Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

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Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by Sideslip » Mon May 13, 2019 3:20 pm

AVCOM member Sam Rutherford who directed the 2017 Crete to Cape rally and is well known for organizing various other aviation related events around the world was involved in a serious accident at the beginning of the month while ferrying a Malibu to Greenland from Canada (actual start point might have been USA). I see the news of this has been discussed on his FaceBook page (and has been on PPRUNE since day of the accident) otherwise I would not be posting it here - I am sure many here would like to know about this and would join me in wishing him a speedy recovery.

There were 2 onboard and unfortunately the British national flying with Sam did not survive the accident.

I sent Sam a text message as soon as I had heard the news which was a good 3 or 4 days after. He responded immediately so I hope this is a positive sign that his situation is not too serious.

Article relating to the accident:
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/1 ... spartandhp

Transcript of CBC radio interview with the rescuers:
PLANE CRASH RESCUE
Guest: Perry Dyson
JD: A small aircraft was on its way to Greenland when it crashed into the side of a mountain on Labrador's north coast. And then the blizzard early yesterday morning did nothing to give anyone much hope. Visibility was extremely poor which would pose serious difficulties for rescue helicopters at the site. And then there was the risk that the crashed plane would slide down the steep slope. Nevertheless a small ground search-and-rescue team gathered in nearby Makkovik -- and despite the odds, retrieved the two men. Sadly one died from his injuries before he arrived back at base. The other is recovering. Perry Dyson is one of the rescuers. We reached him in Makkovik, Newfoundland and Labrador.
CO: Perry when you got the call for this rescue, what did you learned about the state that the men were in?
PERRY DYSON: When I departed from Makkovik I expected a man and a woman -- a woman who was unconscious. The second occupant, the one who is maintaining conversation, I understood was to be in fairly good condition but a bit beat up.
CO: And so that's all you had. And so you headed off on snowmobile, right?
PD: That's right. We left here from Makkovik -- distance of about 45 miles maybe on sea ice to the bottom of [inaudible] where we had two events over the land at that point.
CO: What were the conditions like?
PD: The air was really thick and close to us. The whiteout conditions with regard to fog and and freezing drizzle and some rain and periods of snow -- it was very difficult to see after we left to sea ice and started to proceed over the land.
CO: Did you have a fairly good idea where you were going to find the plane?
PD: Well we had an exact location with regard to a GPS coordinates. Yeah we had a pretty good idea of where we were headed. The area that it was is often quite unpredictable because of the terrain -- and the high winds up there often cause drifts you know and in the weather condition, it's impossible to see them so they have to be very careful.
CO: And where exactly was the plane? How had it crashed?
PD: It was at a significant height on the side of a pretty steep bank -- a pretty steep hill. Basically just stuck there.
CO: How precarious was that?
PD: We could get to within I think 580 metres to 600 meters of the aircraft on snowmobile but then it just became too steep and then the snowmobiles we couldn't advance any further. So we had to walk the remaining 500 to 600 metres up of the embankment to the plane.
CO: And when you say had to walk -- I mean it wasn't you just walk along. You're dealing with snow, rain, and ice.
PD: Yeah we climbed. Basically the last half of the climb the going was very steep and you almost had to you know help yourself with your hands -- crawling to get up to the plane. And the conditions yeah we were in a whiteout. Until we were within 25 or 30 feet of plane, you couldn't make it out.
CO: So what did you find? What did it look like when you finally got to the plane? And we understand now two men were there. What was it like?
