Helicopter accident near Barentsburg: Update 31.10.2017

Update 31st of October 2017 regarding accident with Mi-8AMT registration RA-22312.

The investigation led by the Accident Investigation Board Norway is established on site with the Russian accredited representative and advisors from the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) participating in the team. The investigation team has started collecting information via interviews, recorded radio communication and documentation. As a result of the search and rescue operations, the helicopter was found at a depth 209 meters approximately 2 km off the coastline North East of Kapp Heer. The ship, Maersk Forza, equipped with Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and a compensated crane is chartered to perform the recovery operation. A specialist from the Russian helicopter manufacturing company will be on site to give lifting recommendations to maintain the wreckage integrity during the operation. Divers from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations (EMERCOM) will assist during the recovery to ensure that no parts are lost in this phase.

Maersk Forza is expected to arrive Svalbard Thursday the 2nd of November. The recovery operation will commence as soon as the ship is positioned over the accident site.

The wreckage will be transported accompanied by a representative from AIBN to a suitable facility on the Norwegian mainland for further investigation performed by investigators from AIBN and IAC.

At this stage, the investigation is focusing on the meteorological conditions at the time and site of the accident, the technical condition of the helicopter, and the experience and qualification of the pilots.

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