Bond Offshore Helicopters Ltd yesterday said it would continue the suspension of all EC225 helicopter flights.
Bond, the provider of offshore helicopter transportation services between Aberdeen, Scotland and several North Sea oil platforms, cancelled all EC225 flights following the “controlled descent” of one of its helicopters into the North Sea, some 30 miles offshore Aberdeen, on Thursday (May 10).
The helicopter was on a scheduled flight from Aberdeen Airport to the Maersk Resilient platform, in the North Sea 150 nautical miles east of Aberdeen. On board were two flight crew and twelve passengers.
The crew of the aircraft was forced to conduct a controlled ditching following indications of a failure of the main gearbox (MGB) lubrication system and, subsequently, a warning indicating failure of the emergency lubrication system.
After the ditching, all passengers and crew evacuated the helicopter into a life raft and safely returned to Aberdeen.
The helicopter, recovered from the North Sea, is currently in the possession of the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). The AAIB is responsible for the investigation of civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within the UK and its overseas territories.
Bond explained that the helicopters would be grounded until the end of a detailed root cause investigation.
“The investigation is centred on the activation of the oil pressure warning light that instigated the controlled landing on water of a Eurocopter EC225. Bond Offshore Helicopters Ltd is committed to the safe operation of the company’s entire fleet including the EC225 and for that reason flights can only recommence once they have completed a detailed analysis of the incident,” reads a statement made by Bond Offshore Helicopters.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, May 13, 2012; Image: Bond Aviation