Boeing employees last week rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner built at the new production rate of five airplanes per month, the company announced today. The 83rd Dreamliner ever built, the airplane marks the passage of yet another milestone in Boeing’s quest to raise its production rate to 10 per month by late 2013.
Two pilots and five passengers aboard an Aerogulf Bell 212 died September 3 when their helicopter crashed onto the oil drilling platform Resilient off the coast of Dubai. The crash, which occurred on takeoff from the rig, triggered a post-impact fire and caused the helicopter to break up and fall into the sea, according to Petrofac, the operator of Dubai’s offshore oil fields, and the United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority.
Taking the pulse of the offshore oil industry is like grabbing a handful of the viscous mud drillers use for lubrication in the drilling process. What seems like a hard-and-fast situation one minute can dribble through one’s fingers the next. Agility is the secret to success.
Investigators are continuing to look into the July 16 North Sea crash of a Sikorsky S-76A+ operated by Bristow Helicopters. The accident claimed the lives of all 11 on board the rotorcraft, which was preparing to land at Shell UK’s Santa Fe Monarch drilling rig in the Leman Field, 45 mi north of Lowestoft, England. As it approached the rig at 7:45 p.m.
Columbia Helicopters will send a second Boeing Vertol 234 Chinook to Papua New Guinea, to work on heli-rig contracts with local exploration company Oil Search.
Both aircraft will be used to lift components of oil and gas drilling rigs and ancillary equipment above areas of dense jungle to remote drilling locations that are inaccessible by road.
“People blame the president, OPEC and anyone else they can think of for the price of fuel today; it’s nonsense. In over 30 years of exploration nobody ever told me when and how much I could sell my oil for,” retired oilman Jean LaForge told AIN.
The upsurge in oil and gas activity is putting increasing strain on helicopter operators’ ability to serve their offshore customers, and highlighting a potential shortage of aircraft.