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Report shows air ambulance regularly flown by Prince William had near miss with a drone

PUBLISHED: 19:23 26 March 2017 | UPDATED: 19:24 26 March 2017

The Duke of Cambridge is a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge is a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA). Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The air ambulance the Duke of Cambridge regularly flies for our region’s life-saving service in the sky had a near miss with a drone, an aviation report has shown.

A report from the UK Airprox Board, which investigates near-collisions, showed the incident involving the air ambulance and the drone took place over Essex at about at 1,900ft at about 7.45pm on August 26.

According to national newspaper reports, Prince William - who has been a pilot for the East Anglian Ambulance Service since 2015 - was not on board at the time.

The Airprox report said the board considered “this was a situation where a collision had only been narrowly avoided and chance had played a major part.”

The Airprox Report report stated: “The EC145 pilot reports returning to base when the rear crew medical passengers reported a 4-bladed quadcopter drone passing very close to the aircraft, they reported it passed less than 30m away down the right side. The drone was close enough for them to identify it was 4-bladed, dark in colour, in a turn away from the aircraft, and had 2 red lights. On receiving the warning from the crew members, the pilot informed Essex Radar. He also informed the ambulance control room, asking them to inform Lippitts Hill police.

“He assessed the risk of collision as ‘High.’”

The operator of the drone has not been traced.

A spokeswoman for the East Anglian Air Ambulance said: “We can confirm that, in accordance with aviation regulations and procedures, a pilot reported a drone in his proximity on August 26 2016.

“The Duke of Cambridge was not on shift when the drone incident took place. There are strict rules that drone operators must follow and it is important they are aware of their responsibilities for safe operations at all times.”

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