CHC Issue Statement After H175 Helicopter Emergency Landing
CHC have issued a statement after one of their North Sea helicopters made an emergency landing at Dyce International Airport on Wednesday evening.
The Airbus H175 helicopter was returning from offshore when it started squawking on emergency frequency 7700 declaring an emergency.
The helicopter was given priority landing and other aircraft due to land at Dyce were put into a holding pattern and could be seen on flight radar circling above the city.
The incident came just a few days after operators temporarily grounded all H175 helicopters in the UK after a significant crack was found on the stabiliser of a Babcock operated H175. Airbus called for a speed restriction which operators ignored and grounded the aircraft until checks were carried out. Flights resumed 24 hours later.
Oil and Gas People obtained images of the damaged stabiliser which caused an outcry from union representatives who couldn’t understand why Airbus only issued a flight speed restriction. The images showed significant damage to the horizontal stabiliser.
RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy said the possibility of the stabiliser detaching “is something you don’t want to contemplate”.
He said: “The crack, the picture itself was pretty scary stuff. If you look at the positioning of that horizontal stabiliser, had it detached, God forbid, and struck the tail rotor – it’s something you don’t want to contemplate.
“I’m unlikely to ever board a helicopter again so I suppose I can count myself as lucky.
“The night the pictures were released of the crack and subsequently Airbus said that they should reduce the speed of the aircraft, there were a lot of questions asked by our members.”
SEE MORE: Images Emerge of Damaged Helicopter
The speed restrictions have since been lifted and operators have returned the aircraft to service, while safety bosses have stated no faults were found on any other H175s in the North Sea fleet.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority said the issue shows manufacturers must ensure they “get it right” when it comes to making sure components are built to last.
Mr Molloy issued a call for a more open process to keep workers appraised of any helicopter issues.
He added: “If the aircraft is designed to fly at a certain speed, why should slowing it down make it safer?
“These are the things being sent to me and things that the industry needs to be completely transparent on.
CHC issued the below response to Oil and Gas People when quizzed on the reason for the emergency landing. The company would not give any other details.
“Our crew, as they are trained to do, made a precautionary call for a priority landing when an intermittent warning light illuminated during the flight. The aircraft landed safely at Aberdeen and will now be inspected by engineers before returning to service.”
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