Boss of firm in helicopter incidents steps down

THE managing director of the North Sea helicopter company which has been at the centre of three major offshore incidents in the past three years, has quit his post.

Bond Aviation announced yesterday that Bill Munro, who has been managing director of Bond Offshore Helicopters since 2007, was stepping down as a review of the company’s operations was being launched.

Two years after he became head of the helicopter company, a Bond-operated Super Puma crashed and the two pilots and 14 oil workers on board were killed in the worst helicopter disaster in the North Sea for two decades.

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That same year another Super Puma, carrying 15 oilmen and two pilots, ditched in the North Sea 125 miles east of Aberdeen. Fortunately, all survived. And earlier this month another of the company’s Super Puma fleet was involved in a dramatic controlled ditching 25 miles east of Aberdeen after the pilot reported a low oil pressure problem shortly after taking off from Aberdeen’s heliport.

No reason has been given for Mr Munro’s surprise departure. He could not be contacted for comment last night. He is understood to have announced his decision to resign last Friday.

A spokesman for Bond Aviation announced that Richard Mintern, chief executive of the Monarch Travel Group, would be replacing Geoff Williams as chief executive of the company, adding: “Bill Munro has decided to step aside as managing director of Bond Offshore Helicopters.”

He said: “Malcolm Paine, director of operations at the [helicopter] company, will assume leadership of the business with immediate effect. Paine brings an extensive knowledge of Bond Offshore Helicopters and its operations, as well as strong relationships with its customers.”