Thursday, April 16, 2009

North Sea Helicopter Crash (Update)

Yesterday the memorial service was conducted in Aberdeen and it had the image of a political opportunity by the PM Gordon Brown and the Global warming Prince Charles. Gary’s widow and daughters did in the end go, I’m glad because I can only imagine the comments in the UK’s tabloid press is she hadn’t, nobody needs that kind of attention. This weekend I’ll will be flying to Scotland to attend the funeral of my friend Gary Hughes. It angers me that the families have had to wait over a week to final bring some closure to this incident.

I’ve also read with interest some of the preliminary reports of what caused the Super Puma to go in. many reports point at a gearbox failure with the main rotor coming off. This is interesting because gearboxes normally do not fail out of the blue but start giving indication of excessive wear, and according to the daily mail this helicopter did have excess particles that led to an inspection and clearance to fly a week prior to the accident. These indicators include a build of metal chips and particles in the magnetic s chip detectors and in increase of metal trace in the JOAP oil analysis sample. These are common to all commercial aircraft and hating to speculate start pointing at maintenance problems or poor practice. I will be very interested in the final report when it comes out, that is if it can be seen like and FAA or NTSB report.

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