Comments Posted By Matsya das
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certainly, helicopters do crash. there are accidents and incidents in air transport as well, but not nearly as often as in road transport. statistically speaking, if there is only one flight per day in the whole world, accidents will happen every 5000 years.
taking into account all the particularities of wider Mayapur area, the weather, the heliport etc, i don’t see any risk inducing elements on top of what is normally present in air transport. in other words, this route and service can be regarded as simple. the helicopter service will be very costly, perhaps at least 150-200 USD per flight, but it will be safe. and the company will probably decide to operate some other smaller and cheaper helicopter, if they can manage to dedicate one such from their fleet to the Kolkatta area and this service.
in this particular case, regarding safety, i would not question pilots. especially in helicopter operations, things are far simpler in the domain of piloting, compared to aircraft operations. in my opinion, the greatest danger usually comes from the maintenance of the helicopter. if maintenance is poor or neglecting, piloting skills, knowledge or experience can do little. if this would be in Europe, we could rest assured there are no corners being cut in maintenance department. in India however, it’s difficult to tell.
on the other hand, this particular company Pawan Hans seems to be highly reliable and responsible. they operate about 50 helicopters throughout India and they have clean records. a number of local governments, including WB government i think, use their services and that’s most reassuring. the result of their business is how we can judge their competency.
noise is there as well. depending on the type of the helicopter, it could be more or less. this particular type is very loud because there are 2 jet engines, plus the flapping noise of the big and small rotors. but it’s most intense for the 1-2 minutes on the ground before the engine temperature rises enough for the operating power to be applied, after which the helicopter lifts off and the noise gets progressively reduced. this can be minimized by the proper management, ie. which area to allocate for the approach, for the departure and for the landing itself. these areas can be away from the populated sites. this is called noise abatement procedure and hopefully it’ll be applied here. that is also much simpler with helicopter compared to aircraft operations.
Comment Posted By Matsya das On 08.06.2014 @ 08:52
yeah, that photo with firefighters is a bit strange…
as far as i can tell, there is no legal requirement for firefighters to be present on the site, and especially there is no legal requirement for the show as can be seen on that picture. for a lay-man, it’s certainly not reassuring to see firefighters in such a ready-for-action position as if the fire can break out at any moment. what it it does, what can THEY do?? i think it’s a bit of a show. even if the fire does break in such a crucial moment as landing or lift off, in the case of possible subsequent accident, until the rotor comes to stop i don’t think these firefighters would do anything other than any other person in the vicinity - they’ll run for their lives. another bit of a show is the hose they are carring, which is most likely connected to a water supply. at least that’s what it looks like. alas, if that is the truth, you never use water neither on jet engine still running, as we can see on this picture, nor in any type of accident where jet fuel is involved. but i could be mistaking, and the hose is indeed connected to some other more appropriate source like DCP powder. which would be strange, understanding the effect of powder under pressure coming out of such a wide hose…
according to the Indian legislation, which is no different from the international one, regarding firefighting, the only requirement for the heliport area is to have at least one 12kg DCP powder fire extinguisher. that also implies that there is one person who can operate it, but no one who has any idea of how does it look when helicopter catches fire, would expects any person in good mental health to use the extinguisher before the helicopter and rotor itself come to rest. it takes a special firefighting techniques, educations, skills etc, to become sufficiently trained and approved for aircraft firefighting and rescue.
other than that, to keep it on a positive side, despite the high price of the helicopter transport service, it is certainly commendable to see this idea coming true after more than 2 years of endeavors. all glories to the management, and even more glories if they continue to endeavor to bring more convenient airplane service to the masses of devotees.
such service, achieved by 8 to 12 seater aircraft flying 25 mins from Kolkatta, can cost up to 30-35 euro per passenger. but some capital investment is required in order to build the runway and purchase or lease the aircraft…
Comment Posted By Matsya das On 02.06.2014 @ 09:20
Jai, sincere congratulations for this acquisition! it looks very nice and i’m sure it would help devotees to continue serving the mission of Srila Prabhupada. Akruranatha Prabhu, thank you for sharing the news and also thank you for a bit of nectar by Jayadvaita Maharaja :-). hope all is good for your bhajan. all the best, ys Matsya das (ex marko)
Comment Posted By Matsya das On 31.07.2012 @ 20:49