Tue, Mar 24, 2009
Calls For Replacement Of Titanium Oil Bowl Studs With Steel
As the threat of a worldwide grounding of all S-92 helicopters
looms, Sikorsky Aircraft noted Monday the majority of the global
S-92 helicopter fleet already has complied with the company's
notice to retrofit the aircraft's gearbox oil bowl with steel
mounting studs... and expects "close to 100 percent compliance by
the end of this week."
The company tells ANN it contacted all S-92 helicopter operators
on March 20 after broken titanium studs were found during the
investigation into the March 12 downing of a Cougar Helicopters
S-92 offshore oil rig transport.
As Aero-News reported Monday, the Canadian
Transportation Safety Board has called for the grounding of all
S-92s worldwide until an emergency airworthiness directive has been
complied with; the FAA is expected to issue that EAD within
For now, Sikorsky says the TSB investigation is continuing...
and that "no determination has been made that the broken studs
contributed to the accident or if they resulted from it." Sikorsky
says it immediately notified the operators as a safety
As of Monday afternoon, more than 50 of the 91 S-92 helicopter
retrofits were completed, according to the helomaker.
"While the investigation remains ongoing, our priority has been
to maintain safety and eliminate any potential risks," said Marc
Poland, Vice President of Sikorsky Global Helicopters. "The
operators are reacting quickly, and we are doing all we can to
encourage full and rapid compliance.
"Our prayers and deepest condolences go out to the families of
all involved in this terrible tragedy," Poland added. "The
investigation continues, and we are providing support and technical
resources to assist the TSB while we continue to support the
The worldwide fleet of S-92 helicopters has accumulated more
than 140,000 flight hours since 2004. The Cougar accident was the
first fatal crash of the type.
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