UAE’s aviation authority to investigate helicopter accident in Abu Dhabi

The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has confirmed that it is currently investigating the controlled ditching of a helicopter off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

An AgustaWestland 139 helicopter, operated by Abu Dhabi Aviation, conducted a controlled ditching off the coast of Mubarras Island on April 29, official news agency WAM reported.

The GCAA said that the helicopter, which was transporting oil industry workers, left Abu Dhabi International Airport at approximately 12:05 UAE time with two crew members and five passengers onboard.

It landed at 12:31 on an oil rig where four passengers disembarked.

After departing from the oil rig, the flight crew reportedly received a warning message, and accordingly the commander descended to a lower altitude and diverted to the nearest heliport which was approximately seven minutes away.

During the descent, a mechanical noise was detected and hence the commander decided to conduct a controlled ditching into the water, the GCAA said.

A Mayday call was sent on the emergency radio frequency and the two crew members as well as the passenger exited the helicopter and boarded its emergency raft.

The helicopter was completely immersed in water but the floatation devices kept it afloat until it was recovered by officials.

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