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Review into North Sea offshore helicopter operations announced by CAA

The operations of helicopters in the North Sea are to be reviewed in the wake of recent accidents, the Civil Aviation Authority has announced.

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Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 15.21.00The operations of helicopters in the North Sea are to be reviewed in the wake of recent accidents, the Civil Aviation Authority has announced.

The regulator said it would work with its Norwegian counterpart and the European Aviation Safety Agency to draw up a report, which it expects to publish early next year.

It will examine areas including helicopter airworthiness and training.

Four people died in a Super Puma crash last month.

It was the fifth accident in four years, two of which caused fatalities.

The review will also focus on “operator decision making and internal management” and the “protection of passengers and crew”.

Mark Swan, director of the CAA’s safety and airspace regulation group, said: “The recent accidents have understandably given rise to concerns, particularly with offshore workers who rely so heavily on these helicopter flights.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that operations are as safe as possible.

“The review we are announcing today will thoroughly examine the risks and hazards of operating in the North Sea and how these can be managed most effectively.”

He added: “We are extremely grateful to Geir Hamre from the Norwegian CAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency for joining the review team.

“They bring additional expertise and experience which will be invaluable to the review.”

An investigation into the CHC-operated Super Puma AS332 L2 crash off Shetland is ongoing.

Sarah Darnley, 45, of Elgin; Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness; Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland; and George Allison, 57, from Winchester, lost their lives in the incident.

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