Posts Tagged ‘NTSB’

4/17/2023 NTSB data base search results:

Preliminary report

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Presentations from the January 2023 HSAC meeting have now been posted. None of the presentations addresses the tragic crash in the Gulf of Mexico on 29 December. This is understandable given the ongoing investigation.

Attached is an update from the Helideck Committee which also addresses wind farm issues.

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The attached NTSB report includes details on the timing of the accident, observations from personnel remaining on the platform, condition of the helipad, nature and location of the debris, and the recovery of the fuselage and separated tail boom. The engine control unit (ECU) was recovered and sent to an NTSB lab for data extraction.

Link to previous posts on the crash.

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David Scarborough, Island Operating Co. employee who died in the crash.
  • The bodies of the 4 victims have been recovered.
  • The 3 offshore workers were employees of Island Operating Co., a production contractor. The pilot worked for Rotorcraft Leasing Company, the owner of the Bell 406 helicopter that crashed. The platform is owned by Walter Oil and Gas, the operating company.
  • A preliminary FAA report confirms that the helicopter crashed onto the helideck during takeoff, breaking apart and falling into the Gulf.
  • 4 passengers had been dropped off at the platform before the fatal takeoff. Presumably there were witnesses to the incident.
  • According to the FAA report, the platform was located at West Delta Block 106. Per the BOEM platform data base, the platform was installed in 1994, is in 252′ of water, and is continuously manned.
  • Per the BSEE INC data base, the platform had not been cited for any violations since 2016.

Lacy Scarborough, wife of victim David Scarborough, is pregnant. Tragically, the couple lost their first child in an accidental drowning in March. David was heading home for the holidays after completing his 2 week shift on the platform. He had worked offshore for 8 years. Per Lacy, David’s last message was that he was taking off and would be home soon.

The only other victim who has been identified is Tim Graham of Quitman, Mississippi.

I trust that the NTSB will conduct a timely and thorough investigation, and hope they consider offshore helideck oversight, both in terms of industry programs and government regulation. The most recent Coast Guard – BSEE MOA for fixed platforms added to helideck regulatory uncertainty by assigning decks and fuel handling to BSEE and railings and perimeter netting to the Coast Guard. This is the antithesis of holistic, systems-based regulation.

More on the crash: ominous message, update #3

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This is inexcusable if true:

A federal investigation into the October oil spill that paved the Orange County coast has been stalled for several months as authorities await approval to cut, remove and analyze part of the ruptured pipeline.

LA Times

Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigators currently have to rely on video captured during underwater pipeline inspections. Without a more detailed forensic examination of the damage in a lab, investigators won’t know whether to continue with their original investigation or move the investigation in a new direction.

LA Times

It’s not good when bureaucratic processes stall an important investigation. Hopefully the responsible agencies will be sufficiently embarrassed to get the investigation moving.

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Vessel Finder

According to the Coast Guard, investigators determined the ship “was involved in an anchor dragging incident on Jan. 25, 2021 during a heavy weather event that impacted the Ports of L.A. and Long Beach.” The anchor- dragging occurred “in close proximity” to an underwater pipeline later determined to be the source of the October leak that spilled thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean, forcing the closure of beaches and harbors across Orange County.


The hearings and the liability battles that follow will be most interesting. Those lined up to sue the pipeline operator (Amplify), such as this Huntington Beach disc jockey, may have difficulties.

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