Prince William to become a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulance

He will fly missions from Cambridge Airport while training for his qualification as a helicopter commander

Prince William
Prince William

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is to join East Anglian Air Ambulance as a helicopter pilot next spring, it was announced yesterday.

He will initially join the charity as a co-pilot, flying missions from Cambridge Airport while training for his qualification as a helicopter commander.

Kensington Palace said he would give his entire salary to charity, although it has not confirmed which charities will benefit.

EAAA pays Bond Air Services £2.9m a year, which covers the lease of two medical helicopters, pilot salaries and fuel costs.

Bond Aviation Group, which owns Bond Air Services, declined to comment on the salary band of an air ambulance co-pilot, but the government’s National Careers Service estimates the average salary of a commercial helicopter pilot as being between £45,000 and £60,000 a year.

The charity said Prince William would join its team of pilots and clinicians to provide pre-hospital emergency medicine at the scene of accidents and emergencies across the region.

In its accounts for the year to June 2013, the charity said it flew 1,440 missions and attended more than 1,000 patients, including 242 cardiac arrests and 414 people involved in road traffic accidents.

During the same financial year, EAAA had an income of £7.1m and spent £6.8m.

Prince William previously worked for the Royal Air Force as a search and rescue pilot between 2010 and September 2013, during which time he flew 150 missions.

Andrew Egerton Smith, chairman of EAAA, said in a statement: "Having the Duke of Cambridge as one of our pilots is marvellous news as he brings much experience to the charity after his successful career as a search-and-rescue pilot. We have an outstanding track record of attending people in the hour of need that is recognised and generously supported by our local communities."

The Prince’s training for his helicopter air transport pilot's licence is expected to take five months and requires completing 14 examinations in addition to a flight test.

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