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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 07:52 GMT 08:52 UK
Rig flights resume after fatal crash
A Sikorsky S-76
The crash claimed 11 lives
North Sea helicopter operations halted after a crash off the Norfolk coast claimed 11 lives are due to restart.

Shell suspended flights operated by Bristow Helicopters after a Sikorsky S-76A helicopter ferrying workers between rigs crashed near Cromer in July.

A Shell spokesman said that following investigations the company was confident that the aircraft is safe.

"We wanted to stop flights until the investigation was carried out and until we had consulted with our offshore workforce," he said.

"We are re-starting flights using four helicopters which will be making about 50 flights a week."

Blade failure

Both crew and all nine passengers died in the crash six weeks ago when the helicopter suffered a "catastrophic" failure caused by the fracture of one of the rotor blades.

The aircraft was taking workers from Norwich Airport to a gas drilling rig.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch report last month said there had been an "anomaly" in the manufacturing of one of the blades which had been worsened by a lightning strike in 1999.

In the light of its findings, the AAIB ordered checks of Sikorsky S76s.


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See also:

08 Aug 02 | England
26 Jul 02 | Scotland
24 Jul 02 | England
18 Jul 02 | England
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