15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 20 Mar, 2020 8:11 pm

It certainly isn't.

A landing at Melaleuca would have meant an extra 2 minutes flight time and would have probably been a better place for them to land if there was a "situation" as there is resources there.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Azza » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 12:08 pm

ILUVSWTAS wrote:It certainly isn't.

A landing at Melaleuca would have meant an extra 2 minutes flight time and would have probably been a better place for them to land if there was a "situation" as there is resources there.


So really it just comes back to they are either lying or poor flight planning.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 12:34 pm

Seems pretty bleeding obvious huh Azza....
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Azza » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 12:50 pm

Yup. I also think if your the sort of person who can afford your own a helicopter, with all the maintenance and fuel costs to keep the thing,
you can probably cop the fine on the chin and say next time you'll get a proper permit.
But I also think they'd rather pay more money to a lawyer just so you can say we did nothing wrong.

If they do get pulled up for it, it'll be interesting to see who cops it.. I imagine the blame game between the company and its customers could get interesting.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby north-north-west » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 1:06 pm

Azza wrote:If they do get pulled up for it, it'll be interesting to see who cops it.. I imagine the blame game between the company and its customers could get interesting.


If the company organised the "expedition", it's their responsibility to make sure all bureaucratic requirements are met.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 1:26 pm

Yeh it is an Interesting one. I do agree that sadly the fines are likely to be pocket change to these types.

The website seemed to suggest it's the clients that run the trips they just have experienced pilots on hand to help with any issues that arise.

Unfortunately PWS are dealing with it behind closed doors. It would be nice if they were more transparent but then again this is the Tasmanian gov were dealing with so yeh good luck there.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Nuts » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 1:41 pm

The claimed reason for not landing at Melaleuca is about the only thing that sounds legit.

If they are lying they breach 'guidelines' for WWHA overflights. (Does a fine even apply?) A conservation issue.
If it was poor planning that's a different issue, if an issue (with CASA or, heli-enthusiasts. meticulous planners.. or some such?)

It doesn't sound very well planned to have to land at all, maybe some of those choppers shouldn't have left on that leg?

PS. I'd imagine this incident is the very least of their concerns right now
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby north-north-west » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 2:44 pm

Loss of communication amongst a quarter of the fleet is a major issue (if it really happened), and should have been reported to CASA. Frankly, it's not believable. One aircraft might have developed problems, but four of them, simultaneously? If maintenance is that bad, they shouldn't have been flying at all, much less somewhere that remote.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby stepbystep » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 4:24 pm

Nuts wrote:The claimed reason for not landing at Melaleuca is about the only thing that sounds legit.


I've spoken with aviation experts and OBP experts about the Melaleuca landing option. It's not a problem if you understand the Fly Neighbourly recommendations for the area, which they have access to and should have been across.

It's all BS on their part. Question is, who in Tasmania's tourism or parks sector was aware of this group and what was their involvement.
PWS obfuscating on making a definitive statement publicly re whether a permit was issued speaks of a cover up by someone senior, for someone senior.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Lophophaps » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 7:22 pm

Losing contact with so many aircraft is serious.

The Mercury report cited above includes this:
“It was decided that the safest and most sensible option was to land on a large beach at Stephens Bay and to avoid Bathurst Harbour due to previous discussions with Parks and Wildlife about a highly sensitive area around Bathurst Harbour and Melaleuca due to the orange bellied parrot, which we appreciate.”

Can anyone advise if there is a restriction on landing at Melaleuca due to the Orange bellied parrot, or for any other reason? Is there a flying restriction on flying over Bathurst Harbour?
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 7:26 pm

Lophophaps wrote:
Can anyone advise if there is a restriction on landing at Melaleuca due to the Orange bellied parrot



Hmmm I don't know for sure but given there's a *&%$#! big airstrip there with planes coming in and out regularly I wouldn't have thought so....
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Nuts » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 8:08 pm

well there is this:

2.8. Melaleuca Area Zones. Additional conditions apply during the nesting season of the Orange Bellied Parrot which breeds in the three Melaleuca Area zones located within the WHA:
a.
From 15 September to 30 April, pilots are requested to avoid:
(i)
repeated passes or circuits above the zones;
(ii)
landing helicopters within the zones; and
(iii) hovering helicopters above forested areas within the zones.


which is all I saw, more to it obviously .
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby geoskid » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 8:53 pm

Lophophaps wrote:A few minutes ago I moved several posts from this topic. The post that triggered this was the subject of an alert, justified in my view. The other posts were in reply to that initial post. Please keep the conversation friendly and factual. It does not matter if there were 10 or 20 helicopters or if it was an emergency or legitimate emergency. They landed in fine weather, apparently without permission. The pictures show the times and there is a reliable eyewitness account, with the latter backing up the former. The matter is being investigated. Let's see what develops.

