Helicopter troubles offshore Newfoundland

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Company says two cases from last week were not emergencies

A warning light coming on during a helicopter flight from St. John’s offshore on Saturday was one of two unrelated incidents reported by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) in the past week.

The CNLOPB reported two issues with Cougar Helicopters used to shuttle workers back and forth to the offshore drill rig Henry Goodrich this week.— Telegram file photo

The flight to the drill rig West Aquarius, with seven passengers aboard, was turned around in response to a tail rotor servo pressure indicator light.

The tail rotor servo “has an isolated, secondary backup system” according to the CNLOPB and flight operator Cougar Helicopters. The result was no emergency call and no request from the pilots for assistance, but a Cougar search and rescue helicopter — already in flight for training — escorted the helicopter back to

St. John’s as a precaution.

Meanwhile, another Cougar Helicopters aircraft returned to shore Saturday, after being kept aboard the offshore drill rig Henry Goodrich because of a technical issue before takeoff days earlier.

The helicopter was unable to return as scheduled Wednesday morning, after an indication light alerted the crew to the technical issue.

Check lists and followup tests, directed by the operational control centre and maintenance control centre, did not clear the issue.

A maintenance team was sent out to troubleshoot.

“Due to offshore weather conditions, the maintenance crews had to travel via vessel and did not reach the Henry Goodrich until mid-afternoon on Thursday,” stated a spokeswoman for Cougar Helicopters, responding on Monday to questions.

“Return to St. John’s was determined when maintenance crews completed their work and weather conditions improved. The aircraft is serviceable and has been returned to the active flight line.”

Workers who were to fly back Wednesday from the Henry Goodrich to St. John’s were instead transported by ship.



Geographic location: Newfoundland

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