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.
Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma
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.
Making its Paris debut in the static display is a Swiss air force Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma that has undergone the TH06 ISR upgrade by Ruag Aviation (Chalet A118, Static R). The Swiss company has designed and installed a major avionics overhaul that allows the Super Puma fleet to continue to provide service for many years to come.
Two Bond Offshore Helicopters search-and-rescue crewmen, winch operators Paul Walters and Andrew Cowx, have been awarded the 2012 Billy Deacon SAR Memorial Trophy, in recognition of their role in a dramatic North Sea rescue last December. Their Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma was first to reach the rig standby vessel Vos Sailor, which had lost power in darkness and poor sea conditions. Despite an injured foot, Cowx volunteered to remain on the deck of the stricken vessel for an hour. There, he managed the rescue of three remaining members of the ship’s crew.
Vector Aerospace Financial Services Ireland (VFS) is offering the medium- to heavy-lift market a fleet of customized Super Puma AS332Ls, including leasing and by-the-hour support. The offer is targeting the UN, NATO and EU markets. VFS was formed last year by Vector Aerospace, a provider of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul services, to provide combined lease and support solutions.
Vector Financial Services Ireland announced at Heli-Expo ’13 availability of a fleet of customized Super Puma AS332Ls, including new leasing and hourly support options, aimed at utility operators in the European Union, UN and NATO countries.
“Our lease program gives customers the ability to operate a Super Puma AS332L helicopter…without the large capital investment associated with outright purchase of either a second-hand aircraft or the associated typical aircraft financial lease type obligations,” said Vector UK managing director Michael Tyrell.
Eurocopter anticipates that a solution to the main gearbox problem that has grounded the North Sea fleet of EC225s will be available next month. Offshore operators, especially those in the North Sea, have seen major disruption of their activities, as have the oil and gas companies that depend on helicopter transportation for crew changes on their platforms.
Eurocopter is now anticipating that a solution to the main gearbox problem that has grounded the North Sea fleet of EC225s will be available in April. According to Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling, the solution will at least be a “safety barrier.”