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The PSA and the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority investigate helicopter incidents

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has established an investigation team which, with the assistance of the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority (LT) will investigate three helicopter incidents with a potential for serious consequences both for the personnel, the helicopters and the installations. The events occurred during the period 6 November 2003 to 9 January 2004.

Two of the incidents took place on or near the Ringhorne installation, on 6 November 2003 and 20 January 2004 respectively.

The helicopters were on their way to the Grane installation, but carried out a landing and a near-landing on Ringhorne.

The third incident occurred on Transocean Searcher near Sleipner on 9 January 2004. In that case the helicopter got tangled in the helideck net as it was about to take off.

These events have already been described on the PSA's web pages (Link >>).

The three events relate to both the PSA's and the LT's areas of responsibility. On account of the potential and frequency of these events, a joint investigation group has been set up, consisting of three people from the PSA and one person from the LT.

The PSA cites Section 19 of the Management Regulations, Registration, examination and investigation of danger and accident situations as the reason for the investigation, including the inquiries the PSA has made already to gain insight into the investigation which has been done in connection with the three helicopter incidents. We have sent an identical letter about our investigation to the affected companies, Norsk Hydro ASA and Statoil ASA.

The investigation is intended to clarify:

• the actual course of events and the consequences of the events
• deviations from requirements and procedures
• human, mechanical and organizational causes of the events
• what barriers failed, why the barriers failed and what barriers (if any) should have been put in place
• what measures should be implemented to prevent similar danger and accident situations.

The two government bodies involved will carry out a joint review of the investigation that has been carried out by the operators, the shipping company and the helicopter companies.

The investigation team will also assess the need for further investigation in the form of interviews, document reviews, site inspections, etc. If this is needed, the companies in question will be informed.

The investigation will be concluded with a report which will be sent to Statoil and Norsk Hydro and which will be discussed on our web pages.

Contact person for the investigation:
Gerd Randi Kaland