All-clear for air ambulances

Welsh Air Ambulances, grounded yesterday over safety fears, are expected to return to service today. Manufacturer Eurocopter gave assurances after cracks had been found in a similar model based in Scotland.

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Wales Air Ambulances given all-clear

Wales Air Ambulances grounded over safety fears have been given the all-clear, it's been announced.

Two of Wales' three Air Ambulances had been suspended, along with others UK-wide, after cracks were found on an identical model in Scotland.

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.

But investigation of the problem will continue.

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


Two of the three air ambulances in Wales grounded

Two out of three air ambulance have been grounded Credit: ITV News Wales

Two of the three air ambulances in Wales have been grounded.

The Welsh air ambulance based in Welshpool is currently the only operational aircraft left in Wales as one based in Caernarfon and the other based in Swansea have been grounded over safety concerns.

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.

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

As a precautionary measure, Bond has made the decision to temporarily ground its EC135 fleet while additional rigorous checks are carried out.

BAS is currently awaiting further comment from manufacturer Eurocopter on its investigation to identify the cause of this crack.

Wales Air Ambulance is still operational in Wales with the use of its third helicopter, which is a different model and not subject to the investigation.

This aircraft is currently operating on extended hours to optimise its coverage across Wales.

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