AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

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rotorhead350
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AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#1 Post by rotorhead350 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:33 am

Had it confirmed to me this morning that a Gulf Helicopters AW139 lost its tailboom while taxiing for takeoff yesterday. No more news to report at this time. I know from experience with the 139 that there are lots of problems with delamination on the tailboom close to the attach points. We have changed 2 tailbooms in the past year on the SAR contract machines, and at the main hangar our fleet of 139s have had numerous more. Be interesting to see what Agusta has to say about this!
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#2 Post by sky's the limit » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:06 am

That's got to be a bit disconcerting for the crews, no?

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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#3 Post by rotorhead350 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:37 am

Here's a pic of the machine!
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#4 Post by sky's the limit » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:52 am

:shock:

Jesus. Really? All on it's own? Wow.

That's not a confidence inspiring photograph. I bet the crew is out buying lottery tickets, a minutes later and that would have been catastrophic.

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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#5 Post by rotorhead350 » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:02 am

There have been reports of that aircraft having a tailboom strike offshore in March, and Agusta coming out and doing a structural inspection and repairs and subsequently giving it a release. I know from experience with one of our 139s that Agusta repaired a delamination on the tailboom and the repair lasted all of 11 hours before we had to replace the whole thing.

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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#6 Post by sky's the limit » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:08 am

That's going to be an expensive exercise for AW. Just glad this didn't turn out differently.

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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#7 Post by kingeddie » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:04 pm

Yikes ... Flight into known ice IFR . I wonder if my tailboom will fall off ????????

Tim Hortins is hiring .

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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#8 Post by 2.5milefinal » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:13 am

I bet they are thinking hard about if they should be doing Tailboom repairs anymore. :?

http://www.slv.dk/Dokumenter/dsweb/Get/ ... 8-0157.pdf
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#9 Post by SeptRepair » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:21 pm

They should be thinking if using composite in a tail boom structure is really that good of an idea. Like an old structures buddy of mine said once. "If aint got rivets you cant trust it".
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#10 Post by Bullet Remington » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:08 pm

SeptRepair wrote:They should be thinking if using composite in a tail boom structure is really that good of an idea. Like an old structures buddy of mine said once. "If aint got rivets you cant trust it".

Your budy's right,Sept Repair. Metal will talk to ya and you'd better listen!! Composites are like a good looking woman who knows she's good looking. Won't say a freakin thing to ya, but will bite you indiscriminately without warning!

I hate composites, even for fairings! I understand why they're used for secondary items, but I can't understand why they're used for primary strutural elements!
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#11 Post by Big Pratt » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:23 am

More pics :shock:
http://www.avweb.com/avwebbiz/news/Tail ... ionGallery

I smell a movie deal! "Lucky Basterds" :wink:



Bullet Remington wrote:Composites are like a good looking woman who knows she's good looking. Won't say a freakin thing to ya, but will bite you indiscriminately without warning!
Should've said this to Guy Laliberte about 10 years ago...

BP
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#12 Post by Heliian » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:37 am

Composites are stronger and lighter than other materials and technologies are advancing everyday. Pilots on the other hand still have a tendancy to chop off their tailbooms when pulling aft cyclic with little collective input. Maybe they got cut off by another a/c on the taxiway and tried to stop?
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#13 Post by Bullet Remington » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:08 am

Big Pratt wrote:More pics :shock:
http://www.avweb.com/avwebbiz/news/Tail ... ionGallery

I smell a movie deal! "Lucky Basterds" :wink:



Bullet Remington wrote:Composites are like a good looking woman who knows she's good looking. Won't say a freakin thing to ya, but will bite you indiscriminately without warning!
Should've said this to Guy Laliberte about 10 years ago...

BP

BP: Guy Laliberte don't ring a Bell 9 no pun intended) with me!! Is he associated with the truckload of 520N s in PQ??
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#14 Post by Bullet Remington » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:21 am

Heliian wrote:Composites are stronger and lighter than other materials and technologies are advancing everyday. Pilots on the other hand still have a tendancy to chop off their tailbooms when pulling aft cyclic with little collective input. Maybe they got cut off by another a/c on the taxiway and tried to stop?
Heliian:

Are you being serious??? Have you actually seen/ read an accident report / or have first hand knowledge , of a pilot/ driver ( and I quote you here) ..."Pilots on the other hnad still have a tendency to chop off their tailbooms when pullingaft cyclic with LITTLE collective input."

With 30 plus years in this business, I've NEVER seen it!! NEVER!! I HAVE seen mast bumping on a R22, but never what you've implied!!

As for your statement, "maybe they got it cut off by another a/c on the taxiway and tried to stop."WTF?? I would recommend that you read all the prior posts before making such an unqualified post!! From my interactions with people directly associated with this company, the statements made on this post is correct: 1) The machine had previously suffered a tailboom strike AND that tial boom was repaired by Augusta in-situ; 2) The crew were ground taxiing to a take-off position withhout another aircraft in the vicinity. The tail book went into this monkey motion on its own!!

As for composites being stronger and lighter then öther "materials"..ya think?? I have seen composite vertical stab come off aircraft in flight and kill `120 people plus, I have seen composite panels come off military fighters and destroy the complete machine, I have seen catastrophic failure of mega vital aircraft and helicopters composite structures. I don't give a flying fugg about the opinions of designers and others!! Composites SHOULE NEVER be used in the PRIMARY structural element of ANY aircraft / helicopter component! AND this incident clearly qualifies what i have be stating for years!

