A full emergency was declared yesterday after a warning light came on in the cockpit of an offshore helicopter.
The Bristow Helicopters Airbus Super Puma EC225 aircraft is understood to have been returning to Scatsta from the North Cormorant platform when the warning light activated.
Emergency services at Sumburgh Airport in Shetland were put on alert and a search and rescue helicopter was scrambled to the area.
The flight crew triggered the response by making a pan-pan call – a full aircraft emergency – as a gearbox warning light had come on.
The helicopter – registration G-ZZSK – had departed from Aberdeen at around 9.30am. It landed safely at Sumburgh at around 11.05am. All 18 passengers and two crew on board were unhurt.
A spokeswoman for Bristow said: “The aircraft was undertaking a routine crew change flight to an offshore installation and had 18 passengers and two crew on board at the time.
“The aircraft landed safely at Sumburgh Airport at approximately 11am and is currently undergoing a fault diagnosis to establish the required maintenance actions.
“The landing itself was uneventful, but Sumburgh Airport mobilised the emergency services as a matter of routine.
“Flight safety is Bristow’s first priority and we will always investigate prior to further flight.”
Yesterday’s emergency happened just weeks after a Sikorsky S-92 aircraft, operated by CHC Scotia, was forced to land in Aberdeen after one of its engines failed.
The helicopter was returning from the Beryl Bravo platform on March 20 when one of its two powerplants cut out due to an issue with its fuel system.
The Bristow spokeswoman said yesterday’s emergency landing was carried out as a “precaution” rather than because of any imminent risk. A spokesman for Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd, which owns Sumburgh Airport, confirmed staff had been put on alert. A Shetland Coastguard spokeswoman said teams from Lerwick and Sumburgh were called to the airport.