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Helicopter firm CHC scraps North Sea Super Puma flights

The decision comes in the wake of an accident in Norway which claimed the lives of 13 men.

Super Puma: CHC says 'lack of commercial demand' behind its decision (file pic).
Super Puma: CHC says 'lack of commercial demand' behind its decision (file pic). Airbus

Helicopter firm CHC plans to end its use of Super Puma aircraft in the North Sea following a fatal crash.

The decision comes in the wake of the accident in Norway, which claimed the lives of 13 men including Iain Stuart from Laurencekirk.

It was the sixth serious incident involving a Super Puma helicopter in the North Sea in less than a decade.

CHC said a "lack of commercial demand" from its customers was responsible for its decision.

H225s - known as EC225s before a rebrand in 2015 - were grounded in the UK by the Civil Aviation Authority after the crash on April 29.

A CHC Spokeswoman said: "CHC is committed to having a resilient, mixed fleet that provides the right aircraft at the right time to meet our customers' helicopter service requirements.

"In Scotland, over the past few weeks, we have engaged closely with our H225 customers about the immediate term but also looking forward to the future.

"As a service provider to our customers we must understand, accept and respond to their operational requirements and wishes.

"In the future, when the H225 fleet returns to service and customers wish to fly the aircraft, we will appropriately adjust the mix of aircraft in our fleet.

"Providing a safe and reliable service to our customers remains CHC's top priority."

Aviation experts investigating the crash in Norway believe they have uncovered evidence of metal fatigue in the Super Puma's gearbox.

Four people died when a Super Puma plunged into the North Sea near Shetland in August 2013 and 16 were killed in a 2009 crash off Peterhead.

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