North Sea Sikorsky S92 helicopters grounded for safety checks

North Sea Sikorsky S92 helicopters grounded for safety checks

Lockheed Martin

The North Sea chopper fleet has been grounded for an inspection - after an incident on a platform.

The Sikorsky S92 has been suspended to allow a one off inspection of the aircraft's tail rotor pitch.

A suspected technical fault on an S92 chopper left a gouge mark on the deck on the West Franklin Platform on the 28th December 2016.

Air accident investigators have been looking into what happened.

There's no word yet on how long the helicopters could be out of action.

It will have an impact on North Sea operations - as the Superpumas are also grounded following the crash off Norway last April.

Les Linklater, Executive Director of Step Change in Safety said: “This morning Sikorsky released an Alert Service Bulletin for the S92 requiring a onetime visual inspection of the Tail Rotor Pitch Change Shaft and Bearing assembly on the world wide S92 fleet prior to the next flight.

“The decision made by Sikorsky, is a precautionary measure to ensure continued safe flight operations and we are aware that helicopter operators are working to assess the impact of this requirement, while investigating all opportunities to limit the effects on the flying program. 

"Currently the duration of the inspections is expected to take up to 11 man hours, which means this will cause some short term delays.

“We are in close communication with trades unions, helicopter operators and the Civil Aviation Authority. Furthermore, the Offshore Helicopter Safety Leadership group has convened a call to discuss what is being done to maintain safe flight operations and limit the operational impact and inconvenience this has caused, and will provide an update when it is available.”



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