Four weeks ago, Eurocopter issued an AD regarding the main rotor hub of the EC135 after a crack was found. This was an "ordinary AD" as far as those of us in the industry are concerned, and there was a schedule of actions which need to be taken by operators just like there normally is.
However, Bond Aviation Services (the onshore part of Bond Aviation Group) and sister company INAER in Spain decided to ground their fleets on the basis of what HeliHub.com understands to be three aircraft found to have cracked main rotor hub flanges.
The general media then blew everything out of proportion - you've heard the "a little information is dangerous" adage, I'm sure. We understand it was one of the two Scottish Air Ambulance EC135s which raised the issue. So the UK press then labelled the EC135 with all sorts of potentially libellous names. Once the third one was identified and Bond had taken the grounding decision, so the general media suggested there was a worldwide grounding.
What we need to remember is that while everyone acknowledges there is a safety issue, it is being dealt with appropriately by aviation authorities and the manufacturer and it will get consigned to history in due course much in the same way that any AD issue is. We identify an issue, we find the resolution, we implement what is required and we move on.
We understand the Bond fleet is back flying this morning
Jeremy Parkin - HeliHub.com
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