Following the tragic downing of the CHC Super Puma off Shetland, the Helicopter Safety Steering Group [HSSG], with the support of the Step Change in Safety Leadership Team, recommended temporary suspension of all Super Puma commercial passenger flights to and from offshore oil and gas installations within the UK.
This was a precautionary measure and does not apply to the use of search and rescue helicopters for emergency response.
The HSSG is meeting again today, Wednesday 28th August, and will consider the latest information available on the incident, which saw four fatalities.
The Super Puma series of helicopters make up 70% of the service to the North Sea oil and gas platforms. The Super Pumas include the following variants; AS332 L, L1, L2 and EC225. There are significant technical differences between these variants but, for safety, all have been withdrawn from service until there is more information on what caused the recent of four Super Puma downings in the last four years.
It was the L2 variant that went down this tie. The EC225 variant, with two of the four downings on its record, returned to service just over three weeks ago and is, of course, now withdrawn again.
HSSG will closely monitor the situation and will only recommend resumption of flights by one or more of the Super Puma variants when it considers that sufficient factual information is available to support the decision.