23/Apr/2014 - Last News Update: 08:59

Scottish air ambulances grounded amid safety fears

Category: Scotland

Published: 8th May 2012 14:35:27

Scotland's two air ambulance helicopters have been grounded amid safety fears over the aircraft.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said the move had been taken as a "precautionary measure" by operator Bond Air Services.

It has suspended flights by its fleet of Eurocopter EC135 helicopters following reports of cracks.

In the interim, the ambulance service said air transfers would be carried out by Coastguard and military helicopters, or by fixed wing aircraft.

Last month it emerged that the European Aviation Safety Agency had ordered daily safety inspections to be carried out on the EC135.

This came after the manufacturer, Eurocopter, was told to establish the cause of a crack found on the main rotor of a Scottish air ambulance.

The Scottish Air Ambulance Service has two of the helicopters, which are based at Inverness and Glasgow.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) said it had been told on Monday afternoon that Bond Air Services had suspended all EC135 flights as a precaution.

"The company has taken the decision as a safety measure following receipt of a Safety Information Notice from Eurocopter, which was followed by further reports identifying cracks on the lower hub shaft flange on the EC135," said the SAS spokesman.

"The Scottish Ambulance Service is operating contingency measures whereby any patient that requires transfer by air will be taken by Coastguard and military helicopters, or SAS fixed wing aircraft.

"Bond is awaiting further advice from Eurocopter once investigations to identify the cause of the cracks have been carried out. There are no faults with the rotor hub on either of the two air ambulance helicopters in Scotland."

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Scottish air ambulances grounded amid safety fears [Online] (Updated 8th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1427161/Scottish-air-ambulances-grounded-amid-safety-fears [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Lottery cash for Flintshire World War One memorials website

    A project telling the story behind the names on Flintshire's war memorials has received lottery funding.
  • Man Utd: Sir Alex Ferguson to help select David Moyes's replacement

    Sir Alex Ferguson will play a key role in selecting David Moyes's replacement as Manchester United manager.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Flybe in London City Airport deal

    Flybe is to offer flights from London after signing a five-year deal with London City Airport.
  • Eight renewable energy projects approved

    Eight major renewable energy projects, expected to support 8,500 jobs, have been given government approval.
  • Led Zeppelin unleash unheard recordings

    Legendary rock group Led Zeppelin have released two previously unheard recordings ahead of the reissue of the band's first three albums in June.