Eurocopter has announced new business for EC145 and EC725 helicopters in recent weeks from Indonesia and Kazakhstan. They involve cooperative deals with local aerospace companies that Eurocopter hopes will enhance the company’s future sales growth in southeast Asia and central Asia.
Bond Offshore Helicopters
Shell Oil announced on May 31 that it is pulling the plug on plans to sign a multimillion-dollar deal with UK-based Bond Offshore Helicopters to provide transportation within the UK.
A Eurocopter EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters with 14 on board ditched safely into the North Sea on May 10. At 12:13 p.m., G-REDW made “a controlled descent 24 nm offshore,” according to Bond. The investigation is focusing on the failures of two main-gearbox lubrication systems–the standard one and the back-up one.
The EASA issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive for Eurocopter EC225 medium-twin helicopters, requiring operators to closely monitor vibrations. The emergency action stems from a May 10 incident involving an EC225 operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters, which safely ditched, with 14 on board, into the North Sea. Under the AD, those EC225s not equipped with vibration health monitoring are restricted to day VFR for flights over water.
The Southern Vietnam Helicopter Corp. (VNH South) has ordered its fourth EC225 aircraft from Eurocopter Southeast Asia. The large-cabin helicopter will be used to expand the operator’s activities in support of the oil-and-gas industry.
Eurocopter’s new North Sea Service Centre at Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland is the blueprint for the manufacturer’s concerted effort to locate product support and training infrastructure as close as possible to operators of its aircraft. The new facility was officially opened on February 1 and the company is advancing plans for similar developments in the U.S., Asia and South America.
Overblown oil prices are far from good news for most of the aviation industry, but the world’s insatiable thirst for fuel is spurring fresh demand for helicopters to serve offshore exploration and production activity. So it was a logical choice for Eurocopter to select Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland as its first major initiative to bring rotorcraft product support and training infrastructure closer to its operators.
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.
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.