Air ambulance back in action after being grounded due to technical fault

Engineers work on the air ambulance at the scene of a call-out to Articlave, Co Londonderry. Pic: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia
Engineers work on the air ambulance at the scene of a call-out to Articlave, Co Londonderry. Pic: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Northern Ireland’s air ambulance is back in operation after it was grounded for a time earlier today due to a “technical issue”.

After attending an emergency call-out to an incident in Articlave, Co Londonderry this morning, the crew of the helicopter noticed a fault with one of the engines during pre-flight checks.

An engineer working to fix a fault on the air ambulance. Pic: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

An engineer working to fix a fault on the air ambulance. Pic: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

An engineer had to be called in to fix the fault before the helicopter could take off again.

Dr Nigel Ruddell, medical director of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, didn’t say how long the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) was out of action for, but stressed that it is operational again.

“On returning to the aircraft a technical issue was identified with one of the engines during pre-flight checks. The aircraft engineer travelled to the scene and the aircraft has now been repaired and has taken off once more,” he said.

“In the interim the HEMS team were collected in their rapid response car to make them available for calls until reunited with the aircraft.”