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Old 27th Oct 2013, 20:29
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Old 1st Nov 2013, 12:12
  #202 (permalink)  
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Birds of a feather

An "exhausted" bird hitched a lift from a helicopter after being found resting on a North Sea oil rig.

The tired water rail needed help from technology when it got blown off course from Europe during its winter migration.

It was found sheltering by staff on a helideck on October 24.

The frightened and worn out bird was taken by helicopter to Aberdeen, and from there, was transported to a wildlife rescue centre in Alloa, before being released into the wild from Fife.

The water rail usually lives in freshwater wetlands.

Centre manager Colin Seddon said the bird had probably got caught up in strong winds over the North Sea during its winter migration.

He said: "It seems the bird became exhausted and managed to find refuge on the oil rig. It was unable to fly off again so we were contacted for help.

"The water rail was fit and well by the time it was released at Loch Gelly in Fife.

"This was an ideal spot as the loch is surrounded by reedbeds, with no fishing and very little disturbance."
'Exhausted' bird found on North Sea oil rig airlfited by helicopter | Aberdeen & North | News | STV
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 11:48
  #203 (permalink)  
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Bristow AS332L G-BLZJ as seen at Aberdeen airport on 23rd October 2013 (Photo: Mark Leith)

Does anyone happen to know whether this is the only Bristow 332L operating in the North Sea?
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 12:10
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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CHC has one: G-BKZE
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 14:55
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Sav - The other BHL AS332L's still currently operating out of Aberdeen are

G-TIGC, G-TIGE, G-TIGS and G-TIGV
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 15:54
  #206 (permalink)  
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Uneasy Rider/S61-S92: Grazie mille!

Unite launch North Sea helicopter safety drive

THE Unite union is to launch a major drive for immediate improvements to the safety of North Sea helicopter flights following the Super Puma helicopter disaster off Shetland in which four oil workers were killed,

The campaign - “Back Home Safe” - will be calling for increased investment to create a larger North Sea helicopter fleet for crew change flights, changes to the seating configuration inside helicopters, and changes to the design of choppers used for offshore flights.

The union claimed today that an initial poll of more than 500 workers had shown that over half - 50.7 per cent - have no confidence in the safety of offshore helicopter flights. And 81 per cent of workers said that their level of confidence in helicopter flights had decreased in the last twelve months.

Unite is now planning to submit a petition next month to Oil and Gas UK, the pan industry trade body,calling for action from the industry and helicopter operators.

The cause of 23 August crash in which a CHC-operated Super Puma AS332L2 helicopter plunged into the sea on its approach to Sumburgh airport has still to be established. The crash claimed the lives of Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness, Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, and George Allison, 57, from Winchester.

And the findings of a Civil Aviation Authority investigation into concerns surrounding the five North Sea ditchings and crashes in the last four years, including the Sumburgh Head disaster, are not expected to be published until January.

Tommy Campbell, Unite’s Aberdeen-based regional officer, said ‘Offshore workers have spoken and clearly stated their legitimate concerns. Over 1500 offshore workers have already backed Unite’s demands and we expect many more to pledge their support before the petition is submitted to Oil and Gas UK in December.

“Overwhelmingly offshore workers are demanding action from the industry to improve the safety of offshore helicopter flight. Oil and Gas UK must now act.”

A Unite spokesman said the union had already carried out an extensive consultation with its member and the wider offshore workforce, following last August’s fatal crash.. And it revealed that 95 per cent of workers are demanding increased investment to create a larger offshore fleet. Ninety four per cent are calling for changes to the internal seat configuration on offshore helicopters and 93 per cent are also demanding changes to the design of helicopters used for passenger transfer offshore.

The campaign has also set out a series of initial demands for offshore flight improvements. These include:

• Safer emergency lighting and seating configuration in all offshore helicopters to aid evacuation.

• The immediate implementation of all safety recommendations from past offshore helicopter incidents.

• An independent review to improve emergency response contingencies in the event of a ditching to maximise the survival time of helicopter passengers and crew.

• And improved survival equipment and training for offshore workers.

The Unite spokesman said: “Other improvements that were a priority for a significant number of workers were internal emergency lighting fitted to helicopters, a confidential whistle blowing line, and improved floatation devices fitted to helicopters.”

He added: “Offshore workers will not accept ‘business as usual’ Back Home Safe is a member and offshore worker-led campaign which calls for immediate improvements to the safety of offshore flights.”

