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Home* News and Stories → Cra­s­hed heli­c­op­ter pro­ba­b­ly found

Cra­s­hed heli­c­op­ter pro­ba­b­ly found

The Rus­si­an heli­c­op­ter that cra­s­hed on Thurs­day after­noon is pro­ba­b­ly found. Search-and-res­cue forces sen­sed a strong smell of fuel and saw air bubbles coming to the water sur­face at a cer­tain posi­ti­on in the area in ques­ti­on, in Isfjord, about 2-3 km from the heli­c­op­ter base at Heerod­den. A ship has found an object on the sea flo­or with the echo­lot that could be the wreck of the heli­c­op­ter or a part of it. This needs to be con­firm­ed, though. The depth is bet­ween 200 and 250 met­res, far bey­ond the reach of divers.

Alre­a­dy during the night, a diving robot (ROV = Remo­te­ly Ope­ra­ted Vehic­le) was brought from main­land Nor­way to Lon­gye­ar­by­en with a SAS pla­ne. The ROV will be ope­ra­ted at the alle­ged acci­dent site as soon as pos­si­ble. This has pro­ba­b­ly alre­a­dy hap­pen­ed at the time of wri­ting (08.30 local time on Fri­day mor­ning) or it may be going on right now.

The­re were 8 per­sons on board the heli­c­op­ter, and the search after sur­vi­vors is going on. SAR forces are sear­ching the near­by coast, east of Heerod­den. Heli­c­op­ters and ships are scan­ning the water. Accor­ding to all that is known, the worst has to be feared, but all efforts are taken to find sur­vi­vors. The Rus­si­an heli­c­op­ter was of the type MI-8, which is equip­ped with a life raft and with lif­ting bodies that keep the heli­c­op­ter afloat at least for a while in case of a con­trol­led emer­gen­cy landing on the water sur­face. The fact that no emer­gen­cy signal was released by the crew makes it howe­ver doubtful that it was a con­trol­led emer­gen­cy landing. A sud­den, uncon­trol­led crash seems likely. Wit­nesses say they have heard a loud noi­se like a bang at the time in ques­ti­on.

Next to the 2 Nor­we­gi­an SAR heli­c­op­ters, the­re is a num­ber of ships and boats in the area: Polar­sys­sel (Sys­sel­man­nen), coast guard and boats from the tou­rism indus­try in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Initi­al­ly, the visi­bi­li­ty was redu­ced by snow fall, but the wea­ther is by now quite good, with litt­le wind and clear visi­bi­li­ty. The polar night has begun a cou­ple of days ago, so even around noon, the sun remains below the hori­zon, making light very scar­ce.

Light con­di­ti­ons in Isfjord during the polar night around noon. The bright light is the moon. (Archi­ve image.)

Polar night, Isfjord.

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten



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last modification: 2017-10-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange