Hovertravel’s Freedom 90 suffered a catastrophic propeller failure at around 2150 on the evening of 27th June whilst en-route from Ryde (Isle of Wight) to Southsea. A very loud bang was heard when the port side propeller blades disintegrated with debris causing considerable damage to the rudders on that propeller and cowling.
All passengers and crew were safe, the craft returned immediately to Ryde and was assisted to its correct location on the hoverpad by the terminal’s forklift. Both hovercraft were grounded the next day until MCA checks had been completed.
The Island Express was cleared for service from 1615 on 28th June with sister AP1-88/100 craft Freedom 90 going to the Griffon Hoverwork facility at Woolston, Southampton at lunchtime on 29th June.
Repairs are expected to take up to three weeks so the Island Express is left to operate on her own.