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Search for crash copter black box
A diver works on the wreckage of the Super Puma L2 helicopter which went down about two miles west of Sumburgh airport on Shetland
Investigators are continuing to search for the black box data recorder of a helicopter that plunged into the North Sea, killing four oil workers.
Salvage experts at the site of the crash have been using specialist sonar equipment to try to trace the device, which was located in the tail section of the aircraft.
It is hoped information on the flight recorder will help establish what caused the CHC-operated Super Puma AS332 L2 to ditch as it approached Sumburgh airport on the southern tip of Shetland on Friday evening. Once traced, the recorder will be transported to the headquarters of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch at Farnborough, Hampshire, for examination.
The wreckage of the helicopter is due to be transported to a mainland port on the Bibby Polaris salvage vessel.
The Super Puma was carrying 16 passengers and two crew from the Borgsten Dolphin platform when it crashed into the sea, killing three men and one woman.
Rescuers recovered three bodies in the aftermath of the incident and the fourth is expected to reach the mainland later.
Tributes have been paid to the victims, who were named as Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham; George Allison, 57, from Winchester, Hampshire; Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Moray; and 59-year-old Gary McCrossan, from Inverness. A book of condolence has been opened by the Oil and Gas Chaplaincy at the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen.
Duncan Trapp, vice president for safety and quality at CHC Helicopter, said the crash would be "painstakingly investigated" to find out what went wrong. "The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) will be reviewing information including debriefs with pilots and passengers, air traffic records, technical data and records, and the aircraft and its on-board systems," he said. "We are fully supporting the early stages of the investigation into the incident and will continue to give our full co-operation to this process."
The pilot of the helicopter is recovering in hospital with back injuries, while the co-pilot is recuperating at home, he said.
CHC grounded the model involved in the crash and suspended all UK flights of three other Super Puma types. Fellow operators Bond Offshore Helicopters and Bristow also enforced a temporary suspension of all Super Puma flights except emergency rescue missions. It follows a recommendation by the offshore industry's Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) which urged the precautionary measure until there is "sufficient factual information" to resume flights.