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  • Era settles H225 helicopter lawsuit for $42 million

Era settles H225 helicopter lawsuit for $42 million

Airbus Helicopters has agreed to pay $42 million in compensation to settle a legal claim brought against it by US operator Era Group in relation to the safety of the manufacturer's H225.

Era had initiated the legal action following the April 2016 crash of an H225 in Norway and the subsequent grounding of the global fleet.

In a stock exchange filing, Era says that the agreement settles all litigation against the manufacturer without either party admitting liability. Airbus Helicopters will pay $42 million in cash, as well as giving certain trade credits lasting for five years.

Although regulators eventually cleared the 11t rotorcraft for service following the implementation of a number of safety measures, most offshore operators have kept their fleets idle.

Era had claimed that Airbus Helicopters had sold the H225s with the full knowledge of a safety issue with the main gearbox.

Norwegian safety investigators determined that a failure of a second-stage planet gear in the epicyclic module of the main gearbox caused the crash near Turøy on 29 April 2016, killing all 13 on board.

Era was seeking substantial compensation from the manufacturer, arguing that its H225 fleet lost "substantial value" since the Norway crash, on top of costs incurred from the flight ban.

As recently as March this year, the operator warned that it saw no swift return to service for the helicopters due to a lack of customer confidence in the platform.

It had earlier written down the worth of its nine-strong H225 fleet, valuing the helicopters at just $4 million each. Prior to the accident, the rotorcraft would have been worth around five times that figure.

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