Press misrepresents London Air Ambulance MD Explorer down-time

Press misrepresents London Air Ambulance MD Explorer down-time 15 Jul, 15, Source: HeliHub.com

The London Evening Standard newspaper recently ran an article saying that their MD Explorer G-EHMS has been unavailable 50 days so far this year.  As with many mainstream media, their level of accuracy is often in question when they attempt to write a story of a technical nature when the author has no experience of the subject.  So HeliHub.com looked into it to ensure the correct story was written.

LAA’s Siobhra Murphy confirmed to HeliHub.com that the helicopter has been unavailable for the equivalent of 50 days this year – clearly different to the newspaper story of “50 days offline”, and many occurrences will only have been part of a day.  The breakdown is as follows

  • annual maintenance programme in January (25 days)
  • a strike on the outer skin of the nose (not while flying) which required repair before the aircraft could fly.   Due to the complexity of this, the aircraft was off-line for 18 days.
  • early evening routine maintenance during LAA’s summer period of extended daylight hours – a cumulative 7 days which equates to approx 1.5 hours a day on average (168 hours over ~110 days)

This downtime situation will only exist until LAA have acquired a second MD Explorer, a time that is looking ever closer.  Earlier this year they launched a campaign to raise £6 million in this regard – right now they have reached £3.9 Million, including a single donation of £2 MillionHeliHub.com expects a number of ex-law enforcement Explorers to become available soon from the UK’s National Police Air Service.

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com

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