UK Royal Air Force (RAF) crews have begun training on the Eurocopter Puma Mk 2, although the two squadrons will not be cleared for service until 2015. Under a contract signed in 2009, Eurocopter is upgrading 24 of the 40-year-old helicopters with new engines, glass cockpits, digital autopilot and other improvements. Seven have been redelivered to date.
Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma
Heli-One, the maintenance subsidiary of operator CHC, has won a contract to modify two second-hand Eurocopter AS332L1 Super Pumas for all-weather search-and-rescue operations in the Arctic region. Norway-based Lufttransport AS will operate them from Svalbard, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, starting next spring. There, at 78 degrees north, one of the main challenges is around-the-clock darkness in winter, the two companies emphasized.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has released a further update on its investigation into the August 23 ditching of a Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma off the Shetlands islands. The latest document reveals that during the approach the pilot’s attention was drawn several times to a too-low-height warning.
The fatal crash of a CHC Scotia-operated Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma on August 23 off the Shetland Islands in the UK has created an outcry among passengers and is puzzling experts. Investigators have found no evidence of technical failure so far, nor have they hinted at human factors. Meanwhile, a pilot based in the North Sea noted that the helicopter seriously deviated from the expected course, two nautical miles from its destination, Sumburgh Airport.
While the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch is still probing the Eurocopter Super Puma fatal accident that killed four in August, the country’s CAA, its Norwegian counterpart and the European Aviation Safety Agency have launched a wider safety review of North Sea helicopter operations.
In the UK AAIB’s second update on the investigation into the August 23 Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma fatal accident, it appears the helicopter was “intact,” with “both engines delivering power,” when it struck the sea. The attitude was near level pitch with a slight right bank.
Amid calls for the grounding of Eurocopter Super Puma helicopters in the wake of the August 23 crash of an AS332L2 in the North Sea, the British Air Line Pilots Association (Balpa) has asked all operators of the Super Puma line to wait until the cause of has been positively determined before taking any action. The pilots’ union said its members still strongly support the aircraft. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department told AIN it has no plans to ground its three AS332L1s.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) recovered the cockpit voice/flight data recorder today from the Eurocopter Super Puma that ditched last Friday, killing four.
Helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter appears to be facing a backlash from North Sea oil workers after four people were killed in an AS332L2 Super Puma accident on Friday. Although the cause of the accident has not been established yet, unions and workers were quick to react to the fifth Super Puma accident or major incident in four years in the UK offshore industry.
“A CHC Helicopter [Eurocopter] Super Puma [AS332] L2 aircraft landed in the water Friday, August 23, about two nautical miles west of Sumburgh, on Shetland Island in the U.K.” CHC Helicopter said in statement issued yesterday.
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