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back to article Capgemini staffers evacuated by cops after London helicopter crash

Capgemini was forced to evacuate its building on Wandsworth Road and invoke its business continuity plans after a helicopter crashed 200 yards from the offices. Around 600 sales, marketing and engineers work from the premises in Vauxhall but only security and facilities management staff had already clocked in before the copter …

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Silver badge

Oh nos!

Let's ban helicopters! And CRANES!!!! They kill people!!!!111!1!11one1!!

Will no-one think of the chilllllldreeeeen???????

(In all seriousness, I hope all the wounded make a complete recovery, and I feel for the families of the deceased. This kind of random accident shouldn't happen to anybody, but it will, now and then. Unfortunately, instead of figuring out what happened and moving on, having learned something, the media is going to turn it into a "LYNCH WHOEVER IS AT FAULT!" situation.)

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Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Oh nos!

It sounds to me like it was the fogs fault. So surely no one to blame really. Though I think all things flying in/around cities/built up areas should have active radar now-a-days. Yes this may not be necessary most of the time but if it stops even one of these events happening then it is worth it.

My sympathies to the families affected.

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Joke

Re: Oh nos!

Well none of this would have happened if that guy had his own burning wreckage of a helicopter...

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Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Oh nos!

> It sounds to me like it was the fogs fault.

That's like blaming a road for a traffic accident. Pilots (especially one as experienced as this poor guy) are trained to know when not to fly in unsafe conditions. This sort of incident happens either when the pilot ignores his training or when some other, possibly mechanical, problem intervenes. In no way can it be the "fog's fault".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh nos!

Pilots (especially one as experienced as this poor guy) are trained to know when not to fly in unsafe conditions.

Which is why it appears that during his flight that was going to end at Elstree he radio-ed requsting permission to land at the Battersea Heliport due to the deteriorating conditions having become in his view "unsafe".

Part of the cause of the crash may have been due to building a 50 storey tower virtually next door to a heliport. Also, another pilot commented on news last night with the sudden proliferation of high towers in London (especially the Shard) then ideally the safe operating height over London is ~2000ft (- 500-ishft clearance from highest possible obstruction) .... however that would then cross the flight paths for Heathrow and London City so helicopters are forced to operated at "non-optimal" heights.

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Silver badge

Re: Oh nos!

There was a curious BBC news item about how helicopters didn't have radar and the pilot had to rely n what they could see (hence why the fog was such a problem). Thing is, I didn't think any commercial aircraft had active radar these days - am I wrong in thinking that?

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Re: Oh nos!

Most commercial airliners have a weather radar, most onshore helicopters don't as they're generally flying in Visual Flight Conditions so aren't trying to avoid thunderstorms hidden among the other clouds (embedded cumlonimbus).

The thing the mouth breathers on the news don't seem to have realised is that your typical aviation radar won't show you individual buildings it'll just show a big green splodge from the ground clutter. You can get radars that'll show that level of detail but they tend to be used for surveillance and cost a lot of money, google Synthetic Aperture Radars and then try and figure out how to get one on a helicopter to show you what's just ahead. Or you could have a pencil beam projected ahead of the aircraft warning of objects within a set range, but as you're legally limited to visual flight conditions, it doesn't really stand up to a cost benefit analysis. Note since 1959 when Battersea Heliport opened this is the only crash of a helicopter over London.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh nos!

For those in the oil busness, it can be scary to see an oilrig come out the fog right in front of your chopper. Especially when you are low enough to see the legs.

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Phew!

When I read the headline "Capgemini staffers evacuated by cops" my first thoughts were:

1. Ouch!

2. Are the police trained to perform such medical procedures?

I was relieved to read, subsequently, "Capgemini was forced to evacuate its building".

Phew.

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Coat

Re: Phew!

Could have been worse - e.g. "Capgemini staffers pulled out by the fuzz"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Phew!

"Could have been worse - e.g. "Capgemini staffers pulled out by the fuzz""

Or better still, "pulled off, site by the fuzz"

At least they seem to have a working continuity plan. Most businesses are all talk and no trousers in this department. I'm looking forward to everyone being taken by shocked surprised when it snows.

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Gold badge

At least they seem to have a working continuity plan

.. which is also more than just IT (there is sadly a staggering amount of companies that think BCM is just an IT "thing").

Well, CapGemini should have decent plans, given what lives in their data centre there..

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Anonymous Coward

.....the test of a proper contingency plan

so all system stayed up, were unaffected and they simply moved.

When their main DC gets flooded, all the systems have to be shut down, along with power to the building, all 300 staff are relocated and all critical systems are back with in 15 mins (many didn't even miss a beat).

Then call me back...until then pffftt, big deal (granted Starbucks and McD's may have a bit of a bandwidth issue).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: .....the test of a proper contingency plan

Anonymous for probably the same reason as you.

I remember that if we're talking about the road diggers going through the main high pressure water mains for the South of London. Good job they got in all that practice withe the three big power failures (the second of which was caused by them testing theri new shiny generators having forgotten to refil them with diesel post the previous test .....)

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