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Helicopter grounded after crash
A helicopter transport service has grounded a fleet of its aircraft after a helicopter flying oil workers plunged into the North Sea off Shetland killing four people.
CHC said flights of its Super Puma AS332 L2 aircraft, the model which suddenly ditched without warning while carrying 18 people, are suspended globally until further notice.
It has also suspended all UK commercial flights of the three other models in the Super Puma range following a recommendation from an aviation safety group.
After an emergency meeting the offshore industry's Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) urged the precautionary measure until there is "sufficient factual information" to resume flights.
Meanwhile, rescuers are yet to recover one of the bodies still at sea following Friday evening's crash around two miles west of Sumburgh airport.
Those who died have been named as Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham; George Allison, 57, from Winchester, Hampshire; Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Scotland; and 59-year-old Gary McCrossan, from Inverness, also Scotland.
The helicopter was being operated by CHC for oil company Total and was transporting workers from the Borgsten Dolphin platform when it is believed to have experienced a "catastrophic" loss of power.
After its meeting the HSSG said: ''The HSSG, supported by the Step Change in Safety Leadership Team, has taken the precautionary measure of recommending temporary suspension of all Super Puma commercial passenger flights to and from offshore oil and gas installations within the UK."
CHC said it has "great respect" for the HSSG and would follow its recommendation, which allows for the use of emergency flights.
It added that the further three models in the Super Puma range, AS332L/L1 and EC225, would be suspended globally while the company "took stock" of Friday's accident. However it believes that differences in their engineering and operation compared to the AS332 L2 warrant continuing flights with these aircraft.