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Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA

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Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA

Old 24th Sep 2013, 13:06
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Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA

Review into North Sea Helicopter Operations announced by UK CAA

The operations of helicopters in the North Sea are to be reviewed in the wake of recent accidents, the Civil Aviation Authority has announced.

The regulator said it would work with its Norwegian counterpart and the European Aviation Safety Agency to draw up a report, which it expects to publish early next year.

It will examine areas including helicopter airworthiness and training.
BBC News - Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 14:57
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Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA

From BBC web site on 24/9
BBC News - Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 15:17
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I would suggest to the BALPA Leadership they get their proverbial head out of their Butts and engage the CAA and offer all assistance possible in the Review.

Yes the CAA may be late to the Party....but at least they are to attend....perhaps it took some public embarrassment to get them to do so...but they are going to do a review.

BALPA and its members can play a huge role in ensuring the CAA has to address every concern made known to the CAA by BALPA members.

The CAA has a vested interest in making sure they come out of this smelling like Lilacs and Rosewater.....and you can bet the Rent money they shall make every effort to do so.

Bureaucrats do not like to take responsibility or admit any shortcoming however minor.

I am sure the CAA can find ways to improve their part in the situation....if they care to do so. BALPA should help them by pointing out some of those issues that the CAA could address that fall within their authority to control and administer.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 16:29
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So where's the "Like" Button for SASless's first line?
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 18:38
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Just listened to the Grampian TV news where a BALPA spokesman said that they wanted the CAA role to be PART of any review into helicopter operations.

Sounds like a good idea to me.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 18:44
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From BALPA.org:

"REGULATOR NOT RIGHT BODY TO REVIEW NORTH SEA SAFETY
24/09/2013


Please see below a comment from the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) on today’s announcement that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be conducting a review into North Sea aviation safety.

‘We will consult with those members currently operating in the North Sea as to their views on the effectiveness of a CAA-led review, but our immediate reaction is this is too little , too late.

‘Firstly, the CAA has not shown itself adept at getting below the surface of industry, the real life experience of pilots and understanding the human factors that drive safety. Nothing in today's announcement gives us confidence that this has changed.

‘Secondly, we believe a review needs to look at the totality of the commercial cut throat business that is the North Sea, and not just the helicopter operation. In short, just how high in the pecking order does safety really sit for an incentivised contract manager?

‘Finally, we believe any review must look at the role of the regulator in this lengthening trend of accidents. We are, for instance, concerned that there does not appear to have been any pre-existing comparison of accident rates being maintained despite a series of accidents. In the light of this we just do not think it credible to expect the Regulator to review itself.

‘BALPA has called on the government to set up a judicial-led independent review along the lines of the post-Piper Alpha inquiry led by Lord Cullen. Today's announcement by the CAA does not do it for us.’

See https://www.balpa.org/News-and-campa...SEA-SAFET.aspx

Last edited by wiggy; 24th Sep 2013 at 18:45.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 18:55
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Caa review

If we accept the caa review at face value, it will be limited by their legal remit to questions of aviation safety (though they will look at ditching and survival - see terms of ref). Other, wider, issues are raised about the offshore working environment and unions are rightly emphasising these in the Piper Alpha memory year - the emotional level is understandably high.
We can't ignore the uk accident history, but with 3 recent gearbox failures which arguably might have occurred anywhere in the world, that seems to leave blun, etap & the latest (plus poss cormorant alpha?). Is there a common theme different to anywhere else?
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 20:00
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CAA Review

As the CAA (and EASA) are actually part of the problem, how can anyone have any sort of confidence in a CAA-led review? A review/inquiry is most certainly required if confidence in North Sea operations is to be restored. But only a fully independent, judicial-led, wide reaching inquiry will suffice.

The CAA, EASA and HSE must contribute, BUT must NOT lead the inquiry! The helicopter operators must be there. BALPA must also be part, as should RMT and Unite. So should Oil&GasUK, Eurocopter (Airbus Helicopters!), Sikorsky, Augusta Westland etc. The oil companies must also be called to explain their part, from the top down, especially 'middle management'! The media must also be taken to task, especially after the extremely poor standard of reporting during the last few years. BUT all of the above should be attendees, to give evidence etc, not to lead the review! ALL of the above have involved in allowing North Sea operations to the current position. And by that, I also mean US, the pilots! We are not blameless in this!

