders, Flight 3407's descent into Buffalo was routine until roughly a minute before impact, when the crew lowered the landing gear, followed by the command to extend the wing flaps, which enable the plane to fly at slower speeds.

Almost immediately, these people say, the plane's air speed slowed rapidly, causing a stall-warning device known as a "stick-shaker" to cause the pilots' control column to vibrate. This was followed by a "stick-pusher," which automatically forces the stick forward.

At this point, the captain appears to have pulled back with enough force to overpower the stick-pusher and shoved the throttles to full power, according to people familiar with the matter. Safety board officials said the nose pitched up to a 31-degree angle. Already at a dangerously low speed, the wings immediately stopped generating lift. The plane whipped to the left and then entered a steep right turn, losing 800 feet of altitude in less than five seconds. At one point the right wing was perpendicular to the ground, according to information taken from the flight data recorder.

The pilots continued to fight with the controls almost all the way to the ground, and in the final moments, "it appeared that they were beginning to make headway when they ran out of altitude," said one person who looked at the data.

A crash with many similarities occurred five years ago involving a regional jet operated by Pinnacle. Following that crash, which killed the two pilots outside Jefferson City, Mo., the safety board urged Pinnacle and other commuter operations to revamp training procedures, including how to recover from certain types of stalls. Investigators are seeking more information from Pinnacle about how it changed its procedures in the wake of the previous crash, as well as specific details about the training provided for the pilots on Flight 3407.

Pinnacle's Mr. Williams said that following the previous crash, "we continually evaluated our procedures in accordance with our commitment to safety."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Continental Airlines Plane Crashes in Buffalo, N.Y.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Continental Express plane crashed into a suburban Buffalo home and erupted in flames, killing all 48 people aboard, state police said.

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Plane crash in Buffalo
Associated Press

A plane burns after it crashed into a house in Clarence Center, N.Y.
Plane crash in Buffalo
Plane crash in Buffalo

Authorities say Flight 3407 from Newark, N.J., hit a house in Clarence around 10:10 p.m. Thursday.

Clarence emergency control director Dave Bissonet says the crash killed one person on the ground. He says the plane was approaching Buffalo Niagara International Airport, about 10 miles away.

Twelve homes near the crash site have been evacuated.

Continental Airlines says the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 operated by Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air was operating between Newark Liberty International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

US Airways Plane Crashes in Hudson River

On ice ... as workers on shore watch, a crane hoists the wreckage of the US Airways airplane that crashed in the Hudson River out of the icy river in New York
THE pilot who safely brought down a stricken Airbus described flying into a wall of large birds just after take-off, officials said today.

Terrifying details of the US Airways flight's last moments before a successful crash-landing in New York's Hudson River emerged as officials reported advances in the difficult salvage operation.

Testimony from pilot Chesley Sullenberger, credited with saving the lives of all 155 aboard, made it clear that a collision with a flock of birds, possibly geese, crippled the engines and triggered disaster.

The cockpit windscreen "was literally filled with big, dark brown birds," Sullenberger told investigators, said Kitty Higgins, from the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB). "He said his instinct was to duck, but he didn't."

Simultaneously, the pilot and co-pilot "heard booms, felt the impact, the power went down and they smelled - this is the captain saying - they smelled 'burning birds.'"

Earlier today (AEDT), giant cranes were ready to start lifting the nearly sunken plane from the icy Hudson, the NTSB said.

The operation, likely to take a long time, will allow recovery of the black box flight recorders located in the tail.

Search crews also think they have found the Airbus' left engine, which was torn off in the crash and sank, the NTSB said.

This had still to be confirmed, but finding the engine will aid investigators trying to confirm whether the jets stopped after large birds were sucked into the turbines.

At the time of the impact, the plane's co-pilot was at the controls.

He noticed a flock of birds to the right and commented on their perfect line formation, Higgins told a news conference.

"I think he believed, based on what he saw, that they were going to fly under the plane," Higgins recounted.

"When (the captain) looked up, he said the windscreen was filled with birds," Higgins said.

With both engines out, the captain decided that the only place he could land without endangering people on the ground was the Hudson.

The captain said he decided against returning to LaGuardia because he was "too low, too slow, they were pointed the wrong way and they had to traverse a populated area," Higgins told the news conference.

An alternative airport was also ruled because as "it was a populated area, the consequences would have been catastrophic."

Sullenberger took over control of the plane and "lowered the nose to try and counteract the loss of airspeed," Higgins said.

"While the captain was flying the aircraft, the first officer was trying desperately to restart the engines," Higgins said.

"There was very little conversation. These are both experienced pilots. They both knew what they had to do."

After a perfect water landing, all 150 passengers and five crew were able to walk out of the sinking aircraft and enter rescue boats.

Sullenberger told investigators that in line with standard procedures, he had brought down the plane close to a boat he saw on the river so that help would be near, Higgins said.

The Airbus's entire flight, from take-off to splash landing in the Hudson, lasted about five minutes, Higgins said.

Security camera film footage released today showed for the first time the moment of impact.

Water shoots up as the plane makes a perfectly straight landing - a brilliant piece of handling that experts say prevented a tragic break-up of the plane.

Crew members didn't even realise where they were at first, the NTSB said.

There was "one impact, no bounce, a gradual deceleration and neither one of them realised they were in the water," Higgins said. "The captain issued a one word demand: evacuate."

Crew interviews also confirmed reports of how the Sullenberger refused to leave his sinking plane until he was sure everyone was safe.

"He was very concerned with the count of the passengers," the flight crew told the NTSB, Higgins said.

"He wanted everyone accounted for. He returned to the plane a couple of times to check no one was there. The captain was the last off."