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Super Puma copter ban lifted months after Norway crash

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Super Puma copter ban lifted months after Norway crash
A Super Puma helicopter. Photo: European Aviation Safety Agency
08:48 CEST+02:00
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on Friday said it had lifted a temporary flight ban imposed in June on Airbus' Super Puma helicopters.
The agency handed down the ban after an April crash of one of the copters off the coast of Norway which killed all 13 people on board following what Norwegian investigators found to be a technical failure.
   
EASA said on its website that in lifting the temporary flight suspension imposed on June 2 it had laid down "very stringent protective measures which enable the decision to allow these type of helicopters to return to flight."
   
The agency said those measures included eliminating gearbox specification of a type used by the downed copter with another configuration that "has a demonstrated reliable service life."
   
It added it had been closely monitoring Airbus analysis and tests and that "all main gearboxes that have suffered from unusual events will be withdrawn from service.
   
"EASA will closely monitor the compliance action taken by the helicopter manufacturer and operators following the return to service along with operational information" in targeting "the highest possible safety standards."
   
The EC225 Super Puma crashed on a small island en route from a North Sea oil platform. The 13 killed in Norway's deadliest helicopter crash in four decades included 11 Norwegians, one Briton and one Italian.
   
Older model Super Pumas have been involved in several accidents in the British oil sector, some of them deadly.
   
The most serious dates back to 2009, when a helicopter crashed off Scotland, killing its 16 occupants after its rotor detached.
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