Chopper from Canada crash failed critical safety test

295 News Staff

The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter at the centre of the deadly crash off Newfoundland’s coast had failed a critical safety test, says a report in Monday’s Globe and Mail.

According to the newspaper, documents show the helicopter failed a test on its “run-dry” requirement — a safety feature designed to give pilots time to land safely if oil leaks from the main gearbox.

The S-92 is certified to a standard requiring a run-dry time of 30 minutes. But the Globe reports that European aviation authority documents show the model did not meet that requirement.

The Sikorsky was certified under a clause that allows an exemption if the chances of gearbox oil loss are “extremely remote.”

An initial investigation into the crash that killed 17 oil rig workers found oil pressure in the gear box started dropping a few minutes into the flight.

Investigators found that pressure failed completely as the chopper plummeted into the Atlantic ocean.

There was only one survivor when the aircraft belonging to Cougar Helicopters went down about 65 kilometres from St. John’s, N.L. on March 12.

The helicopter was carrying oil workers to an offshore oil platform. It turned back unexpectedly, then crashed about eight minutes later into the frigid North Atlantic. The pilot had reported problems with the gearbox.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has grounded all Sikorsky S-92 helicopters following the crash.


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