Hampshire air ambulance cleared to fly again after being grounded over safety fears

Daily Echo: Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

THE Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance has resumed service after being grounded earlier today.

Its helicopter is one of 22 of a particular model that were grounded across the country after a defect was discovered on a recent flight.

It was also the model of helicopter that crashed on a pub in Glasgow, killing nine people.

Bond Air Services grounded its fleet of 22 EC135 helicopters in the UK as a precaution while the issue, which arose yesterday, is examined.

But many including the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance are now back in operation.

The local service was cleared just after 3pm.

The Police Scotland helicopter that crashed into the roof of the Clutha bar in Glasgow on November 29 was a Bond-operated Eurocopter EC135 Type 2 aircraft.

An initial report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued this week said there was ''no evidence of major mechanical disruption of either engine'' of the Police Scotland helicopter as it returned from an operation in Dalkeith, Midlothian, on the night of the crash.

A statement from Bond Air Services said: ''During normal operations yesterday, one of our EC135 fleet has experienced an indication defect that requires further technical investigation.

''Therefore as a precautionary measure we have temporarily suspended service operations whilst we undertake detailed diagnosis.

“We commenced investigations overnight, are continuing this morning and are in close liaison with Eurocopter regarding this investigation.''

Sherie Williams Ellen, charity manager, had earlier said: “We have a temporary suspension of flights.

“The ambulance service still continues to provide the excellent land ambulance service so members of the public should not worry.”



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