Health & Safety Report 2013


Since 2001, only heavy and medium twin engine helicopters have been used on the UKCS. This is because two-pilot light helicopter operations do not have sufficient range and payload to meet contemporary offshore commercial expectations, while extra heavy helicopters such as the Chinook would require three crew members. Furthermore, they are also too large for normal day-to-day crew change payloads. It is also important here to make the distinction between heavy and medium twin helicopter operations. As a rule, heavy twins (such as the AS332, EC225, S61 and S92) operate mainly out of Aberdeen or Scatsta and generally fly sectors (flight stages) with long flight times. Medium twins (such as the AS365, EC155, S76 and AW139) fly mainly out of the regional heliports (such as Blackpool, Humberside, and Norwich) and these aircraft record a high number of sectors with relatively short flight times. 4.3 Offshore Helicopter Reportable Accidents on the UK Continental Shelf All significant flight safety occurrences are reported to the CAA using the MOR scheme. A number of MORs are submitted every month, providing constant oversight of safety-related occurrences. It is the MORs classed as ‘reportable accidents’ that are highlighted in this report. From 1992 to 2012, six fatal accidents claimed the lives of 47 offshore workers and flight crew. Two of the accidents involved helicopter landing officer fatalities on offshore helidecks, two were caused by catastrophic component failure and the other two were attributed to human factors. Eighteen reportable non-fatal accidents have also occurred since 1992. These include major component failures, pilot error, lightning strikes, major airframe damage, and main and tail rotor damage. In most cases, only the helicopter was damaged but, infrequently, these accidents have resulted in injury to personnel. 4.4 Accident Analysis The following graphs show the distribution of fatal and non-fatal reportable accidents on the UKCS from 1992 to 2012, as well as the offshore helicopter fatal and non-fatal accident rates per 100,000 flying hours.

Figure 12: UKCS Accident Distribution







Number of Accidents

Number of Flying Hours





Fatal Accidents

All Accidents

Flying Hours

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