On November 6, 1986, the primary flight of the Bristish Airways Boeing Vertol (Chinook) 234 LR was delayed as a result of an oil leak from an engine gearbox that was quickly rectified. Captain Vaid may take off from Sumburgh at 08:58 with 40 passengers for the Brent Field. It was a routine run to the Brent Charlie and Brent Delta platforms once they had been informed to make a further cease at Brent Alpha. The Chinook departed Brent Charlie at 10:22 with 45 passengers on board for return to Sumburgh Airport, transiting at a top of two,500 toes with the co-pilot Neville Nixon doing the flying. Approching Sumburgh the plane was given clearance to land and descended to 500ft. At about 11.30, 2.5 miles from the runway, the crew seen a whining noise coming from the entrance gearbox. A catastrophic failure of ahead transmission led to de-synchronisation of the dual rotors such that the ahead and aft rotor blades collided. As a outcome the aft pylon, full with the aft transmission and rotor system, indifferent from the fuselage. The plane struck the ocean in a tail down perspective with appreciable pressure, broke up and sank. An air rescue helicopter that had taken off from Sumburgh shortly earlier than for a coaching flight, was in a position to rescue two survivors. Capt Vaid and 20-year-old trainee technician Eric Morrans,
Before transferring to Britain, Captain Vaird, was a pilot of the Indian Air Force, in 1971he grew to become a hero of the Indo-Pakistani War. He mentioned “We’d been given clearance to land and descended to about 500ft once we heard this whining noise. It didn’t sound too harmful and we thought we’d ask the engineers to test it out as soon as we landed.
“Our cabin attendant popped within the cockpit to tell us everybody was prepared for the touchdown and heard us speak about it. He mentioned it was coming from above his head the place the entrance gearbox was. I don’t suppose he had time to return to his seat when the rotor blades hit one another. The entrance one had slowed down and ended up hitting the rear one.”
On 10 November the cockpit voice recorder, the cockpit part of the fuselage, the rotors and rotor heads, and the gearboxes and related management methods had been recovered. 44 of the 45 our bodies had been recovered. The accident was brought on by the failure of a modified bevel ring gear within the ahead transmission which allowed the dual rotors to collide when synchronization was misplaced. Captain Vaird was again within the cockpit six months after the tragedy however for the remainder of his flying days, he took November 6 off. In November 2016 as a commemorative service was held on the Oil Chapel within the Kirk of St Nicholas, Aberdeen, he confessed “I didn’t know the passengers, simply the crew, however I pray for them yearly. It’s as if it occurred yesterday, nevertheless it was 30 years in the past.”
The Chinook had been withdrawn from operations within the North Sea after the accident and bought to Columbia Helicopters for heavy raise operations. No additional accidents have been reported.
More than three a long time on, the Chinook crash close to Sumburgh stays the world’s worst civilian helicopter crash and one of many deadliest accident of the oil and gasoline trade.
(Source: The Scotsman/The Express/Wikipedia/BBC)
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