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EC 225 Return to REAL Service

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EC 225 Return to REAL Service

Old 6th Dec 2016, 08:08
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EC 225 Return to REAL Service

It has been almost two months that EASA lifted the ban to ground the Ec225. Initially it was a joy...in my company we activated the recurrency program to get all the pilots ready. We were expected to be operational within a week. Somehow the customers did not see it that way...still waiting for the AIBN report and most important the ROOT cause of the accident. As a result of this we are still not operational and I believe no major oil companies had started to operate the 225 again even though they could legally fly the machine.
Anyone out there heard anything on when most oil companies will accept the machine again?
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 08:53
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This article says that Statoil will never use it again.

Statoil vil ikke bruke Super Puma-helikopteret igjen - Petro.no
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 13:27
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At the risk of sounding daft. Might one enquire what exactly the 225 operators have done to make them safe to fly ? Did they change the dodgy overstressed gearbox which has a habit of departing from the airframe ?
Or is it really a case of let's all stick our heads in the sand and wait for the next tragedy to happen ?
knowing all of the above would you put your children or grandchildren in one and take them for a trip over some really inhospitable cold water for a few hours ?

Too many questions perhaps but having read most of the very interesting and educated guesswork regarding the 225 and it's safety record on this esteemed forum I don't have a clue as to why the north sea moggies ( all the tigers are either dead or retired now) would want to suit up and get in the back of another 225 .

Anyone who has the answers please let us know and expect someone to ask the "show me " question !!!

Cheers
B.G
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:45
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Originally Posted by bladegrabber View Post
knowing all of the above would you put your children or grandchildren in one and take them for a trip over some really inhospitable cold water for a few hours ?

Well, life is not always black or white.

For example, the 225M fly every day over inhospitable area without any problems.

And people don't react all the same about safety feeling's, I've even heard that there are some who pay to fly R22 !
.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:55
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http://www.reuters.com/article/us-statoil-helicopter-airbus-idUSKBN13V0QB
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 14:58
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As far as I can see BG they've ruled that one type of bearing must be used in the epicyclic module (as out of the two types available the other one had been involved in the two catastrophic failures) in addition to more stringent in-service inspections.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 15:58
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So no EC175 then?
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 16:12
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The 175 is already operating in the UK North Sea with NHV and I wouldn't be surprised to see 189s arriving soon.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 16:23
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IMO the 225 is a great helicopter apart from its single fatal accident. However I appreciate it was a nasty one with echoes of the past. I just wanted to mention that it's just as well this attitude isn't applied to the pilots. Look how many of them have crashed, killing plenty of folk and scaring many more. But for some reason we accept that, or at least we don't condemn the human race as the brains in the machine. So in answer to BG's question above about whether you would allow your nearest and dearest to fly in it, I think I would based on pure probabilities. The chances are fairly similar that they would die from the rotor head falling off, or die from an error made by a pilot or technician. In bother cases, the probability is pretty low.


But of course the industry isn't rational and so I accept that the 225 is unlikely to see a return to service in the near future if at all. Shame. At least one thing is certain, the next fatal crash will be a different type!
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 19:06
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Commons Select Committees - Transport - 2014

Offshore helicopter safety

"27. Super Puma variants make up some 60% of the offshore helicopter fleet, which means that it is unsurprising that they are involved in more accidents than other models."

That was still true when LN-OJF crashed.



Hands up who thinks the S-92 is so good that it will never crash no matter how much you sweat the asset?

Hands up who thinks a new type is always the answer?
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 20:03
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Jimf671,

From the same parliamentary report:

“21. Since 2002, the UK offshore oil and gas industry has suffered 38 fatalities. The five most recent accidents (since 2009) have all involved Super Puma variants and three of those accidents were caused by problems with the gearbox”.

Those figures are from 2014 and therefore exclude the 2016 LN-OJF fatal crash, bringing the total fatalities to 51. So we now have the six most recent accidents all involving Super Puma variants and four of those accidents were caused by problems with the gearbox, the other two being concluded as crew error.

