Air ambulance flight suspension

By Ross Findon

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Air ambulance flight suspension

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, which has been suspended from flying. Picture by Robin Crossley.

UPDATED 21:28*

THE AIR ambulance for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight was among a fleet of helicopters to be suspended from flying today (Thursday).

Bond Helicopters, which operates the aircraft, suspended all its EC135 aircraft, after one — not the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance — experienced a fault.

A spokesman 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, while we undertake detailed diagnosis."

An EC135 recently crashed into a Glasgow pub, killing nine people, however Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance charity manager Sherie Williams Ellen said the suspension was not related to that incident.

*The charity later confirmed via twitter that it had been cleared to fly again.

The Bond Helicopters spokesman said in a later statement: "As a precautionary measure, following an issue with the fuel indication system on one of our aircraft yesterday we temporarily suspended service operations whilst we undertook further technical investigations of our fleet of EC135s.  

"These investigations are expected to be completed by end of the day.  

"Those aircraft that are confirmed as having no fault will return to service.  We will continue to work with the manufacturer Eurocopter on any aircraft which are found with this fault, with the aim of resuming normal service as soon as it is safe to do so.  

"This is in line with our commitment to the highest standards of safety in all our operations."

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