Wiltshire AA will resume flying on Friday 11th January 2019 after being grounded for five days following the company that owned the Air Operator Certificate going into administration. The new helicopter (MD 902) is different to the Bell 429 that was previously used, however with the help of Specialist Aviation Services, the county of Wiltshire will again have a HEMS service at their disposal. The new look helicopter will carry all the same medical equipment and won’t be entirely new to the charity as they previously used a MD902 up until December 2014 when working with Wiltshire Police.
In addition, the two Rapid Response Vehicles will continue to be used when it is quicker to travel to an incident by road and for night hours (6pm-3am). They carry the same medical equipment that can be found on-board the helicopter.
Wiltshire Air Ambulance chief executive David Philpott said: “Specialist Aviation Services is a company we’ve enjoyed an excellent working relationship with for nearly 30 years and we’re very pleased that they’ve been able to move so fast to get us back in the air.
“The MD 902 is a helicopter the charity has used in the past and, following its arrival on Friday, we will be back flying for the people of Wiltshire and surrounding areas.
“I want to thank those well-wishers and supporters who have offered their support and redoubled their fundraising efforts for the charity since our Bell 429 was grounded last week.”
With the contingency plan in operation from Friday, this allows us to continue working behind the scenes on a replacement Air Operator Certificate, while the analysis of Flight Data Recorder from the Bell 429 remains in progress.