A stricken Airbus H175 helicopter had to be taken ashore aboard a ship after a cockpit warning light appeared while the aircraft was on an oil rig.
Only a small number of H175s are in service in the UK North Sea. NHV has three at its base in Aberdeen, while CHC Helicopter took delivery of its first H175 for use in offshore oil operations in August.
A spokesman for Belgian operator NHV said the warning light incident took place last week.
He said the light came on when the aircraft was on a rig in Danish waters, and not during flight.
A ship was used after it became clear that the H175 could not safely fly all the way back to its base.
The aircraft did manage to fly the short distance between the rig and the ship, before being transported back to the Danish coast.
Once near the shore, it made a short flight to Esbjerg airport, where it is undergoing scheduled maintenance.
An industry source based in Denmark told Energy Voice that the aircraft had suffered gearbox problems.
NHV and Airbus said a root cause had yet to be found.
A spokesman for Airbus said the aircraft would not return to action without undergoing a full set of checks.
He said: “An NHV H175 experienced a cockpit warning on the deck of an offshore rig in the North Sea.
“With full support from Airbus Helicopters the aircraft was cleared for two short ferry flights, from the rig to a transport ship and, on the ship’s arrival at the coast, a short flight on to land.
“The flights, which totalled less than 10 minutes, remained at all times within the safe flight period following one of these alerts.
“The aircraft will undergo a full technical inspection ahead of any return to flight.”
Unite Back Home Safe 2017 Campaign – Helicopter Safety Offshore
Get Protected! Get Active! Get Organised!
Join Unite The Offshore Union online today!
Unite is the largest trade union in for offshore workers in the North Sea UKCS
Have a voice, take action and make change happen. Join the union
Bob Wylie, September 2017
Unite’s organisers encouraging sign-up to Unite in heliports. Find out more in the video below: