A joint review to improve safety
The CAA is undertaking a review of North Sea helicopter operations. It will be a joint review with the Norwegian CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and advised by a panel of independent experts. It will study current operations, previous incidents and accidents and offshore helicopter flying in other countries to make recommendations aimed at improving the safety of offshore flying.
Although there has been considerable effort by regulators, operators and the offshore industry to minimise the risk of North Sea helicopter operations there have been five accidents in the past four years, two of which tragically resulted in fatalities.
The review will be led by the CAA’s Head of Flight Operations, Captain Bob Jones who will work closely with Geir Hamre, Head of helicopter safety for the Norwegian CAA. They will be supported by a team of experts who will consult with a wide range of individuals and organisations involved in offshore flying. The final review will also be subject to scrutiny by independent specialists.
The review will pay particular attention to:
It will include a comparison study of UK operations with those in Norway.
The findings of the review are due to be published in early 2014.
Bob’s aviation career started with the Royal Air Force where he served as a helicopter pilot for 12 years. This included being a helicopter instructor and a VIP pilot in the Queen’s Flight. He then joined a major UK commercial operator in 1980 and had 15 years operating all over the world both as a pilot, chief pilot, training captain and latterly as a senior manager.
Bob joined the CAA as a Flight Operations Inspector in 1995. In 2007 Bob was promoted to Head of Flight Operations Inspectorate (2) Department and in 2008 was again promoted to Head of Flight Operations. Bob has over 10,000 hours of flying, has been a helicopter pilot for almost 40 years and has been qualified on 16 types.
More to follow.