Back-up helicopter in use for Wiltshire Air Ambulance

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Back-up Helicopter January 2019

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:37am 11th January 2019. (Updated at 12:28pm 11th January 2019)

The charity's been attending incidents by car only for the last week, but has brought in another aircraft to help out.

The familiar yellow air ambulance above Wiltshire's skies is being replaced with a black and white one today (Friday January 11th).

The charity has brought in a back up helicopter after their current Bell 429 top of the range aircraft was grounded last week following a systems failure.

The back-up helicopter, an MD 902, has been provided by Specialist Aviation Services.

It might look familiar to you - it's the same as the one it shared with Wiltshire Police until 2012.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Back-up Helicopter January 2019
An aircraft like this one's been brought in to cover the old helicopter

The replacement aircraft's flying hours will be between 8.00am and 6.00pm each day.

It won't be able to fly at night - instead Rapid Repsonse Vehicles, which carry the same life saving equipment, will attend incidents.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance chief executive David Philpott said:

"Specialist Aviation Services is a company we've enjoyed an excellent working relationship with for nearly 30 years and we're very pleased that they've been able to move so fast to get us back in the air.

"The MD 902 is a helicopter the charity has used in the past and, following its arrival on Friday, we will be back flying for the people of Wiltshire and surrounding areas.

"I want to thank those well-wishers and supporters who have offered their support and redoubled their fundraising efforts for the charity since our Bell 429 was grounded last week."

Wiltshire Air Ambulance Helicopter
The charity's hoping to have their traditional yellow helicopter flying again soon


The charity's own helicopter has been grounded after it failed routine safety checks last week (Friday January 4th).

They're now going through the process of regaining an 'Air Operator Certificate', which would allow them to fly again.

Using their normal aircraft would also mean night-time missions can also be flown.

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