philb
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7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:08 am

Seven people are missing and a number of others have been rescued after a helicopter crashed on a flight off Great Yarmouth. Details still coming in but this would seem to be an oil/gas field related flight.

Presumably the operator will be Bristow or Bond, as they have the bulk of the UK oil contracts.
 
backfire
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:12 am

By the sound of the rescue spokesman's voice, and his lack of clarification on the condition of the workers, I suspect those "rescued" are unfortunately no longer with us.
 
philb
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Wed Jul 17, 2002 7:18 am

Latest reports say that five are confirmed dead and six are missing.

Two crew and nine rig workers were en route from the Santa Fe Monarch oil rig when the S76 ditched about 30 miles from Cromer in good weather, visibility and "average" sea state at 19.50 BST.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Wed Jul 17, 2002 9:10 pm

It was a Bristow helicopter.

The passengers were oil rig staff at Shell Oil Co.

Five bodies have been recovered, six are missing. Even if all pax on such flights wear survival suits, then there is little hope to find any survivors.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
philb
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 2:42 am

It is mandatory for all pax on these flights to wear survival suits and undergo regular underwater helicopter evacuation training, including a simulated escape in a darkened tank.

Too early to speculate on why all seem to have perished but some reports I have heard suggest the helicopter hit the water hard from a low altitude. In this case, concussion and back/neck/leg injuries would have caused incapacitation.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:39 am

Mechanical failure blamed for Bristow Sikorsky S-76 crash in the North Sea. Read http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1-358370,00.html from English newspaper The Times.

My former post telling that the pax were Shell staff is inaccurate. The facts are three Shell staff, three from engineering firm AMEC staff, two AMEC sub-contractors and one person from Oilfield Medical Services. And two Bristow flight crew members.

My former post was an assumption based on preliminary information on Shell's internal web.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
philb
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 6:48 am

Other than rotor blade failure and transmission shaft break up, I suppose the other possibilities are gearbox seizure or a bearing meltdown.

I understood that the flotation bags were meant to inflate on contact with the water - seemingly the times report indicates these have to be "deployed"
 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:07 am

Dear PhilB, I don't think that we can base technical information such as flotation bag deployment on this early report from The Times. But your suggestions about the failure seem most likely.

Sure every bit will be recovered from the sea so it can be traced exactly what caused this tragedy.

From what we know - no may-day call for instance - we must assume that it was a very violent crash, and nothing like a ditch where flotation bags would be useful.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
philb
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Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:22 am

I normally don't give too much credence to press reporting of accidents but they mention this specifically and it certainly raises the question of why the flotation bags did not deploy. Even a violent impact should not prevent their deployment according to my understanding.

I have a very close, personal, interest in this as my son in law is a petro-geologist who is employed as a senior drilling engineer working out of Aberdeen. His company generally use Bond (or whatever they call themselves these days) and they fly Tigers, which are basically Super Pumas.

His training says that the flotation bags will deploy come what may - though everyone appreciates a violent impact would probably leave a floating coffin.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:38 am

I see. And I lost three good colleagues last night. Even if I most likely don't know any of them - Shell employs a six figure number of people - then this tragedy certainly brings up "different" feelings.

About the flotation bags: I am rather convinced that the impact on the water was such that the helicopter was destroyed and all on board were killed instantly. Otherwise there would at least have been some message on the com.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
philb
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 7:45 am

As my daughter has learnt since she met her husband in the first year at University, when he already had decided where he wanted to work, there is something with regard to the oil industry that is akin to aviation. Perhaps it is working at the edge, in an alien environment.

Andy is with Anadrill and also knows people at both Shell and AMEC and I used to have dealings with Bristows at Redhill.

A very distressing time.


 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 9:14 am

Latest from Shell's internal web:

"The remaining S76 helicopters in the Bristow's fleet that service the Southern operations have been grounded."

Only "Southern operations"...!

It must indicate that a local maintenance flaw is highly suspected to be the cause of this tragic.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
trintocan
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 9:21 am

Tragic news yet again. This is the first that I am hearing of this. May those who lost loved ones rest in peace.

Trintocan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Thu Jul 18, 2002 5:56 pm

From H.M. The Queen:

Sandringham House

I would like to say how sad I was to hear of the tragic helicopter accident off the coast last night, and extend my heartfelt sympathy to the families of all those on board.

I know that the offshore gas, oil and associated industries are a very important feature of the economy of East Anglia and that local communities will bear a substantial burden of this loss.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all, and my thanks go to all the emergency services who have worked so tirelessly to help.

Elizabeth R.
17th July, 2002
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
philb
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Fri Jul 19, 2002 6:36 am

Just talked to my daughter tonight and she said that helicopter ops at Aberdeen were very restricted during the first half of Wednesday, the normal schedule not getting into full swing until late afternoon (she lives under the regular track in and out of ABZ).

Her husband is on shore at present and is trying to find out if there is a connection between the lack of traffic and Tuesday's accident - for instance Shell temporarily suspending all helicopter ops.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:35 am

No, Shell has not officially suspended helicopter traffic to the oil rigs - except for the capacity shortage caused by the partial grounding of the Bristow S-76 fleet.

But I am pretty sure that staff who were scheduled to go out on Wednesday morning, they would first attend a meeting with management to be informed as well as possible about what happened, and a ceremony to honor the former colleagues, instead of rushing out on schedule. That would be the natural culture of that company.

Same thing at Bristow, I would assume.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
prebennorholm
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RE: 7 Missing In UK Helicopter Crash

Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:37 pm

The names of the 5 men whose bodies have been recovered and identified are:
Stuart Coggon (45), from Middlesbrough.
Draughtsman with Amec Offshore Development.
Philip George Stone, (53), from Norwich.
Senior Engineer with Amec Offshore Development.
Kevin John Taylor, (50), from Norwich.
Technician with Amec Offshore Development.
Denis Andrew Kelleher, (40), from Lancashire.
Medic with Oilfield Medical Services.
Angus MacArthur, (38), from Dingwall.
Surveyor with Hi-Cad Technical.

The names of the 6 additional men who were on board are:
Geoffrey Bispham (51), from Norfolk.
Operations Supervisor with Shell Expro.
David Christopher Graves, (33), from Suffolk.
Operations Technician with Shell Expro.
Douglas Paul Learwood, (40), from Middlesbrough.
Instrument Technician with Shell Expro.
Paul Leo Francis, (48), from Norfolk.
Technician with Industrial Controls.
Phillip Mark Wake, (42), from Norwich.
Captain with Bristow Helicopters Ltd.
Phillip James Dearden, (32), from Norwich.
First Officer with Bristow helicopters Ltd.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs