Early Indications Point to Gearbox Failure on CHC Super Puma

by James T. Crouse on May 2, 2016

in Helicopter Safety

The British Airlines Pilots Association (BALPA) said the “ripples” of the crash would spread far beyond Norway in part because the most recent crash has been preliminarily liked to gearbox issues — a problem which seems to be recurring in the Super Puma.

BALPA’s General Secretary, Jim McAuslan, said:

“The worldwide helicopter pilot community is united in demanding that we get to the bottom of what caused this latest accident in the North Sea and what can be learned from it.”

Mr. McAuslan added the association would do all it could to help with the investigation into the Norway crash.

In 2012, two EC225 Super Puma helicopters crashed in Scotland – one off Aberdeen and another off Shetland. Both incidents were blamed on gearbox problems, and all passengers and crew were rescued.

The aircraft’s operator CHC confirmed the helicopter returned to Flesland, Norway, on Tuesday after a warning light came on. The aircraft crashed on Friday.

A part was replaced on Tuesday, but the warning light reappeared during a test flight the following day. Another component was changed and a second test flight was completed without a warning light.

According to CHC, none of the changed parts were “physically connected” to the rotor or main gearbox.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robert Kamau May 9, 2016 at 4:50 pm

A routine that is thorough and exhaustive is the only way. No room for assumptions that a craft is airworthy while actually it is not.


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