Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin/Flickr.

Aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky has temporarily grounded some helicopters used to transport offshore oil workers following an incident last month in the UK North Sea.

According to BBC, Sikorsky has temporarily grounded all S92 aircrafts and told operators of the helicopter to immediately carry out safety checks on the tail rotors.

Flights with the S92 helicopter are expected to be disrupted on Tuesday while operators inspect the crafts, the BBC said.

Step Change in Safety, a UK safety organization focused on the oil industry, told the BBC that the grounding is a “precautionary measure to ensure continued safe flight operations.”

The grounding follows an incident in December when a S92 helicopter left gouge marks on a helideck while landing at a Total operated North Sea platform.

A source told Energy Voice that the aircraft spun on the deck of the West Franklin platform after experiencing technical difficulties.

No injuries were reported.

The helicopter was conducting a shuttle flight from the Elgin Production Utilities Quarters to West Franklin when the incident occurred.

The S92 helicopter involved in the incident is operated by CHC Helicopters, Energy Voice said.

A spokesman for CHC Helicopters told Energy Voice last month that the aircraft experienced “unexpected control responses” while landing on the platform.

CHC Helicopters and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch are investigating the incident.

The inspection order comes about nine months after a Super Puma helicopter crashed in offshore Norway, killing all 13 people on board.

CHC Helicopters, the operator of the Super Puma involved in the crash, said in May that Norwegian officials suspected that the helicopter suffered in-flight separation of the main rotor hub from the main gearbox.

A temporary ban on Super Puma flights issued by the the European Aviation Safety Agency  was lifted in October.

Norway’s Statoil said last month that the company will no longer deploy Super Puma helicopters even if a ban ordered by the Norwegian Aviation Authority is lifted.


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