The campaign will be officially launched tomorrow at Unite’s regional offices in Aberdeen.
Unite launch North Sea helicopter safety drive - The Scotsman
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 16:04
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For offshore workers who may read this thread, details for the launch of tomorrow's Unite Back Home Safe campaign are as follows:

10.30 am, Wednesday 6 November 2013

42-44 King Street, Aberdeen

Contacts:

Willie Thomson on 07810 157 910

Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315

Unite launches the 'Back Home Safe' campaign
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 17:19
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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Other improvements that were a priority for a significant number of workers were .... a confidential whistle blowing line,...
The industry could have had the benefit of a confidential human factors reporting system years ago, much like CHIRP and the rail sector's CIRAS, but SCIS/OGUK believe that the present level of 'workforce engagement' is sufficient. Contrast this attitude with the recent news that the US regulatory authority BSEE have announced the implementation of just such a service for their employees in the States. BSEE Director Delivers Remarks at 2013 International Regulators' Offshore Safety Conference | BSEE
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 17:38
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I didn't think that emergency lighting was an issue - anyone know what the problem is?
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 08:13
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by HeliComparator View Post
I didn't think that emergency lighting was an issue - anyone know what the problem is?
No idea on the lighting. Strangely, I did take a few seconds to look at the lighting in GC(?) on Friday. I would have thought door jettison arrangements should have been prominent in that list (having sat beside a Tiger jettison handle twice last week).
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 08:40
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G-TIGC? G-TIGE?

I can understand the workforce issues. Why are we forcing passengers onto 32 year old 332Ls when EC225s and S-92s are available? Helicopter companies should stop offering such old aircraft to industry. It's not hard to see where the safety culture problem lies is it?
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 09:19
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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II
The Helicopter companies supply what the oil companies ask for.
You get what you pay for.
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 10:41
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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Tyne

The oil companies couldn't contract these old aircraft if the helicopter industry had some balls and stopped offering 32 year old (next March) aircraft and started telling the oil companies they were not available. This cheaper but less safe option should not be available anymore. Time to send them to the scrap yard or to the logging industry.

The UK NS industry claims to be examining safety, the answer is partially obvious.
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 10:53
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I guess you don't have many friends in the logging industry...
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 12:31
  #215 (permalink)  
 
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What is the safety record of these "Old" aircraft compared to the 92 and 225?

How many of the "Old" aircraft wind up in the Sea.....how many passengers did they kill?

Compare the statistics then tell us about how bad the "Old" aircraft are....and how "Good" the new aircraft are....but do it using factual data and not just mere opinion please.
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 21:59
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
How many of the "Old" aircraft wind up in the Sea.....how many passengers did they kill?
Quite a few really, so let's not go there. Quit polishing those pink glasses!
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 06:43
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I think these Ls were brought back in following the EC225 grounding to meet capacity issues .All were/are destined for Vector Aerospace,hence the all white finish shown above.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 08:49
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Several years ago we had a 76A on an offshore contract in Asia, whilst it was good mechanically, it had lots of hours and getting tired.
The plan was to refurbish it and upgrade to a ++, and replace it on contract with a C+, when the oil Company were approached with the plan, they were not interested, they said the A model suited their needs and it would be throwing money away to go with a newer aircraft, didn't care about low time airframe, better power margins, updated avionics etc.
Problem nowadays for the Offshore Operators is that the new aircraft are basically people carriers, I will add the 76 and 332 to this group as well, if they are off contract, you are limited to what they can do, in the past when we had a 61 or 212 come off an offshore contract, it wouldn't be idle for long, the VFR div would soon have them out working, dont think the new aircraft, whilst being very good in their own roles, are suited to working in the Bush, and Logging is definately not an option.
Talking of older Helicopters !! If you have a Helicopter with 20,000 + on the clock, do a complete refurbishment, re-wire if required, up-grade the Avionics and with zero time components, this machine is as good, if not better than the day it rolled out of the Factory, so could someone please explain why this aircraft is deemed unsafe?
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 09:04
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If its a 20,000 hour machine, it probably has round dials, 3 axis autopilot, small windows, cramped cabin with poor escape paths, no EGPWS, no TACS, separate weather radar, no FADEC, no FLI etc. It was probably certified to a lower standard, is not flaw damage tolerant, has no aux lubrication system (which not all do now) or run dry capability.

It is also probably difficult to support and has poor payload compared to the newer types.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 09:06
  #220 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tynecastle View Post
... so could someone please explain why this aircraft is deemed unsafe?
Not unsafe, but less safe than the modern equivalent due to improvements in the certification requirements, and other improvements such as HMI and autopilot functionality, especially when you bear in mind that "pilot error" is still a popular way to crash. Take the case of the recent AS332L2 crash at Sumburgh, that accident could have happened to an AS332L or an AS332L2. Had the same pilots done the same thing in an EC225 that crash wouldn't have happened because the heli would have stopped itself falling into the sea. So in this respect (and many others) the modern EC225 is much safer than the older AS332L and L2, even though the latter are still performing as the manufacturer intended.
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