Civil Aviation Authority
SAFETY AND OPERATIONAL
Issued: 20 July 2017
Airbus Helicopters EC225LP and AS332L2
Limitations of Operations due to a Fatal Accident in Norway
on 29 April 2016 and Return to Service Requirements
This Safety and Operational Directive contains mandatory action that is required to restore an
acceptable level of safety. It is issued in accordance with articles 17(1) and 248 of the Air
Navigation Order 2016.
Aerodromes: Not primarily affected
Air Traffic: Not primarily affected
Airspace: Not primarily affected
Airworthiness: All Continued Airworthiness Management and Maintenance Organisations
Flight Operations: All Operators and Pilots of Airbus Helicopters EC225LP and AS332L2
Licensed Personnel: All Pilots of Airbus Helicopters EC225LP and AS332L2 Helicopters
1.1 This Safety and Operational Directive contains mandatory action that is required to establish
an acceptable level of safety. It is issued under articles 17(1) and 248 of the Air Navigation
Order 2016 and subject to, and in accordance with, Regulation (EC) No. 216/2008, Article
1.2 Applicable recipients must ensure that this Directive is copied to all members of their staff who
need to take appropriate action or who may have an interest in the information, including any
“in-house” or contracted maintenance organisation and relevant outside contractors.
1.3 This Safety and Operational Directive supersedes and revokes SD-2016/003 and contains
measures to enable the affected helicopters to return to service subject to certain conditions
specified in Section 2.
Civil Aviation Authority Safety Directive SD-2017/001
2 Compliance/Action to be Taken
2.1 The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in exercise of its powers under article 17(1) and 248 of the Air Navigation Order 2016, and subject to, and in accordance with, Regulation (EC) No.
216/2008, Article 14.1, directs operators of any Airbus Helicopters EC225LP helicopter or
AS332L2 helicopter which is:
a) registered in the United Kingdom; or
b) flying in the United Kingdom or in the neighbourhood of an offshore location,
to comply with the requirements set out in paragraph 2.2.
2.2 Operators and pilots must not conduct any flight with an Airbus Helicopters EC225LP
helicopter or AS332L2 helicopter, unless:
a) the helicopter is in compliance with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
Airworthiness Directive (AD) Number 2017-0111 dated 23 June 2017 (as amended);
b) an EASA approved Full Flow Magnetic Plug (FFMP) device, to support the inspection
of the Main Gearbox (MGB) oil system particle detection, is installed.
2.3 Operators who have been affected by SD 2016/003, in addition to compliance with paragraph
2.2, should ensure that they establish and implement a comprehensive Return to Service
plan. This plan should include the provision of a return to service safety case, including
revisions to the applicable rotorcraft maintenance programmes and cover both maintainer and
flight crew training requirements. This information should be produced in accordance with the
operator’s management system procedures and, for Commercial Air Transport (CAT)
operators, be agreed with the relevant Competent Authority.
2.4 In this Directive, ‘Offshore location’ means a facility intended to be used for helicopter
operations on either:
a) an offshore installation or a renewable energy installation, as defined in paragraph 6(5)
and (9) of Schedule 13 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 (as amended by the Energy Act
b) floating structures or vessels; and
c) ‘in the neighbourhood’ of an installation includes anywhere within 500 metres of that
3.1 This Safety and Operational Directive is made in the interest of assuring safe operations
following a fatal accident in Norway with an Airbus Helicopters EC225LP on 29 April 2016. It
contains requirements that when implemented permit a controlled return to operations.
3.2 As a result of the preliminary report from Accident Investigation Board Norway (AIBN) issued
on the 1 June 2016, with an urgent safety recommendation addressed to the EASA, and
contact between the UK CAA and Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA-N) on 1 June 2016,
it was agreed by both National Aviation Authorities to extend the scope of their Airbus
Helicopters EC225LP and AS332L2 Safety Directives to all operations, including Search and Rescue operations.
Paragraph 6(8) of Schedule 13 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 (as amended by the Energy Act 2004).
Civil Aviation Authority Safety Directive SD-2017/001
3.3 The AIBN continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and will report
fully in due course. However, following extensive investigations and liaison with all parties,
Airbus Helicopters have issued several revised Alert Service Bulletins and these have been
reflected in the latest EASA AD (2017-0111). This incorporates requirements for the
replacement of certain gears, improved particle detection, revised gearbox monitoring and
overhaul procedures, and the fitment of new chip detectors on the EC225LP. As a result of the close collaboration between regulators and the manufacturer, the CAA and the CAA-N
have now determined that with this latest level of airworthiness oversight and with careful
return to service plans, operations with the EC225LP and AS332L2 may recommence.
3.4 The embodiment of the Full Flow Magnetic Plug (FFMP) device modification provides for the
collection of particles in the main gearbox oil system upstream of the oil cooler. This
modification enables the check of the MGB oil filter and oil cooler to be cancelled thereby
reducing maintenance and human factor risks associated with repetitive inspections and
dismantling of sections of the transmission areas.
3.5 In parallel with this activity, the CAA and CAA-N will continue to support and work closely with
Accident Investigators, EASA and Airbus Helicopters to attempt to establish the root cause of
the accident and to identify new methods/techniques to further improve impending failure
detection capability and minimise maintenance burden.
4.1 Any queries or requests for further guidance from AOC holders as a result of this
communication should be addressed to the assigned Flight Operations Inspector in the first instance.
4.2 Otherwise, queries should be addressed to Flight Operations Policy at the following e-mail address: ISPTechnicalSupportTeam@caa.co.uk.
5 Revocation and Commencement
5.1 Safety and Operational Directive SD-2016/003 dated 2 June 2016 is revoked from 20 July
2017 at 12:00 hours UTC2
5.2 This Directive comes into force on 20 July 2017 at 12:00 hours UTC and will remain in force until revoked by the CAA.
UTC: Co-ordinated Universal Time.