Oil Workers In Public Outcry Over Helo Safety Record

By Tony Osborne
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

“There is a need to arm workers with the facts about these aircraft,” says one helicopter operator executive. “But not all the oil companies realize this.”

Oil companies and the helicopter operators fear a ripple effect not just across the North Sea, but in other areas of the world where helicopters are relied on for crew-change missions. Eurocopter, which in the days after the accident sent top executives including new CEO Guillaume Faury to Aberdeen, has been quick to point out that the AS332L2 involved in the accident was equipped with a main gearbox with a carburized vertical shaft, not a nitrided (hardened) shaft, like the one involved in the two EC225 ditchings.

Operators, trade unions and regulators will engage with the offshore workforce to “rebuild trust and confidence,” and a “sympathetic” approach will be taken with any worker who feels unable to fly, the HSSG says.