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Safety warning over helicopters used by the police.

A SAFETY warning has been issued about the type of helicopter used by the police in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Eurocopter, the French firm which makes the EC-135, warned on Sunday that cracks could appear in the main rotor assembly.

The European Aviation Safety Agency says a failure to carry out daily checks could lead to "main rotor hub failure and consequent loss of the helicopter."

West Midlands Police has two of the machines and the East Midlands Air Support Unit (EMASU), which polices Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, has one.

There are no plans by the police forces to suspend services, although the Midlands Air Ambulance grounded its three EC-135 aircraft on Sunday.

Air ambulances have also been grounded in Scotland and Wales.

The Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance uses a different make of helicopter.

Sgt Dave Mitchell, of West Midlands Police, said: "We are satisfied that we are making the regular checks as recommended by the manufacturer, and are conducting operations as normal."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 9, 2012
Words:163
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