Breaking: Restrictions placed on H175 copters after 'crack' found

Flight restrictions have been placed on a type of helicopter widely used in the North Sea.

It is understood a “crack” was detected on the “horizontal stabiliser” of an Airbus-made H175 yesterday.

Operator Babcock said its H175 flights had been “paused” while engineers carry out inspections “following a technical issue on one of its aircraft”.

Babcock’s Aberdeen fleet contains only a small number of H175s.

Jamie John, Aberdeen base manager at NHV, whose fleet is entirely made up of H175s, said the aircraft had not been “grounded”.

But NHV has also decided to “pause” its flights as a safety precaution.

Mr John said manufacturer Airbus had sent out a service bulletin requiring inspections and imposing speed restrictions on the copters.

He said no faults had been found on NHV’s fleet following initial inspections and is confident that the glitch is an “isolated” case.

Mr John said NHV expected its fleet to return to full service once additional inspections have been carried out this afternoon.

A spokesman for Airbus Helicopters said: “Airbus Helicopters confirms it has issued a service bulletin to H175 operators calling for a temporary reduction of the maximum allowable speed of the helicopter.

“This follows the detection of a structural damage during routine inspections of the horizontal stabilizer on a customer helicopter.

“This initial service bulletin will be followed shortly by another one calling for fleet-wide inspections of the affected part.

“As is standard practice, these precautionary measures will be followed up by EASA-mandated airworthiness directives.

“We are in direct contact with our customers to minimise the impact on their operations.”

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Craigmill, Pitcaple, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, AB51 5HP
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