Probe into North Sea helicopter near miss

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AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into an incident in which an air ambulance and a North Sea helicopter were involved in a near miss off the Aberdeenshire coast.

The two helicopters were involved in the alert last December while they were flying at 1000 ft two and a half miles east of Aberdeen International Airport.

One of the helicopters was a a Bond Air Services EC135 helicopter being operated on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service and the other an AS332 Super Puma on an offshore crew change flight. There were no patients on board the air ambulance.

The incident is being investigated by officials from the UK Airprox Board after an air proximity report was filed by Bond on 2 April.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: “The investigation is currently ongoing and it could be from three to six months until the report is published. It essentially is a near miss, but we don’t yet know what the separation distances were – that is, how close the two aircraft were to each other. That will come out once the investigation is complete and when the report has been published.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said : “Bond Air Services has advised that the pilot of an EC135 helicopter operated for the Scottish Ambulance Service reported an ‘air proximity event’ to the Civil Aviation Authority.

“The incident occurred near Aberdeen Airport and no patients were on board the aircraft at the time. The report is currently being assessed by the CAA.”