UPDATED: Wiltshire has been without its vital air ambulance for over a week following an incident at its new airbase in the west of the county last Friday evening.
It’s understood that the Wiltshire Air Ambulance aircraft malfunctioned – spinning out of control at high speed – while the air crew were performing a engine maintenance check, a source said.
A critical care medic, stood outside the aircraft while the checks were being carried out, luckily didn’t suffer any injuries despite nearly being hit by the helicopter.
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It’s not clear how long the aircraft will be out of action, but it’s not expected to be flying again until next week. For now, critical care medics will respond to serious incidents by road.
A spokesperson for Wiltshire Air Ambulance said: “Yes there was an incident last Friday evening with the helicopter, it occurred during a routine engine ground run. This is part of the daily engine power assurance checks.
“Nobody was hurt, there was no damage to the helicopter, building or equipment.
“We are currently awaiting the arrival of a spare component to release the aircraft back into service. Following engineering testing, we expect the helicopter to be online again early next week.
“The CAA were informed, as this is normal procedure and are supporting us where required. No further action is expected. We are still operational, covering our area and assisting neighbouring air ambulances with rapid response vehicles as we regularly do.”
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch today confirmed that the incident was being investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority but it is understood no action will be taken.
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