<![CDATA[The Duke of Cambridge will train as an air ambulance pilot before holding a full-time position next year.
William will begin a civilian pilot course next month followed by dedicated 999-response training.
Upon passing and completion, he will join the East Anglian Air Ambulance based at Cambridge Airport next spring.
The new role will be his main job, although it will be taken into account the duties and responsibilities he will continue to assume on behalf of the Queen.
The salary that The Duke receives will be donated to charity.
Mr Peal added: “This is really good news for the charity and we’re delighted His Highness has decided to fly with us. We are confident this will help raise the profile of the charity and other air ambulance charities in the region and across the UK,” Patrick Peal, chief executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) commented.
Mr Peal added: “We’re very fortunate that we currently enjoy tremendous levels of support but fundraising is always a challenge – we’re looking to raise £7.5 million a year to continue the lifesaving work – and I’m sure that this will help to raise the profile of the charity.”
William, who is experienced and able to be a captain or pilot of a Sea King helicopter, has been rumoured to take on this position. It was last September that he ended active service as a RAF Search and Rescue pilot.
The position entails flying an EC145 T2 aircraft. The job will have him working with medics to respond to emergencies, flying missions in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire.
William will fly with a doctor and medic on the emergency missions.
“He’s an extraordinary person and it’s just great that he wants to come and do something like this and fly with a charity like the air ambulance,” Alastair Wilson, the charity’s medical director noted.
He continued: “Compared to his role as a search and rescue pilot, he may be dealing with more injury patients than he is used to, but I’m sure he will adapt very well to that.”
The EAAA presently operates two helicopters and employs three pilots in Norwich and three in Cambridge.
Prior to beginning the new position, William must complete the requirements for an air transport licence as well as training specified for his new role.
The training lasts 5 months and comprises 14 exams and a flight test.
At first he will work as a co-pilot until completion of training which will then see William as a helicopter commander.
A palace spokesman said: “The job will build on the Duke’s operational experience in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue force. During this time he undertook more than 150 search and rescue operations.”
According to Kensington Palace, William will sign an employment contract with a civilian employer (Bond Air Services) and is believed to be the first Member of the Royal Family in direct succession to do so.
The Duke of Cambridge started his full-time military duties as an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2006. He commissioned into the Household Cavalry in December 2006. He became a Lieutenant in The Blues and Royals before transferring his commission to the Royal Air Force.
Photo Credit: Defence Images via photopin cc]]>