Factual Report: Helicopter Hit Object On Oil Platform

 - November 2, 2006, 7:47 AM

Bell 407, Gulf of Mexico, Dec. 17, 2004–After hitting an object while landing on the helideck of an offshore oil platform, Omni Energy Services’ Bell 407 crashed into the Gulf. One passenger was killed, and the pilot and two other passengers were injured. VMC prevailed.

Noting that the wind was from the west at 25 to 30 mph, the pilot picked up two passengers at another oil rig and one said he needed to go to SS 130E. The pilot approached from the west and brought the helicopter to a hover approximately 10 feet above the platform. The passenger then told the pilot to continue and not land. The pilot heard a noise followed by a sudden yaw to the right and a shudder of the flight controls. He rolled off the power and saw a portion of the tailboom floating in the water below. The helicopter rolled off the edge of the platform and fell into the water. The pilot deployed the skid-mounted emergency float system.

A tubular nine-foot-high steel-framed boat landing structure was temporarily stored next to the southern edge on the helideck. The structure displayed multiple scrape marks and gouging along the forward top section.