Airborne helicopter carrying ten passengers suffered “technical malfunction”

Emergency services at Norwich Airport. Photo by Peter Buckell.

Emergency services at Norwich Airport. Photo by Peter Buckell. - Credit: Archant

An airborne helicopter carrying ten passengers sparked a mass emergency response after it reported engine problems.

Police and 14 fire vehicles raced to Norwich Airport after a North Sea helicopter (a Eurocopter 55) suffered a 'technical malfunction' at around 9.55am.

This resulted one in one of the helicopter's two engines being shut down, which led to the airport activating its emergency plan, according to Richard Pace, general manager of the airport.

'This generated the airport fire service and external emergency services,' he said.

Nearby roads were closed and specialist fire services, including foam carriers, stood by at the scene.

Other appliances came from Fakenham, Wymondham, Aylsham, Long Stratton, Hethersett, Sprowston, Wroxham, and Carrow fire stations.

But the helicopter managed to land safely at 10.18am.

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It had flown to Norwich from a gas platform in the North Sea and carried ten off-shore workers.

Roy Harold, deputy chief fire officer at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'Our first vehicle on scene was at 10.06am – we had two vehicles on scene at 10.06am and the rest were quickly behind.

'We were on scene before the helicopter landed.

'We got a message at 10.30am to say it had landed safely and there was no action needed by us and all our vehicles were available to be used elsewhere.'

Roads reopened soon afterwards.

Mr Pace said there was no disruption caused to other flights arriving or departing the airport.

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