Super Puma fatal accident inquiry: Bond engineers were 'under the spotlight'

The Super Puma before it crashed The Bond Super Puma came down off Peterhead, killing 16 men

Engineers at helicopter operator Bond were under the spotlight at the time of a fatal crash because of an earlier ditching, an inquiry has heard.

All 16 people on board a Bond Super Puma died when it came down in April 2009.

Weeks earlier, a similar aircraft ditched in the North Sea.

Maintenance manager John Crowther said people were being "cautious", but said it had a positive effect rather than a negative one.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report blamed a catastrophic gearbox failure for the crash, which happened 12 miles off Peterhead.

The two crew who died were Capt Paul Burnham, 31, of Methlick, Aberdeenshire, and co-pilot Richard Menzies, 24, of Droitwich Spa, who worked for Bond Offshore Helicopters.

The KCA Deutag employees killed were Brian Barkley, 30, of Aberdeen; Vernon Elrick, 41, of Aberdeen; Leslie Taylor, 41, of Kintore, Aberdeenshire; Nairn Ferrier, 40, of Dundee; Gareth Hughes, 53, of Angus; David Rae, 63, of Dumfries; Raymond Doyle, 57, of Cumbernauld; James John Edwards, 33, of Liverpool; Nolan Goble, 34, of Norwich, and Mihails Zuravskis, 39, of Latvia.

The other victims were James Costello, 24, of Aberdeen, who was contracted to Production Services Network (PSN); Alex Dallas, 62, of Aberdeen, who worked for Sparrows Offshore Services; Warren Mitchell, 38, of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, who worked for Weatherford UK; and Stuart Wood, 27, of Aberdeen, who worked for Expro North Sea Ltd.

The inquiry, in its eighth day, continues.

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