Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bell 206L-4 LongRanger IV, N207MY, Westwind Helicopters: Fatal accident occurred June 11, 2014 in South Tim Bailier Platform, Gulf of Mexico

NTSB Identification: CEN14FA286
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 11, 2014 in South Tim Bailier Platform, GM
Aircraft: BELL 206 L4, registration: N207MY
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 11, 2014, about 1430 central daylight time, a Bell 206L4 helicopter, N207MY, impacted the waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The helicopter was registered to Coy Leasing LLC and operated by Westwind Helicopters, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135. The commercial- rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured and the helicopter was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and company flight following was in effect. The flight departed an oil platform at 1409, and was en route to the South Tim Bailier 317 platform.

A witness who was located on the oil platform reported that he heard the helicopter approach the platform. The helicopter was on a straight in approach to the platform, when the helicopter started to spin in a clockwise direction. The witness added that the helicopter spun 8-10 times, before the helicopter went silent and then dropped to the water.

The helicopter sank and was recovered from about a depth of 380 feet of water. Examination of the helicopter showed extensive damage to the cabin. The tail boom had separated from the main fuselage and was recovered from the surface of the water. One of the main rotor blades, which had separated about four feet from the mast was not recovered. Several sections of the helicopter were not recovered, and included the landing skids, cabin door, and floor.

The wreckage was retrained for further examination.

Rory Bourgeois, 48, of Thibodaux, was on the chopper as part of his job as an air-conditioning technician for BNA Marine Services. 

It will take 12-18 months to determine the cause of the helicopter crash in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday that killed a Thibodaux man and the pilot, federal investigators said. 

The victims were identified as Rory Bourgeois, 48, of Thibodaux, and pilot George LeLoup, whose hometown wasn’t released, National Transportation Safety Board officials said.

The bodies of the victims were found Thursday by divers for Epic Divers & Marine of Belle Chasse and the Coast Guard, authorities said. They had been working aboard an oil industry support boat owned by Bahrain-based Adams Offshore Services.

Investigators have determined the helicopter crashed off an oil rig landing platform about 60 miles south of Terrebonne Bay and sank into the Gulf, said Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the transportation agency. It was unclear where the helicopter had taken off, and the rig’s owner wasn’t identified.

This is the only helicopter crash in the Gulf this year, Weiss said.

Bourgeois was flying in the Bell 206-L4 as part of his job as an air-conditioning technician for BNA Marine Services, an Amelia company that handles mechanical and repair needs for the marine industry.

“Rory was a great man and a great technician,” said Jay Schexnayder, BNA Marine Services chief financial officer.

BNA Marine Service officials declined to comment on the investigation.

Weiss said data from the crash will be analyzed to determine why it happened.

“Our investigator will document the wreckage and accident scene, interview witnesses and look at radar data and the history of the flight,” Weiss said.

Autopsies and toxicology tests will be performed on the two victims, and investigators will try to determine their activities in the 72 hours leading to the crash, he said.

A preliminary report with a hypothesized cause of the crash will be released in about a week, he said.


FAA Baton Rouge FSDO-03

Bell 206-L4, N207MY: Rotorcraft struck a parked aircraft – Incident occurred November 19, 2012 in Austin, Texas 

  Regis#: 207MY        Make/Model: B206      Description: BELL 206B HELICOPTER
  Date: 11/19/2012     Time: 1630

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Minor

  City: AUSTIN   State: TX   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Taxi      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: SAN ANTONIO, TX  (SW17)               Entry date: 11/20/2012

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Westwind Helicopters Inc. has released the names of the two victims killed in a Wednesday afternoon helicopter crash in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The company identified the dead as George LeLoup, the pilot, and Rory Bourgeois, an HVAC Technician with BNA Marine Services.

Westwind said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Ron T. Capehart, Westwind’s attorney, said in a statement received by The Advertiser the company is working with the National Transportation Safety Board to determine what caused the aircraft to go down as it approached a rig about 60 miles south of Terrebonne Bay.


The owner of the helicopter that crashed in the US Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday said it is investigating the cause of the accident that killed two people.

Texas-based Westwind Helicopters said in a statement on Thursday that is working alongside the US National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause of the crash of the Bell 206-L4 aircraft.

The aircraft went down on Wednesday afternoon as it was approaching a platform in South Timbalier Block 317 owned by Renaissance Offshore and operated by Wood Group, which had contracted out transportation duties to Westwind.

The helicopter sunk between 150 and 200 yards from the production platform. The bodies of the pilot and a passenger were recovered. Both "sustained fatal injuries", Westwind said.

"The deceased have been recovered thanks to the tireless efforts of US Coast Guard first responders and others on the scene," the company said in a statement. "Everyone at Westwind offers their deepest condolences to the families and friends of our pilot and the passenger, and we are keeping those affected in our prayers during this difficult time."

The incident occurred about 90 miles south of Houma, Louisiana.

It was the second time a Westwind-owned helicopter hit the water in as many weeks. On 30 May, one of the company's aircraft made a "hard landing" on a platform about 45 miles south-east of Marsh Island, Louisiana, and subsequently fell off.

Six people were aboard but none were injured. All were safely evacuated.


A dive team assisting the U.S. Coast Guard with the search for two people on board a helicopter that went down in the Gulf found two bodies this morning.

A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said he cannot confirm yet whether the bodies are the two missing from the helicopter crash. The search began yesterday after a helicopter crashed in the South Timbalier Block 317 area of the Gulf of Mexico, about 60 miles south of Terrebonne Parish.

Oil rig workers who reported the crash said they deployed a life raft, but the chopper sank before the life raft could get there.

The dive team was on board the Adam Challenger vessel, one of several Good Samaritan boats that was helping the U.S. Coast Guard in its search. Divers found the bodies between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Westwind Helicopters, the owner of the helicopter, has not responded to requests for comment.


Coast Guard continues through night search for downed helicopter 

GULF OF MEXICO -- The Coast Guard is still searching for two people on a helicopter that crashed and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.

It happened about 60 miles south of Terrebonne Bay.

The crew of a nearby rig reported the crash Wednesday afternoon. The aircraft reportedly sank before the rig crew could get to it.

The aerial search for the missing men has been suspended because of darkness, but an ocean vessel will continue to search through the night.


The US Coast Guard is responding to a downed helicopter in the Gulf of Mexico that had two people on board and was contracted to Wood Group.

The Bell model 206-L4 ditched about 60 miles south of Terrebonne Bay in Louisiana, in South Timbalier Block 317, the Coast Guard said.

"Crew members on the rig deployed a life raft and reported the aircraft sank below the water," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

It was not clear whether the life raft was deployed from a drilling rig or a production platform.

The incident was reported to the Coast Guard at 2:40 pm local time.

A Wood Group spokesperson confirmed to Upstream that the helicopter had been contracted by the company and had gone down as it approached the South Timbalier 317 platform.

"Two people, the pilot and a passenger, were on board and a vessel with divers and medical personnel is currently searching the area for them," she said, adding no Wood Group personnel were onboard the downed helicopter.

Read more here: 

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is responding to a downed civilian helicopter with two people aboard, 60 miles south of Terrebonne Bay, Wednesday. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received the report at 2:40 p.m. of a downed helicopter, Bell model 206-L4, containing two people aboard near South Timbalier Block 317. Crewmembers on the rig deployed a life raft and reported the aircraft sank below the water.

Sector watchstanders launched a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, a HC-130 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama, and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Grand Isle, Louisiana, to assist in the search.

Two Good Samaritan vessels are aiding with the search.