The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) recovered the cockpit voice/flight data recorder today from the Eurocopter Super Puma that ditched last Friday, killing four.
Bond Offshore Helicopters
“A CHC Helicopter [Eurocopter] Super Puma [AS332] L2 aircraft landed in the water Friday, August 23, about two nautical miles west of Sumburgh, on Shetland Island in the U.K.” CHC Helicopter said in statement issued yesterday.
Two Bond Offshore Helicopters search-and-rescue crewmen, winch operators Paul Walters and Andrew Cowx, have been awarded the 2012 Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy, in recognition of their role in a dramatic North Sea rescue last December. Their Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma was first to reach the rig standby vessel Vos Sailor, which had lost power in darkness and poor sea conditions. Despite an injured foot, Cowx volunteered to remain on the deck of the stricken vessel for an hour. There, he managed the rescue of three remaining members of the ship’s crew.
Avincis Group, provider of aerial services worldwide (Booth No. C7211), announced that in Latin America it has appointed Ian Kummerlin as regional CEO, based in Santiago, Chile. He will directly supervise the expansion of Avincis Group subsidiaries Inaer Chile and Inaer Peru. “My focus is to allow both Inaer and Avincis to become lead players in mission-critical services in the region,” Said Kummerlin.
Lease Corporation International (LCI), which signed a large helicopter order with AgustaWestland at last year’s Heli-Expo show, has announced an agreement with aerial services group Avincis (Booth No. C7211), which is leasing a new AW139. This will be operated for offshore crew changes in North Sea oil and gas fields by Avincis’s Aberdeen-based subsidiary Bond Offshore Helicopters.
UK-based Bond Offshore Helicopters has won a $24 million contract with BW Offshore for transportation services to its “Limited Floating Production Storage and Offtake vessel” operated on behalf of Ithaca Energy in the Athena oil field, approximately 100 nm northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland. Operations are due to begin in March with an AgustaWestland AW139. The contract covers three years and includes options to extend the period.
Under the codename X6, Eurocopter is reported to be about to launch a new helicopter line that will supersede the AS332/EC225 Super Puma medium-twin series, according to French financial publication Sud Infos. The Marignane, France-based manufacturer reportedly aims to have the new helicopter in service by 2020. The first AS332 Super Puma was delivered in 1981.
Eurocopter released a statement on June 15, absolving the UK’s Bond Offshore Helicopters of responsibility for the May 10, 2012 ditching of an EC225 Super Puma into the North Sea.
Oil and gas giant Shell has excluded Bond Offshore Helicopters from a tender for helicopter services in the North Sea in which Bond was participating. Shell explained that the recent Eurocopter EC225 ditching event requires additional review, a process it has deemed too lengthy for the tender’s timeline.
Eurocopter has issued a statement that essentially clears operator Bond Offshore Helicopters in the ditching of an EC225 medium twin in the North Sea last month. “At this stage of the investigation, neither procedure failure nor human error on the operator’s side have been identified as a potential contributor to the cause of the incident,” the manufacturer said.
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