UK extends offshore helicopter flights ban

After Norway this week extended the no-flight ban on all Super Puma EC225LP (H225) helicopters, to include the Search and Rescue and medical missions as well, the UK has followed suit.

To remind, the ban on all EC225LP flights in UK and Norway was introduced shortly after the fatal accident in Norway on April 29, when a CHC-operated Super Puma crashed near Bergen while returning to land from a Statoil offshore platform.

A few days later the UK and Norway also banned AS332L2 from flying. The ban at the time did not include the search and rescue missions conducted by these helicopters.

However following a recommendation by the Norwegian accident investigators on June 1, the no flight ban has now been further extended in the UK as well, to prohibit all flying by these two types of helicopters – including search and rescue – until further information is available.

The Norwegian investigators recommendation has also prompted European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), to prohibit all flights by the Airbus Helicopters H225 LP and AS332 L2 helicopters as a precautionary measure.

“The accident remains under investigation by the Norwegian authorities and EASA remain in close contact with Airbus Helicopters and the investigation team to continue to assess the situation,” EASA said on Thursday.

Airbus Helicopters, the manufacturer of the affected helicopter, said: “In light of new findings from the AIBN’s preliminary accident investigation report, Airbus Helicopters supports EASA’s cautious approach. We continue to fully support the ‎AIBN, EASA, our customers and the ongoing investigation by providing information in full transparency, while working with the wider industry to ensure safety.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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