NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Helicopter operator CHC ends H225 use from Aberdeen base

Picture of the actual helicopter which crashed Image copyright Mihai Crisan
Image caption A Super Puma helicopter crashed off Norway

Helicopter operator CHC has said it will no longer fly Super Puma H225s from its Aberdeen base unless customers specifically want them.

The announcement came six days after European aviation safety officials extended the grounding of Super Pumas amid concerns about its gearbox.

Signs of metal fatigue were found in components after a crash off Norway that killed 13 people in April.

CHC said the H225 decision was "commercially driven".

Aberdeen-based offshore flight commitments are currently being met by Sikorsky S92s.

'Safe service'

A CHC spokeswoman said: "CHC is committed to having a resilient, mixed fleet that provides the right aircraft at the right time to meet our customers' helicopter service requirements.

"In Scotland, over the past few weeks, we have engaged closely with our H225 customers about the immediate term but also looking forward to the future.

"As a service provider to our customers we must understand, accept and respond to their operational requirements and wishes.

"In the future, when the H225 fleet returns to service and customers wish to fly the aircraft, we will appropriately adjust the mix of aircraft in our fleet.

"As we win new contracts or if customer demand increases, we will appropriately adjust the number and mix of aircraft in our fleet.

"Providing safe and reliable service to our customers remains CHC's top priority."

Permanently removed

Iain Stuart from Aberdeenshire was among those killed in the Norway crash.

Mr Stuart, 41, from Laurencekirk, was working for the oil field services company Halliburton and was a passenger on the helicopter.

The Airbus Super Puma 225 was travelling from the Gullfaks field to Bergen when it crashed near the small island of Turoey on 29 April.

The pilots had no time to issue a mayday and the main rotor is believed to have become detached before impact.

An online petition calling for all Super Puma 225s to be "permanently removed from service" has attracted tens of thousands of signatures.

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