Chopper could have crashed in kite entanglement

| 27/03/2017 | 15 Comments

(CNS): The police helicopter could have been brought down as a result of its recent entanglement with a kite, as it is now known the line tangled in the rotor blades, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Island, which described the kite encounter as a “serious incident” and issued a warning to the public about kite flying. Revealing more details about the 17 March incident, the CAACI said the crew noticed a kite flying near the West Bay the cricket pitch, but as the chopper was manoeuvred so they could estimate the height, it became entangled with a second unseen kite.

It is estimated the kites were being flown over 300 feet above ground level and in the collision a crew member was hit by the flailing line and there was damage to the chopper. Although the helicopter was able to land safely at Owen Roberts International Airport, an inspection found that a length of line had become wrapped around the rotor head of the helicopter, which could have potentially restricted the control of the blades and caused a fatal accident.

“The ill-considered use of kites poses a very real danger to the safe operation of helicopters,” the CAA said. “In 2007, a military helicopter was brought down in the Philippines after a collision with a kite led to cable becoming entangled in the rotor head restricting the control of the aircraft. The subsequent crash resulted in the death of the crew of two and seven people on the ground. In 2004, a US National Transportation Safety Board report identified a kite as a causal factor in the fatal accident of a Robinson R-22 helicopter which killed the crew of two.”

The local law covering kites limits the height at which a kite can be flown to a maximum of 100 feet within a 3-nautical mile radius of an airport. Beyond this distance, a kite cannot be flown above 200 ft. The CAACI also strongly recommends that kites are not flown anywhere in Cayman after sunset and they should not be set up to fly permanently or left to fly unattended. To protect the safety of aircraft, the operators of kites being flown beyond the specified parameters are liable to be prosecuted and may have their equipment confiscated.

For more information on the safe operation of kites or other hobby crafts and the implication for safety of aviation concerns, email the Civil Aviation Authority at [email protected] or visit their website.

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Category: Local News, Police

Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The kites are obviously being flown with the intention of deterring police helicopters. West Bay needs to be purged of this criminal element…




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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a very big assumption….I dare say you are probably wrong.

      You do realize that some of these criminals have access to weapons that can literally take down a chopper?!?

      So, if they really wanted her out the sky they wouldn’t bother with kites!

      Time for the RCIPS to do some serious digging around; these punks have all sorts of weapons and when the time comes they will use them!

      Sort this mess out before it is too late.

      #LawAbidingCitizen




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  2. Anonymous says:

    If I was a pillot and my chopper could crash if it came into contact with a kite, I would sure be on the look out for such things and if I saw a kite nearby id sure makle sure i didnt end up in a crash situation over such a simple object, there not preditor kites are they




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  3. Anonymous says:

    Steel kite line + CUC line = 💥⚡️☠️




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  4. Anonymous says:

    Well, as we all have seen the laughable probability of “being caught and prosecuted”, or “maybe having their equipment confiscated”, has zero deterrent value in the Cayman Islands. Why not start with science?

    Me thinks the RCIPS are glossing over the fact that what was purportedly being used to “fly” these kites where large deep-sea spools of offshore steel fishing “cable”. These are not the flimsy-thin store-bought nylon-string dowels of children’s kites. To fly at >300 ft in a strong breeze, you’d need to pay out >600 ft of this line – about $40-50 worth of line, not counting the hefty offshore fishing reel it was probably attached to for retrieval. You’re not really in control anymore with that much line out.

    Given how much line was out and the the lack of control, one would hope that the (very real) accidental electrocution risk would be higher up on the cautionary checklist. CUC uses a power transmission network of 389 miles of overhead 69 and 13 kilovolt transmission lines that would literally ignite the metal line kite operator on fire. It only takes 100mA to stop the human heart. In this scenario it would likely boil whoever was holding the reel, and depending on the substrate, possibly hospitalize all their friends standing around them. It would also pose an electrocution risk for responding EMS, likely resulting in a controlled black out for West Bay, and time consuming delayed triage for any victims/survivors.

    And that kids, is why it’s a good idea to stay in school.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    One of their own is a kite flyer , that uses a swivel on his kite maybe they should start by questioning him




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  6. Anonymous says:

    Great – now you have told the criminal element that chopper can be brought down with a simple kite… Not sure this info needed to be made so public…




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Take all the kites!!!!!




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  8. Anonymous says:

    I understand it has long been known that certain elements in West Bay have been flying tethered kites intentionally to interfere with police helicopter operations. They should be arrested and charged with attempted murder!




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  9. Anonymous says:

    When you discover fishing WIRE was connected to the kite I think it’s safe to assume the intention was to down the chopper. If the culprits are found they should be tried for attempted murder.




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