Helicopter Crashes Into Gulf of Mexico, Pilot & Passenger Killed
Last Sunday, a helicopter owned and operated by Bristow Group Inc. crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. The accident occurred around noon as the helicopter was transporting one passenger and the craft’s pilot between Galliano and Venice, Louisiana. The helicopter was a Bell 407 registered with the number N577AL.
Currently, the cause of the crash is not known, and the FAA and NTSB are investigating the incident. Officials identified the passenger as a Houma, Louisiana resident. His body was recovered immediately after the accident. The man worked for Talos Energy. Bristow Group has not yet revealed the identity of the pilot and crews recovered their body hours after the crash.
What Do Talos Energy & Bristow Group Inc. Do?
On its website, Bristow Group Inc. identifies itself as “the leading provider of industrial aviation services.” The company offers helicopter transportation, search and rescue, and aircraft services to government and public organizations worldwide. Baristow Group is a significant provider of transport for offshore workers between land and sea worksites.
Talos Energy is an oil and gas company which focuses its operations in the offshore arena. It operates in the waters of the Gulf Coast, predominantly near Louisiana.
Offshore Helicopter Crashes: Placing Workers at Risk
Accidents involving helicopters transporting offshore workers are not uncommon. One study found that there were 178 helicopter crashes between 1983 and 2009 in the Gulf of Mexico region. These accidents claimed 139 lives.
The study found the cause of these accidents to be the following:
- Pilot error (47%)
- Mechanical failure (38%)
- Weather (16%)
This study revealed that there is much work that needs to be done to protect the lives of pilots and offshore workers during transport by helicopter. The rate of crashes caused by pilot error and mechanical failure is too high. Transportation companies should be taking every step to properly train their pilots and maintain their crafts to prevent accidents.
The offshore helicopter accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin will continue to follow this story as investigators work to identify its cause.