Sikorsky recalls all S-92 helicopters after North Sea platform incident

By Lee McCann and Niamh Burns, Energy Voice

https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/128451/breaking-sikorsky-grounds-s-92-helicopters-north-sea-platform-incident/

All North Sea helicopter flights have been recalled today over safety fears.

Sikorsky S92 helicopters have returned to base following a probe into a recent incident on a North Sea platform.

The decision to recall S-92s comes after Super Pumas were banned in the wake of a North Sea helicopter crash off the coast of Norway which killed 13 people on April 29th last year.

A spokesman for CHC said the move was in response to an Alert Service Bulletin (ASB) and that all aircraft would now be subject to the ASB maintenance instruction and would be returned to service upon completion.

He was unable to give an indication as the timescale involved.

A spokesman for Aberdeen International Airport said: “We are aware of a safety alert that has been issued for all S92 helicopters and are anticipating a potential impact on helicopter operations over the next few days until essential maintenance has been carried out. We will support the operators as much as possible through this disruption.”

The move comes after an incident involving an S-92 on a North Sea platform last month.

A spokeswoman for Sikorsky said: “Safety is our top priority, and Sikorsky is working closely with our customer and investigative authorities to determine the root cause of the loss of tail rotor authority in the Dec. 28 installation landing.

“Although the investigation into the Dec. 28 incident has not been completed, Sikorsky released an Alert Service Bulletin on Jan. 10 to define additional interim inspection requirements for the S-92 Tail Rotor Pitch Change Shaft. Those procedures include an off-aircraft check of the PCS bearing and that check must be done before next flight with some leeway for getting back to base.

“We are committed to keeping our customers informed. We will further communicate findings if the investigation reveals any safety or airworthiness issues that affect the S-92 helicopter fleet.”

The helicopter flight had been making a shuttle flight between Total’s Elgin platform facilities and West Franklin, around 130 miles off the coast of Aberdeen.

Images later emerged of the damage to the platform as the flight attempted to land with nine passengers and two crew on board.

A source at the time said the S-92 took “gouges out” of the helideck, damaged its wheels and spun on the deck of the West Franklin when it was forced to land.

To read more of this breaking news, visit Energy Voice.

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