Sikorsky has settled a $20 million lawsuit brought by Cougar Helicopters and its insurers following the fatal crash of an S-92A off St. John’s, Canada, in March 2009. The helicopter crashed 11 minutes after losing main gearbox oil pressure. Cougar is still suing Transport Canada for improperly certifying the S-92A.
Sikorsky’s ongoing total S-92 product improvement program emphasizes the offshore oil and gas mission, focusing on areas of availability, capability and safety, according to Spencer Elani, Sikorsky’s S-92 program manager.
In the North Sea, worker unions and the oil and gas industry lobbies have not expressed concerns about the safety of the Sikorsky S-92. Oil & Gas UK declined to comment.
Although Sikorsky is developing a new main gearbox to solve the problems that have plagued the S-92 over the course of its service life, the new transmission will not be able to run for 30 minutes after a total loss of lubrication.
Dublin, Ireland-based Milestone Aviation Group and CHC Helicopter have agreed on the sale-leaseback of five medium twins–two Sikorsky S-92s and three Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Pumas.
Sikorsky is developing a next-generation main gearbox (MGB) with enhanced lubrication capabilities with built-in redundancy systems such as chip detectors and oil scavenge systems, according to Spencer Elani, Sikorsky’s S-92 program manager. “We are continuing to make a lot of improvements to the current gearbox, and to automate some of the features,” Elani said.
CHC Helicopter and aircraft leasing firm Milestone Aviation Group announced an $80 million contract today for sale-leaseback of five heavy helicopters for transporting offshore oil and gas workers in the UK, Denmark and Falklands. The deal includes the sale-leaseback of two Sikorsky S-92s and three Eurocopter AS332L2s.
Offshore operator Bristow’s Sikorsky S-92s have started flying in the North Sea with a second-generation traffic alert collision avoidance system (Tcas2). The first of seven medium twins to be equipped entered service in August, following EASA approval. The company had been studying S-92 Tcas2 since 2008, when it started operating the in-house-developed system on a Eurocopter Super Puma.
Boeing and Sikorsky are gaining new export business worth over $2 billion for Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters, respectively.
The chairman of Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) wants a mandatory 30-minute “run dry” requirement on all main gearboxes (MGB) for future helicopters. Wendy Tadros’s remarks came as part of the TSB’s investigation of the March 2009 fatal crash of a Sikorsky S-92A off Newfoundland, 11 minutes after its MGB ran out of oil.