Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

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Tipsi
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Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Tipsi »

Mission in question:
c8 28 Long Term Sunset II
Time:
Wednesday Game night 03/Jan. 1st mission of the game night, mid mission.

Hi All,

I was not present for the debrief that took place after the mission was ended but I heard that Luke was banned from flying choppers for 1 month. I am here to shed light on my perspective of the situation (Vector 1 Copilot & LR Radio Operator) which resulted in two helicopters destroyed and a few casualties including important MORTAR assets. I would also like to use this thread as an opportunity to suggest that the incident doesn't merit a whole month chopper ban for Luke.

Our first task was to navigate and land troops in complete darkness listening to only audio instructions from me. This is a very challenging task for even a seasoned pilot, nonetheless the job was done accurately and effectively. Troops in our chopper disembarked safely onto the LZ.

CO ordered on command net that We (Vector1) were tasked with picking up 1 cargo crate and bringing it back to the AO. We reached the crate location. It was pitch black, no crates could be seen. We decided it would be best that we land so that I could jump out and call him in as well as maybe also flare the location of the crate. There was a callout from Vector (2?) as we were landing who said that the crates were "underneath us". The chopper continued it's descent and parked itself right over the ammo crate. BOOM. Luke with every intention landing safely, very unluckily landed where the crates were actually placed. A freak accident.

What could've been done better:
Maybe some communication between myself (Vector 1 Copilot & LR Radio Operator) and the Mortars during ingress towards base so that I could relay important info and so that the pilots knew the definite location of the crates.

Maybe the Mortar crew could have a popped flare on the location of the crates so that choppers could have easily seen how approach the crates safely.

It seems that there is a general conclusion that all blame be shifted on luke. These pilot bans are to act as a deterrent towards cowboy flying and inappropriate use of high value assets. I have already highlighted there were other factors in play here as well as the "pilot error". It is only my opinion but I do not feel that the 1 month ban luke has been given is reflective of the situation.

Kind regards,

Tipsi
Last edited by Tipsi on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Snowman
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Snowman »

Thanks for clarifying the situation.

I will talk with the admin in question and get their take on the situation. If needed I will talk to luke also.

Snowman.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

With my two cents as Vector 2 during that mission, I too would argue grounding him for a month is too harsh as punishment.

My input:
As said by Tipsi, visibility was really horrendous (pitch black), but Luke managed to pull the insertion and egress off quite well regardless. Approaching the base, I heard chatter between Luke and Tipsi about them not really knowing where to land because they didn't see anything, so at one point, I called it in that they appeared to be hovering over the crates. Given my TS issues during the second mission, I have no idea whether that transmission actually went through (during debrief, it was said they did not hear or notice that call, though I read differently here). Almost immediately after my call, I heard something said about airlift, leading me to believe their position was intentional. I continued my own approach and landed safely on the taxiway, about 10m next to where they were hovering.

Because I was focused on my own landing spot, I did not see what caused the crash (most probable options are 1. landing on the crates or 2. his main rotor clipped the tower / hangar nearby), but I'm pretty sure ArmA physics caused the actual explosion. The last height I saw Vector 1 at was approximately 5m off the ground, so even if he clipped his main rotor and fell down about 10 - 15 sec later, there realistically shouldn't have been an explosion.


As to how Vector 2 got blown up as well:
The crash from Vector 1 cooked off the mortar ammunition. Instead of lifting off immediately (as I should have done, in hindsight) I waited for 1 member of the 2-man mortar team to enter my Blackhawk to discuss what we would do next. Then, Vector 1's Blackhawk and/or the mortar ammunition exploded, knocking out my engines. Before we were able to get out and get some distance, my Blackhawk exploded, leaving Ben (2nd member of mortar team who was still on ground) as the sole survivor of that whole ordeal.


My conclusion:
I'm pretty convinced it was just a matter of bad luck, made worse by ArmA physics.
That being said, when you have a large airbase available, there is enough room to NOT land inches away from high objects, or right on top of things. ;)


If you need anything further, catch me on TS or via PM. :)
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Cobra. »

Banning people from flying Choppers after a single error is not going to be helping us find chopper pilots. I am getting rather tired of having to step up as a pilot every single time that role appears, since nobody wants to ******* take it.