PD: It was surreal. You couldn't imagine this plane just nosing into the snow bank the way it had done. The plane was still sealed. We could communicate with the fellow inside. He could hear us through the window and we could hear him. But we didn't make the decision to open the aircraft until the decision was made that we would have to transport him back through the sea ice.
CO: Because you have to take him overland and neither the aircraft were going to be able to help you with that I guess eh?
PD: No. At that point they had pretty much decided that they weren't going to be able to help us.
CO: When you say it was surreal, what do you mean?
PD: It's not something that I've done before. And to see the aircraft in that area -- most of the members in our ground search-and-rescue team have been to that area before, some for hunting, some for patrols on the radar site. And our fathers and grandfathers have been there. So to see an aircraft nose into the side of the hill was a bit -- yeah it was surreal. It was hard to imagine that that would really happen.
CO: What do you think it was like for those men inside?
PD: The gentleman who was conscious and alert, he was in remarkably good condition both mentally -- probably better mentally than physically. He was a bit banged up around his upper body from his chest up. But he had been in contact pretty much constantly through JRCC which the Joint Rescue Control Centre and then eventually the Herc and the cormorant helicopter that were an area. And he had everything to do with his own rescue. He remained alert and calm and kept his head through the whole thing.CO: How difficult was it to get the men out?
PD: At first we thought the sea ice where visibility might improve enough that the cormorant could get them and then eventually to Makkovik. We opened up one of the emergency hatches inside of the plane and the individual who was conscious he climbed out basically slowly. I think he wasn't even entirely sure of his physical condition at the time. The second individual, we took him from the plane -- he wasn't able to help himself.
CO: How did you get him out?
PD: One of the fellows climbed inside and another fellow leaned in through the door. We had to tear one of the seats back -- off of the plane -- to get him out because he was...it is hard to explain how tiny this plane was but in the front -- the cockpit -- was just two seats and that buried off the cockpit from the whole back end the plane. The fuselage of the plane had kind of caved in on that side where he was and it would have been difficult anyway. After we got him out and the other gentleman who was conscious and alert, he basically walked himself down the hill.
CO: Amazing after a crash like that and staying for hours in the cold that you could actually do that.
PD: Yeah. His strength and mind was really amazing -- it was remarkable.
CO: So you got both men onto the snowmobiles. How long was the trip back to the Makkovik?
PD: We had to transport the two men down the hill to the snowmobiles before we could get back to the sea ice and we got back to Makkovik just past 9 I think that night.
CO: And was your conscious man -- was he pretty happy to get into a warm place?
PD: He looked relieved I can say to get into the clinic and have a nurse look him over and tell him that he had some trouble but he was going to be fine. And I think he took comfort in that. Well I did and I'm sure everybody else did too. This man is going to go home to his family.
CO: And the other man, he didn't survive.
PD: No. No. He succumbed.
CO: So sorry
PD: Yeah me too.
CO: And so now have you been over to see the man? Have you had any contact with him?
PD: I haven't had contact with him. He took our names and he exchanged email information with at least one of the guys. If I was him -- first thing I'd want to do is get home to my family. I'm sure I'll be glad to hear from him that he's doing well.
CO: Well Perry I'm really glad that you and the others were there. It's really great that you could rescue both. And that one of them has survived so thank you for that. And thanks for speaking with us.
PD: Well thanks for the call. I appreciate it.
JD: Perry Dyson was a member of the ground search-and-rescue team that retrieved two men from a crashed plane yesterday. We reached Mr. Dyson in Makkovik, northern Labrador.
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by Chalkie » Mon May 13, 2019 5:00 pm

