NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Super Puma fatal accident inquiry: Crash was 'not survivable'

All 16 helicopter crash victims
Image caption All 16 men on board the Super Puma died

The Super Puma helicopter crash which killed 16 men in the North Sea was "not survivable", a fatal accident inquiry has heard.

All those on board the Bond Super Puma died when it came down in April 2009.

Air Accidents Investigation Branch senior operations investigator Timothy Atkinson said the gearbox failure meant there was nothing the crew could do.

He said: "I'm sorry to say there is no doubt whatsoever that this event was not survivable for those on board."

The AAIB pinpointed a catastrophic failure of the gearbox for the crash.

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, now in its fourth week, continues.

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