– United Kingdom

Bristow Helicopters Flight 56C, an Aérospatiale AS 332L Super Puma helicopter, registration G-TIGK, operating an offshore flight from Aberdeen Airport (ABZ/EGPD), to Brae Alpha Offshore Installation, North Sea, was descending to the Brae A platform in the North Sea when it was struck by lightning, causing a part of the tail rotor blade to separate.

The resulting heavy vibrations resulted in a fatigue failure of the Tail Gear Box mounting. This resulted in loss of tail rotor drive. The TGB however remained held in place by its hydraulic pipes, avoiding a shift in CG and a catastrophic pitch down.

The two pilots were able to ditch the helicopter in the rough sea. There were no fatalities among the eighteen occupants.

– Report: