Cougar crash sparks gearbox review

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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HALIFAX — Transport Canada says it will consider whether to require changes to the design of a gearbox that lost oil and was a cause in the fatal crash of Cougar Flight 491 off Newfoundland two years ago.

The federal department is responding to recommendations by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada on the crash that killed 17 people.

The department posted its response Monday night on its website, but words were missing and a spokeswoman sent an email Tuesday to clarify the response.

In her email, Maryse Durette says Transport Canada will meet with American and European regulators and discuss whether rules need to be changed to ensure the gearboxes will be capable of operating 30 minutes if they lose oil pressure.

In a report released in February, the safety board said the primary cause of the March 12, 2009, crash was a massive loss of oil to the chopper’s main gearbox after two of three titanium studs snapped off the oil filter assembly during flight.

The safety board recommended that Transport Canada change regulations so that offshore helicopters are capable of flying without oil in the main gearbox for at least 30 minutes.

Organizations: Transport Canada, Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Max
    June 07, 2011 - 21:25

    Just being CONSIDERED two years after the fact. WHY SO LONG, and why hasn't this been made a mandatory condition already? Gives credence to the previous comment of BELLS re.waiting for it to happen again before acting. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, AND MOVE ON THIS NOW.

  • Snoopy
    June 07, 2011 - 15:04

    I would like to see the Transport Safety Board work at getting the problem corrected by way of having a new gear box designed so that there is no posability of loss of oil from the gear box while the aircraft is in operation. This doesn't sound like an impossable task.

  • bells
    June 07, 2011 - 11:45

    Transport Canada says it will CONSIDER whether to require changes to the design of a gearbox that lost oil and was a cause in the fatal crash of Cougar Flight 491 off Newfoundland two years ago.....6 words into the story and it's all I needed to hear....just considering that the changes ARE NOT required tells us all that they are just waiting for it to happen again and then MAYBE they will CONSIDER having these aircrafts safe enough to fly our loved ones back and forth to work..so very very sad to read.