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Wiltshire Air Ambulance more woes.

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Wiltshire Air Ambulance more woes.

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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 17:21
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Wiltshire Air Ambulance more woes.

Heli-charter, the AOC holder and maintenance provider for Wiltshire Air Ambulance have ceased trading as of today.

This of course means that the AOC for Wiltshire Air Ambulance has disappeared and that they are now no longer able to operate until that's resolved. On top of that there has recently been ANOTHER very similar tail rotor incident on their Bell 429, G-WLTS. An additional issue now of course is that there are no engineers available to look into it!

Bell seem to be quite comfortable in denying that there's a problem with the 429's TR and the AAIB were not (but now, given a second occurence, might be) interested in looking into it.

The shortcomings at Heli-Charter have been visible for all to see over the latter part of last year - even from the sidelines it's clear that the executive management at WAA have been caught napping. A trawl through these pages reveals a less than favourable opinion of the WAA management and I guess the mess they're now in will serve to galvanise it.

Can't help but feel sorry for all those living through it.

Blyyddyn Newydd Dda!
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 17:49
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I saw this coming months ago, so why didn't the CEO and the Aviation director of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance see it. Complacency!! Amateurs.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 20:09
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We looked at the 429 when they did the UK sales 'tour'. It looked like a great machine to operate. I don't know any details of the WAA hierarchy and have no links, but surely they could never have seen the TR problems coming??????
When they started up with Heli-Charter, many of us thought it was a gutsy move to go with a smaller company and it was widely commented on here on PPRuNe. But companies have to start thinking bigger somewhere/sometime? They took a punt and it didnt work, but they were not the first OR last to try that. Lets just hope that they dont lose too much money and move on successfully, fingers crossed
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 21:00
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They were warned and didn't listen. The CAA weren't happy about granting Heli Charter's AOC the required permissions, in fact withdrew it on occasion. A company who let everyone down running the major golf event at Sandwich, but the biggest crook in the house bailed months ago taking the Bell dealership with him. Sadly he's still sliming his way round in a 429/505 trying to blag it like he did on a PPL doing 'experience' flights for so many years.
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 23:16
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Originally Posted by Hedski View Post
They were warned and didn't listen. The CAA weren't happy about granting Heli Charter's AOC the required permissions, in fact withdrew it on occasion. A company who let everyone down running the major golf event at Sandwich, but the biggest crook in the house bailed months ago taking the Bell dealership with him. Sadly he's still sliming his way round in a 429/505 trying to blag it like he did on a PPL doing 'experience' flights for so many years.
From memory the Wiltshire Air Ambulance charity signed a 10 year contract with Heli Charter in 2014. The last accounts at Companies House make interesting reading. Wonder who will pick up the pieces?

Nothing mentioned on Wiltshire Air Ambulance twitter page about the AOC or Heli Charter in the posts made today. https://twitter.com/WiltsAirAmbu
The website for Heli Charter appears to have been closed. Why did they lose their AOC?

The charities webpage reveals the "leadership team" which shows which director was responsible for dealing Heli Charter and Bell.
https://www.wiltshireairambulance.co.uk/meet-the-team/

Last edited by Cabby; 3rd Jan 2019 at 23:34. Reason: Leadership team member responsible for overseeing Heli Charter
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 08:45
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Originally Posted by Cabby View Post
Wonder who will pick up the pieces?
WAA have already begun the process of writing their own AOC and a social media press report (quoting a WAA spokesperson) suggests that it's granting "is iminent". I'm also told that they have already appointed a new maintenance organisation.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how iminent the AOC is - and indeed who the accountable manager will be because I'd wager that the current Aviation Director didn't get too much sleep last night!
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 10:28
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Originally Posted by Dai Whirlybird View Post
WAA have already begun the process of writing their own AOC and a social media press report (quoting a WAA spokesperson) suggests that it's granting "is iminent". I'm also told that they have already appointed a new maintenance organisation.

I guess we'll have to wait and see how iminent the AOC is - and indeed who the accountable manager will be because I'd wager that the current Aviation Director didn't get too much sleep last night!
Dai - was the bold font to display your disbelief or the atrocious spelling?
Let’s hope for better ‘attention to detail’ with their AOC editing.......

On a serious note - best wishes to the girls and guys at the “coalface” - here’s to a speedy and safe recovery.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 11:29
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Difficult to believe there are still amateurs running enterprises like this after the air ambulance world has been operating for decades.
I thought the riff raff had been weeded out but it seems not.
I was going to say that the world of charities attracts a fair share of underqualified and unprofessional people anyway.............but then NPAS popped into my mind!

Hopefully the experts will now take charge and someone like Bond et al, will sort it out.

Good luck to the new owners, they are going to need it.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 11:39
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In view of no AOC, presumably Wiltshire has no dedicated air ambulance cover at the moment?
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 12:59
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
In view of no AOC, presumably Wiltshire has no dedicated air ambulance cover at the moment?
The answer is no. The 429 will be grounded as the a/c insurance etc will no longer be in place due to the Heli Charter AOC being withdrawn by the CAA. Unless they are piggybacking another operators AOC but other operators may need to tick a lot more boxes with the CAA looking at the operation.

There are people who will write the paperwork for a fee, but the CAA will be looking at who maintains and runs the operation.
The charity may need to look for a qualified accountable manager.
https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/...rtificate_(AOC) follow the initial link onto AOC.

More details. https://www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/2129.pdf

Last edited by Cabby; 4th Jan 2019 at 14:52. Reason: pdf
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 13:48
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Looks like it is grounded. For two reasons!

https://www.wiltshireairambulance.co...air-ambulance/
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 17:02
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Cabby, Thanks for the input, I'm well aware of the rules regarding the acqusition of an AOC.

I was curious to know if there was any other air cover in the meantime.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 19:57
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They have a drone with battenburg colours?
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 20:08
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Originally Posted by Thomas coupling View Post
They have a drone with battenburg colours?
That's OK then....
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 23:47
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
I was curious to know if there was any other air cover in the meantime.
In the past, the GWAA has provided cover, don't know if that will happen in the current situation.

This was taken locally, back on August 27 2015.


Last edited by Cpt_Pugwash; 5th Jan 2019 at 00:17. Reason: Add pic.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 16:13
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Between Great Western (Filton), TVAA (Benson), Dorset & Somerset (Henstridge) and Midlands (Strensham) most corners of their patch should remain relatively well covered by air until they find a solution. 3 of those attended a mutual aid job in Wiltshire’s patch simultaneously not long back when their aircraft was down...
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 16:28
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The ambulance service which covers Wiltshire (South Western Ambulance Service) has a HEMS desk dispatching all the aircraft. They are frequently sent across the counties depending upon availability and skill mix of crew - you need a doctor to deliver anaesthesia, for instance. I'm sure it'll be well covered both by the Wiltshire AA crew on a vehicle and others by air, predominantly GWAAC and DSAA.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 17:20
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I'm amazed by all the people that saw it coming. These are good people with good morals just having a blip. Who hasn't?
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 13:02
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Old 10th Jan 2019, 21:53
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As Chris notes above, cover has been restored, although this report suggests the deal with SAS is an existing contingency arrangement rather than a new deal. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but it will be nice to see the 902 back in West Wilts.
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