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Tue, Jan 06, 2009

PHI S76 Offshore Accident Claims 8 Lives

The Sunday loss of a PHI Sikorsky S76 has cost 8 lives, with one other person known to be hanging on for survival. Weather does not seem to have been much of a factor and little is known about potential causes.

PHI reported the following: 

On Sunday, January 4, 2009, at approximately 2:10 pm, a PHI, Inc. Sikorsky S76 medium transport helicopter was involved in a fatal accident approximately 10 miles south of Morgan City, LA. The flight was outbound from PHI’s Amelia, LA operating base to Shell’s South Timbalier 300 Block offshore platform. There were seven (7) passengers and two (2) PHI pilots on board. Eight souls perished in the accident, and there is one survivor who is in critical condition at a Louisiana hospital.

The passengers were working for two different companies, Dynamic Industries (“Dynamic”) and MMR Offshore Services (“MMR”). The surviving passenger is Steven Yeltin of Floresville, TX, who works for Dynamic. Those who perished are listed below:

  • Allen Boudreaux Ama, LA Dynamic
  • Andrew Moricio Morgan City, LA Dynamic
  • Ezequiel Cantu Morgan City, LA Dynamic
  • Randy Tarpley Jonesville, LA Dynamic
  • Charles W. Nelson Pensacola, FL MMR
  • Jorey A. Rivere Bridge City, LA MMR
  • Thomas E. Ballenger Eufaula, AL PHI Pilot-in-Command
  • Vyarl W. Martin Hurst, TX PHI Second-in Command

The cause of the accident is unknown and is under investigation by the Company and the NTSB. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of the families of those who were on board the aircraft. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Initial FAA Accident Summary

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 748P        Make/Model: S76       Description: S-76, H-76, AUH-76, Spirit, Eagle (HE-24
  Date: 01/04/2009     Time: 2040
  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown
LOCATION
  City: AMELIA   State: LA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  N748P, A SIKORSKY S-76C ROTORCRAFT WHILE ENROUTE TO OFFSHORE OIL PLATFORM,
  THERE WERE 9 PERSONS ON BOARD, 8 WERE FATALLY INJURED, AND ONE SUSTAINED
  SERIOUS INJURIES, 10 MILES FROM AMELIA, LA

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   8
                 # Crew:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   9     Fat:   8     Ser:   1     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
WEATHER: KMSY 042053Z 17010KT 10SM FEW025 SCT130 BKN200 23/18 A3006
OTHER DATA
  Activity: Business      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER
  FAA FSDO: BATON ROUGE, LA  (SW03)               Entry date: 01/05/2009

FMI: www.phihelico.com

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