Accident Sikorsky S-76B PH-KHB, 20 Dec 1997
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 787
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Time:17:29 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic S76 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Sikorsky S-76B
Owner/operator:KLM/Era Helicopters
Registration: PH-KHB
MSN: 760340
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 8
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea near platform L7-A, NE of Noord-Holland -   Netherlands
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:platform L4-A
Destination airport:platform L7-A
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On 20 December 1997 the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter was conducting a series of shuttle flight sorties between rigs and platforms over the North Sea in the K5 and Pentacon field area.

During the fifth sortie, after sunset and in dark night conditions, the final approach to production platform L7-A resulted in a go around. After a left turn a second approach was initiated. After power reduction to loose height and speed in a relatively short time the helicopter lost almost all forward speed and entered a steep descent towards the sea. Realization of this situation was too late and the application of collective power could not prevent the helicopter entering the water.

The aircraft capsized after impact (rolling to the right) as the floats were not armed (water temperature +7 ºC; wave height 1.5 to 2 metres). Crew and passengers were able to evacuate the helicopter but unable to launch either internal liferaft (both of which were at the right hand side). They were able to climb on the upturned helicopter but it sank after about 10 minutes. Pax survival suits were said to have leaked. After approximately one hour in the water they were picked up by a supply vessel. During this period one passenger died due to hypothermia and drowning.

Probable Cause

The accident most probably was initiated by a large power reduction during the turn to final to platform L7-A thereby creating the onset for a high rate of descent, which went unnoticed by the crew.
When the crew realised the situation, the application of collective power reduced the sink rate but came too late to prevent the helicopter hitting the water.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

21-Jan-2008 10:00 ASN archive Added
13-Aug-2009 10:56 harro Updated
12-Jun-2010 11:43 TB Updated [Aircraft type, Other fatalities]
12-Jun-2010 11:54 TB Updated [Operator]
12-Jun-2010 11:54 TB Updated [Nature]
29-Sep-2013 18:14 RobertMB Updated [Time, Narrative]
07-Oct-2014 14:16 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
17-Apr-2016 17:41 Aerossurance Updated [Location, Narrative]
19-Jun-2022 04:39 Ron Averes Updated [Location]

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