Indonesian Air Force suspends chopper Super Puma`s operation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Air Force Chief of Staff, Marshal Agus Supriatna, has ordered that the operation of helicopter NAS- 332 L1 Super Puma be suspended, pending the result of a study conducted by the Air Force Headquarters flight safety team.

"The step has been taken lest there be any untoward incident/accident. The Air Force Chief of Staff has ordered a thorough audit of helicopter NAS-332 L1 Super Pumas components for the purpose of analysis and evaluation," chief of the Air Forces information service, Commodore Wieko Syofyan, said here on Friday.

The order came after a series of accidents involving similar helicopters in several countries, including the one in the Norwegian coastal area last April, allegedly due to a technical snag.

Several European countries have also suspended the operations of helicopter NAS-332 L1 Super Puma for similar reasons. In fact, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has imposed a flight ban on Helicopter Airbus Super Puma following the accident in the Norwegian coastal area.

The Indonesian Air Force began operating Helicopter NAS 332 L1 Super Puma in 2002 to strengthen Air Squadron 6 at the Atang Sendjaja Air Base in Bogor, West Java, and Air Squadron 45 VVIP at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Base in Jakarta.(*)