The final countdown has begun at the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as we look forward to welcoming our first new Airbus H145 helicopter in to operations next month
We unveiled the new helicopter to the people of Yorkshire back in June, and now after having its medical fit completed, we have entered into the final stages of training before operations can commence at the beginning of September.
Speaking about the occasion, Chairman Peter Sunderland commented “This is such an exciting time, not only for the Charity, but we hope for the people of Yorkshire too. We have been building up to this for such a long time now, and to think we are only a few short weeks away from commencing operations in the H145 is just fantastic.”
The new H145 helicopter G-YAAC is expected to commence operations from our flagship base on the Nostell Estate near Wakefield over the first weekend in September. It will then be joined by our second H145, G-YOAA, which is now expected before Christmas and will be based at our other Airbase at RAF Topcliffe near Thirsk. The two new state of the art helicopters will replace our current aging fleet of MD902 Explorers. We are expecting these to be sold to aid the cost of purchasing our new H145’s.
We were delighted to accept G-YAAC from Airbus Helicopter UK at their based in Oxford on 1st August. It was the first time we had seen the helicopter fully complete with its medical fit, and words cannot describe what an overwhelming day it was. Many years of careful planning, researching, saving and budgeting have gone in to the process to ensure we have chosen the correct helicopter type for the people of Yorkshire, and there is absolutely no doubt in our mind that we have definitely chosen the right one.
The new H145’s offer exceptional flight performance and will have significantly lower our operational and maintenance costs. The H145 is night capable, enabling longer flying hours, and is used by military, police and air rescue services throughout the world. The purchase and fitting out costs have been met through planned savings, grants, careful budgeting and the amazing generosity of the people of Yorkshire.
The new helicopters will also come with a state-of-the-art Bucher medical fit out too, which will provide critically sick and injured patients the most advanced treatment techniques. Our YAA crew were very hands on with choosing their medical fit and equipment, to ensure not only was it state-of-the-art, but also practical and easy for the crew to use. A specialist team of Doctors and highly skilled paramedics from the YAA’s crew were actively involved in the selection of the equipment.
These final few weeks prior to commencing operations will see our Pilots completing their final training with the Airbus team, before our paramedics start their familiarisation training with the helicopter.