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Don't worry about that Richard, ring the newsroom
November 23, 2011 3:02 AM   Subscribe

Television New Zealand have captured some extraordinary, gut wrenching footage of a helicopter getting its rotor blades tangled in cables and crashing on Auckland's waterfront. The pilot has apparently walked away without serious injury.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots (55 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's amazing quite how quickly - within seconds - people are climbing into the thing to help the pilot. Fantastically brave.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 3:04 AM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm just going to mention the short film Helicopter, which is about the death of rock promoter Bill Graham in a helicopter crash (smashing into a a high-voltage tower) and the death of his girlfriend, Melissa Gold, the mother of the filmmaker.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:15 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like a blade strike. After that the unbalanced rotor causes the helicopter to tear itself apart.
posted by smoothvirus at 3:29 AM on November 23, 2011


WTF was he doing trying to land there anyway?

I don't think he'll be a pilot for much longer.
posted by wilful at 3:40 AM on November 23, 2011


Wilful, I don't think he was trying to land - early news reports are suggesting he was involved in installing a Christmas Tree.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 3:43 AM on November 23, 2011


Ah no, I'm crashed iz.
posted by Flashman at 3:51 AM on November 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Mayor: "Hey guys...we need to find a way to install the town Christmas tree? I'm open to suggestions."
"Well we could find a crane."
Mayor: "Nope, too pedestrian. Next."
"Use some ropes. And..."
Mayor: "NO. Come on people...think creatively, think DANGEROUSLY!"
"Flying Monkeys?"
Mayor: "Simpson...you're fired, but nice try. Next."
"How about a helicopter?"
Mayor: "I like it...that spot is cramped, filled with all kinds of metal, buildings, structures. I like it ALOT! Let's do it."
posted by Fizz at 3:55 AM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Any crash of an expensive helicopter is lamentable event - - however this particular crash from a height of about 20 feet with no injuries hardly warrants the descriptors "extraordinary, gut wrenching".
posted by fairmettle at 4:04 AM on November 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Well, he did spill his beer
posted by KokuRyu at 4:05 AM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fairmettle: I found it extraordinary and gut-wrenching to watch, and wrote my description of the links accordingly. Clearly we have different reactions to it. I'm pretty confident enough that sufficient others will not consider those words radically misleading.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 4:07 AM on November 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, it was an "ordinary" crash?
posted by tomswift at 4:07 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm fairly certain that was a highly avoidable accident, though. It really is asking for trouble flying a helicopter into an environment like that, even if you'd done a huge amount of risk assessment and have coordinated support to contain and manage risks and dangers that you can't eliminate.

On another note, I'm consistently impressed with how much punishment a turbine engine can handle before it shuts itself down. That one (those ones?) kept operating even though their gearboxes and free turbines had probably been fractured to bits. Then they seize, the magic engine smoke comes out, and she don't work no mo'.
posted by Silverdragonanon at 4:13 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


It sure looks like a crazy place to fly into, even if he wasn't trying to land. One errant gust of wind pushing him sideways a little and he's suddenly sharing space with some kind of structure. I don't know if that's what happened, but it's the sort of thing that causes a lot of helicopter crashes.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:18 AM on November 23, 2011


So, it was an "ordinary" crash?

No, it was a little less exciting than that.
posted by DU at 4:21 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


GTA generation, not enough explosions I guess...
posted by Meatbomb at 4:37 AM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Helicopter crashes because it's too close to a tower = dog bites man.

Tower chases after helicopter and swats it out of the sky = man bites dog.
posted by emelenjr at 4:40 AM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


When Michael Bay films the recreation it will be so much better.
posted by photoslob at 4:54 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, my gut wrenched, anyway. The way the tail end just curls under? Holy shit.
posted by mediareport at 5:25 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another angle (skip to 3:20).
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:35 AM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


You call that gut wrenching? Now this is a gut wrenching helicopter crash (also one that everyone apparently survived, including the mountain climbers they were airlifting after an accident. There seem to be an awful lot of helicopter crashes on youtube.
posted by TedW at 5:37 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are also dramatic and harrowing helicopter landings that don't involve a crash.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:48 AM on November 23, 2011


Um, for those who didn't get to the 4-minute mark in the video L.P. Hatecraft just posted, there was a man on the ground holding the cable just below the helicopter. You see him on the ground after the crash.

