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Offshore helicopter review launched after North Sea deaths including Hampshire man George Allison
OFFSHORE helicopter operations in the North Sea are to be reviewed, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced.
The review follows five accidents in the past four years, the last of which in August this year claimed four lives including Winchester man George Allison.
The 57-year-old, an engineering consultant, of Francis Gardens, Abbotts Barton, who was among four people killed on August 23 while flying from an oil rig to the Shetland Islands.
The CAA said the review will be undertaken jointly 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.
The CAA said today: ''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.''
It added that the review would be led by the CAA's flight operations head Captain Bob Jones who will work closely with Geir Hamre, head of helicopter safety for the Norwegian CAA.
The review will pay particular attention to operators' decision making and internal management, the protection of passengers and crew, pilot training and performance and helicopter airworthiness.
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