NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Offshore helicopter reintroduction petition launched by Unite union

Super Puma EC225 Image copyright AFP

A union petition calling on offshore operators not to reintroduce Super Puma 225 and L2 helicopters back into service has been launched.

It follows a UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) decision to lift the ban on the aircraft if operators met certain safety conditions.

They were grounded following a fatal crash off Norway in 2016.

The Unite union said the offshore workforce did not have confidence in the helicopters.

The crash in April last year killed 13 people, including Iain Stewart from Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire.

The CAA criteria announced in July included:

  • Change in the design by removal of the components that were susceptible to premature deterioration
  • Earlier replacement of component
  • Design change to introduce an improved maintenance inspection method to detect any deterioration at an early stage
  • More frequent inspections
  • Reduction in the thresholds for rejecting components based upon early signs of any deterioration
Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Iain Stuart died in the crash

The Super Puma 225 came down near the island of Turoey, near Bergen, while it was returning from an oil field.

A report in April into the crash said there was no explanation as to why a detection system did not spot signs of damage to the gearbox.

Image copyright AIBN
Image caption The rotors detached from the helicopter

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