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Metal fatigue discovered

Norway extends ban on helicopters after crash

Norway has banned search and rescue flights following the deaths of 13 oil workers in a helicopter crash  in April.

The ban adds to a similar order on Airbus Super Puma H225s.

Metal fatigue in the gearbox of the crashed helicopter prompted officials to take immediate action to ensure the pumas are safe.

The Norwegian Air Accident Board warned that current fault detection measures may be inadequate.

Halliburton employee Iain Stuart, 41, from Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire, was among those who died in the accident.

The Airbus Super Puma was travelling from the Gullfaks field to Bergen on 29 April when it crashed near the  island of Turoey.

Air accident investigators found “features strongly consistent with fatigue” in parts of the main gearbox.

It added: “It cannot be ruled out that this signifies a possible safety issue that can affect other MGBs of the same type.

“The nature of the catastrophic failure of the LN-OJF main rotor system indicates that the current means to detect a failure in advance are not effective.”

Airbus, the manufacturer of the Super Puma H225, said at the time there was no evidence to link the crash with two previous incidents in Scotland involving the same model of helicopter.

An online petition calling for all Super Puma 225s to be “permanently removed from service” has attracted almost 30,000 signatures.

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