What: Bemidji Aviation/UPS Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner Where: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport When: Nov 9 2012 8 p.m. Who: pilot Why: The Bemidji Aviation plane was on a UPS flight attempting to land when the left rear wheel collapsed. The plane veered off the runway and came to a stop.
There were no injuries and the plane remained upright.
What: Bond Offshore Helicopters Ltd. Eurocopter EC225LP Super Puma Mk2+ Where: 24 nautical miles off the coast of Aberdeen, North Sea When: May 10, 2012 Who: 16 passengers, 0 fatalities Why: The Bond helicopter was en route from Aberdeen Airport to the Maersk Resilient drilling rig when an emergency developed.
Pilots had to make a controlled descent into the North Sea when the gearbox oil pressure tanked. With the use of flotation equipment, the ditched helicopter stayed afloat.
The two crew and twelve passengers were safely recovered by afternoon. A cautionary measure suspending Eurocopter EC225 flights has been issued pending investigation. Examination revealed that the helicopter suffered a crack to the gearbox shaft.
The passengers were employed by Halliburton, Ensco, Brundt and Stag, and Conoco. The Jasmine field is operated by Conoco Phillips.
The rescue was coordinated by the Aberdeen coastguard, who was alerted at 12.15pm, and RNLI lifeboats. The initial call indicated that added that all everyone was on the raft. Nine were flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, and five were taken by life boat.
In George’s Point of View
The choice to suspend the EC225 model until the kinks are worked out is a smart move. Better monitoring of potential cracks to the gearbox shaft may eliminate more “catastrophic failures” like the one that Eurocopter that crashed in 2009. In that event, the operator had put off replacing the main rotor gearbox, resulting in the death of 14 offshoremen and two helicopter crew.
The skill and training of the (May 10, 2012) 100% successful pilots and rescue crew cannot be commended highly enough. Sure, the media is calling this a textbook rescue, but somehow that description feels inadequate to me, leaving out the heroic human element involved. These guys are heroes.
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