That no one was seriously injured in this thing is almost incredibly lucky.
posted by mediareport at 5:49 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


That guy in the red overalls ducks between the rotating blades!
posted by afx237vi at 5:52 AM on November 23, 2011


I actually thought the footage was pretty harrowing especially when the helicopter folded in half. I'm voting gut wrenching on that one. Holy crap.
posted by josher71 at 5:55 AM on November 23, 2011


OMG Hatecraft's link is extraordinary (not apologising for that word, we're all different, that's just how it catches me). In the first video there is no sign of the man standing underneath the helicopter. Looks like at least two people had an incredibly lucky escape.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 5:56 AM on November 23, 2011


The guy who was holding the cable DIRECTLY BENEATH THE HELICOPTER almost gets killed and then is the first one to climb into the crash! Crap!
posted by orme at 5:56 AM on November 23, 2011


"Ah no, I'm crashed iz." Can you explain that joke to me? Is that a New Zealand idiom joke? Just curious...
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 6:01 AM on November 23, 2011


"Ah no, I'm crashed iz." Can you explain that joke to me? Is that a New Zealand idiom joke? Just curious...

Here you go.
posted by orme at 6:08 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny how it looks so much more dangerous in the first video, with a tight crop around the helicopter and a busy background instead of sky.
posted by smackfu at 6:08 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


hardly warrants the descriptors "extraordinary, gut wrenching".

I agree. While I am sure guts of many, if not all of the direct observers were wrenched to some degree or another, were enough of them wrenched to such a considerable degree that it could be reasonably called "extraordinary?" It's not like helicopters falling into crowded areas are exactly uncommon. Why, on my walk to work, I dodged two, and only one of them wrenched my guts noticeably. Neither was more than ordinary in the gut wrenching, I have to say. But, then, I am pretty jaded.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:17 AM on November 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


@orme hehe, funny. Haven't seen that before. Explains everything. Thanks :)
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 6:20 AM on November 23, 2011


Um, for those who didn't get to the 4-minute mark in the video L.P. Hatecraft just posted, there was a man on the ground holding the cable just below the helicopter. You see him on the ground after the crash.

Yeah, I just watched that. I was a little distracted by the way the newscaster's accent changes startlingly when she refers to the man "at the very rear" of the shot. Odd.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:25 AM on November 23, 2011


The guy who was holding the cable DIRECTLY BENEATH THE HELICOPTER almost gets killed and then is the first one to climb into the crash! Crap!

*boggle* You're right. You can see him get up at :14 in the first video. It's the same guy.
posted by mediareport at 6:35 AM on November 23, 2011


It's a pity TISM are not more as "Don't worry about that Richard, ring the newsroom" would be a killer title for a song.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:48 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty shocked that helicopters are used as giant ladders to hang cables.
posted by swift at 6:59 AM on November 23, 2011


almost gets killed and then is the first one to climb into the crash! Crap!
Yeah if you can get to the breakdown first the guy has to release the ball helicopter.
posted by fullerine at 7:07 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having been in a zero-injury helicopter crash from less than twenty feet after hitting a blade on a jackpine, I can assure you that it is in fact extraordinary and gut-wrenching.
posted by Sternmeyer at 7:15 AM on November 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


I found that extraordinary and gut-wrenching. Lucky escape for the pilot and the folks on the ground. Reminds me of this quote:

"If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage, it's probably a helicopter - and therefore unsafe."
posted by dazed_one at 7:33 AM on November 23, 2011


"There are also dramatic and harrowing helicopter landings that don't involve a crash." Holy flying mother of God! For the first two minutes you wonder what's the big deal about holding the nose high and then the camera guy moves closer to the edge and you realize just what the hell that pilot was doing! I have no doubt they had to customize his seat just to hold that guy's balls. Colour me frickin' amazed and thanks for adding that link.
posted by Mike D at 7:36 AM on November 23, 2011


Another cable strike with a less fortunate outcome.
posted by bz at 7:48 AM on November 23, 2011


I know it's a long lens on that shot, but what in the fucking fuck where they thinking flying into a nest of cables like that.
My favourite thing about the video is that violent, high-pitched honking whine the engine makes after the 'copter is trashed. Scary.
posted by chococat at 7:53 AM on November 23, 2011


All helicopters can be divided into two groups: those that have crashed, and those that will crash.
posted by euphorb at 7:54 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The pilot has apparently walked away without serious injury.

