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Prince William starts training for East Anglian Air Ambulance job at Norwich airport

14:02 31 March 2015

The Duke of Cambridge during a training exercise in 2011. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire.

The Duke of Cambridge during a training exercise in 2011. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire.

Prince William has started his flying career with the East Anglian Air Ambulance in Norwich.

The second in line to the throne officially started work with the company that operates the region’s helicopter rescue at Norwich airport today ahead of a four- to 12-week training programme.

Kensington Palace has said the royal is expected to begin flying rescue missions at the beginning of the summer.

His classroom-based time in Norwich is part of the training regime at Cambridge airport and in Staverton, Northamptonshire.

It is unclear how often the Prince, a former RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, will be coming to the city.

He is now an official employee of Bond Air Services, which runs a number of air ambulance and police aviation operations across the UK.

It is believed to be the first time a member of the Royal Family in the direct line of succession will sign an employment contract with a civilian employer. He will draw a salary which he will donate in full to charity.

Kensington Palace said in a short statement: “The Duke of Cambridge has today started work as an employee of Bond Air Services.

“Over the coming months he will undertake job-specific training before he begins piloting missions for East Anglian Air Ambulance during the summer.

“The mandatory training will involve simulator, aircraft and in-flight skills training.”

His main duties will involve flying an EC145 T2 aircraft, working alongside medics to respond to emergencies ranging from road accidents to heart attacks.

There had been speculation surrounding the move since Prince William ended his active service as an RAF search and rescue pilot in September 2013.

He will fly on day and night missions from the charity’s base at Cambridge Airport, covering an area comprising Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.

Do you have a news story about the Norwich area? Email rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

9 comments

  • Very shrewd piece of marketing this. Prince William is seen, giving something back to society. The Air Ambulance benefits from his experience. A charity gets a big donation every year and the publicity is massive. Well done Prince William good for you.

    Report this comment

    turnover

    Tuesday, March 31, 2015

  • Just a couple of points. As an old helicopter and fixed wing pilot I understand why he wants to do the job. His profile flying this wonderful service will raise the funding of a very important lifeline in rural Norfolk and north Cambridgeshire. His mum would have been proud.

    Report this comment

    Michael Clintergate

    Monday, March 30, 2015

  • So long as the candidate for the job has the skills to do the job, then why does it matter who they are? As I understand it the Air Ambulance only hire the very best pilots. So as long as Prince William is up there with the best then fine. I would imagine the Air Ambulance service would be well aware of the risks of lowering standards to accommodate an individual because of their status. The damage to their "brand" if that were to become publicly known would be very serious and I doubt they would risk it.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Monday, March 30, 2015

  • As a charity that relies on donations to keep going this is one of the more deserved ones, if he can raise the profile of the charity and help pull in more donations that's a good thing for me, you, everybody who may one day benefit from the air ambulance.

    Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Monday, March 30, 2015

  • im with catalonia13, think this is great news, I don't think ive ever seen a wanted job in the advertiser for a rescue helicopter pilot.

    Report this comment

    atjg

    Monday, March 30, 2015

  • Good grief, can't win can he? damned if he does, damned if he doesn't! I guess none of you would see fit to complain if you needed that air ambulance service and he was the pilot.

    Report this comment

    catalonia13

    Monday, March 30, 2015

  • jobs for the (very rich) boys

    Report this comment

    citizen

    Monday, March 30, 2015

  • @samphirelover, I totally agree. There are chopper pilots out there who would have loved to have landed this job and William does not exactly need the position and how will he be able to do the job of future King as well as that of Ambulance helicopter pilot. He's encroached upon a lay mans job.

    Report this comment

    Radshenko

    Monday, March 30, 2015

  • I would have liked this job to have gone to a young man who actually needed the job and the salary. yes, we all know William is supposed to be declining his salary but it would have been a great job for a qualified young person.

    Report this comment

    samphirelover

    Monday, March 30, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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