NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Helicopter survey suggests '62% unlikely to fly in Super Pumas again'

Super Puma EC225 Image copyright AFP

A survey of oil workers by the manufacturer of Super Puma helicopters found 62% of passengers were unlikely to fly in the aircraft again.

The 225 aircraft were recently cleared to fly by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) after a crash last year, but only if certain extra safeguards are put in place by operators.

They were grounded following the fatal crash which was off Norway.

The Airbus survey also found passengers want more room, for safety reasons.

More than 5,000 people took part.

The Unite union claimed oil workers viewed Super Pumas as "flying coffins".

No North Sea operators are currently using the aircraft to take workers on and offshore.

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 Super Puma 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 in Norway

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