THE partners of the two pilots who were killed in the Super Puma helicopter disaster two years ago have raised a multi-million-pound legal action against the aviation company which employed the two men, it was revealed yesterday.
Paul Burnham, 31, the captain of the Super Puma, and co-pilot Richard Menzies, 24, were amongst the 16 men who died.
The aircraft, operated by Bond Offshore Helicopters, plunged into the North Sea on its way back to Aberdeen from BP’s Miller oil platform.
All 14 oil workers on the helicopter also died when it crashed 14 miles from the Buchan coast, leading to the biggest loss of life in a helicopter accident in the North Sea for 20 years.
Joanne McKenzie, Mr Burnham’s partner, and Katherine Botham, Mr Menzies’ partner, have now raised a legal action against Bond Offshore Helicopters at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
It is understood the compensation figure being sought, calculated on the basis of the pilots’ salaries until retirement age, may total more than £2 million in each case.
Ms McKenzie lived with her fiancé Mr Burnham in the Aberdeenshire village of Methlick before the crash.
She said: “There is no amount of money that could bring Paul back. However, my life was turned upside down after his death.
“We moved to Aberdeenshire because of Paul’s job. When he died, I went to London. I had to rethink my whole life.”
Ms Botham, 26, whose partner was from Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, said: “Losing Richard has affected my whole life and not a day goes by without me thinking of him.
“Some days it can feel like I am back at square one, but I have had wonderful support from my family and friends and from Richard’s family.”