Glasgow helicopter crash: Fleet of 22 air ambulance and police aircraft grounded after fault discovered

Another Bond EC135 craft 'experienced defect that requires further technical investigation'

The aviation company Bond Air Services has suspended flights of its EC 135 helicopter, the same model as crashed into a Glasgow bar last week killing nine people, after a fault was discovered on an air ambulance.

Some 22 UK air ambulances and police force helicopters will be affected.

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.

A preliminary report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) 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.

A statement from Bond Air Services said: "During normal operations yesterday, one of our EC135 fleet has experienced an indication defect that requires further technical investigation.

"Therefore as a precautionary measure we have temporarily suspended service operations whilst we undertake detailed diagnosis. We commenced investigations overnight, are continuing this morning and are in close liaison with Eurocopter regarding this investigation."

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: "Bond Air Services advised on Wednesday evening that, as a precautionary measure, it was temporarily suspending flights of its fleet of Eurocopter EC135 helicopters, including Scotland's two air ambulance helicopters.

"The safety of patients and air ambulance staff is the number-one priority and Bond has taken the decision following a reported technical fault on one of the company's EC135s operating outside Scotland.

"Until the matter is resolved, the Scottish Ambulance Service is operating normal contingency measures whereby any patient that requires transfer by air will be taken by Coastguard and military helicopters, Scotland's Charity Air Ambulance helicopter or SAS fixed-wing aircraft."

An investigation is continuing into what caused the Police Scotland helicopter to crash into the Clutha Vaults pub in Glasgow with a high rate of descent and with low or negligible forward speed.

The weather was good and the helicopter still had 95 litres of the 400kg of fuel that it had taken off with from Glasgow City Heliport.

The pilot of the helicopter, David Traill, and his two passengers - police officers Kirsty Nelis and Tony Collins - were killed in the crash along with six people inside the pub.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower