The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance has been grounded while Bond Air Services investigates its fleet of EC135s helicopters.
The decision was taken to temporarily suspend operations following an issue with the fuel indication system on one of the firm’s aircraft yesterday. (Thursday).
Although some aircraft in the Bond fleet have now been cleared to fly, the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance flight operations remain suspended while technical investigations continue on our aircraft.
Bond Air Services have assured TVCAA they will continue to work with the manufacturer, Eurocopter, to restore normal service operations as soon as it is safe to do so.
Mark McGeown, Chief Executive of TVCAA said: “Bond Air Services took the decision following a reported indication defect on one of their EC 135s that needed further technical investigation. As a result of that investigation we have been advised that our helicopter cannot be returned to full service at present. Bond Air Services are working with Eurocopter to rectify the defect and return our aircraft to full service at the earliest opportunity. We fully believe that the safety of patients and air ambulance staff is the number one priority.”
The medical crews who normally operate on the air ambulance will be able to respond to calls in an emergency response vehicle provided by the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. This vehicle carries much of the same medical equipment as the helicopter itself.