All Airbus Helicopters H225s (EC225LP) have been grounded following a fatal crash of a CHC Helicopter’s H225 off the west coast of Norway on April 29 killing all 11 passengers and two crew on board.
The H225, registered LN-OJF, operated on behalf of Statoil, was returning to Bergen from the Gullfaks B platform, 120 kilometres off the Norwegian mainland, when it impacted the rocky shoreline of Turoy Island at about 1200 local time, en route to Flesland Airport, Bergen.
An eyewitness video of the crash showed the helicopter’s rotor head, with all of its five blades still attached, spinning slowly to the ground with the wreckage of the fuselage on fire more than 300 metres away.
Immediately following the accident, Civil Aviation Authority – Norway and the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority both issued an urgent safety directive banning the commercial operations of all Norwegian and UK-registered EC225LP helicopters, with an exemption for search and rescue flights.
Airbus Helicopters said in its statement “At this point in the investigation, we do not have any information that allows us to understand the causes of the accident that involved the aircraft’s rotor being detached, nor to make any links to events that have occurred previously. Under these tragic circumstances, and until these elements are available, we are allied with the decision taken to put all commercial EC225LP passenger flights on hold.”
According to CASA’s civil aircraft register, there are 20 EC225LP Super Pumas currently registered in Australia.