Suncor Energy says an offshore helicopter that experienced “higher than normal” vibration during an aborted Monday morning flight checked out as OK and ready to fly again.
It arrived in St. John’s about 10:30 p.m. the same day — following an assessment by Cougar Helicopters’ flight engineers who were flown to the rig.
No mechanical problem was found with the helicopter.
“The diagnostics that Cougar ran showed there were no anomalies in the aircraft,” said Suncor spokeswoman Nancy Wicks.
“They found that the aircraft was serviceable and they cleared it for flight.”
Wicks said “non-equipment reasons,” such as a change in wind direction or aircraft speed, could affect the vibration level in the helicopter.
“In these circumstances, the pilots do what they think is right with the safety of the passengers in mind and they landed as a precautionary measure.
“It’s a good outcome. They were just being cautious.”
Wicks said no passengers were aboard the helicopter when it returned to the Cougar heliport Monday evening.
Weather will determine when the offshore workers can return ashore. On Tuesday afternoon, flights to the oilfields were cancelled, according to Cougar’s website.
On Monday, helicopter pilots aborted a flight shortly after taking off at 9:25 a.m. from the drill rig Henry Goodrich.
The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter landed safely on the rig’s helideck.
Seventeen passengers and two pilots were on the flight. There were no injuries.
Cougar flew a pair of flight engineers to the rig that evening to assess the aircraft and analyze computer data from it. That helicopter couldn’t land at the rig because the other S-92 was still on the helideck.
Three search and rescue technicians were also sent along to lower the engineers to the rig by hoist.
The Henry Goodrich is drilling an exploration well for Suncor northeast of the Hibernia oilfield.
The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board started posting notices about helicopter incidents on its website Monday.
They can be found online at: http://www.cnlopb.nl.ca/incident_bulletins.shtml.