All 16 people aboard a Eurocopter AS 332L2 Super Puma operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters died when the medium twin hit the surface of the North Sea on April 1, after what the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) called a catastrophic failure of the main gearbox.
April 2009 North Sea helicopter crash
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 UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) boasts a permanent staff of just 45 people and a seemingly modest annual budget of £4.5 million ($6.3 million). Almost three-quarters of its personnel–31 people–are accident inspectors, including four principal inspectors (two covering operations and two for engineering); 10 operations and 10 engineering inspectors; and four FDR and CVR specialists.
The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) of the UK’s Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) lays claim to being the world’s oldest team of aircraft crash investigators, dating its origins to 1915 as part of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC).
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