Crash Prompts Urgent S-92 Fix

 - March 30, 2009, 6:37 AM

Examination of wreckage from the March 12 crash of a Cougar Helicopters S-92 prompted manufacturer Sikorsky to recommend the grounding of all S-92 helicopters unless their titanium main gearbox oil bowl mounting studs had already been replaced with steel ones. Investigators for Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) found a broken stud on Cougar’s S-92 that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland minutes after the pilot reported “zero” MGB oil pressure. The two-man flight crew and 15 of the 16 oil rig workers aboard were killed. The FAA issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive on March 23 grounding the fleet until the fix is made. At press time, Sikorsky reported that 50 of the 91 S-92s in service already had been fitted with the new studs and most of the remaining fleet was expected to be modified by the end of last month.