Copter returns to service following claims door ‘opened’ during flight

Energy Voice

A helicopter has been given a clean bill of health following claims that one of its doors opened mid-flight.

The Airbus AS365 (Dauphin) was flying from Centrica’s Central Morecambe platform in the East Irish Sea on Wednesday when the alleged incident happened.

A source claimed the starboard door had opened “fully” mid-flight.

But helicopter operator Babcock said only that a light indicating the door was not closed properly had illuminated.

Centrica said it had received “reports” of a technical issue.

A spokesman for Babcock said today: “The safety of our passengers and crew is always our first priority.

“I can confirm we received reports of a door caption illumination on one of our aircraft.

“Crew followed standard procedures and returned to base where a full and thorough investigation was completed by our engineers.

“No technical issue with the door was found.

“The aircraft has been confirmed to be serviceable and has been approved by our certified engineers to be returned to service.”

A Centrica spokesman said yesterday: “We are investigating a report of technical issue with a door on a helicopter travelling between two of our platforms this morning. We can confirm no one was injured.

“The safety of our people is our top priority, and so as part of our investigation we are working closely with our helicopter operator to understand all the circumstances.

“We have also informed all of the relevant authorities and will share any findings from our investigation with them.”

Airbus declined to comment.

Only about two Dauphins currently operate on the UK continental shelf, according to the latest health and safety report from Oil and Gas UK.