Super Puma helicopter signed off as 'fit for service' day before crash

The Super Puma before it crashed The Bond Super Puma came down off Peterhead in 2009

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A Super Puma helicopter was signed off as being fit for service the day before it crashed with the loss of 16 lives, a fatal accident inquiry has heard.

The Bond helicopter came down in the North Sea in April 2009.

The technical log showed an engineer signed the aircraft off as fit for service the day before the crash.

The inquiry in Aberdeen has already heard that a fault in the gearbox had been found a few days earlier, but the decision was taken not to repair it.

Bond's former director of engineering James Gilmour said he was not aware that inspections had been ordered on the gearbox in the days before crash.

He said: "That's day-to-day hangar work. I don't get involved down to that level."

The inquiry, which is being held in Aberdeen Town House, is expected to last several weeks.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report blamed a catastrophic gear box failure for the crash, which happened 12 miles off Peterhead and left no survivors.

The two crew who died were Capt Paul Burnham, 31, of Methlick, Aberdeenshire, and co-pilot Richard Menzies, 24, of Droitwich Spa, who worked for Bond Offshore Helicopters.

The KCA Deutag employees killed were Brian Barkley, 30, of Aberdeen; Vernon Elrick, 41, of Aberdeen; Leslie Taylor, 41, of Kintore, Aberdeenshire; Nairn Ferrier, 40, of Dundee; Gareth Hughes, 53, of Angus; David Rae, 63, of Dumfries; Raymond Doyle, 57, of Cumbernauld; James John Edwards, 33, of Liverpool; Nolan Goble, 34, of Norwich, and Mihails Zuravskis, 39, of Latvia.

The other victims were James Costello, 24, of Aberdeen, who was contracted to Production Services Network (PSN); Alex Dallas, 62, of Aberdeen, who worked for Sparrows Offshore Services; Warren Mitchell, 38, of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, who worked for Weatherford UK; and Stuart Wood, 27, of Aberdeen, who worked for Expro North Sea Ltd.

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