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Concerns over safety of helicopter in Glasgow crash

Issue No. 2382

A similar Eurocopter EC135 T2

A similar Eurocopter EC135 T2 (Pic: Mark Harkin/Flickr)

The police helicopter that crashed, a Eurocopter EC135 Type 2, was the subject of safety checks in July but was not withdrawn from service. 

It happened after Scotland’s two air ambulances—which are the same model—were suspended due to safety warnings. The helicopter manufacturer issued a safety information notice about its EC135 fleet in May following reports of cracks in the machines.

The Eurocopter EC135 T2 is part a series of aircraft that first entered service in 1996. More than 1,000 have so far been manufactured.

The pilots’ Balpa union said that “trends in helicopter safety is a matter of concern after a number of recent incidents.” 

Five helicopters have crashed in four years involving workers from the oil and gas industry, two of which caused multiple fatalities.

Four oil rig workers were killed when a Super Puma helicopter crashed off the coast of Shetland in August of this year. And another 14 had to be rescued from the water.

Workers said they would refuse to board another Super Puma helicopter and demanded that they be scrapped. 

The Commons transport select committee launched an inquiry into helicopter safety in September this year.


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Article information

Tue 3 Dec 2013, 18:15 GMT
Issue No. 2382
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