Eurocopter AS 332-L2 Super Puma, off Crimond, Scotland, April 1, 2009–A Bond Offshore Super Puma crashed in the North Sea while transporting offshore oil workers. The helicopter went down 35 miles east of Crimond, killing all 16 people on board. The pilot radioed a Mayday before the crash. The accident followed the nonfatal ditching of a Bond Offshore EC 225 Super Puma in the North Sea on February 18.
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.
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.
Eurocopter will break ground next month on a new helicopter service and simulator facility in Kirkhill Commercial Park near Aberdeen Airport, Scotland, a major hub for offshore oil and gas operations. Construction is to be completed by December. Knight Property Group will design and build the facility. It will consist of a 10,000-sq-ft logistics warehouse and 5,000 sq ft of offices.
Eurocopter is building a new service and training center to service its North Sea offshore energy clients in Scotland. The new center will be built in the Kirkhill Commerce Park in Dyce.
Three Eurocopter AS 322 Super Pumas, which Bristow Helicopters (Booth No. 1835) operates from Aberdeen, Scotland, to offshore installations in the North Sea, now carry TCAS II traffic collision avoidance systems, and the operator expects to similarly equip its entire Super Puma fleet by 2010. Bristow announced on Friday that it has designated the Sikorsky S-92 as its next type for TCAS II certification.
Survivors of an accident in which a Eurocopter Super Puma ditched into the North Sea last Wednesday have praised the skills of the pilots and also the successful first operation of a new automated rescue system just introduced by oil company BP. All 18 people on board the Eurocopter AS 332 Mark II Super Puma were quickly rescued and only three of them required hospital treatment for minor injuries.
As part of an effort to reduce the number of fatal helicopter crashes, safety experts are promoting widespread use of terrain and traffic alert systems that are commonplace in turbine-powered airplanes. Offshore helicopter operator Bristow Group has developed and certified TCAS II (traffic collision avoidance system), a worldwide first for helicopters.
North Sea operations giant CHC Helicopter has won contracts worth $44 million to provide helicopter service throughout the world. In one of those deals, CHC will provide a pair of Eurocopter Super Pumas to Petrobras, the Brazilian national oil company, for use over the waters off Brazil and Taiwan. In another deal CHC will provide helicopter service to the Taiwanese Coast Guard.
A Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma, operated by Bristow in offshore oil transport in the North Sea, on April 9 became the first helicopter to be fitted with a second-generation Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II). The operator worked closely with equipment manufacturer Rockwell Collins to install the safety system aboard the 21-seat aircraft, with the assistance of Shell Aircraft.