The Skeeter AOP.12 was introduced to Army Air Corps service in Oct 1958 and within weeks was in trouble. As well as revealing itself as underpowered - throughout its service life - it was grounded several times during its early career with a series of faults including excess vibration, problems with the cooling fans, snapping fan belts, overheating cylinders and difficulties with the undercarriage.
By about 1961, most of these teething troubles had been overcome but it had diverted a lot of engineering and maintenance attention at the expense of flying experience. Despite this, and the decision of the Ministry of Aviation in Mar 1960 to abandon further attempts to improve its performance, it was highly manoueverable and generally loved by those who flew it. However, much was learned through the Skeeter and it contributed a great deal to the development of both British Army flying doctrine and the tactical use and requirements of helicopters in the field. By Mar 1961, 4 Flight (Hildesheim) had become the first unit to be completely equipped with the Skeeter.
The Skeeter was ordered between 1956 and 1959 and was delivered in 4 batches from 1958 until Sep 1960. Three AOP.10s were built, of which the last was converted to AOP.12 standard before it left the line at East Cowes, followed by the delivery of AOP.12s from Jun 1958, Apr 1959 and Dec 1959. They served worldwide, although never with great success where it was hot or high, or both. The Skeeter also served in Northern Ireland between 1960 and Aug 1966, before the type was finally retired from the AAC in 1967.