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The PSA will investigate serious helicopter incidents

Recently, the Norwegian shelf has seen three helicopter incidents with potential for serious consequences for both personnel, the helicopters and the installations. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway wants to investigate these incidents in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority.

There are three incidents that give rise to particular concern - two on and near the Ringhorne installation and one incident on the mobile drilling rig Transocean Searcher:

  • The gravity of the incident on the Ringhorne installation on 6 November 2003 can be described in that an unannounced helicopter suddenly landed on the Ringhorne helicopter deck during an ongoing crane operation. The helicopter's actual destination was an entirely different installation.
  • A nearly identical incident occurred on 20 January 2004 when an unannounced helicopter was just 10 meters away from the helicopter deck when the error was discovered. The landing was aborted, the helicopter changed course and flew away from the installation.
  • A helicopter incident took place on the Transocean Searcher on 9 January 2004 when a helicopter was in the process of taking off. During this operation, a bar got caught in the net on the helicopter deck. The net was pulled along for about 1.5 meters before the helicopter broke free and continued to shore.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has supervisory responsibility for civil air traffic, while the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has supervisory responsibility for health, environment and safety on the installations that carry out petroleum activities on the Norwegian shelf.

Since the incidents took place on and near installations that fall under the PSA's scope of responsibility, we propose a collaboration for following up these incidents in the form of a joint investigation.

Contact in the PSA:
Ole-Johan Faret
Phone: +47 970 54 064