Except to his underwear, I presume.

All helicopters can be divided into two groups: those that have crashed, and those that will crash.

This. As someone who has studied helicopter flight mechanics, I can assure you: whereas an airplane basically wants to fly, and will generally stay aloft on its own unless you do something really stupid, an helicopter is a scheming suicidal beast that wouldn't like anything so much as to end in a fiery crash, killing everyone onboard. Example (All passengers survived. In fact, the bearded guy just won the Spanish national election last Sunday.)
posted by Skeptic at 8:15 AM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


There are also dramatic and harrowing helicopter landings that don't involve a crash.

yes, excellent. also consider this ground resonance incident in a mac guyver episode.
posted by krautland at 8:16 AM on November 23, 2011


Ah no, I'm crashed iz.

In case anyone's confused by this, the expression is actually "______ as." So in the original clip it's "I'm beached as." After a hard day's work you might say "I'm stuffed as." After a night on the booze "I'm as pissed as." The point being that you're just dropping the (usually redundant) comparator: "I'm as beached as...some very beached thing" or "I'm as pissed as...a newt."

That helicopter pilot is definitely crashed as. And the guy who leaps up into the cabin to help him out is brave as. And my guts were wrenched as watching it all.
posted by yoink at 8:28 AM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm as confused as.


Also: I accept extraordinary and gut-wrenching on this one. Perhaps my gut needs recalibrating.
posted by mazola at 8:54 AM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, watching the gearbox and swash plate shear its mountings and start to shimmy like an out of balance washing machine. Thats just wow...
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 9:56 AM on November 23, 2011


If not gut-wrenching, it was certainly somewhat "sphincter-tightening" -- and the other footage showing how "uncluttered" the area was turned out to be just as dramatic.

Luck be a lady, indeed.
posted by davidmsc at 11:16 AM on November 23, 2011


Fine, but was it also captured at 500 fps? For a proper wrenching, I need it slow. And in 4k.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:19 AM on November 23, 2011


Would have been better if he parachuted out those last four feet, then did a commando roll and came up wielding a massive purple dildo, and ran about whacking people. Mad respect for a move like that, especially if he was running against the flow of pedestrians.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:49 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The crash was about 150 metres from my office. We heard/felt the bang - which was very comparable to a truck dropping off a shipping container in the car park outside, which happens occaisionally - followed by the peculiar whine of the motor burning out. Several of us aked, 'What the fuck was that?!' One of my workmates, Blake, joked, 'It was a helicopter crashing.' Upon looking out the window, it became abundantly clear that Blake is some kind of witch.
posted by Soulfather at 7:53 PM on November 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you are looking for the more contemporary NZ youtube meme, you probably want something along the lines of:

"Lent my helicopter to a mate, nek minnit"

or maybe

"Oh no George is flying a helicopter, he's too wasted. I should say something ...."

But realistically speaking you are probably not looking for such things.
posted by urban greeting at 12:38 AM on November 24, 2011


Good god, the screaming of the engine...
posted by gjc at 10:04 PM on November 24, 2011


FYI The video that was shown in the news report linked as "Other Angle" above was uploaded in full to YouTube. If you want your crashes in 1080p and from multiple angles. This shows more of the survivor pilot being removed so you might want to avoid if you don't want to see that kind of thing.
posted by smackfu at 1:51 PM on November 29, 2011


OO. MM. GG. OP here, back a couple of weeks later and just seeing the last comment. Amazing, unreal that the whole thing *was* captured in HD. And oh man, it's no less gut wrenching. And completely extraordinary to be able to see the whole thing - and how the helicopter just tears itself apart. And how everybody had such an incredibly fortunate escape. Incredible stuff...
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 4:31 AM on December 11, 2011


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