Dropping in for a fix

Mechanic lowered by SAR tech onto rig helideck

Published on February 2, 2016

A bird strike grounded a helicopter shortly after takeoff at the West Hercules oil rig Friday offshore Newfoundland.

The aircraft was expected to head from the semi-submersible to St. John’s with 12 passengers and two crew members, but was kept offshore for inspection.

The aircraft was cleared and returned home on Sunday night, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) has confirmed, but only after a checkup by a CHC aircraft maintenance engineer.

Related story:

Chopper grounded overnight at GBS

The maintenance engineer was brought to the rig by way of a second helicopter, operated by Cougar Helicopters.

Given the rig does not allow for two helicopters to be on the helideck at the same time, as in the case of the Hibernia platform, The Telegram has learned the second flight hovered above the rig’s helideck and the mechanical expert was then lowered onto the deck by a search and rescue (SAR) tech.

Both helicopters were able to then make the flight back to the mainland.