Police wings clipped

Gareth Wilson

THE only two police helicopters deployed in the Nelson Mandela Bay area have been grounded with just days to go before the festive season gets into full swing – because police management failed to send them for a routine service.

This is the second year in a row that one of the helicopters – the Port Elizabeth air wing’s BO-105 – has been grounded ahead of the Bay’s busiest period.

Under aviation law, all helicopters must be serviced after every 100 hours of flying time.

But police officers in the air wing said the BO-105 and a smaller helicopter, the two- seater Robinson R44, had been grounded as they had missed their compulsory 100- hour services.

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