A series of personal accounts by highly trained helicopter pilots, including those with distinguished careers in the military and commercial flying, who with divers, ensured that essential staff could operate in North Sea oil exploration and oil supply. They were the vital link in the process and operated in the most challenging circumstances, often in high levels of danger and sometimes with loss of life, for example, the Piper Alpha Disaster which made national news. And the ferrying of essential personnel and supplies could involve rescues as well routine flying missions. The narrative is often technical but written to ensure good understanding for lay readers and it will, of course, appeal to the many with flying experience in the forces, in commercial flying and government service. Above all, it is a series of graphic personal stories as recounted by individuals faced with extremes of climate, weather, technical, engineering and aeronautical problems and often with human life at stake. The people come to life and with domestic and social concerns and interests are ‘real’ and believable people.
It is history of the North Sea oil episode in UK political and economic history and in conjunction with international oil politics is of huge importance to Britain’s economy. This is a period of progress to domestic oil independence by about 1984 and so a key period with subsequent importance even to the present.
All aspects of the operations are covered within individual stories, and include the broader questions of company policy, regulation, and trade union involvement.