Image courtesy of MC2 Aaron Chase/Wikimedia Commons.

Norway’s Statoil said on Tuesday that it will no longer use Super Puma helicopters following a deadly crash earlier this year.

Statoil spokesman Morten Eek told Reuters that the company has no plans to use the Super Puma in the future, even if a ban ordered by the Norwegian Aviation Authority is lifted.

“It doesn’t matter what the Aviation Authority says. We can specify the helicopter type we want to use and we have already built up capacity with a different helicopter, the Sikorsky S-92,” Eek added.

Thirteen people working on behalf of Statoil were killed in April after a Super Puma helicopter crashed while travelling from the Gullfaks B platform to Bergen, Norway.

CHC Helicopters, the operator of the Super Puma, said in May that the Accident Investigation Branch Norway suspected that the helicopter suffered in-flight separation of the main rotor hub from the main gearbox.

A temporary flight ban implemented by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was lifted in October.

The EASA added that all main gearboxes that have suffered “unusual events” will be withdrawn from service.

In a statement seen by the Guardian after the accident, CHC confirmed that the aircraft had returned to base for repairs twice in the days leading up to the crash.

CHC added that the helicopter successfully completed six commercial flights after the repairs were completed.

Bans on commercial flights of recently built Super Pumas are still in effect in both Norway and Britain.

Super Puma flights were temporarily halted in 2013 after a crash killed four people off the coast of Shetland.

Sixteen oil workers were killed in 2009 after a Super Puma helicopter crashed into the UK North Sea.

Law enforcement officials determined that the 2009 crash was caused by the catastrophic failure of the helicopter’s main gearbox.


Leave a Reply