Investigators believe that a mechanical failure may be to blame for a deadly helicopter crash last week that killed 13 people.
According to CBC News, director of the aviation department at the Accident Investigation Branch Norway (AIBN) Kaare Halvorsen said Tuesday that investigators believe that a technical error caused the accident.
“We are as certain as we can be that a technical error caused the accident. We don’t think it was due to human misinterpretations,” Halvorsen said.
Although a full investigation is still being conducted, the Accident Investigation board said visual evidence, including a video of the aircraft’s rotor captured seconds before the craft crashed, point to some kind of sudden mechanical failure, CBC News said.
CHC Helicopters said Tuesday that the AIBN believes that the EC225 LP helicopter “suffered in-flight separation of the main rotor hub from the main gearbox .”
The company said that, to date, the AIBN has not identified anomalies related to the maintenance and airworthiness of the aircraft.
“As a precautionary measure while investigations are ongoing, Airbus Helicopters has now issued Emergency Airworthiness Service Bulletin EASBEC225553A058 (EASB) which calls for checks on the installation of the suspension bars. CHC remains focused on safely delivering as much capacity as possible using available resources,” CHC said.
The CHC operated helicopter crashed in offshore Norway last week as it was travelling from Statoil’s Gulfaks B platform to Bergen, Norway.
The eleven oil workers and two pilots on board are all presumed dead.
Ole Magnar Kvamme (Statoil)
Arild Fossedal (Aker Solutions)
Odd Geir Turøy (Aker Solutions)
Lyder Martin Telle (Aker Solutions)
Michele Vimercati (CHC)
Olav Bastiansen (CHC)
Iain Stuart (Halliburton)
Behnam Ahmadi (Halliburton)
Otto Mikal Vasstveit (Halliburton)
Tommas Helland (Halliburton)
Kjetil Wathne (Karsten Moholt AS)
Espen Samuelsen (Welltec Norway)
Silje Ye Rim Veivåg Kroghsæter (Schlumberger)
In a statement to the Press Association seen by the Guardian earlier this week, CHC confirmed that the helicopter had returned to base twice for repairs in the days leading up to the accident.
CHC added that the helicopter successfully completed six commercial flights after those repairs were made.
Statoil temporarily grounded all equivalent traffic helicopters on Friday.
Royal Dutch Shell confirmed on Tuesday that it has temporarily halted helicopter flights provided by CHC in the North Sea.