Petrobras Helicopter Crashes and Kills Four Crew Offshore Brazil

By MarEx 2011-08-22 15:12:34

A Petrobras-rented helicopter taxi carrying personnel crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday about 62 miles offshore Rio de Janeiro, taking the lives of all four crew aboard the aircraft.

The AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter had left the P-65 rig in the Enchova field on Friday afternoon before the accident.  Shortly after departing the rig, the Senior Taxi Aereo pilot had radioed in to air traffic control at the Macae airport in Rio that the helicopter was about to undergo an emergency landing at sea, and then lost contact with the airport.  Immediately, emergency procedures were put into place, with an airplane, and a Brazilian military ship searching for survivors of the crash. 

PHOTO CAPTION:  The state of Rio de Janeiro shown in red.

Over the weekend, all four bodies of the passengers have been recovered underneath 324 feet of water.  None of the men aboard the helicopter were employees of the Brazilian energy giant and Petrobras identified them as pilot Rommel Oliveira Garcia, co-pilot Lauro Pinto Haytzann of Senior Air Taxis, Ricardo Leal de Oliveira of engineering company Engevix and Joao Carlos Pereira da Silva of inspection company Brasitest.

Petrobras has recommended that all of the helicopters of that type remain grounded with concerns for the safety of the crews.  However, reports of poor weather conditions may be to blame for the tragic crash.