An East Anglian Air Ambulance EC135 operated by Bond Aviation

Glasgow helicopter crash firm grounds fleet after fault

Air services company Bond Aviation has grounded 38 helicopters of the same model as one that fatally crashed into a Scottish pub.

A company spokeswoman said one of the EC135 helicopters made by the Eurocopter subsidiary of aerospace group EADS had experienced an indicator defect yesterday but declined to give more details of where the incident took place.

"We are continuing to investigate that technical fault that resulted in us temporarily suspending operations," she said.

The news comes after a Bond Aviation helicopter leased to the police fell from the sky onto the Clutha pub in Glasgow on November 29, killing three crew and seven others in the busy venue. The dead included Bond Aviation pilot David Traill who was flying the helicopter and two police officers.

"Bond operates the helicopters for the air ambulance and for the police," the spokesman said.

So far, Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has found no evidence of engine or gear-box failure in that helicopter and investigations are continuing.

The Bond spokesman said the company was left with 22 EC135 helicopters operating in Britain after the Scotland crash and these had been suspended as a "precautionary measure". Sixteen more are overseas but have also been suspended.

Established in 1961, Bond provides search and rescue, offshore crew-change transport, air ambulance support, police helicopter support, and specialist services such as offshore wind farm and lighthouse maintenance, and aerial lifting.

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