Emergency landing on Åsgard B investigated

April 19, 2012, 15:39 CEST

It was a scheduled helicopter en route from the Deepsea Bergen drilling rig to Kristiansund in mid-Norway which had to make an unplanned landing on Åsgard B on 12 January.


The Åsgard B platform in the Norwegian Sea. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)

The helicopter’s alarm system alerted the pilots of low pressure in one of the helicopter’s hydraulic systems. The pilot could have continued the flight to the onshore heliport, but chose – in line with instructions – to land on the nearest possible landing site.

Both Statoil and CHC decided to investigate the incident. The investigation results conclude that the technical aspects of the landing were relatively undramatic and the helicopter landed as usual on the helideck. However un uncontrolled situation occurred when the pilot discovered that the helicopter wheels had lost its braking power.

This situation, combined with wind and installation movements, made the helicopter continue to move until it was secured by wheel chocks. Quick action and a keen eye by the helideck personnel stopped the situation from developing further.

The investigation report states that measures and learning effects will be the same irrespective of the potential outcome of the incident. However, the report cannot exclude that the outcome had been different if the helideck personnel had not stopped the helicopter from moving by the use of wheel chocks.

CHC immediately checked their entire helicopter fleet. Technical information about the incident has as a matter of standard procedure been distributed to all operators of this helicopter type.

“Air safety is extremely important to Statoil,” says Gunnar Breivik, head of the logistics and emergency response unit of the joint operations cluster of Development and Production Norway. “We regard this as a serious incident and we must learn from it.”

The investigation is concluded and both Statoil and CHC will spend time on going through the proposed measures.