Bristow Group ordered to keep helicopters grounded due to crash
Bristow Group has been ordered to keep all of its Sikorsky S-76C helicopters on the ground in Nigeria, following this week’s offshore helicopter ditching, 75 nautical miles offshore Lagos.
To remind, Bristow on Wednesday said one of its helicopters of the Sikorsky S-76C++ type, was involved in a “controlled water landing,” near Lagos, while on its way back from an offshore installation. Bristow then said that nine passengers and a crew of two were all safe and accounted for.
While Bristow did not name the offshore installation from which the aircraft had taken off, according to Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau, the name of the installation is Erha. Erha is an oilfield in the Gulf of Guinea, operated by ExxonMobil, and producing oil via the Erha FPSO.
Keep them grounded
In an update later, Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited confirmed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised Bristow to temporarily stop operation of the Sikorsky S-76C family of aircraft in Nigeria.
“We are continuing to cooperate fully with the NCAA and the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (NAIB) in its investigation concerning the Bristow helicopter that was involved in the controlled water landing near Lagos on Feb. 3, 2016,” Bristow said.
This is not the first time a Bristow-owned offshore helicopter is involved in an accident off Nigeria. In August 2015, the company’s helicopter of the Sikorsky S-76C+ type, crashed into the Lagoon at Oworonshoki area of Lagos. The two flight crewmembers and four of the ten passengers were fatally injured. The helicopter was destroyed.
The helicopter was on its way from the Sedco Express drilling rig, and the flight was uneventful, until, five minutes before the scheduled landing, helicopter suddenly spiraled, descended and crashed into the water of the lagoon below.