For a type that makes up 60% of the fleet it seems to be suffering a disproportionate 100% of the accidents, certainly the fatal ones. That is not irrational. It is a statement of fact.

The argument that the SP range is ‘tried and tested’, that we ‘know more about it’ than other makes/models falls flat because it has not translated into lower accident statistics. 60% presence is just 3 out of 5, not 5/5 (or 6/6).
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 20:30
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Face it folks....the 225 is like that proverbial Parrot that Mr. Cleese and Company were on about. It is not napping, taking a Kip, ....it is as they said about the Parrot....it is DEAD!

Rather than admit they had a problem....the Maker refused to stare reality square in the Face on the problem and did themselves in by doing so.

Even if they do manage to cobble together a "perfect" Transmission....no one is going to ride in the thing.....as they have an Albatross around their neck and not a Parrot on a Perch.

One Man's Opinion here.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 20:37
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Statoil made an announcement that the 225 is through with them, Reuters released it earlier today. Tango123's link makes it look to me like there is no going back on that particular relationship. Interesting quotes form that article:
Airbus Group has expressed frustration at the local bans.
Really? The ban is a reflection of the frustration with your support of the aircraft.
In October Airbus Group's finance director Harald Wilhelm suggested Britain's decision to keep the aircraft grounded was related to the country's decision to leave the European Union.
Yeah, blame it on Brexit. Clever gambit. Pawn to Queen 4.
Britain's Civil Aviation Authority responded, saying that the decision was purely related to safety.
Check and mate.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 21:23
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Face it folks....the 225 is like that proverbial Parrot that Mr. Cleese and Company were on about. It is not napping, taking a Kip, ....it is as they said about the Parrot....it is DEAD!
Airbus Helicopters reputation is in tatters in my opinion. It's not just customers and passengers who have lost confidence.
Why are the military still placing orders?
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 21:25
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The military may have a different risk assessment matrix than the off shore oil business. From some of the PPRuNe 225 threads it seems that they have a shorter removal/overhaul cycle than the for profit personnel transport business.


That's a guess, though, not something written on a stone tablet.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 22:54
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Originally Posted by HeliComparator View Post
IMO the 225 is a great helicopter apart from its single fatal accident.
You seem to be very quick to forget two other recent EC225 accidents where the MGB main shaft sheared in two. Thankfully they didn't end up with fatalities.
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Old 6th Dec 2016, 23:31
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Sasless,

Make that two men's opinions.

NEO
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Old 7th Dec 2016, 02:21
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Originally Posted by Concentric View Post
Jimf671,

From the same parliamentary report:

“21. Since 2002, the UK offshore oil and gas industry has suffered 38 fatalities. The five most recent accidents (since 2009) have all involved Super Puma variants and three of those accidents were caused by problems with the gearbox”. ... ...

Same principle for the MRGB. It is fundamental and critical to every helicopter so why would it not have a prime position in the accident record.

Most major medium/large types with substantial service have had a hundred or two accidents and several hundred fatalities. The S-92 and EC225 are well on the way to setting a completely new standard in safety. If we all ignore the numbers and go in a spin like an offended millennial at every significant event then the industry will be permanently in chaos
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Old 7th Dec 2016, 03:40
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Some good debate and clearly 2 sides of which i am with SASless and Neo so make that 3 mens opinion.

HeliC couldn't agree more all humans behave irrationally and the offshore bear is no different. The manf telling us that one type of bearing is safe after all their previous statements and misinformation doesn't cut it any longer and sadly they will not be trusted by the people who make the decisions as to which helicopters are used offshore.

Jimf671
The offshore logistics industry isn't in chaos and we seem to be coping quite well without the 225

GNOW to answer your question in simple terms ...wheel them out, polish the windshields and feel free to do your check rides etc but your going to be very lonely sitting up front perhaps doing the odd freight run when someone offers a cheap deal to get you airborne.

BG
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Old 7th Dec 2016, 03:47
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Originally Posted by bladegrabber View Post
... ... ...
Jimf671
The offshore logistics industry isn't in chaos and we seem to be coping quite well without the 225.
... ... ...

Of course. But then, this is just the closing paragraph of Chapter One.
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