Helicopter crashes near Gulf of Mexico oil rig platform

May 29th, 2012 - 8:13 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (BNO NEWS) — A helicopter used to transport workers crashed near an oil rig platform in the Gulf of Mexico on late Monday afternoon, killing the pilot, officials said on Tuesday. No one else was on board the aircraft.

The accident happened at approximately 4:05 p.m. local time when the Bell 206 aircraft struck the skirting of an oil rig platform approximately 65 nautical miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Grand Isle in Louisiana, causing it to crash into the Gulf of Mexico.

Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said the pilot was the only person on board the helicopter, which was registered to helicopter services company PHI, Inc. in Lafayette. A volunteer dive team recovered the body of the pilot about four hours after the crash.

The pilot, whose identity was not immediately released, was flying to the oil rig platform to pick up a number of workers, officials said. Lunsford said there was good visibility at the time of the crash, and it was not immediately clear what may have caused the accident.

In January 2009, eight people were killed when a PHI helicopter bound for offshore oil fields crashed in a marshy area near Bayou Penchant in Louisiana, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of New Orleans. One person survived the accident but was critically injured.

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