My opinion is based upon 30 years as a "B" and a "S"licensed engineer!
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#15 Post by SeptRepair » Tue Sep 15, 2009 11:07 pm

You have got it so right Bullet. I have no faith in Composite. Ive been smashing rivets for 22 years and have always cringed around composites. Inspecting composite structures by coin tapping or any other tap method is individually subjective. So individual, that 10 guys performing an inspection for delamination will come up with 10 different delam patterns if indeed delam is present. A guy can be off by a couple of inches and thats all it can take to be between critical damage and negligable damage on a primary structure. It takes an extremely experienced composite guy to make those judgement calls and I feel the average engineer who conducts inspections ( especially coin tapping ones), for the most part lack that experience. Furthermore, repairing a composite structure has so may variables that can determine if your repair is sound or marginally acceptable. Its not like a sheet metal repair. Composite repair takes the proper conditions including humidity control, temperature, mixing procedures, contaminates on the parent material, improper weave lay out, etc. Give me a rivet gun and some aluminum and I will guarantee my repair will not fail. Composites have a place in secondary structures and fairings.
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#16 Post by 2.5milefinal » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:01 am

Heliian
I don't like to direct people to other forums but you really should go read the very lengthy thread on PPRuNe that deals with this accident.
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#17 Post by bonusboy » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:21 am

Lol you old sheetbashers are too funny, how about you make me a 12" sphere .020 thick out of aluminum and i'll make one out of composites...we'll see who's is stronger. Not only that but i'll even delam mine before i test . Like all men your visually stimulated. Lots of BIG rivets then it must be strong!
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#18 Post by Bullet Remington » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:29 pm

bonusboy wrote:Lol you old sheetbashers are too funny, how about you make me a 12" sphere .020 thick out of aluminum and i'll make one out of composites...we'll see who's is stronger. Not only that but i'll even delam mine before i test . Like all men your visually stimulated. Lots of BIG rivets then it must be strong!
Well Boy, i'm glad us OLD Metal Bashers gave you smoething to laugh about. I looked backthrough the posts and feel free to correct me, BUT I don't believe anybody, least wise me, said that metal wa stronger them composites.

Haveing said that I would love to accept your challenge albeit with a couple of stipulations. # 1, you DON"T delaminate yours, AND you make yours .040 while my metal sphere stays at .020. Now after we finish these, here's the second stip[ulation.

These spheres must be pressurized to 5.2 psi repeatedly until one of them fails. I'll bet you 10 to 1 that my ugly old metal sphere with those big rivets will still be holding pressure while the conmposite one you made has failed. I know because I've already done been challeneged by a snot nosed whiz kid that thought composites were the latest and greatest (NOt impying that you're a snot nosed whiz kid)

What I and i assume Sept Repair was inferring was, fior any structure where flexing, bending , twisting , torsion and expansive loads are being applied repetitively, metal is much better then composities. there is a reason why all these Pinky Engineers are reluctant to use composities as PSE on high flying pressurized aircraft.

And I am awaiting, rather tentatively for the Launch of the new Boeing dreamliner. I'm wondering just how the Boeing Engineers are goingto set the inspection standards for the pressure bulkheads! Adn I'm wondering whether they'll be lifed?

Gonna be a real bitch trying to repair the aft pressure bulkhead and costly. Oh about 300% more expensive then repairing the 1019 bulkhead on the B737 now!!
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#19 Post by The Mole » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:48 pm

Sooooooo... are composite rotor heads out to.
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#20 Post by sky's the limit » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:28 am

The Mole wrote:Sooooooo... are composite rotor heads out to.
Guess I'd better stay out of my Eurocopter now.....

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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#21 Post by bonusboy » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:44 am

Well i really don't know what to say......scuba tanks went to compostes, paint ball gun air tanks went to compostes i can continue! must just be because its cool! I've actually had the chance to explode a scuba tank which is very easy and there isn't as much stretch as you'd expect before its all over. the new carbon fiber tanks actually make popping sounds just before not exactly the best warning! The problem with composite in aviation is poor understanding. I think its safe to say that most of us are going to buy composte golf clubs or hockey sticks because we know they are better, but we have to understand that you can't just take something already designed outta aluminun or steel and just make it the same but out of composites because thats where the problems arise. The perfect example is the the A300 vertical stab. Anyone "now" can see how stupid of a design this was this wasn't because compostes are weak by any means, it was a design problem and installation problem. If your gonna put a row of bolts on a composte structure then my opinion is just stick to aluminum.
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#22 Post by Schimunga » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:51 pm

To Bullet Remington--Good thing Eurocopter wasn't listening to you back in 1974 when the first Astar took flight with its composite rotor head and blades. But then that was more then 30 years ago, before you got into this business. Apparently its is such a good system that they are still using it today as they will be using it tomorrow and probably long into the future.

What caused that composite vertical stab that killed over 120 people to fail? What caused those panels to come off the military jets? Was the findings on to those incidents based solely on the composite failing? Is there somewhere to read the report?
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#23 Post by Nedaero » Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:04 pm

Did someone ever heard from Continuous Composite Health Monitoring (CCHM)
It's using a brand new technology and will be launched soon :rolleyes:
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Re: AgustaWestland AW139 shed its tailboom in Doha

#24 Post by smaj100 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:14 am

I know this pilot personally, and she had no indications prior to the separation event that something was wrong. There was no other aircraft near this one as it was ground taxing for takeoff. I agree i'm not a fan of composites at all.

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