EC 225 ditched off North Sea Oil Platform

 - March 30, 2009, 6:19 AM

The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating the ditching of a Eurocopter EC 225 Super Puma in the North Sea on February 18. All 16 passengers and two crewmembers were rescued with minor injuries after the Bond-operated helicopter ditched near its destination oil platform. The accident took place in the ETAP field, about 130 nm east of Aberdeen, Scotland.

The flight was a routine crew change flight, operated by Bond on behalf of oil company BP. The medium twin was due to land on the ETAP platform before continuing on to the Galaxy 1 drilling rig in the same field. According to BP, visibility that evening in the area was “poor.” The day after the accident, BP asked the operator to stop flying its employees aboard the EC 225. BP reinstated the model’s use on March 3.

The BEA, AAIB’s French counterpart, is participating in the investigation.