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MSF: Near-miss – supply vessel in path of helicopter making approach to platform

The Marine Safety Forum has published the following safety flash regarding an incident in which a helicopter aborted an approach to a fixed installation because a supply vessel was positioned inside the ‘go around’ and take-off flight path.

Even though an engine failure is a rare and unlikely event, helicopters are always flown so that they can suffer an engine failure and safely ‘fly-away’ on its remaining engine. If a helicopter suffers a single engine failure at low speed (for example during the take-off and landing), then it needs to ‘dive’ on the speed and is likely to use all of the height between it and the surface to achieve this. Therefore, if a vessel is positioned within the helicopters ‘go-around’ flight path then there is a risk of collision during a single engine ‘go-around’.

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