Welsh air ambulances set to fly again

Air ambulance
Caernarfon and Swansea's air ambulances were grounded while an investigation was carried out. Photo: ITV News Wales

Two of the three air ambulances in Wales are returning to duty, after safety fears saw them grounded while an investigation was carried out.

It follows a routine check of an EC135 aircraft in Europe, where a small crack was detected similar to a defect found on the same aircraft type in Scotland in February.

The fault appears to be with the rotor blades on this particular aircraft model. The EC135 aircraft is used by the Welsh air ambulance in both Caernarfon and Swansea.

Wales Air Ambulance has leased two EC135 helicopters, pilots and engineers from Bond Air Services since 2009.

Operator Bond Air Services said it took the decision to resume flights after receiving 'an unequivocal guarantee' from manufacturer Eurocopter that it was safe to do so.

Last night, the company issued the following statement:

Bond Air Services will resume flight operations at 7am tomorrow, continuing to follow the visual checking process recommended by the manufacturer.

– Bond Air Services spokesperson