A second North Sea helicopter company has suspended flights using the model of Super Puma which ditched off Shetland


A second North Sea helicopter operator has suspended flights using the model of Super Puma aircraft forced to ditch yesterday off Fair Isle, near Shetland.

All 19 people on board were rescued safely, after the pilot brought the helicopter down in the sea near an oil rig standby vessel.

However, unions are concerned that this second serious incident of its kind in less than six months will raise new safety fears among oil industry workers.

It was the fourth serious incident involving a Super Puma helicopter since 2009.

A Unite spokesman said: “We’re lucky no-one was hurt in this incident.  But we can’t keep relying on luck all the time.”

The operator of the aircraft which ditched yesterday, CHC said it was suspending flights involving helicopters of the same type.

The leading operator in the North Sea, Bristow, has also delayed operations using this model of Super Puma, pending an investigation.

Oil unions and industry experts are due to hold talks on the safety of helicopter flights to and from offshore oil and gas installations in Aberdeen later this week.

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