Coastguard helicopter grounded for safety

The Coastguard helicopter
The Coastguard helicopter

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A COASTGUARD helicopter has been grounded following a crash by a similar model overseas.

The European Aviation Safety Agency has ordered the replacement of rear rotor blades on AW139 helicopters after one crashed off the Brazilian coast on August 19.

It means two AW139 helicopters stationed at Lee-on-the-Solent needed their blades replaced.

A full-time helicopter has had the repairs and yesterday it completed training exercises over the English Channel.

But a back-up remains on the ground until its blades are replaced.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: ‘It has not affected search and rescue. We don’t know how long the remaining work will take.’