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Bond Offshore Helicopters, a provider of transportation services to several oil platforms in the UK Continental Shelf, has grounded its Scotland-based fleet after a pilot had to ditch one of the aircraft in the North Sea off Aberdeen last week.

The oil industry will meet with officials from trade unions RMT and Unite today to examine a detailed report, which found a crack in the gearbox of a Eurocopter Super Puma helicopter, reports STV.

A spokesman for Bond told the Scottish news provider: "Bond is taking this very seriously and need to hear from the regulators before a decision is made. Our priority is on safe flying."

The gearbox fault forced the aircraft, which was reportedly heading to the Maersk Resilient platform, to come down in rough waters while transporting oil industry crew, all 14 of whom were successfully rescued.

The pilot made the emergency landing after an oil pressure warning light came on.

Robert Paterson, Oil & Gas UK health and safety director, welcomed this news: "All offshore helicopter pilots undergo extensive training to prepare them for emergency situations and all passengers undergo regular helicopter evacuation training.

"Helicopter safety remains a focus for the oil and gas industry, with the Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) now an established part of the Step Change in Safety organisation. Oil & Gas UK awaits more information on this incident and, through the HSSG, will ensure any learning from this is shared across the industry."


Image: The pilot of the Eurocopter Super Puma aircraft made an emergency landing in the North Sea after an oil pressure warning light came on.