I understand it is frustrating when a plan is ruined from a support asset bring destroyed, it's happened to me enough but we were all dead anyway in that mission so it didn't even effect the final outcome. The pilot had the mistake explained and learned. He will now most likely never bother taking that role again.

People want pilots in their missions and there is a zero tolerance for errors. People want milsim and these are errrors that actually occur, if the same mistake happens for a ground callsign people just move on.

We either learn to adapt and live with a possibly voilitile situation in regards to helicopters or we don't have them at all since accidents happen.



https://i.imgur.com/xXkYyKp.mp4

Can't get more milsim than that.
Last edited by Cobra. on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
[3:33 PM] BOTMEE6: Hey @Cobra! Please don't use bad words!
[3:33 PM] BOTMEE6: Hey, sorry about this but... you got banned from Zeus by MEE6#4876 for 'Too many infractions..'

please do not swear on my christian youth server.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by OldManVegas »

DYAFTB
Last edited by OldManVegas on Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
StRiKeR
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by StRiKeR »

I think it is completely justified here. The debrief showed complete ignorance of some rather important safety considerations when operating that asset. Pair that with doing it in close proximity of other players (therefore compromising the entire mission), pair that with having a history of similar disasters in previous missions, pair that with generally not being able to show any remorse or make concessions in those cases too... I think there are simply some few people that we all know should not be taking important assets for the sake of everyone's enjoyment, and not just because they have crashed once or twice - the blacklist works to help us keep track of those.

And don't get me wrong, I am completely in favour of adapting a more accepting error culture. I realise that often pilot roles are open because people connect them with a lot of pressure to deliver, very little room for mistakes and a generally very stressful environment. Missions often make it difficult and there are moments when you might crash even if you did everything seemingly right. Sometimes it is not even going to be your fault. And that's fine. Shit happens. What's important is that you are precisely aware of the things you can do with a 95% confidence level as well as the things that are beneath that level and match those realistically with the requirements of the mission before slotting up. And when things do go wrong (and they will), that you actively investigate what did go wrong (something the ground component rarely does) and improve. Learn the meta. Figure out the stats. Practice dry runs in the editor until you nail it three times in a row. Figure out approaches, tactics and attack profiles. You take those roles to be a combat multiplier to the players on the ground, a precise support tool, something that might not do a whole lot for the rest of the missions besides its 3-4 moments of action in a mission (although thats more of a design problem). If you understand and live that you are already most qualified. And I understand most people do know this and simply dont have that bit of time it takes to put into the game to achieve or do that. That's fine too.

To recap, I don't mind a pilot that executes a mission the way it was briefed perfectly but then gets forced on a task too challenging by his commander and subsequently wrecks his asset. That is a risk ignored by the commander who should have understood the abilities of his assets. Communication there is key too. It's fine to say "I can do X, Y and Z but I can't do Z+", as far as Z+ isn't part of the basics. It's all again a big part of attitude and honest willingness to improve. Failure is preprogrammed, otherwise you wouldn't learn. It's more of a mission design issue that some missions hinge on a single person, when instead it could be three or four.

It's the ignorance and "I Don't Give A Fuuuck"-attitude of some people however that makes me think the blacklist is still warranted. I've seen one too many times people fucking up hard and then disconnecting and leaving to avoid an honest debrief. Yea sure you are gonna get some flak, but its not gonna be personal so take it! Some people just continue to overstimate themselves and continue to laugh about the result.



Also: Two questions:

1. Why don't we have a little offnight thing where people can jump into a fixed or rotary wing playground and get some exposure. Maybe just fuck around for a while. Regularly. The people who don't enjoy flying can play the anti air component or air controllers. Just to get some grease on the gears.

2. If missions would split responsibilities up, like having two gunships as a pair instead of just one, would that get us more filled pilots slots or less in the long run?
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by ashley »

Mistakes happen, people should not be blacklisted for that. If what Tipsi says is true then I see no real issue here. Only last week I remember being FAC and someone grounding their chopper cos they went a little too far into the sea. Should the people involved in that be blacklisted for that mistake?
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

StRiKeR wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:04 am The debrief showed complete ignorance of some rather important safety considerations when operating that asset.
I can’t speak for previous missions, but from my perspective, in this mission, he did that 95% right, so I don't understand what you're referring to?
The 5% you might be able to blame him for, depending on what caused the crash, is a lack of aerial situational awareness while looking for ground units, in large part due to the darkness and lack of NOD.

