10-May-2013 Source: HeliHub.com
Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) is in a state of flux at present with a combination of issues all happening at the same time.
Their older MD Explorer G-SASH went in for its annual in mid March, and needs a new flexbeam in the rotor system to make it airworthy again. However, MD Helicopters have told YAA that they do not have any available and the part is on back order with the manufacturer quoting October 2013 delivery. To cover for this, YAA leased in G-ESCI from Medical Aviation Services, but a few weeks later that too was out for its annual. During their lease of G-ESCI, YAA issued their press release about the kit bag design and the accompanying photo featured this blue/white aircraft.
The day after G-ESCI went back to MAS, YAA’s other Explorer G-CEMS was grounded after damage from a heavy landing was noticed by an engineer – no previous pilot report had picked up a particular landing as extra heavy or potential for causing damage.
The day after G-CEMS was grounded, the very sad road accident on the M62 motorway occurred in their very area (see BBC news report) right at the point in time YAA had no helicopter to respond with. Correspondingly two Dauphins from Great North Air Ambulance, two EC135s from North West Air Ambulance and an Explorer from Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire responded on YAA’s behalf/request.
G-CEMS is now back flying with the damaged parts from the heavy landing replaced by the equivalent parts “borrowed” from the grounded G-SASH. YAA have also leased in Dauphin G-BTEU from Multiflight to enable them to provide a full two-aircraft operation. The details of this wet lease are covered in the Multiflight press release we are running shortly after publishing this story.
YAA would like to get back to a two Explorer operation – as all their crews are training on that type – but they currently don’t know whether G-ESCI will be available after its annual is complete.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com