Bristow has acknowledged that "a number of our clients have received a letter" from Nigeria's National Petroleum Investment Management Services asking them to terminate the company's helicopter services, telling R&WI it has "engaged the authority and other government officials on the matter."
The directive followed the Feb. 3 crash of a Bristow Sikorsky Aircraft S-76 C++ in the Atlantic en route from an offshore platform to Lagos. The nine passengers and two crew members survived the water landing. Bristow confirmed a Nigerian news report that the National Petroleum Investment Management Services had written oil-industry companies directing them to end contracts with the helicopter operator pending completion of the accident investigation.
Last August, two pilots and four of 10 passengers were killed when a Bristow S-76C from an offshore platform crashed in Lagos Lagoon. After the latest crash, Nigerian authorities temporarily suspended Bristow's S-76 operations.
Bristow said it is in full compliance of all Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority regulatory requirements and Sikorsky operating directives and is cooperating fully with Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau in its investigation into the Feb. 3 accident.
Additionally, Bristow said it is conducting additional safety assurance checks on the S-76 fleet as a precaution prior to returning the aircraft to service. It said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has performed a comprehensive audit, and has authorized Bristow to start test flights of the S-76C++.