Really sorry to see this post. Sam was the guy who trucked fuel to Tamanrasset for Steve Noujaim when he flew the Henshaw Cape Challenge.

Ferrying a light aircraft across the North Atlantic in winter / spring is not something to be taken lightly. Weather can be extreme, as the post attests too.

Get well soon Sam.
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by pwnel » Tue May 14, 2019 4:45 am

Sounds like it's on the track for the Goose Bay (CYYR) to Narsarsuaq (BGBW) crossing.

Would love to understand more - guess will have to go look at Prune - been thinking of doing a crossing but this is sobering.
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by Chalkie » Tue May 14, 2019 8:13 am

pwnel wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:45 am
Sounds like it's on the track for the Goose Bay (CYYR) to Narsarsuaq (BGBW) crossing.

Would love to understand more - guess will have to go look at Prune - been thinking of doing a crossing but this is sobering.
Wait until summer, get the AOPA manual on crossing the North Atlantic, plan properly and pick a nice day...

20% of pilots turn back before going 200nm...

If I recall correctly Goose to Narsarsuak is 650nm, then the next two legs are about 550 nm each to Reykjavik then to Scotland.
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by pwnel » Thu May 16, 2019 8:02 pm

Chalkie wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 8:13 am
pwnel wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:45 am
Sounds like it's on the track for the Goose Bay (CYYR) to Narsarsuaq (BGBW) crossing.

Would love to understand more - guess will have to go look at Prune - been thinking of doing a crossing but this is sobering.
Wait until summer, get the AOPA manual on crossing the North Atlantic, plan properly and pick a nice day...

20% of pilots turn back before going 200nm...

If I recall correctly Goose to Narsarsuak is 650nm, then the next two legs are about 550 nm each to Reykjavik then to Scotland.
Yip absolutely Chalkie - summer only. And I won't do the Goose - Nars leg either - looking rather at the more northern route. Can do this without HF and ferry bladder (although I might add the Monroy extra fuel tanks mod for the Mooney).
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by apollo11 » Fri May 17, 2019 10:37 am

You guys have the guts I don't have. I'll do this flight, but only in an Amphibian :) I simply do not want to be swimming in a freezing ocean in the middle of nowhere, asking myself zillions of times why would I try something so insane in or out of a liferaft. I've used up most of my 9 lives, the last few are reserved for other more sane pursuits... :lol: :lol:

But best of everything to those that try and do...

Out of curiosity, I flew the route on my flight sim, argh, it's hectic!
Straighten up and fly right!
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by Chalkie » Fri May 17, 2019 3:52 pm

pwnel wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:02 pm
Yip absolutely Chalkie - summer only. And I won't do the Goose - Nars leg either - looking rather at the more northern route. Can do this without HF and ferry bladder (although I might add the Monroy extra fuel tanks mod for the Mooney).
Goose Narsarsuaq has only about 500 miles over the sea, but Narsarsuaq needs to be VFR. A letdown there is in the fjord and you really don't want to do the optional scud run up a fjord then turn left at the shipwreck and up another fjord.

All you need is to have faith in your Lycosaurus engine. Look after it and it will look after you. :)
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by Calle_Hedberg » Sun May 26, 2019 1:55 pm

Chalkie wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 3:52 pm
pwnel wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:02 pm
Yip absolutely Chalkie - summer only. And I won't do the Goose - Nars leg either - looking rather at the more northern route. Can do this without HF and ferry bladder (although I might add the Monroy extra fuel tanks mod for the Mooney).
Goose Narsarsuaq has only about 500 miles over the sea, but Narsarsuaq needs to be VFR. A letdown there is in the fjord and you really don't want to do the optional scud run up a fjord then turn left at the shipwreck and up another fjord.

All you need is to have faith in your Lycosaurus engine. Look after it and it will look after you. :)
Hi

Agree 100%. I flew directly from Reykjavik to Illulisat (Greenland west coast, north of Nars) - no big deal in good weather. Wonderful scenery.... Illulisat is also close to the largest calving glacier in Greenland, and it obviously has the midnight sun for a long period during the summer.

Best wishes to Sam

Best regards
Calle
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by abezzi » Sun May 26, 2019 10:40 pm

Landed thursday in Narsarsuaq with 30kts of wind, interesting approach and even more take-off!!!

Just for your info there is a GNSS approach now, so no more woryes with NDB let down!
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by pwnel » Wed May 29, 2019 7:57 pm

abezzi wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 10:40 pm
Landed thursday in Narsarsuaq with 30kts of wind, interesting approach and even more take-off!!!

Just for your info there is a GNSS approach now, so no more woryes with NDB let down!
Nice. Is this with the B200 you were looking to ferry Aldo?
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Re: Sam Rutherford - injured during ferry to Greenland

Unread post by abezzi » Wed May 29, 2019 8:55 pm

pwnel wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 7:57 pm
abezzi wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 10:40 pm
Landed thursday in Narsarsuaq with 30kts of wind, interesting approach and even more take-off!!!

Just for your info there is a GNSS approach now, so no more woryes with NDB let down!
Nice. Is this with the B200 you were looking to ferry Aldo?
No, PC12 8)
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