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Helicopters: Accidents

Volume 501: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport when the draft Air Accident Investigation Branch report on the Etap field helicopter incident will be with the statutory recipients; and when he expects to publish the final version. (301114)

The accident occurred on 18 February 2009 and is the subject of an inspector’s investigation. The Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 1996 state that a report on an investigation should be made public in the shortest time possible (and if possible, within 12 months of the date of the accident or serious incident).

The subject investigation is complex in nature and requires significant consultation with Eurocopter, the helicopter manufacturer. This has introduced some delays to the investigation process. While it is difficult to predict the future time scale for concluding the outstanding technical issues it is hoped that the draft report will be ready for distribution to the statutory recipients by March 2010. Publication of the final report typically occurs three months after representations have been received and considered but it dependent on the issues raised by those consulted.