Oil Rig Flying

Today, for no particular reason, we’ll be watching a few videos of helicopters landing on oil rigs.

This is a Sikorsky 92 making a landing on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Note the firefighters on standby while they refuel the bird. Fire on an oil rig is bad news.

The North Sea is a rich, but dangerous, oilfield. Here’s a helicopter making a landing on a North Sea oil rig. (The action really warms up at 3:07.)

Here’s a great in-cockpit video of an approach to an offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

And another showing an aerial view of the approach and a rig view of the landing and subsequent departure. Music isn’t my favorite but the footage is decent.

On occasion, rough operating conditions can overcome the helicopters. More than one helicopter has ditched or crashed into the sea while flying to and from oil platforms. Luckily, all 14 aboard during this Super Puma ditching survived.

While I have mixed feelings about deepwater oil extraction and the petrochemical industry in general, oil keeps civilization as we know it alive. Green energy holds a lot of promise for the future, and I strongly suspect that we will be seeing a lot less oil usage after the next 20-50 years go by for a variety of reasons. But until that happens oil keeps the modern world running. 

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