|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : ito|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 30|
agl bound upper : 50
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 120|
flight time total : 4300
flight time type : 120
|Function||observation : observer|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited adverse environment|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
While approaching pale uli lava flows I made a high reconnaissance of the area before descending. When it appeared that there were no people on the ground, I continued my descent, now down from 500 ft AGL to 100 ft AGL, and did a low reconnaissance of the area. Still I did not see anyone so I continued up to the flow and hovered 30-50 ft AGL, showing the lava, keeping my nose into the wind with the lava on my left side. I hovered approximately 100 yards north and then back to my original hover area. This time out my right side was the lava, then continued to hover for maybe 1 min or so. I turned now into the wind and started to climb out for my next destination and when I looked down I saw 2 usgs personnel on the ground. By then I was directly over them so no evasive maneuver was necessary. I never saw them prior to my departing the area. I made a radio call telling everyone listening 'that there were 2 people at that location and to avoid....' when I landed I called the person that was on the ground and explained what had happened and apologized profusely. He said thank you. Also, he told me that he was behind some trees when I approached him. Another pilot was also in the area. He said that he couldn't see them behind the trees, also. All tour helicopters monitor VHF 122.9 and make all calls about their intentions on this frequency. Since we can't currently communicate with these ground people working for hvo and usgs, if they were to monitor VHF 122.9 they could tell the pilots if they were in an area that was disturbing their studies and for their safety such as this case. No pilot would intentionally hover directly over anybody on the ground and even though they wear bright orange vests, sometimes we are just in a position that ground personnel are not visible.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: HELI HOVERS OVER GND OBSERVERS INADVERTENTLY.
Narrative: WHILE APCHING PALE ULI LAVA FLOWS I MADE A HIGH RECONNAISSANCE OF THE AREA BEFORE DSNDING. WHEN IT APPEARED THAT THERE WERE NO PEOPLE ON THE GND, I CONTINUED MY DSCNT, NOW DOWN FROM 500 FT AGL TO 100 FT AGL, AND DID A LOW RECONNAISSANCE OF THE AREA. STILL I DID NOT SEE ANYONE SO I CONTINUED UP TO THE FLOW AND HOVERED 30-50 FT AGL, SHOWING THE LAVA, KEEPING MY NOSE INTO THE WIND WITH THE LAVA ON MY L SIDE. I HOVERED APPROX 100 YARDS N AND THEN BACK TO MY ORIGINAL HOVER AREA. THIS TIME OUT MY R SIDE WAS THE LAVA, THEN CONTINUED TO HOVER FOR MAYBE 1 MIN OR SO. I TURNED NOW INTO THE WIND AND STARTED TO CLB OUT FOR MY NEXT DEST AND WHEN I LOOKED DOWN I SAW 2 USGS PERSONNEL ON THE GND. BY THEN I WAS DIRECTLY OVER THEM SO NO EVASIVE MANEUVER WAS NECESSARY. I NEVER SAW THEM PRIOR TO MY DEPARTING THE AREA. I MADE A RADIO CALL TELLING EVERYONE LISTENING 'THAT THERE WERE 2 PEOPLE AT THAT LOCATION AND TO AVOID....' WHEN I LANDED I CALLED THE PERSON THAT WAS ON THE GND AND EXPLAINED WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND APOLOGIZED PROFUSELY. HE SAID THANK YOU. ALSO, HE TOLD ME THAT HE WAS BEHIND SOME TREES WHEN I APCHED HIM. ANOTHER PLT WAS ALSO IN THE AREA. HE SAID THAT HE COULDN'T SEE THEM BEHIND THE TREES, ALSO. ALL TOUR HELIS MONITOR VHF 122.9 AND MAKE ALL CALLS ABOUT THEIR INTENTIONS ON THIS FREQ. SINCE WE CAN'T CURRENTLY COMMUNICATE WITH THESE GND PEOPLE WORKING FOR HVO AND USGS, IF THEY WERE TO MONITOR VHF 122.9 THEY COULD TELL THE PLTS IF THEY WERE IN AN AREA THAT WAS DISTURBING THEIR STUDIES AND FOR THEIR SAFETY SUCH AS THIS CASE. NO PLT WOULD INTENTIONALLY HOVER DIRECTLY OVER ANYBODY ON THE GND AND EVEN THOUGH THEY WEAR BRIGHT ORANGE VESTS, SOMETIMES WE ARE JUST IN A POS THAT GND PERSONNEL ARE NOT VISIBLE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.