On topic of visibility btw, personally, I changed my settings so I could see better (still wasn’t clear by any means though). When I mentioned that in the KIA-chat, the immediate response was “so you cheated”...
My response to that is, if all I see on my screen is black, I’d rather cheat than kill everyone onboard because I didn’t see a building, tree, powerline, .... Had Luke done this as well, maybe this all wouldn’t have happened.

That being said, realistically, I don’t think any pilot would take off on a night flight without NOD, or at the very least a proper night sight. Since we can usually change the parameters, I’d like to make a request to mission designers that all pilots get NOD by default, just in case they have to fly at night.
Throwing in a GPS and ability to shift-click so that pilots don’t need to switch to map all the time wouldn’t hurt either btw.
I realise that often pilot roles are open because people connect them with a lot of pressure to deliver, very little room for mistakes and a generally very stressful environment.
[...]
You take those roles to be a combat multiplier to the players on the ground, a precise support tool, something that might not do a whole lot for the rest of the missions besides its 3-4 moments of action in a mission (although thats more of a design problem)
I think most Vector slots remain open not only because of the pressure, but also due to the lack of action. In most cases where I’ve flown, I also feel like CO and FAC don’t really know how to operate (with) air assets, expecting things that are not always possible, and the pilot will get the flak for it.
Also: Two questions:

1. Why don't we have a little offnight thing where people can jump into a fixed or rotary wing playground and get some exposure. Maybe just fuck around for a while. Regularly. The people who don't enjoy flying can play the anti air component or air controllers. Just to get some grease on the gears.

2. If missions would split responsibilities up, like having two gunships as a pair instead of just one, would that get us more filled pilots slots or less in the long run?
1. Getting extra experience with air / support assets would always be beneficial. The problem might be that most people probably join to play a mission, and not a flight / FAC / JTAC school.

2. Don’t know if it would have an impact on pilot numbers, but I doubt it. I see a few other issues with this though.
- Each pilot / gunner is an infantryman less. If you want two gunships (e.g. AH1Z), you need 4 people manning them. On a GN with 20 guys, that’s already 20% of your force, and you don’t even have Vectors yet.
- Mission design. For multiple gunships to operate, you need enough enemies that can threaten them, or that will keep both assets properly occupied. If you don’t, the mission becomes a walk in the park. If you do but there aren’t 2 gunships, the mission may be impossible to complete.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by StRiKeR »

Eagle-Eye wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:45 am I can’t speak for previous missions, but from my perspective, in this mission, he did that 95% right, so I don't understand what you're referring to?
The 5% you might be able to blame him for, depending on what caused the crash, is a lack of aerial situational awareness while looking for ground units, in large part due to the darkness and lack of NOD.
Yes exactly, I think we can both agree that if you lost situational awareness and don't know whats beneath you, don't lower your altitude. That's a basic thing. Especially given that the UH-60s have search lights that can easily tell you whats infront or underneath you. That plus having all the time in the world on a large open airbase in a completely uncontested environment leads me to believe someone could simply not be arsed enough to make sure.
Eagle-Eye wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:45 am That being said, realistically, I don’t think any pilot would take off on a night flight without NOD, or at the very least a proper night sight. Since we can usually change the parameters, I’d like to make a request to mission designers that all pilots get NOD by default, just in case they have to fly at night.
Throwing in a GPS and ability to shift-click so that pilots don’t need to switch to map all the time wouldn’t hurt either btw.

[...]

I think most Vector slots remain open not only because of the pressure, but also due to the lack of action. In most cases where I’ve flown, I also feel like CO and FAC don’t really know how to operate (with) air assets, expecting things that are not always possible, and the pilot will get the flak for it.
Agreed. Much of this is also due to questionable design choices.
Eagle-Eye wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:45 am 1. Getting extra experience with air / support assets would always be beneficial. The problem might be that most people probably join to play a mission, and not a flight / FAC / JTAC school.
True. I was more thinking that people might enjoy playing anything at all seeing how much is going on these days on offnights. If more than a few people join, they could always switch over.


