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EASA lifts Puma grounding with conditions

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 10, 2016

A file image of a CHC Helicopter EC225LP. (Paul Sadler)
A file image of a CHC Helicopter EC225LP. (Paul Sadler)

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has lifted its temporary flight suspension of commercial operations by Airbus Helicopters H225 (EC225LP and AS332L2) Super Puma helicopters after the agency put in place an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) to ground the type on June 2 following the fatal crash of an EC225LP in Norway on April 29.

However, directives issued by the Norway Civil Aviation Agency and the UK Civil Aviation Authority to prohibit commercial operations of the H225 still remain in effect.

The suspension lifting comes with a number of mandatory actions to permit the type to return to flight.

These include all second stage main gearbox (MGB) planet gears, such as the type involved in the accident, be replaced with another type which has a demonstrated a reliable service life.

The service life of these newer type of second stage planet gears will also be halved resulting in the time before replacement and their current value being reduced by 50 per cent.


Engineers will also have to conduct a daily inspection, or after 10 flight hours, of MGB chip detectors and the oil filter.

EASA also said that all MGBs that have suffered from unusual events such as an external shock but have no visual evidence of damage will have to be withdrawn from service.

Despite the suspension lifting, Bristow said its H225s will remain grounded for the time being as the company continues to monitor the situation closely.

“In light of EASA’s directive, we are working with local regulators, Airbus, HeliOffshore and our clients, to carefully evaluate our next steps for this aircraft type in both our oil and gas and search and rescue operations in Norway, the United Kingdom and Australia,” said Bristow in a statement.

“Until we are confident that the aircraft can operate safely, Bristow will continue to suspend all operation of our EC225s, including for SAR and training.”

According to CASA’s civil aircraft register, there are 13 EC225LP and 12 AS332L family Super Pumas currently registered in Australia.

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Comments (2)

  • Rick J


    A small correction to the last paragraph. There are actually 13 EC225 still registered in Australia, with 9 shown as Eurocopter EC225LP and the other 4 as Airbus Helicopters EC 225 LP.
    Another 7 of the type were de-registered in late August, on return to their leasing company.

    • australianaviation.com.au


      Thank you Rick J,
      The story has been updated.

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