BERGEN, Norway – The Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) has released an updated preliminary report of the recent helicopter crash outside Turøy that claimed the lives of all 13 passengers.
At this stage of the investigation, AIBN’s findings indicate that “the accident most likely was a result of a fatigue fracture in one of the eight second stage planet gears.”
The report also made clear that further examinations into the three different failure modes – suspension bar (lift strut) attachment, main gearbox, and conical housing have been performed since its previous iterations.
“It appears that the fracture has propagated in a manner which is unlikely to become detected by existing mandatory or supplementary systems for warning of an imminent failure,” it wrote. However, the force or factor that “initiated the fracture has not yet been determined.”
Two crew members and 11 passengers died aboard an Airbus helicopter H225 while traveling from Statoil’s Gullfaks B to Bergen Airport Flesland on April 29. The UK and Norwegian Civil Aviation Authorities introduced restrictions to the Airbus EC225LP helicopter to prevent offshore operators using it for commercial flights.
This is the fourth preliminary report, which the AIBN emphasizes is “for the sole purpose of improving aviation safety.” Previous reports were issued twice in May and in June.
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