Eurocopter on Monday said its EC225 twin engine passenger transport helicopters can return to full service later this month, after being grounded in some countries since October 2012.
On July 10, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved prevention and detection measures developed by Eurocopter to address the EC225's main gear box shaft failures, which were found to have contributed to a CHC EC225 that ditched in the North Sea near Shetland Islands. Following that incident, EC225 operators serving the energy industry in the North Sea had their aircraft grounded for safety reasons.
The fix involves a partial redesign of the bevel shaft as well as additional software and cockpit warning indicators.
“I am convinced that the designed and approved measures are the right ones, allowing a safe return to service of the entire fleet,” said Guillaume Faury, President and CEO of Eurocopter.
Eurocopter is working with operators now to modify their EC225s with the EASA-approved fix.