The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued an airworthiness directive for EC 225 LP helicopters, which requires a one-time inspection of the main gear box oil cooler and the reporting of all findings to EASA.
This directive follows a fatal accident which occurred in April 2016, which involved an EC 225 LP helicopter that was carrying a Statoil crew from the Gullfaks B oil platform to the Bergen airport on the West Coast of Norway.
In the aftermath of the incident, the EASA issued an emergency directive which prohibited the flight of all EC 225 LP helicopters. Subsequently, Airbus Helicopters investigated possible accident contributory factors and determined that the likely cause relates to the rupture of the second stage planet gear.
Although the root cause is still not fully understood, it involved cracking of the planet gear bearing outer race, some spalling and propagation of a crack into the rim, the EASA said.
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