Bond suspends pilots after wrong landing

Wrong rig: Bond helicopter reportedly lands nine miles off course

Two Bond Offshore helicopter pilots have been suspended after they missed their landing destination in the North Sea by nine miles, according to a report.

The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, with one passenger on board, was headed to the Nexen-operated Buzzard production platform about 60 miles north of Aberdeen. However, it landed on the harsh environment jack-up Ensco 120, about nine nautical miles away. The rig is also operated by Nexen.

"We can confirm that an S-92 helicopter landed briefly on the deck of the Ensco 120, a platform that was not on its original flight plan," a Bond spokesman said.

Bond told The Scotsman newspaper that the two pilots had been suspended after the unannounced landing while an investigation takes place into how the pilots flew so far off course.

RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy told the newspaper that the mistake "beggars belief".

The rig was apparently fully operational at the time of the landing and the crew were not prepared for a helicopter.

No injuries were reported.

In 2009, 14 passengers and two crew were killed in the crash of a Bond-operated Super Puma L2 helicopter after the gearbox suffered a catastrophic failure returning to Aberdeen from BP's Miller platform.

A report earlier this year by Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle found that the incident could have been prevented.

Pyle said it was "possible" that failures by Bond to follow correct maintenance procedures and to communicate properly with the aircraft manufacturer contributed to the crash.

In May of this year, Bond flight G-REDW was heading from Aberdeen to the Ensco 102 and Maersk Resilient facilities when it carried out a controlled ditching 24 nautical miles offshore, after a loss of gearbox oil pressure.

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