East: Air Ambulances Cleared For Flights

The East Anglian Air Ambulance service was told to ground both its' EuroCopter EC-135 aircraft for Cambridge and Norwich earlier, however both have now been cleared to fly again.

The two aircraft which cover Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, are the same model which crashed on a Glasgow pub, killing ten people.

Bond Air Services, which operates the EC-135, had grounded all the UK's 22 helicopters after a defect was discovered on a recent flight.

Bond says it was precaution while the issue is examined.

The Police Scotland helicopter that crashed into the roof of the Clutha bar in Glasgow on November 29 was a Bond-operated Eurocopter EC135 Type 2 aircraft.

An initial report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued this week said there was ''no evidence of major mechanical disruption of either engine'' of the Police Scotland helicopter as it returned from an operation in Dalkeith, Midlothian, on the night of the crash.

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 temporarily suspended service operations whilst we undertook detailed diagnosis.

Helen Dodman from the East Anglian Air Ambulance told Heart: "We have two aircraft - one based in Cambridge and one in Norwich and Bond instructed us to ground them with immediate notice.

However around 4pm, the Air Ambulance service crews were told they were again cleared for take-off.

It was because the fault found on one helicopter was particular to that individual aircraft, and is not thought to impact the 21 other EC-135 aircraft in service with police and air-ambulance operators across the UK.

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