Friday 29th March
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance have this morning responded to reports in the Isle of Wight media of a false alarm regarding fears of a fire in the cockpit of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance as the aircraft lifted from the helipad at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport last night.
The Charity has confirmed that the issue arose as a result of an odour from the aircraft demisting system. The demisting system uses air from the engine intakes and, on occasion, this can result in smells in the cabin.
The Air Ambulance lifted from St Mary’s Hospital at approximately 1940 hrs, ready to transfer a patient from the Isle of Wight to University Hospital Southampton (UHS). The pilot on board the Air Ambulance landed the aircraft back on the helipad at St Mary’s Hospital minutes later and the Air Ambulance was immediately evacuated. A senior engineer was called, the necessary safety checks were conducted, and the issue was quickly identified and resolved. A ground round run was carried out before the Air Ambulance resumed normal operations, lifting from St Mary’s Hospital at approximately 2020 hrs to transfer the patient on board to UHS.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance Director of Operations Nick Thuilliez commented; “The safety of our patients and our Critical Care Teams of pilots, doctors and paramedics is paramount and I’m pleased to say that, following our standard operational procedures, the duty pilot landed the Air Ambulance the minute that he had concerns regarding the safety of those on board. I am happy to report that the issue was very quickly resolved and that we were able to transfer our patient with minimal delay”.