The mother of an offshore helicopter crash victim has backed calls for a public inquiry into North Sea chopper safety.
Audrey Wood said workers’ voices must be heard and that Super Puma’s should not return to service under any circumstances.
Super Puma’s have not been used for flying workers offshore in the North Sea since one of the aircraft crashed in Norway in April 2016, killing 13 people, including Iain Stuart from Laurencekirk.
Aviation authorities in the UK and Norway lifted a flight ban on Super Pumas in July, though the aircraft cannot return to action until certain modifications have been made.
The decision was criticised by trade unionists, who said Super Pumas should remain grounded until a root cause of last year’s crash has been identified.
A recent survey by Airbus found that 62% of respondents would be unlikely to fly in a Super Puma ever again, given the choice.
Last week, several MSPs backed calls from unions for a public inquiry into North Sea helicopter safety at a cross-party debate in Holyrood.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said he was prepared to meet those who want an inquiry.
But Mr Yousaf said the lifting of flight restrictions was a matter for aviation regulators, not the Scottish Government.
Following the debate, an Airbus spokesman said the company “understood the importance of restoring confidence in the aircraft ahead of any return to service”.
He added: “We are now at the beginning of a process of informing the workforce and wider community of the updates to the aircraft.”
Last year’s fatal crash was not the first to involve a Super Puma. Four people lost their lives in 2013 when a Super Puma ditched off Shetland.
Ms Wood’s 27-year-old son, Stuart, died in 2009 when a Super Puma suffered catastrophic gearbox failure and crashed near Peterhead, killing him and 15 others.
Asked whether she would like to see a public inquiry, Ms Wood said: “Yes, I would. Safety has to be the priority and I think workers’ voices need to be heard.”
Ms Wood also said she was not convinced that efforts by manufacturer Airbus and aviation authorities to make Super Puma’s safe would restore faith in the aircraft among workers.
She said: “No matter what they are planning to do, it’s never going to be enough.”
“They cannot guarantee that the next gearbox won’t do the same thing.”
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