Bristow more cautious on EC225, targetting Oct-Dec quarter return to service

Bristow more cautious on EC225, targetting Oct-Dec quarter return to service

5-Aug-2013 Source: Bristow Group

This is an extract from the Bristow quarterly financial report

Eurocopter, the manufacturer of the EC225 Super Puma aircraft, has indicated that they have determined the root causes of the gear shaft failure in the EC225 that occurred in 2012. This determination has been reviewed and verified by airworthiness authorities and independent third parties. The definitive solution to the problem will be a redesign of the gear shaft with earliest possible availability being in the middle of calendar year 2014.  However, in July 2013 the European Aviation Safety Authority (the “EASA”) issued an airworthiness directive providing for interim solutions involving minor aircraft modifications and new maintenance/operating procedures for mitigating shaft failure and enhancing early detection.

The Civil Aviation Authorities in the U.K. and Norway have issued safety directives, which superseded and revoked the safety directive of October 2012 and now permits a return to service of the EC225 aircraft over harsh environments conditional upon compliance with the EASA airworthiness directive.  We have commenced the required modifications and are carrying out the required inspections on our EC225 fleet in the U.K., Norway andAustralia.

Currently, no client contracts have been cancelled in connection with the suspension in operations of the EC225 aircraft and we believe we have the contractual right to continue to receive monthly standing charges billed to our clients.  In certain instances we have agreed to reduced monthly standing charge billings for the affected aircraft.  We have been able to substantially replace the lost utilization from the EC225 aircraft with other aircraft, mitigating the impact on our results of operations during the June 2013 quarter.

The current situation will continue until the necessary modifications are made to the EC225 fleet and we are confident that the interim modifications will allow us to operate the aircraft safely, which could result in our return to revenue service for the EC225 aircraft in the third quarter of our fiscal year 2014.  Until then, this situation could have a material adverse effect on our future business, financial condition and results of operations.

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