Navigation Links
Oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico claim 139 lives in helicopter crashes
Date:9/12/2011

A new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that helicopters that service the drilling platforms and vessels in the Gulf of Mexico crash on average more than six times per year resulting in an average of 5 deaths per year. From 1983 to 2009, 178 crashes resulted in 139 deaths, including 41 pilots and 3 co-pilots. Mechanical failure was the most common cause, leading to 68 crashes (38 percent of the total), followed by bad weather (16 percent of the total). While the challenges such as bad weather and long travel distances associated with helicopter flights in the Gulf related to oil and gas operations are recognized, this study is noteworthy for examining the circumstances of the crashes. The article is published in the September issue of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, examined fatal and nonfatal crash records of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) from 1983 to 2009. Analyses determined that the most common result of mechanical failure in both fatal and nonfatal crashes was loss of engine power, which occurred in almost one-third of fatal crashes. The majority of forced landings following mechanical failure occurred in water, with 20 percent resulting in the sinking of the helicopter despite the fact that most helicopters are being equipped with pilot-activated flotation devices.

Bad weather was the second most common precipitating factor for fatal and nonfatal crashes and was responsible for the largest number of deaths. In fact, bad weather was the only factor that significantly increased the risk of pilot death when a crash occurred. Pilot error was a major contributor to 83 crashes (47 percent), with poor decision-making the most prevalent error. For example, the NTSB conclusion for many of the bad-weather crashes was that the pilot should not proceeded in given the forecast or observed bad weather.

"This study raises concern about the safety of helicopter flights related to oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly during bad weather," said Susan P. Baker, MPH, professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy and the paper's lead author. "Our findings suggest that efforts to reduce crashes and deaths must address mechanical failure, non-activation of flotation devices, and pilot error." Baker is a licensed private pilot and received the Aerospace Medical Association's Harry G. Moseley Award in 2010 for her work applying the public health model to aviation safety.

The researchers also examined crash trends over the study time period and found an increase in the most recent time period, 8.2 annually during 2000 to 2009 versus 5.6 during 1983 to 1999. Following 2007, however, the researchers measured a decrease in crashes.

"While the apparent deterioration in safety over time is alarming, I am encouraged by the most recent data," said Baker. "Only time will tell whether this is a temporary statistical blip or the beginning of a positive trend."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tim Parsons
tmparson@jhsph.edu
410-955-6878
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Accelitech's 2nd New Jersey CyberKnife Site Commences Operations
2. Conference Focuses on Aligning Two Smartest, Most Expensive Operations
3. Cymetrix Board Member Recognized for Enhancing the Growth and Operations of the Companies He Advises
4. CEIT-IK4 designs tool for operations on people with severe or profound auditory loss
5. Complex Spinal Operations Soar Despite Drawbacks
6. R-Biopharm Group Purchases a Majority Ownership in Trilogy Lab, Expanding US Operations
7. Aerohive Networks Appoints Dr. Lin Jiang as Vice President of Technical Operations
8. Study finds patients benefit from thorough discussion of recommended operations
9. Drug trial results refine treatment during angioplasty operations
10. Referral to high-volume hospitals for operations fails to improve outcomes statewide
11. New tool helps surgeons predict patients risk of complications after bariatric operations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/6/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... Shark ... to announce the launch of a new DRTV campaign with Belly Bands. , Having ... tried everything from sprays to puppy pads and find nothing works, get Belly ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Love is in the air at King Kullen! The local ... packaging. This staple for Valentine’s Day is a must-have, and can be picked up ... not only are long-stem roses available, but also other flower bouquets, elegantly wrapped and ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Successful recruitment and ... clinical and scientific initiatives have all marked the last 12 months at Roswell ... CEO of the nation’s oldest cancer center, Candace S. Johnson, PhD, outlined the ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... addition of micro-needling services in their Napa Valley office. The technique utilizes the ... Surgery Associates, Dr. Canales and Dr. Furnas, are part of only a select ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... After years as an active staff surgeon and having served as the director ... transitioned to chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at what is now known ... began a second three-year term in January of 2016. , The original selection was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)...  ivWatch, a medical devices company, is one of five ... Governor Terry McAuliffe,s office. ivWatch will be receiving ... an event to be held at the Science Museum of ... and business that have made significant contributions to science. ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160205/330117LOGO ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Ala. , Feb. 5, 2016  Patients in ... high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapy no longer have to ... to announce its partnership with Urology Centers of Alabama ... the newly FDA-cleared procedure for qualifying patients. ... their expertise in the treatment of prostate cancer using many ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016 ... of the "Global Musculoskeletal Partnering 2010-2016: ... profile to their offering. --> ... of the "Global Musculoskeletal Partnering 2010-2016: ... profile to their offering. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: