Grounded air ambulances return to flight

A company that operates helicopters used by emergency services in the UK has cleared its fleet for normal operations. It had grounded part of its fleet as a precaution after one aircraft experienced an "indication defect"

Live updates

Grounded air ambulance cleared for flight

The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance returned to normal flight operations at 7.30pm last night after it was grounded for safety concerns with its fuel indication system. A number of EC135 air ambulances were grounded on Thursday by Bond Air Services to undertake technical investigations .

Mark McGeown, chief executive of the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, said: 'We fully believe that the safety of patients and air ambulance staff is the number one priority. Obviously we are pleased to be able to resume normal operations.

'I would like to thank our colleagues in the South Central Ambulance Service and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance for helping us maintain our emergency cover during these last few days.'

Advertisement

  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
  1. Chris Ship
  2. National

16 air ambulance helicopters grounded across the UK

We have confirmed that 16 air ambulance helicopters, operated by Bond Air Services, are covered by the suspension.

Read: Helicopter operator ground part of fleet over 'defect'

The 16 air ambulances operate in the following areas:

  • Dorset and Somerset
  • East Anglia
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • The Midlands
  • The North West (three helicopters suspended)
  • Scotland (two helicopters)
  • Thames Valley and the Chilterns
  • Wales (three helicopters)

Cornwall has an EC135 helicopter, but it is being serviced and a replacement is in operation. Devon has an EC135 but it is not operated by Bond Air Services, so it is still flying.

Advertisement

  1. National

Report: Helicopter firm connected to Glasgow crash

The company that has grounded part of its helicopter fleet is believed to have operated the police helicopter that crashed in Glasgow last month.

According to media reports, Bond Air Services operated the EC135 helicopter on behalf of Police Scotland and employed the pilot who died in the incident.

The company confirmed to ITV News that it has grounded its UK fleet of EC135 aircraft after a "defect" was detected in one of them.

A statement on its website said the firm is "committed by law to ensuring that the proper compensation is paid to all those who have suffered loss" in the incident.

Helicopters grounded: Statement

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."

Load more updates Back to top