One Dead, Five Injured in SAR Helicopter Crash Off Norway

Sikorsky helicopter
File image courtesy KS-U92 / CC BY SA 30

Published Feb 29, 2024 7:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

After a deadly crash involving an offshore contractor's helicopter in the North Sea, Norway temporarily suspended all helicopter flights to and from its offshore platforms, and it is weighing weather to ground the model involved in the accident. 

On Wednesday night, a Sikorsky S-92A SAR helicopter belonging to Bristow Norway went down in the North Sea during a training flight. All six crewmembers on board were hurt, and all were hoisted from the water by a rescue helicopter. One of the rescuees was later declared dead at the hospital, and one survivor remained in critical condition on Thursday. 

The Equinor-chartered helicopter was on a training flight just off Bergen when it went down. In a statement, Bristow said that its first priority was to take care of the survivors and their families. 

Equinor has temporarily suspended all its helicopter flights in Norway and the United Kingdom, and Aker BP has followed suit. These suspensions are voluntary, but could be followed by regulatory action if warranted, according to Norwegian authorities. 

“Based on the available information that we receive, the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority will continuously decide whether the Sikorsky S-92A helicopter type should be grounded,” the Norwegian agency said in a statement. “The case has the highest priority with us and we have a dialogue with the manufacturer and the Accident Investigation Board." 

In a statement, Sikorsky said that safety is its first priority and that it is ready to support the investigation. 

The S-92 is a mainstay helicopter model in the offshore oil and gas industry, and the results of the investigation may affect other operators. Canada's Cougar Helicopters temporarily grounded its S-92 flights on Thursday while awaiting more information.