EASA asks operators to perform checks on Airbus H225 Super Puma helicopters

4 May 2016 (Last Updated May 4th, 2016 18:30)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has sent an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to all Airbus Helicopters EC 225 helicopter operators, asking them to perform specific checks on the aircraft fleet.

EC-225

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has sent an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to all Airbus Helicopters EC 225 helicopter operators, asking them to perform specific checks on the aircraft fleet.

The AD asks operators to carry out specific checks on the main gearbox of the helicopters before their next flight.

This warning comes after an accident involving an EC 225 in Norway which killed 13 people.

According to EASA, an in-flight separation of the main rotor from the main gearbox may have caused the accident off the coast of Norway near Turoey outside Bergen on 29 April.

However, an investigation is underway to identify the root cause of the accident.

"Airbus Helicopters said that the investigation will now be solely focused on design, production, and / or maintenance issues."

Airbus Helicopters said that the investigation will now be solely focused on design, production, and / or maintenance issues.

The company has also welcomed the decision taken by the Norwegian and UK authorities to put commercial EC225LP passenger flights on hold in Norway and in the UK.

Airbus also said that preliminary inspections of the main gearbox vertical shaft shows no link with the 2012 ditching events.

The EC 225 is a long-range, twin-engined passenger transport helicopter of the civilian Super Puma family.


Image: The EC 225 long-range, twin-engined passenger transport helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Gary Watt.