GATINEAU, QUEBEC — The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada have found a broken main gearbox filter bowl assembly mounting stud in the wreckage of the Cougar Helicopter Sikorsky S92A that crashed off St. Johns, Newfoundland, on March 12, killing 17 people.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. issued an Alert Services Bulletin (ASB) on Jan. 28, 2009, indicating that the main gearbox filter bowl assembly mounting titanium studs should be replaced with steel mounting studs. This one-time modification was to be accomplished within the next 1,250 flight hours or within one year of the issue date of the ASB, whichever occurred first.
In light of the discovery, the Federal Aviation Administration will issue an emergency Airworthiness Directive stipulating that all operators of Sikorsky S92-A helicopters worldwide must install the improved studs before conducting any other flights.
The helicopter crashed offshore Newfoundland while transporting workers to the White Rose and Hibernia oil fields. Seventeen of the 18 people aboard were killed, with all bodies recovered earlier this week. The survivor, Robert Decker, remains in serious condition at the Health Sciences Centre in St. Johns.