Bristow S-76A+ Crashes, Killing 11

 - May 6, 2008, 9:02 AM

Investigators are continuing to look into the July 16 North Sea crash of a Sikorsky S-76A+ operated by Bristow Helicopters. The accident claimed the lives of all 11 on board the rotorcraft, which was preparing to land at Shell UK’s Santa Fe Monarch drilling rig in the Leman Field, 45 mi north of Lowestoft, England. As it approached the rig at 7:45 p.m. local time, the helicopter inexplicably pitched into the sea, hitting the water at what eyewitnesses described as a high rate of speed. Five bodies were recovered soon after impact, with six more, including those of the two pilots, reported missing. The S-76A+ was fitted with a Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and an analysis of its records, as well as attempts to recover the wreckage from the sea, are underway.