The information the AAIB has published is concerning insofar as it appears to make a link between the recent incident and the one in May.

The root problems appear once again to be with the gearbox shaft and the emergency lubrication system.

There is now growing concerns amongst pilots of the safety of this helicopter, as there is amongst the oil and gas workers who regularly fly in it.  We question what EASA and Eurocopter have done to ensure that the fault identified in May’s incident has been rectified on all helicopters of this type.  Whatever action has been put in place has clearly not been sufficient if the AAIB’s initial investigation proves to be correct.

For instance, it appears that the vertical shaft in this helicopter was not one of those identified by Eurocopter has one needing special attention.

We are calling for EASA to be transparent about its actions to date.

Our safety experts are currently looking at the issue in detail and we intend to keep our members who fly this helicopter up to date with their views over the safety of this type of aircraft.