NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Grounded North Sea Super Puma helicopters start to fly

Helicopter in port
Image caption The helicopter was brought back ashore for examination after the ditching off Shetland

Some of the Super Puma helicopters which were grounded after a ditching off Shetland are to fly again.

All 19 people on board the Super Puma EC 225, part of the CHC Helicopters fleet, were rescued safely after it put down in the sea on 22 October.

The helicopter had been heading to the West Phoenix drilling rig, west of Shetland.

The lack of aircraft since then has left many oil workers in the UK unable to come onshore as scheduled.

As an interim measure, some offshore workers have been transported from installations by boat.

Air accident investigators found the ditched helicopter had suffered a cracked shaft in its gearbox.

Operator Bond has now said it hopes to have three Super Pumas of another model type - the L2 - available to fly from Thursday.

CHC Helicopters believes it will have another four helicopters operating by next week.

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