Eagle-Eye wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:45 am 2. Don’t know if it would have an impact on pilot numbers, but I doubt it. I see a few other issues with this though.
- Each pilot / gunner is an infantryman less. If you want two gunships (e.g. AH1Z), you need 4 people manning them. On a GN with 20 guys, that’s already 20% of your force, and you don’t even have Vectors yet.
- Mission design. For multiple gunships to operate, you need enough enemies that can threaten them, or that will keep both assets properly occupied. If you don’t, the mission becomes a walk in the park. If you do but there aren’t 2 gunships, the mission may be impossible to complete.
Yeah but assets like attack helicopters or other heavy CAS asset still can't do any tasks other than observation and destruction of things. For anything else, there's the infantry. Again, a big design question but it's completely possible to make those assets not OP.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Wombat »

I thought I'd give my take on the issue since I was involved in the incident as Mortar lead.

In the pilot's defence:
  • Visibility without NVGs in that area of the airfield was very poor and the ammo boxes were very small and blended in with the tarmac.
  • The Blackhawk's landing light is rather useless from a 1st person perspective even with head tracking due the landing light having a small cone of light and is pointed too low for the pilot to see (dashboard/instrument panel blocks view).
  • Since I was on the ground, I should have switched my 343 radio channel to the pilot's and talked him down.
  • The co-pilot/crew-chief could have ensured radio contact with men on the ground to assist with landing.
Arguments against the pilot:
  • The pilot didn't attempt to make use of his sling-load assistant MFD panel (all sling-load capable helos have this and would have clearly shown the crates underneath him).
  • Didn't ensure radio contact with the men on the the ground to request assistance before making his landing attempt in the dark (pun intended).
  • Didn't err on the side of caution with knowledge that the crates could very likely be directly beneath him and so landed anyway despite the safer option to land anywhere else on the airfield.
  • I witnessed the pilot very nearly hitting his rotor blades on a nearby water tower just before attempting landing and, according to my mortar gunner who actually witnessed the moment of the crash from the ground, claims that he is 80% sure the main cause of the crash was due to the rotor blades hitting the corner of the aircraft hanger on the way down instead of it purely being a case of dodgy Arma physics.
With the points above in consideration, I personally think a temporary blacklist is still required but it is arguable if a whole months blacklist is perhaps too harsh.
StRiKeR wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:04 am Why don't we have a little offnight thing where people can jump into a fixed or rotary wing playground and get some exposure. Maybe just fuck around for a while. Regularly. The people who don't enjoy flying can play the anti air component or air controllers. Just to get some grease on the gears.
I think having a playground/workshop dedicated to practising pilot roles (and other aircraft related roles) could be both useful and fun. Problem with pilots roles is that they require practice to become competent and many players only practice in gamenight missions where there is little room for mistakes.
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Eagle-Eye »

Wombat wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:53 pm Visibility without NVGs in that area of the airfield was very poor
On this point, a second request to mission devs: when deploying from a supposedly friendly and safe base, add something to illuminate important areas at base (spawn, landing sites, ...). 1x "Portable lights" (single or double) should do the trick for almost every area of interest. :)
Landing issues aside, during yesterday's spawn, we didn't find the helicopters for a good 2-3 minutes because of the darkness. :P

Wombat wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:53 pm I think having a playground/workshop dedicated to practising pilot roles (and other aircraft related roles) could be both useful and fun. Problem with pilots roles is that they require practice to become competent and many players only practice in gamenight missions where there is little room for mistakes.
I was thinking today about a mission scenario based loosely on current events in the Middle-East.

I.e. a good number of various assets in the air, waiting for tasking. Could be either transport or attack, rotary or fixed wing.
On ground, you have a small group of operators (SpecOps-like, with 1 or several FAC and JTAC). FAC then does the overall air traffic control (deconfliction between air assets, check-in / - out, coordination with JTAC, update reports to the air assets, ...), while JTAC does the tactical coordination (target designation, 9-line, ...). Preferably, ALIVE or a ZGM are active to create some dynamic targets, so that no replay is exactly the same.

