Bond: Findings not proved beyond reasonable doubt

The helicopter operator heavily criticised by an inquiry into the North Sea helicopter crash in 2009 said the findings did not prove their responsibility beyond reasonable doubt.

Read: Helicopter operator failures blamed for fatal crash

In a statement, Bond Offshore said:

Although Sheriff Principal Pyle has indicated that spalling was, on balance, the most likely reason for the catastrophic gearbox failure which caused the accident - a view not shared by the independent Air Accidents Investigation Branch - he did not find that this was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Additionally, he determined that even if we had followed the correct procedure it is by no means certain that the gearbox would have been removed, as there may not have been sufficient evidence of particles to warrant its removal.

But we have always accepted that we made mistakes through honest confusion over telephone calls and emails.

The statement went on to express their "deep sorrow" at the loss of the 16 men who died in the crash.

More: Families call for public inquiry into North Sea helicopter crash

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North Sea helicopter crash that killed 16 men 'was avoidable'

An inquiry into a North Sea helicopter crash that killed 16 men has found that it could have been avoided. Families of 14 oil workers and two crew members who died in 2009 have called for a full public inquiry.