Helicopters Magazine

Features Procedures Safety & Training
Families want deadly 1985 chopper crash recognized

March 14, 2012  By CBC News

March 14, 2012, Placenta Bay, N.L. - Some Newfoundland and Labrador families are marking an offshore helicopter disaster that they say has never been properly memorialized.

Twenty-seven years ago on March 13, 1985, six offshore oil industry workers died when a Bell helicopter crashed after leaving the Bow Drill oilrig in Placentia Bay.

Hilda Buckles’s husband was one of the people who died that day.

It upsets Buckles that the Cougar 491crash that killed 17 offshore workers on March 12, 2009 is often described as "the province's first offshore oil industry chopper crash.”

"Both moms of the pilots are now in their 80s, every year it seems to get more stressful on them, and with the anniversary date coming, they would love to have some acknowledgement of their sons' passing,” she said.


When the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry Commissioner Robert Wells learned about the earlier offshore helicopter crash, he amended his report to acknowledge the 1985 incident and held an emotional meeting with the families to apologize for not including them in the inquiry.

The six families affected have also been told their loved ones will be recognized in future memorials.

Buckle said that news has brought her comfort at a time when reminders of her loss are all around her.


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