Offshore helicopter firms announce safety review
Three offshore helicopter operators have launched a review of safety practices.
The news from Avincis Group, Bristow Group and CHC Helicopter comes the day after the Civil Aviation Authority said operations would be reviewed in the wake of recent accidents.
The three companies said the review group would "complement" the CAA review.
They want other helicopter operators to join the group.
NORTH SEA INCIDENTS
- August 2013 - Four people died when a Super Puma AS332 L2 crashed into the sea as it approached Shetland. The investigation is ongoing.
- October 2012 - All 19 people on board a Super Puma EC225 were rescued safely after it put down in the sea off Shetland. The incident was caused by a cracked shaft in the main gearbox.
- May 2012 - All 14 people on board a Super Puma EC225 were rescued when it came down about 30 miles off the coast of Aberdeen during a flight to an oil rig. Gearbox failure was blamed.
- April 2009 - All 14 passengers and two crew on board a Super Puma AS332 L2 lost their lives after it came down in the North Sea. Eight of the victims came from the north east of Scotland, seven from the rest of the UK, and one from Latvia. A catastrophic gearbox failure was blamed.
- February 2009 - A Super Puma EC225 ditched in fog a short distance from a BP oil platform in the ETAP field, 125 miles east of Aberdeen. All 18 people on board survived. Crew error and a faulty alert system were blamed.
The review will include training and emergency response planning.
James Drummond, chief executive officer of Avincis Group - the parent group of Bond - said: "This initiative has our full support.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the combined efforts of the operators will further enhance safety for everyone in the industry."
Bristow Group president Bill Chiles said: "By sharing best practices, we can effectively enhance safety for our clients and our crews."
And CHC president Bill Amelio said: "There are and will continue to be plenty of bases for healthy competition between our companies, but safety must never be one of them."
Four people died in a Super Puma crash last month.
The crash off Shetland was the fifth accident in four years, two of which caused fatalities.
An investigation into the CHC-operated Super Puma AS332 L2 crash off Shetland is ongoing.
Sarah Darnley, 45, of Elgin; Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness; Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland; and George Allison, 57, from Winchester, lost their lives in the incident.