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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby geoskid » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 9:10 pm

Lophophaps wrote: It does not matter if there were 10 or 20 helicopters or if it was an emergency or legitimate emergency.


Oh , Really? You are clearly not in the habit of checking your thinking against even the most basic of intellectual standards, just like SBS. Look , have at it - there are more important things in the world to deal with at the moment.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby geoskid » Sat 21 Mar, 2020 10:16 pm

Just to be clear- I don't like that they landed, we need to make sure they don't land there again, there needs to be an investigation. I accept SBs's account from his perspective. My only point is that , at this stage, going on the evidence presented here, conclusions regarding intent are premature. Intent matters. Not only for what punishment is appropriate, but also for what thinking we need to change. Surely there is someone here that understands. Intent makes the difference between life sentence and merely public flogging - but more importantly, it informs what thinking behind the behaviour needs to be changed.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 22 Mar, 2020 5:40 am

Geoskid, please see the rules, especially rule one and the last words, "But we will aim to keep it friendly!" When an alert is imade mods act on that.

The exact number of helicopters that landed will become germane if prosecutions are made. The unarguable evidence is that a group of helicopters landed on a remote beach, apparently without permission. If there was no permission then PWS rules have been broken.

PWS says:
"PWS has launched a compliance investigation into reports of the landing of several helicopters on a remote beach in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Penalties apply for the landing of an aircraft without an authority and limited commercial landings are only permitted in designated areas and zones under licence as prescribed by the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 2016. Action will be taken if the PWS investigation reveals there has been a breach of the law."

The facts of the matter are still being established. Subject to further and better particulars about a few aspects, I'd write a prosecution brief on this. I've won a lot of cases over decades, with my first win in about 1976. Courts have agreed with me, and they have a high standard of critical thinking and law.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby tastrax » Sun 22 Mar, 2020 9:57 am

Lophophaps wrote:Can anyone advise if there is a restriction on landing at Melaleuca due to the Orange bellied parrot, or for any other reason? Is there a flying restriction on flying over Bathurst Harbour?


There is no restriction on landing at the Melaleuca Airstrip in the Fly Neighbourly Agreement - https://parks.tas.gov.au/Documents/Fly% ... ly%207.pdf

The airstrip is outside the zone - pretty obviously or there would be no flights in at all.

2.8. Melaleuca Area Zones. Additional conditions apply during the nesting
season of the Orange Bellied Parrot which breeds in the three Melaleuca Area
zones located within the WHA:
a. From 15 September to 30 April, pilots are requested to avoid:
(i) repeated passes or circuits above the zones;
(ii) landing helicopters within the zones; and
(iii) hovering helicopters above forested areas within the
zones.

So you can land a helicopter but you have restrictions in selected zones around the area.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 22 Mar, 2020 12:30 pm

Phil, thanks. based on the information you posted there seems to be nothing preventing helicopters landing at the Melaleuca Airstrip. If so, then there is no reason to land on the beach, and the Heli biz reason is thus false. PWS can sort this out. It would be nice if PWS had a public hearing. We shall see.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Nuts » Sun 22 Mar, 2020 5:27 pm

Yep, the document I shared.

Ok, so let's assume, if we can, this part isn't dirty, low down, lies..

Zone 1 spreads immediately north from the airstrip. These zones have differing reasons for their existence. In this case it's to minimise any impact on the nesting of OBP.

The company haven't said? there was any particular emergency (with any particular chopper). The stated situation they landed somewhere other than Melaleuca to avoid was landing the 15+ fleet there. And on the face of it, this appears perfectly reasonable?

Personally, If I saw 15 choppers land together at Melaleuca, at this time of year, I'd (think it was ridiculous) be reporting that..
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby north-north-west » Mon 23 Mar, 2020 11:34 am

Why land? How did the incommunicado choppers know where to go to find the others? Why not get a clearance from whoever is at Melaleuca and land there if landing is necessary?

Nothing about the situation is reasonable, either on the face of it or with deeper digging.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Nuts » Tue 24 Mar, 2020 11:57 am

Oh, they probably didn't give a second thought to just setting down for a leg stretch and slash, I wouldn't have been surprised to see a pic of a senior minister or public servant.

But what the company have said is consistent, they'd not likely have a flight plan that included Melaleuca but I could picture they had a flight plan that included checking the beaches in case someone sets down... (in the case they lost comms, if they lost comms)
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 24 Mar, 2020 12:31 pm

Are not companies like Heli biz advertising air safaris? Does the advertising include landings? If they lost touch with some aircraft, could they radio their position for regrouping? There are too many aspects of this which warrant investigation and explanation.
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Re: 15 Helicopters land in the World Heritage Area

Postby north-north-west » Tue 24 Mar, 2020 4:29 pm

Nuts wrote:But what the company have said is consistent...

Apart from having posts up on social media about the beach landings during the safari, with no mention of any problems, then deleting the account when the complaint was made?
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