Scottish Police Ground Eurocopter EC135 Fleet

'Technical fault' leads to precautionary move.

Bond EC135

Bond EC135

** Eurocopter EC135**

The British company that operates helicopters for the Scottish police has grounded its worldwide fleet of 38 Eurocopter EC135s following a technical fault in a helicopter identical to the one that crashed through the roof of a Glasgow pub late last month.

A Bond Aviation EC135 leased to the police crashed at around 10:20 p.m. on November 29, killing three crew members and seven people inside the packed building. A witness described hearing a noise like a loud misfiring car followed by silence. He said he also saw the helicopter descending at a high vertical rate.

A report by Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said neither the main nor the tail rotor was turning when the helicopter crashed through the roof of the pub. Investigators say they have so far found no evidence of engine or gearbox failure in the helicopter.

Bond did not disclose the nature of the technical fault that led to the fleet-wide grounding. The company also grounded all of its Eurocopter EC135s for a time in 2012 after discovering cracks in the main rotor shaft hub of one.

Bond operates 22 of the helicopters in Scotland and the remainder in Ireland and Australia.

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