NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Helicopter safety group to meet to discuss recommendations

An undated handout photograph released by CHC Helicopter on August 24, 2013 shows a Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma L2 variant. " AFP PHOTO / CHC HELICOPTER " Image copyright AFP
Image caption Flights will be prohibited in the most severe sea conditions

The offshore industry's helicopter safety group is set to meet to discuss a raft of recommendations made by aviation regulators.

The report issued by the Civil Aviation Authority on Thursday announced a series of measures.

These included changes to aircraft seating and windows, the weather they can fly in, and physical size limits for passengers.

Image caption Survivor James Nugent said action needs to be taken quickly

The inquiry was set up in the wake of a fatal Super Puma crash last year.

It was the fifth serious incident involving an offshore helicopter in the UK sector since 2009.

Four people died last August when the CHC-operated Super Puma AS332 L2 helicopter crashed.

James Nugent, who survived, told the BBC he believes the helicopter fleet needs to be replaced.

He said: "Something needs to happen as quickly as possible.

"When looking at people's lives it should not be about money, it's as simple as that."

From April 2015, anyone flying offshore will have to meet with size requirements, although these have not yet been specified.

The CAA also announced that passengers will have to be seated next to emergency exits.

And flights will be prohibited in the most severe sea conditions so that the chance of a ditched helicopter capsizing is reduced and a rescue can be safely undertaken.

There will also be changes to the way pilots are trained and checked.

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