Six Air Corps helicopters grounded in crash alert
THE Air Corps has decided to temporarily ground six of its eight helicopters after a crash involving a similar craft used in Brazil.
The move was taken as a precaution after the manufacturers of Agusta Westland issued a bulletin about an incident involving an AW 139 helicopter in Brazil.
The tail rotor blade split from the craft during the fatal crash after the helicopter had left an oil rig off the Brazilian coast. All Brazilian AW 139s have now been temporarily grounded pending the outcome of an investigation.
The Air Corps said last night that the suspension of operations would be lifted when all aspects of the investigation had been completed to the satisfaction of its military aviation authority.
Six of the Air Corps' eight helicopters are AW 139s but their suspension will not affect the air ambulance service, which will be carried out by the other two EC 135 aircraft.