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Helicopter down in the North Sea.

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  • hampden98
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Sep 2009
    • 2549

    #21
    I'm surprised no company has designed a purpose built helo for offshore work. One that floats upright and is easy to get out of in an emergency.
    Seems like all they use are ex military choppers.

    Comment

    • charliehunt
      Nearly there!
      • Oct 2012
      • 11459

      #22
      Surely floats have been attached to a variety of choppers for years, haven't they. I suppose the problem is that in some accidents the floats would simply keep the craft afloat but not upright. Even so it's seems to be a good point.
      Charlie

      Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

      Comment

      • hampden98
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Sep 2009
        • 2549

        #23
        Originally posted by charliehunt View Post
        Surely floats have been attached to a variety of choppers for years, haven't they. I suppose the problem is that in some accidents the floats would simply keep the craft afloat but not upright. Even so it's seems to be a good point.
        Does the Puma have floatation bags? Pics of the crashed one show it upside down with floatation bags attached to the wheels.
        Not sure if these were attached by divers or part of the aircraft's ditching mechanism.
        It's probably better to be upside down and floating on the surface than sinking to the bottom, but a lot better to be floating upright.
        My car has side, pillar, front, rear airbags. Wouldn't take a genius to have some form of airbags for a chopper. Similar to the bags on the Apollo capsule.

        [img]http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur...9QEwBg&dur=494[/img]

        Comment

        • Mpacha
          Moderator
          • Jan 2000
          • 1280

          #24


          Yes, the Puma does have floatation gear as do all offshore helicopters. It is a requirement.
          pb::

          Comment

          • paul1867
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Nov 2012
            • 1452

            #25
            Does anybody know the safety record and what equipment is used in other off shore fields such as the Gulf of Mexico?
            Last edited by paul1867; 2nd September 2013, 12:46.
            I had just got round to seeing the glass as half full instead of half empty, when some sod came and drank it......

            Comment

            • charliehunt
              Nearly there!
              • Oct 2012
              • 11459

              #26
              I found this after a search:

              http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/cmsfile...pdfs/HS027.pdf

              Pages 27 to 30
              Charlie

              Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

              Comment

              • Paul F
                Retired Lawnmower Racer
                • May 2005
                • 1108

                #27
                I am no expert, but the overall design of most modern transport helicopters tends to place engines and gearboxes on top of the cabin, presumably to maximise cargo/pax capacity in the cabin, thus making them appear to be naturally "top heavy". Short of putting flotation bags on some sort of widely spaced "outrigger" bars I suspect most floating helicopters would be prone to "falling over" in heavy seas, or if landed in a hurry in similar sea states. I guess there is always a trade off between ease of escape and maximum revenue per flight.

                Fewer pax = easier exit if thing go wrong, but less revenue per flight, and far more flights needed per annum - at some point the increased number of flights to shift same number of people must hit a point where reliability concerns would mean more accidents per annum, though less pax involved per accident.

                As ever, no doubt its all about statistics and balancing risk versus cost/profit. Never an easy decision, and always a decision that hindsight tends to judge harshly when things go wrong.

                Would there be enough demand for a special "non-invertable" or "quick self-righting" deep sea support helicopter to be designed and built, when modification of exisiting types is still viable? Maybe a more stringent set of CAA/FAA/EU regs regarding "floatability" and "survivability" in rougher sea states would be a good first step? However, in cases of sudden/critical machinery failure, over a hostile environment like the North Sea, its always going to be difficult/expensive to increase the odds of a 100% survivable outcome :-( .

                Comment

                • Stuart H
                  Big boys did it
                  • Mar 2010
                  • 215

                  #28
                  Originally posted by charliehunt View Post
                  All of that is of course true and all choices about jobs are free choices. Whatever the reasons people make their free choice to work on rigs fully cognisant of the risks.
                  If the jobs were not worth it for whatever reason employers would have make sure they were. As it happens they apparently are.
                  No, that is just so wrong. There is very little 'free choice' in employment. No matter what job you take you are entitled to expect your employer to look after your health and safety. I'd be sacked if I fail to wear the hi-vis jacket, safety goggles and ear defenders, so if my employer takes 'expedient' risks with my health and safety, I'd be pretty damned sure I'd expect some real comeback, rather than, 'people make their free choice to work on rigs fully cognisant of the risks.'

