'Copter firm in global fuel tank alert

THE company behind the helicopter that crashed into the Clutha pub has issued a global alert asking operators to perform a safety test.

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Eurocopter bosses are requesting that the fuel tank system of its 1100-strong fleet of EC135 aircraft is checked to detect any problems.

The test involves emptying the fuel tank and cleaning it out.

Operators then report back to Eurocopter to help provide an overall reading of fuel tank sensors in the EC135 fleet.

Safety checks have been carried out after Bond Air services discovered the fault last Wednesday on its North West Air Ambulance in England, causing the temporary suspension of flights.

Earlier this week Eurocopter issued an urgent safety notice, raising fears that the aircraft may have been giving out inaccurate fuel readings on some of its models.

After tests on 18 aircraft in the UK one faulty tank sensor was discovered.

However, technicians found that the fault was fixed after being cleaned and retested.

Eurocopter said another faulty sensor found in an aircraft which operates in Poland was being analysed "to understand where this discrepancy comes from".

Bosses are also revising the flight manual to update information on low fuel warnings and the fuel pump caution indications.

In a statement, the firm said: "Eurocopter reminds that the entire EC135 fleet worldwide continues to fly.

"In addition, it is too early in the investigation of the Glasgow accident to judge a possible relation between the faulty fuel tank sensors and the Glasgow accident; all relevant information from the crash needs to be evaluated by the AAIB (Air Accident Investigations Branch) first."

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