To date, it seems we will have two separate review/inquires already: the CAA one and the previously announced House of Commons one. Why do I feel that neither will produce results that will improve the situation? Why do I feel that the CAA one will exonerate the CAA? And the Commons one will say it is looking to the 'regulator' to 'regulate' and therefore not their problem?

You may want to say that I'm being somewhat cynical! 26 years on the North Sea does that to anyone!

bondu

Last edited by bondu; 24th Sep 2013 at 20:01.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 20:07
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Originally Posted by bondu View Post
As the CAA (and EASA) are actually part of the problem, how can anyone have any sort of confidence in a CAA-led review? A review/inquiry is most certainly required if confidence in North Sea operations is to be restored. But only a fully independent, judicial-led, wide reaching inquiry will suffice. The CAA, EASA and HSE must contribute, BUT must NOT lead the inquiry!
Simply to state the obvious.

That bondu is absolutely correct.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 21:56
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So should we expect Issue 2 of CAP 641?
CAP 641: Review of Helicopter Offshore Safety & Survival | Publications | About the CAA

Or does this,
Review of North Sea Helicopter Operations Home Page | Safety & Risk Management | Operations and Safety
http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/2657/20130...fReference.pdf
particularly considering the international dimension, constitute something greater?


I note that an FAI features strongly in 641, that a another FAI is expected to commence in the next few weeks, and yet another relevant FAI can be expected, months or a year or two away.
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Old 24th Sep 2013, 21:58
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Seconded. (Or is that thirded). The CAA are complicit in the whole process and therefore totally unsuitable to be independant reviewers.
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 00:13
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Should we begin an inventory list of CAA issues that should be assessed by the Independent Review?

What has the CAA done or not done....decisions they have made or not made....actions they have taken or not taken that adversely affect the North Sea Offshore Helicopter Operations?

We all have our pet peeves....but what really serious issues should the bright fresh sunlight shine upon?
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 05:37
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Night Approaches offshore - Still the biggest cause of accidents in the North Sea

Gearbox Monitoring and Maintenance

Getting some 'Controlled' Airspace at long last
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 07:21
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Old 25th Sep 2013, 08:24
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Can we change that to uncouple night approaches offshore, I don't believe there has been a problem when fully coupled machines have done night approaches done with appropriate use of automatics.

Perhaps ignoring SOP's at night would be more appropriate!
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 08:30
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CAP 1145 - "Safety review of offshore public transport helicopter operations in support of the exploitation of oil and gas" will be published at noon today.

Jim
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 11:24
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http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP%201...es%20final.pdf
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 11:58
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'With effect from 01 April 2015, helicopter operators are to ensure that only passengers with a body size (including all required safety and survival equipment) commensurate with push-out window exit size are carried on offshore helicopter flights.'


Should be interesting trying to enforce that.
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 12:33
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Originally Posted by satsuma View Post
'With effect from 01 April 2015, helicopter operators are to ensure that only passengers with a body size (including all required safety and survival equipment) commensurate with push-out window exit size are carried on offshore helicopter flights.'


Should be interesting trying to enforce that.
Why not? If the offshore employers make it a contractual requirement, then all of the fatties have got just over a year to lose the weight. (The same rule should obviously also apply to the pilots up the front).

It will, however, probably have a knock on effect on the sort of food that is provided in offshore galleys.
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Old 20th Feb 2014, 12:46
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(The same rule should obviously also apply to the pilots up the front).
Well, most types jettison the doors the crew used to enter the cockpit in the first place, so that shouldn't be an issue. The S92 has huge cockpit windows and if you couldn't get out of those you a) wouldn't be able to get into the cockpit in the first place and, b) if hypothetically you could enter, you would be incapable of moving the cyclic freely when seated
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