                  Would you right off Lolly Pop ladies in the same way if they were being decimated? 'Well, they knew the risks of crossing the road and that's why they get paid 7 per hour'.
                  The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it's against the law.

                  Comment

                  • charliehunt
                    Nearly there!
                    • Oct 2012
                    • 11459

                    #29
                    Firstly you put words on the page I never wrote and secondly make inferences which I never implied.
                    I reiterate that we all have and make free choices about our employment.
                    Last edited by charliehunt; 5th September 2013, 05:17.
                    Charlie

                    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

                    Comment

                    • J Boyle
                      With malice towards none
                      • Oct 2004
                      • 9792

                      #30
                      A very good story in Aviation Week...free from media panic. http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....610858.xml&p=1

                      In the print version, there is a rundown of major North sea helicopter mishaps dating back to the 80s. The Super Pumas and EC225s have had quite a bit of problems, with the recent grounds of the EC225s only recently been lifted and Eurocopter (now Airbus helicopters) still working on a permanent fix.
                      There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                      Comment

                      • Stuart H
                        Big boys did it
                        • Mar 2010
                        • 215

                        #31
                        Originally posted by charliehunt View Post
                        Firstly you put words on the page I never wrote and secondly make inferences which I never implied.
                        I reiterate that we all have and make free choices about our employment.
                        Many workers are in jobs they hate, out of a sense of responsibility to thier families but yes, they are free. They can quit, be unable to pay the mortgage, make the family homeless etc.
                        The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it's against the law.

                        Comment

                        • J Boyle
                          With malice towards none
                          • Oct 2004
                          • 9792

                          #32
                          Originally posted by Stuart H View Post
                          Many workers are in jobs they hate, out of a sense of responsibility to thier families but yes, they are free. They can quit, be unable to pay the mortgage, make the family homeless etc.
                          Still, people quit (or don't apply for or take) jobs all the time because of safety/health or logistical/travel factors...
                          There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                          Comment

                          • charliehunt
                            Nearly there!
                            • Oct 2012
                            • 11459

                            #33
                            Well that's stating the blinding obvious but does not refute my point. Are you seriously trying to persuade me that oil rig workers apply for the job with no knowledge of the conditions and risks. Come on! It might have true in the early days during the 70s, when I spent a lot of time in Aberdeen involved in the industry but that initial sense of excitement and discovery is long past.
                            Charlie

                            Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

                            Comment

                            • Newforest
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Apr 2005
                              • 8887

                              #34
                              No technical fault found with the helicopter which leaves what reason?


                              http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/1065...icopter_crash/
                              http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

                              Comment

                              • charliehunt
                                Nearly there!
                                • Oct 2012
                                • 11459

                                #35
                                At least it is reassuring to rig workers that this model's safety record has not been compromised by further technical problems.
                                Charlie

                                Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

                                Comment

                                • WG-13
                                  One-time Pongo
                                  • Sep 2007
                                  • 154

                                  #36
                                  At least it is reassuring to rig workers that this model's safety record has not been compromised by further technical problems.
                                  Leaving what? Pilots manage to fly an otherwise servicable aircraft into the sea during an approach at a point where the profile should have had them 700' up? Deeply reassuring. If you think I'm being flippant, four of my colleagues died, one of whom was the first female North Sea fatality.

                                  Comment

                                  • charliehunt
                                    Nearly there!
                                    • Oct 2012
                                    • 11459

                                    #37
                                    Not at all - indeed you are endorsing my exact point. The problems were not technical.
                                    Charlie

                                    Keep smiling - it's never as bad as you think!!

                                    Comment

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