Super Puma 'safe to fly' but North Sea suspension remains

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Neil Willox
Image caption,
The helicopter was brought back to Peterhead on Friday

The firm which makes Super Puma helicopters has said they are safe to fly after one ditched in the North Sea but flights are still suspended.

Air accident investigators have found a cracked shaft in the main gearbox of the Bond EC 225 Super Puma helicopter.

The crew carried out a "controlled ditching" off Aberdeen last week.

Manufacturer Eurocopter said initial investigations indicated suspending flying was not necessary but operators Bond said the suspension remained.

A special meeting of a Helicopter Safety Group was held on Monday afternoon. The RMT union told the talks that some workers were now too afraid to fly offshore in light of the ditching.

All 14 people on board the helicopter made it into a liferaft after the incident last Thursday.

In a statement Eurocopter said it had sent experts on site to assist with investigations.

It added: "The airworthiness authorities and the investigation board do not require a flight suspension."

A spokesman for Bond said they had posed a number of important questions to Eurocopter and until they got answers the suspension would remain in place.

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