Offshore choppers probed over reported near miss

Alba Northern
Alba Northern

Two helicopters came within 400ft vertically during a reported near miss in the North Sea.

The Sikorsky S92 and Eurocopter EC175 were travelling towards each other, one inbound and one outbound when the incident happened.

The S92 had just left the Britannia platform 130 miles north-east of Aberdeen and had started to climb to 2,000 ft.

The EC175 pilot was heading towards the adjacent Alba platform, which is linked to the Britannia by a a 2.5 mile pipeline.

The EC175 had started to descend from 3,000 ft to 500ft when it crossed the level of the S92.

There was four nautical miles between the aircraft at the time.

The UK Airprox board, who investigate near miss events, ruled the risk of collision was ‘low’.

The Airprox report added “Members noted that the S92 pilot had reported that the risk of collision was low, but it was apparent to the board that he had been concerned about the EC175 descending through his level when both flights were being operated under Instrument Meteorological Conditions [Meteorological conditions expressed in
terms of visibility, distance from cloud, and ceiling].

“Accordingly the board considered that the cause of the Airprox was that the S92 pilot had been concerned by the proximity of the EC175 but that there had been no risk of collision.”