Published: December 14, 2013
Suspended air ambulance for Burnham area set to go back on service

The air ambulance that covers the Burnham-On-Sea area has been suspended from flying but is expected to be back on service this weekend.

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance 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 ten 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, Dorset Air Ambulance spokeswoman Tracy Bartram 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 15th 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."

And a statement from Bond Air Services on Friday evening added: "Following our discovery during routine operations of an issue with an indicator system on one of our aircraft on the 11th 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 service on Thursday."

"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 affected components."

"This work is expected to be completed by Sunday 15th 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."

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