A Brief History
On January 19, 1995, a Bristow Helicopters Eurocopter AS332L Super Puma suffered a terrifying lightning strike while transporting 16 oil workers and a crew of two from Aberdeen, Scotland to an offshore oil rig. Much like the more famous “Miracle on the Hudson” in 2009, the skilled pilot was able to make a water landing and saved all on board.
Unlike the Hudson River, the North Sea is farther from shore and considerably rougher, with far fewer folks around to conduct an immediate rescue. The icy cold water in January could kill survivors within minutes of immersion, but the helo was equipped with an inflatable life raft and all on board were able to get into the raft.
The rescue ship, Grampian Freedom, deserves much credit for finding the raft in the high seas and vague location given. Pilot Cedric Roberts is a hero that saved 18 lives.
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever flown in a helicopter? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Goebel, Greg. Puma, Cougar, Dauphin, & Panther. Kindle, 2023.
Whyte, Greg. Fatal Traps for Helicopter Pilots. McGraw Hill, 2006.
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