Prince William to take to the skies over the region as a helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 August 2014 | UPDATED: 13:54 07 August 2014

Prince William with Magpas founder Dr Neville Silverston.

Prince William with Magpas founder Dr Neville Silverston.

Archant

The Duke of Cambridge is set to take to the skies over East Anglia as part of his new role as a helicopter pilot.

Prince William will join the East Anglian Air Ambulance in spring next year, after training this autumn and winter. Beginning as a co-pilot, he will graduate to working as a helicopter commander once he is qualified.

He will be flying both day and night shifts, taking off from bases at Cambridge and Norwich airports. The job will be his main occupation, but he will also continue to undertake duties on behalf of the Queen in this country and overseas, plus his work with his patronages and the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

As with other East Anglian Air Ambulance pilots, the Duke will be formally employed by Bond Air Services and he will draw a salary, which he will donate entirely to charity. He is believed to be first member of the Royal Family in the direct line of succession to sign an employment contract with a civilian employer.

The first stage of his training for his Air Transport Pilot’s Licence (Helicopter) will start in September and is estimated to take about five months to complete. Training will culminate in 14 examinations and a flight test. The job will build on his experience in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force, which he finished in September last year. During this time he undertook more than 150 search and rescue operations.

Mr Andrew Egerton Smith MBE, chairman of EAAA, said: “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 their hour of need which is recognised and generously supported by our local communities.”

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