Super Puma to fly again

Duncan Munro, from Bishop Auckland and George Allison, who was originally from the North East but living in Hampshire, were two of four victims of a helicopter crash involving a Super Puma off the coast of Shetland.

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Super Pumas' to fly again

Offshore industry leaders have recommended that all Super Puma helicopters should return to service, following a crash which killed four people, including a man from County Durham.

Flights were suspended after an AS332 L2 Super Puma crashed as it approached Sumburgh airport on the southern tip of Shetland, killing three men and one woman.

Duncan Munro from Bishop Auckland died in the crash on Friday.

Helicopter data recorder recovered

The flight data recorder of a Super Puma helicopter that crashed in the North Sea, killing four offshore workers, including a man from County Durham, has been recovered.

The helicopter plunged into the sea as it approached Sumburgh airport on the southern tip of Shetland on Friday, killing three men and one woman.

The search for the data recorder has been described as challenging due to the "nature of the environment" where the wreckage was located.

A statement from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said:

"The combined voice and flight data recorder from the AS332 L2 Super Puma helicopter has been successfully recovered and will be transported to the AAIB HQ in Farnborough later today."


Pilots Association "has confidence" in Super Pumas

The British Airlines Pilots Association (Balpa) has released a statement saying that it has confidence in the Super Puma, days after one of the helicopters plunged into the North Sea.

Four people died in the crash near to Shetland.

In a statement, the association said that it would be a mistake to draw early conclusions about the cause of the crash.

"In the meantime Balpa wishes to confirm that the confidence of its members in the Super Puma family of aircraft remains unchanged," the group stated.

"Indeed the aircraft continues to operate commercial air transport flights throughout the rest of the world including the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

"We should not rush to judge an aircraft which has three very different variants and has successfully transported millions of passengers worldwide in safety over 30 years of operation.

"However, once the recommendations of the accident report into last Friday's accident have been published, Balpa believes there is a need to take a step back and, as well as reviewing each of the five individual accident investigations, to consider as a whole what can be done to improve the safety of both the offshore workforce and Balpa members who share the same risks, but on a daily basis.

"Such an investigation might usefully take a comparative view on the approaches of our Norwegian colleagues who do things in the same geographic operating area yet with an apparently better safety record."

Balpa extended its sympathies to the families of those who died and to survivors.

Search for black box after helicopter crash

Investigators are searching for the black box data recorder of a helicopter that plunged into the North Sea. Duncan Monro from County Durham was killed along with three other oil workers in the crash near Shetland.

Salvage experts have been using sonar equipment to try to trace the device, which was located in the tail of the aircraft. They hope information on the flight recorder will help establish what caused the CHC-operated Super Puma AS332 L2 to crash.

"There has been a huge amount of work by everyone involved in safety in the offshore oil-and-gas industry to mitigate the risks of working in and travelling to offshore installations,

"My message and commitment to offshore workers and everyone with an interest in our industry is that we will continue to do everything humanly possible to ensure we get them to work and get home safely every time."

– Duncan Trapp, Vice President for Safety and Quality at CHC Helicopter


Full report: fourth body pulled from wreckage

The fourth and final body from Friday evening's helicopter crash two miles off the Shetland coast has been recovered from the wreckage.

Duncan Munro from Coundon, Bishop Auckland, died in the crash on Friday evening along with three others.

All Super Puma flights to and from UK offshore installations have been suspended after the helicopter flying the oil workers plunged into the North Sea.

Questions have now been raised about the safety of the aircraft.

*Frances Read reports. *

Duncan was "fabulous father" and "devoted husband"

The Family of Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, who was killed in a helicopter crash of the coast of the Shetland Islands on Friday, have released the following statement:

"Duncan was fabulous father of Katie, aged 12, and a devoted husband of Penny.

"He was loving brother and devoted colleague to many.

"He will be sadly missed by everyone that knew him and his death will leave a large void in a lot of people's lives."

– Family of Duncan Munro
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