EC135 helicopters flying again after grounding

| 12/12/2013

(CNS) Bond Air Services, which operates the EC135 helicopter, the same model that crashed into a Scottish pub last month and killed ten people and the same helicopter used by the RCIPS, grounded the machines this morning. However, the choppers returned to the air in the UK Thursday night. The suspension of services came after a fault was discovered on an EC135 operated by Bond for the North West Air Ambulance in the UK. All Bond's 22 UK air ambulances and police helicopters were affected, the BBC reported today. The machines which were found not to be at fault were returned to service.

The aircraft's manufacturer, Eurocopter, said it was not telling other operators of the EC135 to ground their helicopters and the local police air support unit was not impacted.

The helicopter operated by Police in Glasgow came down on a busy bar around 10-30 in the evening on 29 November. Its three crew and seven people in the pub were killed. An initial report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said it had found "no evidence of major mechanical disruption of either engine" on the helicopter.

The police here stated that despite the crash they believed the EC135 had an exceptional safety record.

But Bond Air Services said on Thursday that one of its EC135 fleet experienced an indication defect that requires further technical investigation during normal operations. "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," the firm told the UK media this morning.

Eurocopter said the decision taken by Bond did not apply to the rest of the Eurocopter fleet in the UK – a total of 57 aircraft. The manufacturer said it would be working with Bond Aviation and would issue a further statement later.

Bond Air Services temporarily grounded EC 135 models last year as well following safety concerns over the receipt of a Safety Information Notice from Eurocopter regarding cracks on the lower hub shaft flange on the EC 135.

See BBC news item here.

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  1. sgsgsgsd says:

    peace and quiet gone again  …. i was enjoying it

  2. Air Bear says:

    I don't know why CNS is making such a meal of this. The risk of the RCIP chopper dropping on your local public house is remote and you are getting the hopes of the criminal bandits up for no reason.

    CNS: You'll notice if you follow the links that it was the RCIPS who sent out a release concerning their helicopter right after the crash in Scotland.

  3. Anonymous says:

    No fault found, all flying again.