Bristow makes UK Super Puma flight

Bristow+EC22504 September 2013 –Bristow Group returned its Super Puma fleet in the UK to service with a single flight carrying passengers on Monday, it has emerged.

Super Puma helicopters have largely remained grounded in the UK despite a ban on flights in the wake of a deadly crash off Shetland on 23 August being lifted late last week.The fleet was, however, allowed to fly for life-and-death search-and-rescue missions.

A Bristow spokesperson told Upstream: “We resumed passenger operations with the Bristow Tiger, AS332 L, on behalf of one of our clients (on Monday).”

The identity of the client or destination of the aircraft was not revealed, however.

Canadian operator CHC Helicopter – which operated the Super Puma AS332 L2 which crashed off Sumburgh killing four oil workers – had not returned any Super Puma aircraft to service in the UK with passengers as of Monday.

Rival Bond Helicopter had similarly not flown any Super Puma flights as its fleet was largely caught out of position in the wake of the accident which also saw 12 oil workers and two crew survive.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing but preliminary results from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch point to the aircraft encountering problems three miles off Sumburgh before crashing two miles from its destination.

The helicopter is believed to have been intact when it hit the water and remained upright for a brief period.
*Eoin O’ Cinneide, Upstreamonline

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