Helicopter fleet back in service as Clutha crash claims tenth victim

Have your say

AIR ambulance and police helicopters operated by a firm involved in the Glasgow crash have returned to service after being temporarily grounded yesterday as it emerged a 10th person has died following the tragedy.

Joe Cusker, 59, from Cambuslang, had been receiving treatment in hospital since the crash on November 29, but died yesterday at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Police Scotland’s Deputy Chief Constable, Rose Fitzpatrick, said: “Our thoughts are with the families at this difficult time and we will continue to provide support to them, as we have done for all of the bereaved.”

Aviation company Bond grounded its fleet of 22 EC135 helicopters in the UK as a precaution after a fault with a fuel gauge was detected on a flight.

The restrictions were later lifted following investigations. None of the helicopters which were grounded operate in Yorkshire.

The Police Scotland helicopter that crashed into the roof of the Clutha bar in Glasgow was a Bond-operated Eurocopter EC135 Type 2 aircraft.

An initial report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch issued this week said there was “no evidence of major mechanical disruption” of the Police Scotland helicopter as it returned from an operation on the night of the crash.

A statement from Bond Air Services said: “As a precautionary measure, following an issue with the fuel indication system on one of our aircraft yesterday we temporarily suspended service operations whilst we undertook further technical investigations of our fleet of EC135s.”

The helicopters are used by air ambulance and police forces in the UK. It is understood the defect was found in a helicopter used by the North West Air Ambulance service.

Meanwhile, the youngest and oldest victims of the Clutha crash were remembered yesterday at separate funerals. Mourners paid their last respects to Colin Gibson, 33, and Robert Jenkins, 61.