Monday, December 19, 2022

Bell 206L-4 LongRanger, N414RL: Accident occurred December 15, 2022 in Patterson, Louisiana

National Transportation Safety Board - Accident Number CEN23LA064

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

During an attempt to depart an oil rig, one of the skids got caught under the perimeter railing, sending the helicopter into the water, Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana. 

Date: 15-DEC-22
Time: 14:30:00Z
Regis#: N414RL
Aircraft Make: BELL
Aircraft Model: 206
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: UNKNOWN
Flight Crew: 1 Unknown Injuries 
Pax:  2 Unknown Injuries 
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 135

Three people aboard a helicopter that went down while trying to take off from a Gulf of Mexico oil platform escaped serious injury Thursday, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard in New Orleans said it received a call at 8:39 a.m. from Rotorcraft Leasing Co., which owns the helicopter, reporting the crash, which happened about 30 miles from Terrebonne Bay.

An initial Coast Guard report said the evacuees were in a life raft awaiting rescue.

A Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter from New Orleans rushed to the scene, and its crew hoisted the passengers from their life raft then took them to the Houma-Terrebonne Airport. Emergency medical personnel checked on them. One of the individuals was reported to have a back injury and, according to information gathered by The Courier and Daily Comet, at least one was transported to Terrebonne General Medical Center.

All of the individuals, including the downed helicopter's pilot, were in stable condition, the Coast Guard said.

"The coordination between our watch standers and the Air Station New Orleans helicopter crew was key to the quick response and rescue of the passengers," said Lt. j.g. Sadie Simons, a Sector New Orleans command duty officer. "After an incident this serious in nature, we are happy all three passengers are back home and safe for the holidays."

The Federal Aviation Administration logged an initial report Friday citing a preliminary cause. It says the Bell 206 L-4helicopter was trying to take off from an oil platform when one of its skids “got caught under the perimeter railing, sending the helicopter into the water.”

When the Coast Guard helicopter arrived, the pilot and two passengers were hoisted up to the aircraft from the raft, the FAA report says.

RLC is based in Broussard and one of its terminals is at the South Lafourche Leonard Miller Jr. Airport in Galliano. Attempts to reach company officials for details and also to determine whether the flight had originated in Galliano were unsuccessful.

RLC flies Bell and Sikorsky helicopters and its materials state that it is the largest helicopter company in the Gulf of Mexico region.

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