URGENT safety checks have been ordered on the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance over fears it could crash.
A crack was discovered on the main rotor hub of one Eurocopter EC135 helicopter - used by air ambulance services all over the country.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) has ordered pre-flight checks until an investigation into the problem concludes.
‘This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to further crack propagation, possibly resulting in main rotor hub failure and consequent loss of the helicopter,’ Easa warned.
Safety checks must be carried out before every flight but plans have not been grounded.
Sherie Williams Ellen, from HIOW Air Ambulance, said: ‘The helicopter has not been grounded. We have an excellent relationship with Bond and have a rolling maintenance and security programme with our aircraft. We have no problems at all with their (BOND’S) services.
‘We have been flying with this particular aircraft since September 2010 and it is leased from Bond.’
Bond Air Services, the aircraft’s operator, had not responded to The News at the time of publication.