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Man charged with endangering an aircraft

A man is due to face criminal charges after allegedly pointing a laser at a police helicopter in Norwich.

Norfolk Police were called to the Shorncliffe Avenue area of the city at about 2am on Saturday after reports a laser pointer had been directed at the aircraft while on an operational flight.

A 33-year-old man has been summonsed to appear in court charged with endangering an aircraft.

  1. Kate Prout

Reaction to Wills joining air ambulance

There's been a positive reaction to the news that the Duke of Cambridge is to train as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

When five year old Ruby Salter, from Eye in Suffolk, fell into a glass door she severed an artery in her arm and lost a large amount of blood. Her mother, Sally, says the crew of the air ambulance that transported her to hospital for emergency surgery did an amazing job.

William will need to do five months of training before joining the air ambulance crew. His main duties will involve flying an EC145 T2 aircraft and working alongside medics to respond to emergencies ranging from road accidents to heart attacks.

He's used to this sort of work though. He's a qualified Sea King helicopter pilot who ended his service in RAF Search and Rescue last September and was involed in 150 rescue operations. But there are some differences in the way the services work according to MAGPAS helimedix pilot, Craig Redman.

If the Duke of Cambridge completes all his training he should be ready to fly in the Spring.


RAF Lakenheath confirms that four killed were airmen

The airmen were in a Pave Hawk helicopter Credit: RAF Lakenheath

Suffolk’s RAF Lakenheath has confirmed that four people killed in a helicopter crash in North Norfolk last night were airmen.

Their US Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter came down on marshland at Cley at about 7pm.

The next of kin are being informed. RAF Lakenheath says the four airmen will be officially named in due course.

The US military is working with the police and the MOD on the recovery efforts. A 400 metre cordon has been set up for an investigation to begin this morning.

  1. National

Eurocopter: Operator decided to ground helicopters

Eurocopter, which builds EC135 helicopters, said the decision to ground some of the aircraft fleet was taken by the operator Bond Air Services:

Eurocopter is in close contact with Bond to fully support theactivities.

Eurocopter does not recommend any further action for the other EC135 aircraftin service around the world.

EASA [the European Aviation Safety Agency] has never issued an Airworthiness Directive(AD) to ground the EC135 fleet ever since its entry into service in 1996.

– Eurocopter statement
  1. National

'Contingency plans in place' after helicopter grounding

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said that patients should not be affected by the grounding of air ambulances:

We understand this isa precautionary measure and that contingency plans with other air ambulancesand ambulance services are in place to ensure patients are not affected.

– department of health spokesperson


  1. National

Air ambulance suspension 'not result of Glasgow crash'

The partial suspension of the UK's air ambulance fleet is due to a discovery of a technical fault discovered on one, the Association of Air Ambulances said.

The grounding is as a result of a technical fault on one air ambulance aircraft with other Eurocopter EC135 in the UK and worldwide remaining operational at this time.

The suspension of operations is not as a result of the incident in Glasgow involving this type of aircraft on the 29th November, for which investigations continue.

Bond Air Services are continuing to investigate the technical fault that has resulted in the temporary suspension of services from the afternoon of the 11th December 2013.

The investigations include functional testing across each of the EC135 aircraft affected to gather more information and will ensure air ambulance operations are regularly updated.

– Association of Air Ambulances

East Anglian Air Ambulance among helicopters grounded after "defect" discovery

The East Anglian Air Ambulance. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The East Anglian Air Ambulance has been temporarily grounded over safety concerns.

The helicopter is the same model as the craft which crashed into a Glasgow pub earlier this month.

It's one of twenty-two Eurocopters taken out of service by operator Bond, who are investigating problems discovered with a similar helicopter.

Bond Air Services says it has temporarily grounded 38 EC135-model helicopters globally after discovering a "defect" in one of them.