EC135P2+ 270, call-sign ‘Ambulance 270’, an air ambulance equipped Air Corps helicopter, was tasked by the National Aeromedical Co-ordination Centre (NACC) to collect a patient from a Health Service Executive (HSE) road ambulance near Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, and transfer him to Limerick Regional Hospital for treatment.
The weather en route from its base, Custume Barracks Athlone, to the intended pick up point was good. On approach to landing in a field and shortly before touchdown, the helicopter’s main rotor blades struck ESB2 20 kV overhead wires and severed them. This wire impact caused severe airframe vibration and a momentary oscillation of the helicopter, forcing the Pilot to carry out an immediate forced landing, which was heavy. He shut down the engines and the crew exited safely and uninjured. As there was substantial damage evident to the helicopter, the patient was transferred to hospital by road.