It is shocking to learn that normal crew change flights are still going ahead in Norway by operator CHC using the same type of Super Puma aircraft involved in today’s fatal crash.
The CHC flight schedule for Bergen shows several Super Puma flights have left with several more scheduled for the remainder of today. With eyewitness accounts suggesting that the helicopter suffered a catastrophic mid air malfunction BP and Statoil have already grounded their flights.
A statement has just been issued from Airbus who manufactures the Super Puma:
“Airbus Helicopters regrets to confirm that an H225 operated by CHC was involved in a fatal accident off the coast of Norway near Turoey outside Bergen on Friday 29th of April.
“Preliminary information obtained indicates that the helicopter was flying from Gullfaks B oil platform and was carrying a crew of 2 people plus 11 passengers from Statoil ASA. Latest reports state that 11 people have died and two are missing.
“Airbus Helicopters is deeply saddened by this tragedy. We express our deepest sympathy and our thoughts are with the victims, their relatives, friends and colleagues.
“Safety is Airbus Helicopters’ top priority and we are providing our full support to both the accident investigators as well as CHC.
“Airbus Helicopters teams are fully mobilised to understand the root cause of the accident. At this time we do not have any further information and we will provide relevant update as it becomes available.”
Oil and Gas People is waiting for further updates from the CAA in the UK to see whether the entire offshore Super Puma fleet will be grounded. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.