YD55 HCV Although not really an emergency vehicle, this Mercedes Sprinter van used by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance looks very impressive. It has a photo-quality image of their helicopter on the sides as well as a city skyline around the skirt. It is sued for carrying bags of donated clothing etc.
This is G-EHMS, a MD 902 Explorer that has been the London Air Ambulance since 2000. The twin engined helicopter has permission to land anywhere to assist with serious medical emergencies. Here it has landed at a cordoned-off road junction. It can get specialist paramedics and doctors to the people who need them, and then transport the casualty to hospital at up to 140 kts.
G-WAAN This is a Great North Air Ambulance Bolkow 105 Eurocopter called the Pride of Cumbria. It is the first air ambulance to be based in the county and cover the mountainous Lake District National Park. Initially based at Appleby, then at Penrith police headquarters, the aircraft will be stationed at a custom-built base in the Gillwilly Industrial Estate, Penrith.
The Cumbria air ambulance had a difficult start. It was launched in August 2004 but was grounded in February 2005 due to a lack of funding. It was re-launched six month later.
G-SASH is the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. It is a MD902 Explorer and replaced G-PASG in July 2005. With the side door open you can see how a recumbent casualty is loaded onto a swiveling platform.
The side view of the Explorer. It is painted in a bright yellow colour with some sponsors’ adverts. It can take two paramedics to emergencies at up to 154 mph. In addition to the pilot and paramedics, it can carry a stretcher casualty plus two other seated passengers. Notice how the helicopter does not have a rear tail rotor, making it much safer when people are walking around it.
The aircraft lifting off. Because it does not have a tail rotor, the Explorer is one of the quietest aircraft of its kind.
G-WYPA in service with Wiltshire police and ambulance services in 2005. This aircraft was previously one of the Great North Air Ambulances (photos lower down the page). Prior to this it was new in 1989 as West Yorkshire’s police helicopter (hence the callsign).
A closer look at the front of G-GNAA. It is an MD Explorer helicopter with a dark green a white livery.
Looking at the rear of the helicopter reveals why it is so suited to air ambulance work: it has no rear tail rotor. This makes it much safer for people to walk around the aircraft. The rotor is replaced with air forced at great speed out of a vent in the tail. This counteracts the spinning of the main rotors and keeps the helicopter stable.
Inside is small, but very tidy and clinical. The orange grab-bags can be seen.
Looking towards the rear of the craft from inside, you can see a seat for the paramedic or doctor caring for the patient on the stretcher. The monitor can also be seen.
The silhouetted view of the underside of the helicopter.
This is G-WYPA, one of the two great north air ambulances, in flight. Re-liveried and re-launched in March 2003, this Messerschmitt Bolkow Bohlm is based at Teesside Airport. This is the only air ambulance outside of London to carry a specialist NHS doctor on board as well as a paramedic.
The side view of the helicopter in flight. This air ambulance used to be a police helicopter for West Yorkshire Police from 1989-2001. It was built in Germany and the chief police pilot at the time flew it from the factory to West Yorkshire.
A closer look at the livery of G-WYPA.
G-NAAS: The North East Air Ambulance. These photographs were taken in the early 1990s when the aircraft was based at Kitty Brewster Industrial Estate, Blyth. This air ambulance has seen numerous liveries since its introduction and covered the whole of the North East of England.
The same helicopter in flight.
A grounded G-NAAS.
Another view of G-NAAS
Another view of G-NAAS.
This is G-PASG, a Messerschmitt Bolkow Blohm, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Still in it’s familiar yellow ‘AA’ livery (even though the sponsorship has ended) it has the same colour scheme as most of the air ambulances in the UK. It’s ‘PAS’ callsign is from its owners Police Aviation Services, now known as Specialist Aviation Services.
A patient who was thrown from a horse in the North York Moors has been airlifted to hospital. They are removed from the air ambulance on a stretcher and placed in a road ambulance for the short drive to the accident and emergency department.
The three-man crew of the helicopter prepare to take off to another emergency in West Yorkshire. While the pilot begins to start the engines, the two paramedics load the equipment into the back. The pilot is employed by the ambulance service but is not medically trained.
The stretcher is pushed through from the back of the helicopter so that the head appears next to the rear-seated paramedic. All of the same equipment found on a road ambulance is to hand, but in fewer numbers to keep the weight down.
The second paramedic makes one last check of the area prior to take-off. The rotors are almost at full-speed as the pilot radios air traffic control to request priority status for the emergency journey.
Immediately after taking-off the helicopter skims over the ground at only a few feet before rising almost vertically.
A rather scenic shot of the air ambulance as it makes haste towards the sun.