Ditched North Sea Super Puma returns to port

THE Super Puma helicopter which ditched in the North Sea off Fair Isle on Monday has been brought back to the Scottish mainland on the deck of an oil industry standby vessel.

All North Sea Super Puma flights remain suspended

• French manufacturer to send investigation team to Scotland to probe helicopter ditching

• All crew on board helicopter escaped uninjured

The helicopter, operated by CHC Helicopters, arrived in the Buchan port of Peterhead in the early hours of the morning after being lifted on board the support vessel Olympic Zeus at the scene of the ditching.

Its arrival in port will allow experts from the Government’s Air Accident Investigation Branch to begin a detailed examination of the aircraft in the search for clues to the cause of the controlled ditching in which the two pilots and 17 oilmen on board escaped unscathed.

Meanwhile all crew change flights involving the various models of Super Pumas operating in the North Sea remain suspended. CHC has already grounded its entire fleet of Superb Pumas across the globe and another major operator Bristow, has now also announced a worldwide suspension of Super Puma flights.

A Bristow spokesman said: “Investigations continue into finding out what caused a controlled safe ditching yesterday in the North Sea of an EC225 Super Puma helicopter flown by another operator. Out of an abundance of caution, Bristow will continue to delay the operation of its eleven EC225 Super Pumas from its Aberdeen base, and its eight other EC225s and two AS332Ls working elsewhere in the world.”

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Article courtesy of The Scotsman, image courtesy of RNLI.

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