Operators to review offshore flight arrangements following helicopter incident

Offshore staff

LERWICK, UK – All four bodies have been recovered from the CHC helicopter that went down off the coast of Shetland last Friday.

A total of 16 passengers and two crew members were aboard the Super Puma AS332-L2 as it approached Sumburgh Airport on the main Shetland Island. It had travelled from Aberdeen to the Total-operated North Alwyn platform in the northern North Sea, then on to the semisubmersible Borgsten Dolphin before heading toward Sumburgh.

At 17.30 GMT the helicopter lost contact with air traffic control, landing in the water two nautical miles west of the airport.

Fourteen survivors were taken to the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, with five later discharged and nine detained overnight either for observation or suffering from exposure.

A full investigation into the cause of the incident will be carried out in conjunction with the Air Accident Investigation Branch, representatives of which are currently on their way to the scene.

CHC Helicopter has temporarily suspended all of its Super Puma AS332 L2 flights worldwide. 

Step Change in Safety’s Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) also recommended temporary suspension of all Super Puma commercial passenger flights to and from offshore oil and gas installations within the UK, although this does not apply to the use of search and rescue helicopters for emergency response.

Oil & Gas UK called a meeting today of oil and gas operators and major contractors to discuss the operational implications of the temporary suspension and collaborative action that could minimize the impact on the offshore workforce.


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