Statoil grounds H225 helicopters
STAVANGER, June 2, 2016 – The Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority prohibited the use of Airbus’ Super Puma H225 and AS332 L2 helicopters for search-and-rescue operations yesterday, following its ban on the vehicles’ commercial flights due to an accident in the country.
On April 29, the helicopter coming from the Gullfaks B platform in the North Sea crashed on a small island near Turø, Norway, killing all 13 passengers when the main rotor head and mast detached from the vehicle.
The injunction followed a warning given by Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) to the European Aviation Safety Agency in relation to the helicopter’s main gear box. AIBN reported signs of fatigue on the retrieved mechanism.
Statoil’s search-and-rescue operations have been using the H225 helicopters for its Oseberg field centre, Statfjord B production platform and the municipality of Sola.
“Statoil is currently mobilising the necessary resources to safeguard preparedness requirements. Transport services to installations that until now have been covered by H225 SAR [search and rescue] preparedness will be adjusted such that satisfactory preparedness is maintained,” the company said in a statement.