Police Aviation Services (PAS), UK distributor of the MD 902 to police forces, has denied British media reports that the helicopters are being grounded for lack of spares.
“While we may have had a spare parts problem 18 months ago,” conceded PAS maintenance director Jeremy Awenat to AIN, “we sorted out the issue by the end of summer 2002. Since then, support has been up there with that of Eurocopter, at around 90 percent, and certainly nowhere near the 50 percent quoted in the newspaper report.”
The South Yorkshire-based police air unit identified in the report recently experienced a three-week AOG period when the helicopter encountered a hydraulics problem. However, Awenat said that the problem turned out to have “more to do with procedures and diagnostics than with the supply of components.”