Human Factors Engineering Team Studies Risks to Offshore Flight Safety
Learn how ABS Group's Human Factors Engineering (HFE) team provided an analysis of offshore rotorcraft safety for operations on the US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) had compiled data indicating that numerous mishaps involving helicopter operations on or near offshore facilities have resulted in fatalities, injuries and substantial property damage and was a leading cause of death for offshore workers according to the Center for Disease Control. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that several of these mishaps were due to helicopter engine ingestion of associated petroleum gases (APG). As a result of the APG ingestion mishaps, the NTSB sent safety recommendations to BSEE and the US Coast Guard to address occurrences of total or partial loss of engine power on turbine-powered helicopters.
Following the NTSB safety recommendations, ABS Group conducted an assessment of potential effects to helicopter operations of methane and other APG on or near OCS helidecks to identify and eliminate risk. The technical analysis required an engineering evaluation of the effect of methane ingestion on the power output of helicopter turboshaft engines and pilot performance by a team of independent human factors engineers.
- Address flight safety issue of fatalities and airframe losses due to methane ingestion
- Need to promote safety of industry and government workers during OCS activities
- Need to understand the safety of flight issues and possible mitigation strategies
Examine all regulations and standards related to helideck construction that address placement of methane vents or other sources of combustible gasses in relation to helidecks
Determine known methane to volume concentration parameters hazardous to flight operations and the effect of methane ingestion on turboshaft engines' power output
Evaluate monitoring and sensor technologies and investigate mitigation strategies