That way, you get an "all-in-one" mission where people can choose to take a role they want to play / train:
- infantry
- FAC / JTAC
- rotary wing transport / attack
- fixed wing attack (transport is an option, but not many assets and it's hardly ever used to my knowledge, so I doubt whether training on that is useful)
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by ashley »

Wombat wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:53 pm In the pilot's defence:
  • Visibility without NVGs in that area of the airfield was very poor and the ammo boxes were very small and blended in with the tarmac.
  • The Blackhawk's landing light is rather useless from a 1st person perspective even with head tracking due to the landing light having a small cone of light and is pointed too low for the pilot to see (dashboard/instrument panel blocks view).
  • Since I was on the ground, I should have switched my 343 radio channel to the pilot's and talked him down.
  • The co-pilot/crew-chief could have ensured radio contact with men on the ground to assist with landing.
Arguments against the pilot:
  • The pilot didn't attempt to make use of his sling-load assistant MFD panel (all sling-load capable helos have this and would have clearly shown the crates underneath him).
  • Didn't ensure radio contact with the men on the the ground to request assistance before making his landing attempt in the dark (pun intended).
  • Didn't err on the side of caution with knowledge that the crates could very likely be directly beneath him and so landed anyway despite the safer option to land anywhere else on the airfield.
  • I witnessed the pilot very nearly hitting his rotor blades on a nearby water tower just before attempting landing and, according to my mortar gunner who actually witnessed the moment of the crash from the ground, claims that he is 80% sure the main cause of the crash was due to the rotor blades hitting the corner of the aircraft hanger on the way down instead of it purely being a case of dodgy Arma physics.

This right here, this is what we need. Someone made a mistake in an important role? Break it down for them like this, explain to them how and why they went wrong if they didn't know. Tell them how they can improve.

Banning someone from doing a certain thing after making an honest mistake helps them learn nothing, you will just piss them off and show them that you don't really give a fuck if they improve or not.

Give someone the pros and cons of what they did, tell them how to improve, put them on the blacklist for 1 week (plenty of time to go away and practice this stuff by yourself), then they can come back and show everyone how they have improved.

10/10 for the post Wombat, you are the hero we need <3
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Snowman »

+1
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Tom »

ashley wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:12 pm
Wombat wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:53 pm In the pilot's defence:
  • Visibility without NVGs in that area of the airfield was very poor and the ammo boxes were very small and blended in with the tarmac.
  • The Blackhawk's landing light is rather useless from a 1st person perspective even with head tracking due to the landing light having a small cone of light and is pointed too low for the pilot to see (dashboard/instrument panel blocks view).
  • Since I was on the ground, I should have switched my 343 radio channel to the pilot's and talked him down.
  • The co-pilot/crew-chief could have ensured radio contact with men on the ground to assist with landing.
Arguments against the pilot:
  • The pilot didn't attempt to make use of his sling-load assistant MFD panel (all sling-load capable helos have this and would have clearly shown the crates underneath him).
  • Didn't ensure radio contact with the men on the the ground to request assistance before making his landing attempt in the dark (pun intended).
  • Didn't err on the side of caution with knowledge that the crates could very likely be directly beneath him and so landed anyway despite the safer option to land anywhere else on the airfield.
  • I witnessed the pilot very nearly hitting his rotor blades on a nearby water tower just before attempting landing and, according to my mortar gunner who actually witnessed the moment of the crash from the ground, claims that he is 80% sure the main cause of the crash was due to the rotor blades hitting the corner of the aircraft hanger on the way down instead of it purely being a case of dodgy Arma physics.

This right here, this is what we need. Someone made a mistake in an important role? Break it down for them like this, explain to them how and why they went wrong if they didn't know. Tell them how they can improve.

Banning someone from doing a certain thing after making an honest mistake helps them learn nothing, you will just piss them off and show them that you don't really give a fuck if they improve or not.

Give someone the pros and cons of what they did, tell them how to improve, put them on the blacklist for 1 week (plenty of time to go away and practice this stuff by yourself), then they can come back and show everyone how they have improved.

10/10 for the post Wombat, you are the hero we need <3
smartest shit i've read on here in years
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Re: Exploded Chopper Incident 03/01 Game Night

Post by Jim »

You don't fire someone at work for fucking up - they may have cost you a few quid but look at it as money invested in them.

Luke (and all of us) have learnt a lot from this and to banish him is effectively throwing away all this valuable training.

Make him fly the next three game nights and he'll either amaze us with improved professionalism or decide that more hours are needed practicing.

On a personal level - I can fly fairly well in editor but am way to scared to translate this to server game night for fear for fucking up and being 'that guy'. What would a mid week training mission need?
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