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The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) says the Accident Investigation Board Norway’s (AIBN) final report on an Airbus H225 crash contains “a number of opinions and hypotheses,” after the AIBN was critical of EASA’s response to a previous accident.
The AIBN had emphasized that post-investigation actions after the crash of a Super Puma (registration G-REDL) off the coast of Scotland in 2009 were not sufficient to prevent another main rotor loss. EASA responded that the decisions it made after the G-REDL accident “were based on the knowledge available at the time, and the actions put in place were justified and commonly agreed.”
The AIBN report identifies micro pitting as initiating the crack that, with limited spalling, led to the gear failure on the LN-OJF helicopter in 2016. “This had not been identified with respect to the G-REDL accident investigation or analysis,” EASA said. Indeed, several parts were not recovered.
EASA concluded that the investigation “did not reveal any facts or evidence available at the time that would invalidate the basis” for the return-to-service process after the G-REDL accident.
Meanwhile, Airbus is still struggling to convince some major offshore oil-and-gas operators – and their customers – they can trust the H225. Bristow’s H225s are still grounded as part of an “operational suspension.” There is little demand for the type, the company says. Out of the 20 H225s still in Bristow’s fleet, four are to be sent back to lessors. The other 16 are hoped to be sold on other markets, helped by Airbus.
Era Group has received $42 million from Airbus as part of the settlement of an ongoing lawsuit related to Era’s purchase of 11 H225 Super Pumas.