Dauphin crashes off oil platform

 - March 8, 2007, 5:37 AM

At 6:34 p.m. on Dec. 27, 2006, while attempting to land on an oil platform, a CHC-operated Eurocopter SA 365N Dauphin 2 crashed into the Irish Sea. During the later stages of the approach to the Morecambe platform, the crew decided to go around. The helicopter continued a roll to the right with nose-down pitch. The copilot, the pilot flying, asked for assistance and the captain took control. The helicopter never stopped descending. The last recorded parameters indicate a 12-degree nose-down pitch attitude, 126 knots of airspeed and a bank angle of 20 degrees to the right. The two crewmembers died, as did four of the five passengers. The remaining one is missing.

At 6:10 p.m. a nearby weather station reported surface wind from 130 degrees at 20 knots with visibility between three and five nautical miles. During preliminary examination, the UK investigation team found no sign of pre-impact malfunction. Investigators have not identified any helicopter maneuvers that were not in response to flight control inputs.