Wiltshire Air Ambulance has announced that it intends to resume flying operations from Friday (11 January) through a contingency arrangement with Specialist Aviation Services.

A back-up helicopter (MD 902) will be brought online for day flying (8am-6pm, seven days a week) for the foreseeable future.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance previously shared an MD 902 helicopter with Wiltshire Police up until December 2014, when the force joined the National Police Air Service.

In addition, the charity’s two Rapid Response Vehicles will continue to be used when it is quicker to travel to an incident by road and for night hours (6pm-3am). They carry the same medical equipment that can be found on-board the helicopter.

Wiltshire Air Ambulance chief executive David Philpott said: “Specialist Aviation Services is a company we’ve enjoyed an excellent working relationship with for nearly 30 years and we’re very pleased that they’ve been able to move so fast to get us back in the air.

“The MD 902 is a helicopter the charity has used in the past and, following its arrival on Friday, we will be back flying for the people of Wiltshire and surrounding areas.

“I want to thank those well-wishers and supporters who have offered their support and redoubled their fundraising efforts for the charity since our Bell 429 was grounded last week.”

With the contingency plan in operation from Friday, this allows the charity to continue working behind the scenes on a replacement Air Operator Certificate, while the analysis of Flight Data Recorder from the Bell 429 remains in progress.

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