The oil company seminar

On the fringes of Heli-Expo 2008 in Houston, Eurocopter organised a meeting with the world of oil & gas. Operational safety was the theme of this special seminar.


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Even today, Eurocopter’s accident rate is significantly lower than that of the competition, However, the stated aim of the fleet safety department led by Jean-Pierre Dedieu is to slash this rate by half over the next ten years, not just for new helicopters but for the older range as well.
“One of the things we will do is work directly with the oil companies for whom safety is always a concern,” explains Jean-Pierre Dedieu. “Hence the idea of this seminar, which was held the day before Heli- Expo 2008.”
About 40 participants from some ten oil companies met up in Houston in February. The meeting began with a comprehensive briefing on the accident rates, with a presentation of Eurocopter’s results in the oil & gas segment. In the case of accidents due to technical defects or maintenance errors, the Eurocopter accident rate is three times lower than the average for its competitors, whereas for accidents resulting from human error during operations, the figures are the same.
“We also decided to offer these customers greater access to technical information about our aircraft,” continues Jean-Pierre Dedieu. “Representatives from companies, particularly those based in the US who are less familiar with Eurocopter, will be able to take technical familiarisation courses for our helicopters.” Finally, the working relationship forged by the seminar addressed the issue of setting up new standards for oil & gas equipment and for training crews and technicians, which in time will further improve the level of safety.
All participants felt that the seminar had been very instructive, and the event is to become an annual feature at the opening of Heli-Expo.


_AUTHOR: ALEXANDRE MARCHAND