Wiltshire Air Ambulance GROUNDED

Wiltshire Air Ambulance GROUNDED

Published by Ellie Harries at 12:32pm 4th January 2019.

The life-saving helicopter is out of action for the time being after a systems failure.

On Wednesday (January 2nd), the on-duty pilot conducted the usual daily checks to make sure the ambulance was in full working order.

During those precautionary steps, WAA say they weren't 100%.

"The helicopter systems did not perform as expected and as such the decision was made to ground the aircraft until such time as the manufacturer’s support engineer had downloaded Flight Data Recorder data for analysis.

"At no time did the pilot lose control of the aircraft.

"The support engineer was onsite yesterday (January 3) and, since aircrew and patient safety is our primary concern, we will wait for the results of this data analysis before the helicopter resumes flying operations."

The charity will now respond to medical emergencies with their two Rapid Response Vehicles, which carry the same specialist medical equipment that is on-board the helicopter.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Helicopter Paramedic
The specialist paramedics and doctors with travel to incidents in the rapid response vehicles

Also under their mutual aid protocols, they will be supported by neighbouring air ambulance charities should there be incidents requiring a helicopter.

Meanwhile Heli Charter, the company who operate the the helicopter, have gone into liquidation.

When Wiltshire Air Ambulance is back to flying, this could affect whether they can legally fly as they will need a Air Operator Certificate.

The charity said;

"The charity has its own contingency plan, which has already begun.

"For some time we have been looking to secure our own AOC and those preparations are well advanced and its issuance imminent.

"We will look to update all our supporters further, as and when is appropriate."

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