Performance of Chinese amry aviation in the Wenchuan earthquake relief effort

Discussion in 'Air Force' started by danw, May 23, 2008.

  1. danw
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    danw Just Hatched
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    There is some debate about the performance of the army aviation units in the earthquake relief effort, especially about their inability to land helicopters in the epicenter during the early hours after the earthquake. The official explanation was bad weather (heavy rain, high wind etc.) prevented them from doing so. Do you all think this is a valid reason?

    On another aspect, reading this forum, it said China had ~250 Mi-17, but it seems the government need to call upon a large number of helicopters from the civil aviation services to get 100-120 helicopters to join the rescue effort...
     
  2. tphuang
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    tphuang Brigadier
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    well, considering that there are only 500 helicopters in all of China and many of them are too light to have any transport or SAR use, it's quite a feat to even get 110 helos in there.
     
  3. johnqd
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    There is some debate about the performance of the army aviation units in the earthquake relief effort, especially about their inability to land helicopters in the epicenter during the early hours after the earthquake. The official explanation was bad weather (heavy rain, high wind etc.) prevented them from doing so. Do you all think this is a valid reason?

    On another aspect, reading this forum, it said China had ~250 Mi-17, but it seems the government need to call upon a large number of helicopters from the civil aviation services to get 100-120 helicopters to join the rescue effort...
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    1. Although there are 5oo copters currentlly in service,but half of them are z-9 types, which is not suitalbe for high altitude task. The military commander must keep at least half of the remaining 250 Mi-171 at military base just for preparetion of any urgent military task, and also, make sure that the PLA's military transportation ability is not severely affected by the earthquake. i think this expain why they only send 60-90 military copter to join in relife work there.
    2. I think PLA copter forces did not do a very good job at the very beganning, "Grandpa Wen" once warned the military commander when they claimed that the situation in epicenter is not suitable for landing," you are raised by the people, you guys should know what to do (at current situation )", this is very sharp words considering PM's easy going personality, and every people could tell that he is not satified with PLAAF's performance!
    personally, i also can not agree with the excuse of military commander that the situation is too danger, because solider should never be detered by danger, not to mention there were tens of thousand people were waiting for [email protected]
     
  4. Spike
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    Spike Banned Idiot

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    I'm not sure about specifics but I know that the area is very mountainous and often shrouded in fog. Add the fact that it's unfamiliar terrain and extremely unstable, I would understand why a pilot would be hesitant to attempt risky maneuvers.
     
  5. PrOeLiTeZ
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    PrOeLiTeZ Junior Member
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    The mountain create pockets of concentrated air, and makes a channel for rapid air flow. Also not all of PLAAF Heli are equipped sufficient to navagate through the own vallies and the exact location of the place either. Thats why the PLA poured tens of thousands of troops in via foot and rafts.
     
  6. man overbored
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    man overbored Junior Member

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    Rain, fog, high winds and mountains are a recipe for a crash in any helicopter. The flight instruments tell you straight and level or if you are in a turn, they can tell you your rate of climb and descent, but they cannot tell you where the next mountain peak is.
    The navigation instruments can orient the helo in space and allow you to fly from point A to point B, but you still have to see the ground to take off and land. To find an airport in a mountain valley one needs operating navigation aids to guide the pilot to the airfield. It is safe to assume these were not operable in the affected areas, making instrument approaches impossible no matter how complete the helo's avionics fit. The pilot is reduced to looking outside, reading a chart and flying visually. If the weather is bad this may not be possible for even the best pilot. Sadly this quake corresponded with some terrible weather for flying, increasing the already great suffering of the victims. Don't lay a load of guilt on these pilots, I am certain they are more frustrated than anyone can imagine.
     
  7. PrOeLiTeZ
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    PrOeLiTeZ Junior Member
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    Yeah everyone is having a hard time work long days in miserable conditions with dead bodies lying everywhere, pilots would be exhausted doing so many trips in barley visible conditions with insufficient information for them to fly saftely. Hundreds of rescue personal have already died just to save some lifes. Have to give them lot of respect.

    This should be a great physicological training for the troops for simulating real time war scenario if it occurs. Mainland articles have stated that 20% of the rescue troops have suffered some physcological harm from all that has happened. If it evey happens again (pray not) the PLA Heli Force will be ready with more equipment available. Mi-17 assembly line and co-produce Z-15. They're was news ages ago bout something of Mi-26 production line in Hong Kong or something but it seems to have quite downed a bit now.
     
  8. man overbored
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    man overbored Junior Member

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    There was a contract announced to build M-171's in Chengdu, a day after the quake I believe.
    As for psychological preparation for war, well, I dunno. How can you prepare a person for the horror of killing your fellow man? There is a book called "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" by a US Army medical doctor, LtCol David Grossman. It is a grim and chilling read. You will be stunned by some of his discoveries about the behavior of soldiers when confronted with the opportunity to kill another man. You might be disgusted at the techniques armies use to desensitize recruits and the outcome of this training. Have at it.
     
  9. PrOeLiTeZ
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    yeah i know what you mean, but being exposed to this kind of event helps troops be prepared for worser scenarios, and toughs the mind up a bit...having exposure to this the troops get a glimpse of reality if it were their buddies in war or etc...i know you simply cannot prepare for this stuff...but its better to be informed then be in the cold...heard stories of from vietnam veterans that some troops were reluctant to shoot at the enemy when they had a chance...but their were brillant on the training field...guess training your hearts out isn't quite the same as the real thing....

    BIG NEWS----One panda died :( how sad
     
  10. tphuang
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    i found xinhui posting this on CDF
    looks interesting. Basically, he had many points, so I will do a summary here.
    says the 2nd regiment was the most responsive and showed the best performance. It was training a lot before the quake, shows the high responsiveness of the regiment.
    2nd regiment has 30 helicopter and they almost all were put to use, the blackhawks had a high sortie rate, shows how well maintained they are. The 1st regiment got the call on 15th and sent 22 Mi-17 into action.
    a lot of talk about not having enough helicopter and transport helicopter. Having only medium transport helicopter like Mi-17, no heavy transport unless we include Mi-26.
    The avionics on helicopters are generally simple, because the early Mi-17s all had very archaic avionics. Need to put Beidou navigation on these helicopters as soon as possible.
     
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