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Move to ground all EC135 models comes after police helicopter crashes into Glasgow pub
5:40pm Friday 13th December 2013 in News
THE Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance remains grounded over safety fears.
Dorset's model is one of the 22 particular models that were grounded on Thursday across the country after a defect was discovered on a recent flight.
It was also the model of helicopter that crashed on a pub in Glasgow, killing nine people.
Bond Air Services grounded its fleet of 22 EC135 helicopters in the UK as a precaution while the issue, which arose on Wednesday, is examined.
On Friday evening, a spokesperson for Dorset Air Ambulance said:"Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance is awaiting the respective part which is currently en-route.
"We are hopefully to be fully operational before the date of Sunday 15 December.
"In the meantime our crew continue to be on hand to attend, and assist if the need arises, via our Rapid Response Vehicle located at our airbase.
"Assistance will also be met by support from our neighbouring air ambulances, ambulance services and other assets such as Police and Search and Rescue aircraft."
A new statement from Bond Air Services on Friday evening said: "Following our discovery during routine operations of an issue with an indicator system on one of our aircraft on the 11 December, Bond Air Services temporarily suspended service operations to allow precautionary testing.
"This involved detailed examinations and tests to evaluate the function and accuracy of the fuel indicator system on our fleet of EC135s.
"Following these tests we were able to release a number of aircraft back to full operational
"We did however identify a number of aircraft with the fuel indication anomaly. Having
worked closely with the manufacturer, Eurocopter, to identify the immediate cause, we
began a process of jointly testing the aircraft and are now sourcing and replacing the
"This work is expected to be completed by Sunday, 15 December.
"We will return these aircraft to service when we have resolved this issue.
"This is in line with our commitment to the highest standards of safety in all our operations."
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance was cleared to fly just after 3pm on Thursday.
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.
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