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Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma, G-CHCG

Date of occurrence: 03 March 2006

Summary:
The helicopter was ferrying oil company personnel from an oil production platform to Aberdeen Airport when it suffered a lightning strike. There was no vibration or visible signs of damage but there was a temporary disruption of the flight instrument screens and navigation system, and indications of failures in the flight data recorders. Whilst approaching Aberdeen Airport in deteriorating weather conditions, the helicopter suffered a hydraulic system failure due to loss of fluid but it was landed safely. The visible exterior damage to the helicopter was typical but a further safety hazard was the hidden damage to the interior portions of the main rotor hydraulic actuators which had caused an hydraulic leak depleting one system. Some of this damage may have been inflicted by an earlier lightning strike and this damage was not detected although the appropriate post-lightning strike checks had been carried out. New post lightning-strike inspection procedures to be issued by the helicopter’s manufacturer and amendments to the operating company’s QRH and Operations Manual have been devised.

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Report name:
Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma, G-CHCG
Registration:
G-CHCG
Type:
Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma
Date of occurrence:
03 March 2006
Category:
Commercial Air Transport - Rotorcraft
Summary:
The helicopter was ferrying oil company personnel from an oil production platform to Aberdeen Airport when it suffered a lightning strike. There was no vibration or visible signs of damage but there was a temporary disruption of the flight instrument screens and navigation system, and indications of failures in the flight data recorders. Whilst approaching Aberdeen Airport in deteriorating weather conditions, the helicopter suffered a hydraulic system failure due to loss of fluid but it was landed safely. The visible exterior damage to the helicopter was typical but a further safety hazard was the hidden damage to the interior portions of the main rotor hydraulic actuators which had caused an hydraulic leak depleting one system. Some of this damage may have been inflicted by an earlier lightning strike and this damage was not detected although the appropriate post-lightning strike checks had been carried out. New post lightning-strike inspection procedures to be issued by the helicopter’s manufacturer and amendments to the operating company’s QRH and Operations Manual have been devised.