The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday recovered the bodies of four people killed last week when an offshore helicopter crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Galliano, Louisiana. It was the third serious accident in the past year involving a helicopter owned and operated by Rotorcraft Leasing Co.
The accident occurred December 29 while the Bell 407 helicopter was departing an oil platform. According to a Federal Aviation Administration report, the helicopter dropped off four passengers, then picked up three passengers. It crashed into the helipad during takeoff before breaking into pieces and falling into the Gulf.
Three Rotorcraft Helicopter Accidents in 2022
Three Rotorcraft helicopters were involved in serious accidents during 2022. The Broussard, Louisiana-based company also owned the helicopter that crashed December 15 while trying to take off from an oil platform about 30 miles off Terrebonne Bay. Despite the severity of the accident, the pilot and passengers survived and were rescued from a life raft by the Coast Guard.
On January 14, the pilot and passenger of a Rotorcraft helicopter were killed when it crashed into the marsh in south Lafourche Parish near Houma.
Why Do Offshore Helicopter Accidents Occur?
Helicopters are a common method of transportation for the oil and gas industry, carrying personnel to and from offshore rigs. Unfortunately, as we have seen with the Rotorcraft helicopters in Louisiana over the past year, they are also frequently involved in accidents
Why do these accidents occur? While no two accidents are the same as far as circumstances, there are many common denominators when you look at the reasons for offshore aviation accidents.
- Mechanical issues: These machines are prone to mechanical issues, especially in an offshore environment where maintenance and repair resources may be limited.
- Inclement weather: Weather is also a factor when it comes to helicopter accidents, as helicopters can sometimes struggle to stay airborne in high winds or a thunderstorm.
- Pilot error: Pilot error is also a common cause of helicopter accidents, as pilots may fail to properly assess the situation or make errors in judgment. This may be due to a lack of experience, fatigue, or other factors.
- Defective parts: Finally, defective parts or components can lead to an accident. This may be due to manufacturing errors or improper maintenance of the aircraft.
Overall, these accidents are tragic reminders that even with all the technology and safety protocols in place, there is still a risk when it comes to offshore aviation. The best way to prevent these types of accidents is to ensure that pilots have proper training, experience, and resources available so they can make informed decisions before taking off for oil rigs or any other location. Lastly, it is important to ensure that all aircraft are regularly inspected and maintained for optimal performance.
It is important for companies operating these helicopters to take every precaution to ensure the safety of their passengers and personnel to minimize the chances of accidents, injuries and deaths occurring.
Rights of Helicopter Accident Victims and Their Families
Offshore workers who are injured in helicopter accidents, and the families of those who have been killed, often aren’t certain about their legal rights. The Louisiana helicopter accident attorneys at Lambert Zainey Smith & Soso can help. We have more than 40 years of experience handling maritime and offshore accidents, as well as aviation accidents. We understand the complexities of these cases and can help you and your family get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Being present and involved in an accident investigation early on is critical to the outcome of a case. The attorneys at Lambert Zainey have the skills and experience needed to assist with the investigation to determine what happened and who is liable. If you or a loved one have been involved in an offshore helicopter accident, please contact us today for a free consultation.