Sikorsky Working On Gearbox Fix
Sikorsky is designing a fix for the military version of its S-92 series to save a $5 billion contract with the Canadian Forces. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported earlier this week that the S-92 was certified without the normal 30-minute "run dry" capability in case of oil loss in the transmission. An S-92 operated by Cougar Helicopters crashed off Newfoundland two weeks ago 12 minutes after the pilot reported a loss of oil pressure in the transmission. The crash killed 17 of 18 people aboard. The oil pressure loss was caused by a broken stud and an emergency AD was issued for replacement of the studs. But the Globe and Mail obtained documents that showed the S-92 was certified by the Joint Aviation Authority in Europe with an exemption for the 30-minute run-dry capability because Sikorsky convinced the JAA that the chance of gearbox oil loss was "extremely remote." The Canadian Forces has told Sikorsky it will cancel its order for 28 of the military versions of the helicopter (MH-92) unless it complies with the 30-minute run-dry rule. Sikorsky told the Globe a fix is in the works for the military version of the helicopter but didn't specify if civilian choppers would be modified.
Sikorsky spokesman Paul Hunter told the Globe the company is designing the modifications but he couldn't elaborate. "We are designing a system to meet the program requirements and will test and enhance it as necessary," Jackson said in an e-mail to the paper. "I can't publicly describe this technology for competitive reasons, but Sikorsky will verify compliance of the [MH-92] to all requirements prior to aircraft delivery to the Canadian Forces," he said.