Fragment found in crash copter gearbox not the first

By Keith Findlay

Published: 24/01/2014

A metal fragment found in the gearbox of the helicopter involved in the 2009 North Sea disaster a week before the tragedy was not the first, it has emerged.

The component at the heart of the “catastrophic” gearbox failure suffered by the Super Puma air- craft had a chequered history.

In June 2004, a part – called the epicyclic module – was removed for overhaul after the presence of metallic particles was picked up by gearbox magnetic chip detectors.

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