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Helicopter pre-flight checks 'updated'

NEW procedures were put in place to check Super Puma gearbox parts following a crash which killed 16 people in the North Sea, an inquiry has heard.

Two pilots and 14 oil workers died when the ASS32-L2 suffered a catastrophic gearbox failure off the coast of Peterhead in April 2009.

Yesterday a fatal accident inquiry heard evidence from a helicopter engineer involved in pre-flight checks on the day that it crashed.

Additional checks had been ordered on the chopper 36 hours before the disaster because a metallic particle was found on the epicyclic chip detector.

Bond Offshore Helicopters engineer David Shand, 64, said he couldn't remember if he had worked on the checks on April 1 himself but had signed off the records.

Asked what his signature meant, he replied: "I'm confirming that the inspection has been covered.

"It wouldn't necessarily be myself that carried out the inspection. It could have been carried out by one of the engineers on shift.

"On shift it was my responsibility to complete these inspections."

Mr Shand said check lists recorded for the morning of April 1 showed that there were no abnormalities found on the aircraft at all.

The inquiry heard new procedures had been put in place following the accident. The engineer said magnetic plugs on aircraft now had to be checked on a daily basis.

The inquiry in Aberdeen continues on Tuesday.

Contextual targeting label: 
Transport Tragedy

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