PSNI helicopter continues operations

Published Thursday, 12 December 2013
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The PSNI has said it has not grounded its helicopter after the same model of aircraft was pulled from active service in other parts of the UK.

PSNI helicopter continues operations
The PSNI uses the same model aircraft to that which crashed in Glasgow recently. (© Pacemaker)

The police service uses the same model Eurocopter EC-135 which was involved in the Glasgow air crash last month.

The grounding came as it was announced on Thursday that a tenth person had died in hospital after a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha bar in beside the River Clyde in the city.

Joe Cusker, 59, died at Glasgow Royal Infirmary almost two weeks after the tragedy.

An initial report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch said it had found "no evidence of major mechanical disruption" on the helicopter.

Bond Air Services, which operates 22 UK air ambulance and police helicopters, on Thursday, announced it was grounding its 22 services after a fault was discovered during a flight on Wednesday.

The company said that it was doing so as a "precautionary measure" while a diagnosis of the problem was carried out.

The aircraft's manufacturer, Eurocopter, said it was not telling other operators of the EC-135 to ground their helicopters.

The PSNI has three helicopters, one of which is a Eurocopter EC-135 and told UTV it has not grounded its aircraft and it continues to operate as normal.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
3 Comments
rick in london wrote (129 days ago):
why was it not grounded I wonder?
Concerned Townsperson in NI wrote (130 days ago):
Only about a week or so ago, after the Glasgow accident, I witnessed a PSNI chopper hovering low over a large housing estate in a town in NI late at night. This is deeply worrying for residents and I think there may well be need for the PSNI to avoid civilian areas as much as possible, especially the airspace directly above peoples' homes. Yes, helicopters are glamourous and fun, but these police toys must not be used willy-nilly, and too often, I fear, they are, at great expense to the general public and now, obviously, to their potential danger as well. I think the PSNI need to come out and explain their use of the helicopter and be held accountable to the people who pay their salaries and supply their equipment. We do not need another incident like Glasgow - God forbid.
Taxi Paul in Belfast wrote (130 days ago):
I believe the police should ground these very expensive and now dangerous ego gadgets that are not required. UAVs can do the same job for a few pounds as opposed to the £1500 an hour it can cost to keep a helicopter in the air. The money saved could then be redirected to Forensics. This would protect the public from danger and also help deal with the "shoe string budget" problem the forensic department has. I as a taxpayer find the amount of money that the police waste to be very offensive. I recently requested assistance from them when a someone ran off without paying. "unfortunately we do not have a car available" was the reply.
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