Searchers on Monday located the body of a pilot whose helicopter, which is used to transport oil and gas workers from platforms in Gulf of Mexico, crashed on Monday.
Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received the initial report at 4:13 p.m. on Memorial Day from boaters in the area that a helicopter had crashed 35 miles southwest of Grand Isle.
The Coast Guard was able to confirm that the helicopter belonged to PHI Inc., one of the leading providers of helicopter support services to the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico, and had only one person onboard at the time.
A good samaritan dive team from Oceaneering’s DSV Ocean Inspector later located the body of the pilot inside the aircrafts cockpit.
PHI confirmed the incident and said only that the specific helicopter that crashed was used to transport people as part of the company’s oil and gas division. Additional details are expected to be released shortly.
With bases spanning the entire Gulf Coast region, PHI transports over 1,000,000 passengers each year according to the company website.
In 2009, a PHI Sikorsky S-76C++ crashed while en route to an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico with two pilots and seven passengers, killing all but one of its passengers. The NTSB later determined that the accident was likely caused by a bird strike.