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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 06:36 GMT
Helicopter probe into 'ship landing'
Super Puma helicopter
The helicopter flipped over on its side
BBC Scotland has learned that an investigation into a helicopter accident is focusing on the ship it was attempting to land on.

The helicopter toppled over after it landed on a drilling ship to the west of Shetland, and a result one of the crew suffered a broken leg.

Now BBC Scotland has learned that the Air Accident Investigations Branch (AAIB) is focusing on the failure of a navigational system on the West Navion ship last month.

The incident, involving a Super Puma helicopter, happened on a routine flight to transport oil workers.

The West Navion
The inquiry is focusing on the ship

An AAIB bulletin reveals that five minutes after the aircraft touched down on the helideck the ship's Dynamic Position System (DPS) lost control of its heading.

DPS is a computerised system which uses signals from satellites to keep a ship on a steady course or in a precise location.

The West Navion began to drift slowly to the right and developed a list of one degree to starboard.

The helicopter then toppled over to the right. Its rotors struck the helideck and debris were sent flying.

The co-pilot was struck and suffered a broken leg.

The drilling ship is owned by Norwegian company Smedveg and is operated by BP.

The investigation is continuing.

See also:

12 Nov 01 | Scotland
Helicopter accident probe begins
11 Nov 01 | Scotland
Pilot injured in helicopter accident
08 Nov 01 | Scotland
Pay offer for strike threat pilots
03 Oct 00 | Scotland
Helicopter rescue plan on hold
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